Transformation Through Yoga
My first introduction to Kundalini Yoga was 14 years ago whilst visiting a dear friend of mine in British Colombia, Canada. I hadn’t seen my friend for two years and I was amazed at how radiant she looked and how vibrant and content she was. She had been practising Kundalini Yoga! I’d never heard of Kundalini Yoga before and I was very keen to try it, so I joined her in her practice. I quickly noticed its many benefits and on my return home I continued a daily practice using a DVD by ‘Gurmukh’, a renowned Kundalini Yoga teacher/ trainer based in Los Angeles.
I began to let go of things that were having a negative impact on my life, and I really had a renewed sense of self belief. I listened to my inner voice and I found myself attracting positive opportunities and people into my life. My energy and my motivation blossomed, and I became more creative and more content. For years I had wanted to go to University and so at the age of 37, with a four- year old son, I went to University to study Music. During my third year at University I had my second son and I graduated when I was 40.
I continued to practise Kundalini yoga intermittently and then in 2016, I found a teacher in Leicester, Dr. Japjeet Rajbir Kaur Khalsa. After taking classes for two years I decided that I wanted to share the transformational technology of Kundalini Yoga with others, so I began my teacher training.
“Kundalini yoga is the supreme technology to awaken your awareness and take you into your original self. It is a natural unfolding of your own nature”. I completed my Level 1 Kundalini Yoga teacher training with the Karam Kriya school in May 2020.
During my mid-twenties I suffered with panic attacks and a real lack of self-confidence which ultimately left me dealing with feelings of frustration. I avoided situations that created anxiety in me, which resulted in me missing out on doing things. I was working as a residential social worker in a hostel for people with mental health difficulties, and I was referred to a cognitive behaviour therapy group. The group did help me to understand my anxiety more, but at that time in my life I lacked the commitment to manage and to confront my anxiety. So, I did the flight rather than fight thing, and I went travelling again!
I spent the next five years either travelling or working to save up to go travelling. My work during these times was mostly with people with mental health difficulties, working as part of a team giving vital support to people living independently in the community. It was a very humbling and often challenging role. I saw first- hand the struggle and vulnerability that some people bear, alongside the strength of human beings in the face of adversity.
This is my most important and the most rewarding role. It has also been incredibly challenging at times, and my most selfless journey to date. I have two wonderfully bright sons who have taught me so much about myself, and continue to fill my life with so much love and happiness. Of course, there can be difficult times and problems to fix, but through my practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation my responses always come from a heart-centered space.
“Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodahah” Patenjali’s Yoga sutraFrom ‘The secret Power of Yoga’ by Nischala Joy Devi
“Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart”
Being a Yogi and a mum is not always easy!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way!
There are times when I’ve been trying to meditate and my youngest son keeps coming into the room, the cat is meowing and wants feeding, and then there’s an Amazon delivery driver at the door!! Almost like they all waited for me to start just so they could interrupt!! Not to mention then the voice in my head that suddenly starts with the internal chitter chatter! That’s why Mantras really help with meditating as the rhythm and repetition of the sounds carry you through.
The more things I have on in a day, the more I dedicate time to meditating. Meditating is like casting a magic spell that in return gifts you with the ability to be fully present in everything that you do. It clears the subconscious mind of unnecessary clutter and gives you access to the stillness and tranquillity that is present inside. It helps you to be the best version of yourself and nurtures the qualities of self -discipline and commitment. During my Kundalini Yoga and meditation practices I have had many poignant moments that have given me so much insight into myself. I have had many creative ideas and I have grown in awareness and shed habits that were unnecessary or toxic. I remember one particularly poignant moment for me was after coming out of class, I looked at a flower. Just a regular flower. But the flower was so beautiful. And what came to me was this “All it needs is the earth, water and light to blossom into its full potential, that’s all.” Just the presence of flowers gives us joy, but when we smell their essence, we are drawn even further into their beauty.
Sadhana = Daily Spiritual Practice
Nowadays I rise early before anyone else is up and do my Yoga practice and meditation. I meditate for 31 minutes a day after an hour of yoga (or thereabouts). This is my daily spiritual practice. This routine is as familiar to me as a flower is familiar to a bee. Sadhana gives you integrity as a teacher as you gain first- hand knowledge of Kriyas and meditations. You understand how they feel to practise and how the body integrates the effects within. Sadhana keeps you present and fresh. It is a time for your higher consciousness to connect with the universal consciousness.
Mantra Joti Kaur
My spiritual name is an inspiration for me. Mantra means divine word or inner sound that nurtures the soul. Joti means one who is filled with light. My spiritual name translates as “one who embodies the divines celestial light in the world by merging with her inner sound that nurtures the soul”. “Your profound oneness with the vibrational word of the divine brightens the hearts and minds of all those around you with radiance and joy”.
I love that the word Joti means full of light and I feel a deep connection to the word. Even when I wasn’t practising Yoga, I felt a need to elevate people’s feelings. Now, as a Yogi and Kundalini Yoga teacher it confirms to me my purpose in life which is to uplift and to elevate and to serve.
My spiritual name gave me the creative inspiration for my Yoga logo and for the name of my website. I chose a green mandala at the centre of my logo to reflect the universe, radiance, and the colour of Anahata, the heart chakra. Joti Yoga is written in Sanskrit the ancient Indian language and repeated around the circle as a mantra is repeated in a chant.