The Power of Practice

The Power of Practice
( How to Get Better)

If we want to get better at anything we need to practice. And it's not just putting in the time. We need to apply focus, commitment, and creativity. The famous Samurai Myomoto Musahi said, "You can only fight the way you practice." In Kundalini Yoga we're practicing for life now and forever.

How many times has this been said (so many many!) but truly the best way to practice is with beginners mind. This means not just going through the motions, but exploring your way through each exercise as if for the first time. Stay present in your practice and don't just work out, work in!. You will find that you will always be making new discoveries which will keep you inspired and spark your creativity muscles in life.

Speaking of muscles, often people do Kundalini Yoga and work around their muscles rather than engage them. Even though Kundalini Yoga does work very much on our energetic anatomy, it's still vital that we activate our physical anatomy. This engagement is a metaphor for how we're interacting with life. Our advice is if you're going to do it, really do it. Be in your body so as not to be bound by it. Don't just kill time; fulfill time!

And then, if you want to be the best, study with the best. Philip Sayce, a Canadian guitarist, grew up loving the music of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. He apprenticed himself to Jeff Healey, another Canadian guitarist, one of the all time greats, and eventually joined his band. Philip is now arguably the best rock/blues guitarist in the world. He was no doubt born with remarkable talent, but think of all the hours spent alone in his room developing that talent.

Sir Isaac Newton, when asked how he came up with his marvelous proofs and theories said, "I stand on the shoulders of giants." So, if you want to get really good at something, search out masters of that craft and be a pushy pants and a sticky beak! When I (Ravi) was coming up I was lucky enough to have access to Yogi Bhajan and also Guru Charan Singh Khalsa. They helped me connect many dots! Through their example I have always been highly incentivized to do my practice, live my practice, and share my practice.

We asked a number of yogis about what motivates them to do their practice. Here's a quip from the stellar Kundalini Teacher Margaret Sat Kewal Kaur McGladrey, from Lexington, KY: "What motivates me to keep my practice steady and strong amid the whirlwind of stress, pain, and anxiety that seems endemic to these divisive times is YB's third Aquarian sutra: 'When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.' Even when it seems impossible, God's grace alights upon me every time I have the courage to show up and tune in."

The Bright Light known as Guru Rattana said, "I have a deep passion for life and want to maximize what I can do and be this lifetime. I prioritize feeling good and feeling God. I choose to live in trust instead of insecurity. Life is so magical and interesting when its foundation is sadhana."

Jennifer Greenwald, a grad of the Raviana 500 hr. T. Training, and Owner of Jai Yoga in Madison, CT said, "Simply put, my motivation is in the results. I know what life was like without Kundalini Yoga, and I know what life is like with Kundalini Yoga. There is so much more magic, beauty, and flow when I do the practice. Life is just better when kundalini flows. Like everyone, there are times that I just don't wanna do the practice. Resistance is real. Three things that help me stay with the practice are: Community: I find having a community of Kundalini yogis that I can share my experiences, limitations and breakthroughs with is an integral part of sticking to the practice through sticky times. Clothing: I'm not talking about white clothes and turbans (although if that makes you feel good, then great!) ... but I put on my yogi threads whether I want to or not. Dressing the part encourages me to move to the mat. Consistency: Committing to 40 day (+) challenges helps me to deeply connect with a specific kriya and feel the magic it delivers in my life. The less I have to think about what I'm going to do and have a "go to" kriya ready to roll into, the better off I am when resistance kicks in. I also love exploring the different experiences and gifts each kriya offers. The relationship with energy I'm creating fascinates me."

Christine DeAmicis, also a Raviana 500 hr. grad, said, "I need my daily practice of 31 minutes of So Darshan Chakra Kriya every morning so I can be in my neutral mind. I have grown so accustomed to functioning from that neutral space, that emotional turmoil is no longer an acceptable option."

The Saints and Sages tell us that on a soul level we have invariably experienced immense regret over lifetimes (or in this lifetime) for lost opportunities and forgetfulness of our true purpose. May we be galvanized to work on ourselves with a sense of urgency every day. May we raise the bar of human greatness. May we strive for excellence fueled by Spirit and may others be inspired by our example.