My Experience of a Kundalini Yoga Women’s Retreat
Adapted from "I was Reborn in Four Days," by Liu Fang, Trends Health magazine, Dec 2009
Day 1: Give the Heart a Warm Bath
Outside of Beijing, together with a group of women in plain white clothes and turbans on the heads, I sat on the wooden floor with my bare feet. The morning sun shone brightly and warmly through the windows. The teacher began: Now, please straighten your spine, gently close your eyes, focus at your heart center, inhale deeply, exhale completely, and begin chanting: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.
Merging in the sound current of the group chanting, my mind seemed to fly into another world where there were no conflicts, only peace, purity, love, and light. This was how the four-day workshop called “I Just Want to Be a Woman” began.
After the chanting we did a simple set of exercises. Now please raise your arms. Powerfully shake your arms and shoulders. Keep moving. Imagine that you are throwing all your fears and angers behind. I lost the concept of time. My shoulders were numb. I had no idea at this moment what had happened to my body and mind. At the same time, I heard painful sounds from women around me.
Suraj Kaur, our teacher, said that we store negative emotional energy in our bodies. Our cells possess much traumatized memories. With the traditional healing methods we can only go very slowly, bit by bit back-tracking to our childhood to locate the causes and then release the pain. But with Kundalini Yoga you don’t need to know what happened in the past. You just need to follow the instructions and do it whole-heartedly. Then, what needs to be released will be released. While the negative energy is being released, the positive energy will replace it and expand.
This was our first day. We practiced several kriyas to release women’s collective unconscious fears and anger. Every kriya brought out a release and cleansed our bodies and minds like a cozy warm bath. At the end of the day, I felt exhausted but liberated.
Women Created the World: Releasing Women’s Collective Unconscious Wounds
The master of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, said that women carry and nurture the children, so the consciousness of women determines the consciousness of the world. Women by nature are creative. They create the world. In English the word woman contains man. And female also contains male. Therefore, the female energy is the Mother Earth’s energy which creates all beings.
Day 2: Those Intimate Scars: The Marks He Left Behind—Can They Be Washed Off?
We got up at 3:30 in the morning the next day. The two and half hour morning sadhana started at 4:00. It was not as difficult as I had anticipated. Morning sadhana is a part of the Kundalini Yoga tradition. Great yogis in the past understood that the energy was most powerful around 4:00 a.m. Man can tap into the energy to gain a strong connection with the Universe.
We did more intensive kriyas in the morning. These exercises are designed to release women’s traumas resulting from sexual intimacy. Suraj Kaur explained that every man will leave his mark on the woman’s magnetic field. It takes a long time for a woman to recover and balance her energy.
I found the gong meditation in the early afternoon most amazing. Students lay on the yoga mats and covered themselves with blankets. We closed our eyes. The voice of the teacher seemed to be drifting in from far away: Whatever you feel, just let it flow out freely.
“Kuang – kuang.” The teacher started playing the gong. It sounded softly at first. Gradually it got louder. I felt anxious, as if I was entering a dark and dismal area. I contracted my body. All of a sudden, the gong made a thundering sound. I was shocked and immediately felt the immense sound current entering my body through the top of my head. Every cell in my body started vibrating. The gong’s vibration became more and more intense. The waves of the sound current enveloped me. Little by little, my body relaxed. Suddenly, I felt a warm current rising from the bottom of my heart. It was unspeakable joy. My mind went completely blank. Suraj Kaur said that the gong creates an internal vibration. When we play the gong, the sound current of the gong, it has a great impact on our body and mind. We can let go of our fear and anxiety, and cleanse our magnetic field.
Sex and Intimacy: Female Energy Determines the Energy Field of Both Sexes
In comparison to men, women can have more connection with their intuition and wisdom. In our society women often play passive roles. However, women possess energy beyond imagination. In a relationship, usually it’s the woman who initiates the message to attract the man. The woman’s aura sends out messages automatically. So, to keep the energy field clean and vast, woman has the capacity to not only elevate her own consciousness but also her partner’s.
