The Kundalini Yoga Files – An Updated Diary Of Personal Results

(Page Being Updated, We Appreciate Your Patience 🙂 )

So up until about 3 weeks ago, I didn't know much at all about kundalini yoga, and basically thought it was something to do with vital life force, soul energy, and maybe there was a relation to tantric practices. But that was pretty much it. That was about to change, I was drawn into the “mystical world” of kundalini, and I was excited to learn that this little-known practice has recently become the focus of more western science.

If you know me, or read this blog often, then you know that I'm pretty into things that have some kind of science published, and are as far away from woo-woo as possible.

Before I continue, I want you to know that this page will be a continuous work in progress, an updated journal, and will probably link out to more pages from me on this topic, as there will be a lot to cover, and I will want to try to make it as usable as possible for you, my dear reader.

Before we continue, here's a list of the relevant links on this page, if you desire to skip ahead at any point in time:

Introduction Into Kundalini Yoga
The History Of Kundalini In The East
The Work Of David Shannahoff-Khalsa And Kundalini In The West
Kundalini Yoga As Seen From A Biohackers Perspective
Looking At The Published Science On Kundalini Yoga
My Personal Goals For Kundalini Yoga Practice
My Kundalini Live Journal – Updated Regularly
Discussions On Kundalini And Personal Experiences
References

An Introduction Into Kundalini Yoga

The History Of Kundalini In The East

As it turns out what we know of these days as Kundalini yoga is actually a mix of different yogic traditions, and is somewhat of a synthesis if you will. Kundalini yoga is a mix that may include other Hatha yoga methods from either Asana, Pranayama, Kriya , Laya (which can refer to the actual yogic practice itself OR “its effect of “absorption” of the individual into the cosmic” [2] ) the or Bandha yogic practices.

Because there's a long history for many of the yogic traditions, and there's been a fair amount of syncretism, it's said to be very hard to pin down the exact origins of Kundalini Yoga. According to the work of Shannahoff-Khalsa (which will get to more thoroughly further on down the page) The techniques were “discovered” by the ancient Rishis of India, dating back several thousands of years. The Rishis were the people of great power in those days, and had access to greater resources, education and time to study matters of spiritual significance.

It's said that some of the oldest traceable sources of the teachings of Kundalini come from the ancient text manuals such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shiva Samhita which are from the Tantric and Hatha Yogic traditions, respectively. Within the Shiva Samhita, it's said that in order to achieve full Kundalini awakening, one must practice and master the “four yogas” (Laya yoga, Raya yoga, Mantra yoga and Hatha yoga). “Lesser students” may resort to using just any one of these variations of yoga by itself and still achieve great benefits, but they will not be able to “go all the way” unless they are combining multiple variations of yoga practice as above.

 

The Work Of David Shannahoff-Khalsa and Kundalini In The West

When I came across the work of David Shannahoff-Khalsa, I was immediately intrigued. Shannahoff-Khalsa, among others, has turned a fairly mystical practice of yoga into something that's now readily accessible to us in the west, and can be learned as quickly as you can download the files and sit down to begin your practice.

His work focuses specifically on developing applied kundalini practice protocols for various psychiatric disorders, all the way from conditions like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population and is what you'd consider a “garden variety” mental disorder [4] to more serious conditions such as schizophrenia and even autism.

 

David Shannahoff-Khalsa kundalini yoga protocols

The style of presentation for Shannahoff-Kalsa's home DVD training

The really fascinating thing about his work is that David Shannahoff-Khalsa approaches Kundalini yoga from the perspective of not only a highly trained yogi himself, but a westerner with a background in psychotherapy (qualifications) and attempts to ground his applications of kundalini in western based scientific quantification. As mentioned previously, this is an aspect of his work that really caught my attention.

 

 

I'm going to look at some of the published studies relating to kundalini yoga further on down this page. More and more research is now emerging into the efficacy of this once mystical practice in treating a wide wide range of conditions and disorders. It's an exciting time where we are starting to quantify the mystical and the spiritual.

Kundalini Yoga As Seen From A Biohacker's Perspective

As I mentioned briefly above, one of my main reasons for being so interested in the art and practice of Kundalini yoga as a modality for overcoming various health challenges, is that it has some level of scientific study behind its efficacy. To me, this makes it even more interesting.

I believe it's a fascinating time that we're living in because more and more we are seeing this coming together of ancient Eastern and modern Western thought, philosophy, and PRACTICE.

The true value in scientifically validating an ancient practice such as Kundalini Yoga, is that it will mean more and more people will open their minds to its possibilities, and therefore be open and able to receiving the benefits, which for now I can only say I BELIEVE exist in this spiritual practice.

Now, despite what the scientific studies say, I'm going to be running a powerful experiment in the private laboratory of my own life and experience, and ultimately, this is all the proof that I will need to personally decide whether it's a waste of my time, or it's really as fruitful and powerful as Shannahoff-Khalsa claims.

Looking At The Published Science On Kundalini Yoga
My Personal Goals For Kundalini Yoga Practice

When it comes to my personal goals in applying the Kundalini Yoga protocols of David Shannahoff-Khalsa I am planning on treating this quite seriously.

