Raising Kids Kundalini Style

First a disclaimer: we don't have kids. That stated, a Spiritual teacher can often feel as if they are parents in a way, by helping people matriculate in consciousness and learn to make good choices on the winding road of life and being. As Spiritual Teachers we also remind ourselves often that other people's path is not necessarily our path and that we are here to be a support system with no judgement. Of course you all don't live under our roof and we don't have to make sure that you get up on time, brush your teeth, have a good breakfast, and are accounted for lovingly every moment of every day. All of you parents out there have taken on an enormous and rewarding responsibility and we are grateful to you for training big souls in little bodies who are literally the hope for the world. Thanks to conscious parent / yogis Rebecca Hahn, Jennifer Greenwald, Alycia Lee, and Heather Sewell-Rush for their valuable feedback (see below) about being Sa Ta Ma Ma's!

As a parent you're a steward. A steward is someone who is responsible for looking after others as on a conveyance ridden by the public (e.g. archaic name for flight attendants: stewardesses). In keeping with that metaphor,

photos courtesy of Jennifer Greenwald

kids are only your wards for a relatively short time. It's your job to make sure they get to their destination / destiny and if possible, to save them time, trouble, and suffering. Although ultimately no matter how hard we try, there's only so much we can do, and then it's up to them. With the benefit of hindsight, everyone could've done better in every relationship. We have to accept that our kids are not perfect and that neither are we.

Your kids may share some of your DNA but there is a strong likelihood that that's where the resemblance ends. The first thing to let go of are expectations around what you think they should be like. Many parents, in effect, view their kids as they own personal Barbie and Ken dolls that they can dress up in their own image and use to vicariously fulfill their own unmet expectations. It's important to understand that your kids may have talents and a trajectory completely outside your frame of reference. Your job is to lovingly support and empower them.

Very often our kids are meant to be our Teachers. In order for a great soul to be born on this plane of existence it takes many generations of sacrifice and prayer for that call to be answered. Train your kids with values, discipline, and love and one of these days, they may be in a position to train you!

You may be a spiritually inclined person, but It's important to remind ourselves that our kids may have no ostensible interest in our otherworldly aspirations. Evolution over lifetimes is a spiral construct and sometimes other experiences are in order. In the lives of the saints there are many instances in which their kids were very ordinary. That doesn't mean the parent "failed." It simply means it is what it is. On the other hand, if you keep your practice strong, live a life of consciousness integrity, and practice what you preach, chances are that those good vibrations are transferable. It's said that when a mother prays for her unborn child, that baby's karma is purified. In fact, the prayer of a mother is one of the most powerful things. The Universe has a very hard time refusing the heartfelt prayer of a mother for her children.

And sometimes you may find yourself in the position of your kids being totally out of control. And the more you rant and rave the worse it gets. The truth is that kids will amplify what's going on in their parents' minds and psyches. We understand that being a parent means time is in short supply, but as a parent you really can't afford not to meditate every day. Your household will be much more calm as a result.

These Teachings and other practices of Awareness work and they will work for your kids as will. Trust in your own experience and don't hesitate to implement what makes sense to you.

In the early days of his teaching, Yogi Bhajan suggested that when a woman gives birth she spend 40 days bonding with the baby in a not too bright room, seeing a minimal number of people. It's important to understand that coming into this world from the peaceful cloister of the womb is a shock to the system, especially for sensitive older souls. On some level, many people never recover from that shock. We know it's not practical to chisel out 40 days of quiet but mom and baby bonding is very valuable.

Here are some quotes from illustrious Sa Ta Ma Ma's:

Rebecca Hahn:

"Treading consciously into parenting and raising a kid Kundalini Style means setting a firm foundation under her spiritual being knowing full well that at some point she will probably build her spiritual house somewhere else. KY has given me the tools for foresight into this, insight in how to prepare for it and core-sight in how to manage myself when that moment arrives, which happens to be right now.

She is an amazing kid, I am an ok mom. We keep practicing how to be spiritual beings in this human experience. And it changes with each level of maturation, and I mean that for both of us. Raising a kid Kundalini style is a constant commitment to being flexible, fluid and expansive. Without my practice those elements would be lost to me and to her as well."

Jennnifer Greenwald (Jai Jai Kaur):

"My Kundalini practice is what allows me to have the nerve strength, patience and insight to parent my babes sanely!

To be frank, the physical practice is not part of their routine, and I learned early on not to push it on them. We have a "yoga room" in our home, so they see my practice modeled on a regular basis and I believe they will someday take the initiative to use it with me. In the meantime, Kundalini is infused into our daily doings. It's the cornerstone of how we live in each day. In the morning I often awake them by giving them a spine massage and tell them to begin awakening their body by breathing into their spine. Many eves, especially when there is resistance to sleeping (very common in our home) we do breath work to slow the mind. Mainly inhale Sat, exhale Nam or Sa-Ta-Na-Ma.

I do play mantra A LOT ... so that in and of itself has been powerfully infused into their psyches. Even though I often hear them complain, "No mantra in the car, Mom!", I will hear them humming our chanting mantra through the day which pleases my yogi heart. Often we discuss the meaning of the mantra and what it means to incorporate these primal vibrations into our lives.

I think where I currently see the benefits of a Kundalini infused lifestyle is when it comes to the social and personal dilemmas they face. The theme of one love is the basis for our problem solving. They learn and practice how to be the light in dark situations. For example, none one of my children are big fans of going to school (shocker, I know), so our morning dialogue involves a lot of visualization of being the light and sharing the light as they walk into school.

Ultimately, I think raising my kids Kundalini style gives them a confidence and support to be the unique and creative souls they came here to be. I believe they are in touch with the energy that makes them who they are. They realized early on it's not about fitting in, its really about standing out."

Alycia Lee:

"When my girls encounter a stressful moment (injury, frustration, fear etc.), and look to me for help, I will remind them that the first thing they can do is breathe and we all stop to take deep breaths together. Because it brings clarity, pain relief, and strength so they are better equipped to deal with their problem. I also try to model it when I encounter stress myself. This is all still very much a work in progress as I don't always remember and sometimes it's very difficult to get them to focus on their breath, but more and more I see them doing it on their own plus it reminds me to do it more as well! I like to think this is a life long skill that they will have in their toolkit."

Heather Sewell-Rush:

One thing I tell my kids (repeatedly) is, "Keep up and you'll be kept up." This is my go-to when any of my kids is having a hard time with something and they feel discouraged. I remind them their tenacity and fortitude will spark the Universe to have their back...but they have to do the work to be met. My older son's girlfriend began practicing KY with me recently, and I taught her Sat Kriya. She had a very tough time with this in the beginning, and I kept reassuring her throughout the practice to "keep up and be kept up." This is my go-to quote.