Day 3: Experiencing Pregnancy
If a woman wants to have a child, she needs to prepare herself before and during the pregnancy with her whole being. The deeper we cleanse ourselves, the better it will be for the child. According to the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, the soul enters the mother’s womb around the 120th day of pregnancy. It is very beneficial for the mother-to-be to practice daily sadhana and meditation and keep a clear consciousness at this time. The kriya we practiced on this day aimed at eradicating old wounds.
Now please go to your heart center. Breathe deeply. We are going to do a kriya to clear out the memory ghosts before our 11th year. Raise both arms up as if you were flapping wings. Coordinate with your breath while moving the arms. We fly over the fields, the rivers, and a vast desert. Yes, we are flying over the desert. You might feel your wings getting heavy and tired. But you can’t stop because the desert is so vast and immense….you need to fly through.
I had no idea how long I had been flying. It seemed like a century. My arms were like two logs, no longer following my command. My mind kept saying, “No more! I can’t do it.” Then I heard Suraj Kaur say, are your young wings feeling exhausted? But you can’t stop, the distance to cross the desert is still very long, you must keep going regardless. I reached my limit. Tears welled up. “I can’t take it anymore!” I didn’t know if I was still flapping my wings or not.
All of a sudden, a surge of powerful current came from my head to my arms, my wings felt light. “Ah! I went beyond my limit!” I felt an overwhelming joy. At this moment, I heard Suraj Kaur again: “You have flown over the desert and now slowly fly higher and higher toward the sky. Through the dark clouds, you are now in the clear blue sky. You are embraced by the warm sunlight. You are flying over the beautiful and lush tropical rain forest. It’s so beautiful…”
Suraj Kaur said that Kundalini Yoga is in fact “unreasonable.” There are simple movements. By practicing the kriyas, you get the solutions to resolve your problems. You are inspired to reach beyond your limits and the healing happens naturally and wonderfully. I heard many participants cry. I think they must have gone into the depth of their souls and released painful memories.
A woman has two roles, a mother and a woman. As a mother, the woman is devotional, enduring, sacrificing, and compassionate. However, as a woman, she is more direct. When our consciousness isn’t clear, we lose our sense of self in relationships (be it the husband-wife relationship, or the mother-child relationship, or relationships with others.) The practice of Kundalini Yoga helps women to keep their awareness clear and balanced. And the woman’s consciousness affects the development of the child directly, even when it’s still in the womb.
Day 4: If I Could Be Born Again
Today’s subject is Rebirth.
Please, sit on your heels. Put your head on the floor. Hands by your sides and relax like a baby. Now we are back in the womb of our mothers. We will experience rebirth… in the intercourse of your mother and father, your micro physical body was formed… Now the physical body is three months old. Your soul is still lingering around your mother. Are you ready to choose this woman as your mother in this life? If you have decided, please enter your physical body. Feel it and feel the environment. How is it?
I wasn’t sure whether it was my imagination or delusion, but suddenly I felt a surge of warmth in my body as if I had just entered the safest domain, even though it was pitch black all around. Suraj Kaur continued guiding us through the birth process—growing in the womb, connecting with the mother, and being born. I had a profound experience of rebirth.
Now, you are going to be born. Can you feel the light shining? With the light, you are being pushed to the tunnel. You feel the tightness of the tunnel. Do you hear the chattering of the people? Welcome to the world of Light.
During this rebirthing exercise I experienced a great love for my mother. When the exercise concluded, I could still feel it, along with a deeper understanding of my mother. I cherished even more our mother-daughter relationship. Lunch break came and I immediately called my mother. I shared my experience. Amazingly, she told me what I experienced was exactly what she had experienced when she was pregnant with me, and she had never confided with anyone about her state of mind back then.
Kundalini Yoga helps bring us back to the totality of the Self. Meanwhile, we connect with our senses, intuition, potential, and creativity. Thus we become complete.
The teacher trainers:
Rebecca Lo is from Hong Kong and is the only Kundalini Yoga teacher-trainer in China.
Suraj Kaur is from Australia and completed her Kundalini Yoga teacher training in New Mexico, USA. She is the Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Council representative for Australia and Asia.