This is due to a couple of causative factors. Firstly a) I'm suffering some pretty ghastly symptoms at the moment, and so my motivation to get some relief from these symptoms (more on specifics in a second), and b) I have quite a good amount of belief that this work will actually do me a lot of good, If I'm able to stick with the program as planned.

So my main goals can be broken down into the three main categories

  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

Mental

This might not be that shocking as a goal for a new meditative practice, but I'm aiming to see some changes in terms of having a quieter mind from this practice. I'm definitely hoping to see some decreases in some of those obsessive thoughts that I believe are very much related to biochemical causes I'm personally facing, such as

I'm definitely hoping to see some decreases in some of those obsessive thoughts that I believe are very much related to biochemical causes I'm personally facing, such as Pyroluria (which in simple terms is a blood disorder that robs Zinc and Vitamin B6 from the body at a much higher rate than normal, so that these nutrients must be supplemented regularly to keep healthy levels).

I would like to have just less negative thinking in general, and more “empty mind” and heck, maybe even a few more positive thoughts naturally occurring here and there (as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy taught me well, an increase in positive thinking cannot be forced directly)

Emotional

Generally, I'm just aiming to feel less anxiety, more stability in my day to day emotional life. I am guessing this will be quite a slow change, and I might just be able to notice a very slight decrease in anxiety over time.

I think 3 months will be enough time to see if I'm getting any changes in this area. Tracking my progress via the “anxiety” metric daily will also help me to see if anything is really happening time in a more objective sense (It's very difficult if not impossible to really see changes in oneself over a short amount of time and with no objective reporting).

Spiritual

I don't expect to see any massive spiritual shifts in the next 3-6 months from this work, but you never know. People have mystical experiences all the time, and there world view and perception of self and others can be transformed in a flash. BUT, i think it would be silly to have expectations of anything like that occuring.

I certainly think Kundalini Yoga has the power to facilitate such spiritual shifts, but again, it's just about managing my expectations during this process.

My loose aim in terms of spiritual growth is to become more loving to myself and others, and more forgiving of myself and some key members of my close personal network and family. These are aspirations which I'm just becoming more aware of recently, as I've seen the damage that holding onto negative feelings towards others can cause.

My Kundalini Live Journal – Updated Regularly

I'm going to basically treat this is an area for journaling generally about my progress in practicing Kundalini Yoga. I will not be posting at any particular frequency, as I'd like to keep it fairly open and just jot down things as they come to mind. As mentioned previously, my goal is to at least initially give this 3 months, and see how my progress goes.

And of course the amount of time that I stick with this is open too, but my main goal at the beginning is to keep my practice regular (most days, if not all), and give it a really good chance of working it's magic.

I'm aiming to make Kundalini a part of my morning routine, currently just watching and following along with the DVD in my office, but later on I'll probably plan on moving my practice outside, as the weather warms up in my area.

Anyway, enough said for now, here's the journal, oldest entries at the top to maintain some kind of “story” or flow for those reading along.

Journal Entry – 28th July, 2016

So I am officially starting my Kundalini experiment as of today. I've decided that I'm going to be using a version of Shannahoff-Khalsa's OCD protocol. I don't really have OCD, but I do have some heightened activity in pointless negative thinking recently, which is probably partially related to the fact that my body is under a lot of oxidative stress from factors such as Pyroluria, which I was diagnosed with earlier this year, and is sure to have an effect on my mental processes and ability to be mindful.

As mentioned above in my goals section, I'll be doing my usual bio-hacking thing, and tracking the changes in a few symptoms and metrics, that I'm hoping will be positively affected by this new practice.

So for this particular section of my journey with learning Kundalini, I'll be splitting the symptoms into 3 categories, and tracking them daily as I evolve my practice.

The symptom categories  for tracking progress will be:

  • General Stress Level
  • OCD Thinking
  • Cognitive Function

I have started already and done my first practice this morning with this particular protocol. I like it better than the PTSD protocol thus far I think, but I will be open to switching over in a month or 2 if I feel that it's worthwhile.

Journal Entry – 15th August, 2016

So my self-discipline has not been steady enough with this to really judge if it's been helpful at all over the past few weeks. I failed to start doing it when I made my last update, and then did it really hardcore for like 2 sessions (3 hours total roughly) each day for about 3 days, and then stopped doing it again for a few days and blah blah.

So basically I have not gathered enough consistent data so far, because of this, and so I've just done a practice this morning and am going to make more of an effort to at least do it say 3-5 times per week. I know that it's unrealistic to say I'll even do it once per day right now, even though my ideal self would love to, I just have too many things I'm trying to start up and work on.

I'll be back in a few more weeks when I have been better at sticking with my goal of doing the Kundalini yoga practice regularly.

Discussions On Kundalini And Personal Experiences

So I would absolutely love it if anyone reading this wants to discuss any aspects of Kundalini yoga here with me, or if anyone has any questions about my thoughts on the practice so far that haven't already been mentioned in the above journal.

I also plan on interviewing David Shannahoff-Khalsa if he can find the time for me, and if that happens I'll post a link on this page, so you guys can listen.

