While most forms of yoga focus on self realization as an end goal, Sahaja yoga introduces this concept right away. When practicing this unique form of yoga meditation, you awaken your Kundalini immediately to experience cooling wind and vibrations.
What Is Sahaja Yoga?
Sahaja yoga is both a practice and a religious movement, created in the 1970s by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. The thought behind the movement is that by achieving self awakening within each person, global unity of mankind can be achieved. Each person that practices Sahaja yoga is thought to become more moral, integrated, united, and balanced. Through meditation and the awakening of the Kundalini and cleansing of the chakras, it is thought that spontaneous self awakening can occur. When this happens, the practitioner exists in a state of thoughtless awareness, during which time they may feel cool breezes on their heads and hands.
How Does Sahaja Yoga Differ from Other Types of Yoga?
Sahaja yoga is primarily different from other forms of yoga because it begins with the concept of self realization. While some forms of yoga may aim for self realization through practice of asanas and meditation, Sahaja yogis believe that this can happen spontaneously at the start of practice. By happening spontaneously, no effort needs to be put into the practice. The thought is that many disciples of other forms of yoga can go their entire lives practicing breathe, asanas, and movement and never achieve self realization or only achieve it at the very end of their lives, those that practice Sahaja yoga can achieve it at any time without needing to expend so much energy in its pursuit.
The practice of Sahaja yoga is a form of yoga meditation. While some other forms of yoga practice meditation as well as asanas or in conjunction with breathe and movement, Sahaja yoga practices primarily a form of yoga meditation.
If you take a course in yoga in most other disciplines, you’ll probably be introduced to several different poses, breathing techniques, and exercises. Your goals may be strengthening the body, strengthening the mind, or lowering your stress levels. If you take a course in yoga meditation, you may learn several different meditative techniques involving breathing, movement, chanting, and possibly cleansing the chakras.
Learning or practicing Sahaja yoga is markedly different than these other forms. While you do meditate, you begin by awaking the Kundalini by taking it in your hands. Moving on from here, you cleanse or awaken the chakras. The self realization can happen at any time after this; practitioners are expected to go through this exercise regularly until they learn to experience the state of thoughtless awareness, during which time their pupils may dilate, and they may feel a state of deep physical and mental relaxation. The release of stress, and greater understanding of self that many people look for when they approach a yoga class are there, but they are achieved through very different methods.
Key Points in Sahaja Yoga
There are several key points in Sahaja yoga that practitioners need to understand as they embark on their journey of self realization. Some of these points may be familiar to those that practice other forms of yoga or meditation, but most have their own meaning that exists solely within this movement.
Kundalini is a form of yoga practiced by many to help awaken and integrate the chakras. In regards to Sahaja yoga, Kundalini is also the seat of energy which lies dormant in the sacrum. Awakening the Kundalini, raises this power – defined as the power of pure desire within – and channels it along the chakras and out the top of the head. Kundalini is thought to be a motherly power and extremely soothing.
Self realization is the awakening of the Kundalini, which sends it through the six points of the chakras and out the top of the head. According to Shri Mataji, “Self Realization is the first encounter with Reality”. The process of awakening the Kundalini to induce self realization is thought to help balance and cure a person. The meditation that follows this process is known as thoughtless awareness, where the person is able to sit without thought, but be fully conscious of what is going on around him. Self realization is extremely relaxing, and is thought to help provide greater mental clarity and morality within a person.
The Kundalini energy that is released through the chakras to the crown of the head is known as vibrations. It is thought to be the integration of all your psychological, mental, religious, and emotional selves. Some people claim that they can feel the vibrations as cold energy or cool breezes during their time of thoughtless awareness.
Why Practice Sahaja Yoga
The benefits of other forms of yoga are well documented, from release of stress to greater physical and mental health. Those that practice Sahaja yoga can also obtain several self improvements. While self realization is the end goal, reaching this state can provide the practitioner with several other gains as well.
General health is thought to improve with the practice of Sahaja yoga. This is done through the subtle cleansing of impurities from the system during the self realization process.
Relief from Stress
Sahaja yoga is a great way to release mental stress. It helps to raise your stress threshold, improve your sleep patterns, and give you the ability to remain clear-headed during stressful situations.
Neutralizing Habits and Addictions
Bad habits and addictions are thought to disappear during regular practice of Sahaja yoga. This is done through self realization and requires no additional effort on the behalf of the practitioner.
Better Communication Skills
Regular practice is said to lead to better communication skills. This will improve the way that you interact with others, leading toward greater harmony, which is one of the goals of Sahaja yoga.
The meditation process can help improve mental acuity, which will lead to better focus and concentration. This can further translate into better productivity and greater harmony as well.
Sahaja yoga breaks down barriers between different belief systems, while remaining tolerant of those systems. This leads to better integration between humanity.
Emancipation of Humanity
The final goal of Sahaja yoga is emancipation of humanity, which is brought about by spreading self realization to large groups of people and integrating various cultures. With improved communication skills and fewer negative behaviors in a society as a whole, all of humanity benefits.
Practice it For Yourself
Sahaja yoga and the process of self realization can truly only be experienced through practice. Like all forms of yoga, this is a discipline that takes time and dedication to master completely. While it is not required that you join the movement and subscribe to the religious components to benefit, you do need to practice raising and awakening the Kundalini on a regular basis in order to fully achieve everything that Sahaja yoga has to offer. If you’re new to the practice of yoga or meditation in general, you may want to start by taking a more general yoga class or meditation course first to learn more about the practice to begin to get some sense of self and the different actions that will be required during the practice of Sahaja yoga. This fast growing field and variation of yoga has already inspired millions of people with more than 100 centers around the world. Give Sahaja yoga a try for yourself and see what type of spiritual awakening you find for yourself.