Thanks for reading, and I hope I've inspired you to start your own meditation practice regularly in your own life, whether it be Kundalini or some other discipline. There are many rays leading to the one sun.

References

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Nick Earl

About The Author - Founder at Healthvibed.com, Nick is passionate about learning and implementing all information related to achieving optimum health.

He's since made it his mission to learn, live and share these principles, many of which you can find on this blog.

Read more of Nick's personal story here, as well as our mission here on this site, here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Sean - 8 months ago

Great article Nick. Interesting to learn a bit of background history too on the wonderful Kundalini yoga. Just wondering if you have tried any of Maya Fiennes Kundalini workshops, she caters more towards the busy, westerner, every day, working person, with sessions lasting from 15 minutes to a full hour or two, depending on your daily schedule and what you can fit in.

Reply
    Nick Earl - 7 months ago

    Hey my brother! Was it Kundalini that you were/are practising in the mornings? I haven’t heard of Maya Fiennes, but I’ll look into her work! thanks for the tip mate!

    Reply
Ryan De Jonghe - 8 months ago

I’m interested in seeing how incorporating this into your life works out for you. This information has been helpful to me and has gotten me interested in yoga again after taking more than a year off. Truthfully back then I would just show up and participate in a class but I never understood what was behind it. Thanks for getting me interested again!

Reply
    Nick Earl - 7 months ago

    Hey Ryan, my discipline is still a bit shaky on this one… a case of the old over spreading I’m afraid, but I will not give up on this practice, it’s just taking a back burner currently.

    Thanks for your comment and stay tuned to this thread as It will no doubt get a lot more added to it in the coming months…

    Reply
Andrea - 6 months ago

Hi Nick,
I started with the OCD protocol from ‘Sacred Therapies’ just a few days ago. I have practiced hatha yoga before and find it relaxing. It doesn’t really help with lessening intrusive thoughts (I have the same single one going on for years, which only SSRI’s could fix) though. Other from the people Shannahoff-Khalsa mentions when he speaks about his trials, a couple of testimonials on his website and the few reviews on Amazon I can’t really find much about personal experiences and if doing the protocols actually helped them getting better. I’m also someone who needs some scientific back-up, I really feel my issues are mostly caused by anxiety from childhood, genetic disposition and chemical imbalances. So if a non-drug treatment could help me that would be fantastic (I don’t really like anti-depressants and I can’t afford trying out supplements and vitamins or any testing, so I’m just on magnesium and zinc which some vitamin d).

I’ve only been doing the protocol for 4 days so I guess I can’t really say if it is working for me. I hope it will tap into my brain, patch things up (eventually)and things will start to get better. Because me paying attention to -what- my mind produces (an intrusive thought) is the biggest problem. I can’t let go of it anymore. The repetition is the worst part, more even than the subject.

Anyway, I hope more people will join in and tell them about their experiences with the protocols. I guess I have to give it about 40 days for a new habit to settle.
There’s a good background info on http://www.3ho.org
If nothing spectacular happened after 40 days I could consider it as a waste of time but I can’t say if it worked if I didn’t even try it, right?

Have you started it yourself again?

Reply
    Nick Earl - a few months ago

    Andrea! Sorry for the late response! How are you getting on with this work? I had to leave it by the wayside temporarily as I just have too many things on my plate at the moment, and have to take one step at a time…

    I’d be really interested to hear how it’s been going for you though, so please keep me posted 🙂

    Reply
Andrea - a few months ago

Hi Nick! Today I suddenly thought: “why not check back on that website to see if anyone has responded?” and there you are 😉

Hmm, this week was my fourth week into the protocol. I’ve been pracitising 2 to 4 times a week. The full protocol, except the last one for apparant anger and most for the minimum stated minutes. I have been doing the breathing technique on days when I didn’t have much time. 9 secondes for 21 minutes…15 secondes 31 minutes for 31 one days is a long way to go yet!

Shannahoff-Khalsa says that everyone in the trials felt refreshed and rejuvenated afterwards. I wish I would feel the same after doing the exercises. Especially the breathing techniques ate challenging and it looks like I have been expecting too much. I must say that the intrusive thought doesn’t bother me very much during the protocol, but afterwards it comes back with a vengeance.

Last week I added some new supplements to my regimen so hopefully a combination of yoga, the supplements, eating healthy and avoid stress, will give me a new boost in the upcoming weeks. Januari 2017 I will review this period and reconsider psychotropic medication.

Agreed, doing things step by step will accomplish more than doing every thing at once. Good luck and if you ever start on the protocol, please let me know how you are getting along with it!

Reply
Andrea - a few months ago

Sorry for any bad spelling…English isn’t my native language 😉

Reply
    Nick Earl - a few months ago

    No worries Andrea, where are you from? I’m based in Australia at the moment. Hey, even though you said you couldn’t afford testing, I highly recommend finding a Dr who can test you for Pyroluria, and methylation status, you may make a lot of progress if you can work out if these things are relevant to you. Check out my article here for an intro:

    http://healthvibed.com/my-ongoing-pyroluria-story-until-success/

    Cheers

    Reply
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