|From Clueless to Tuned In
Using Yoga and Numerology for Positive Change
The style of yoga that I fell in love with three decades ago is called Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It is a rich tradition, full of wonderfully dynamic poses and exercises, enchantingly beautiful music, healthy life skills, like healing foods and hydrotherapy — a whole new world of empowerment and elevation that anyone can help themselves to.
Twenty years ago, I used one of these unique tools of Kundalini yoga to make a dramatic change in my life. The tool I used is called Yogic Numerology.
Kundalini Yoga’s method of numerology is based on the understanding that each of us contains not just one body (the physical), but energetically we are made up of ten bodies. Some — the electro-magnetic energy field (aura), for example — are bodies of light. Each of these bodies relates to a different number and chakra (energy center), and these numbers correspond with each person’s birthdates.
The best way to get a sense of how all this works is by me telling you my story. Twenty-something years ago, when I began studying yogic numerology, I realized that one of the numbers in my birthdate — the number 9 — was a key source of difficulty for me. It is my birth month (September). In the Yogic Numerology system, your birth month is in what is called the karma position. Karma is something that you are challenged by, because it is something you don’t understand, and are trying to learn in this lifetime.
The number 9’s “body” is called the subtle body. When your subtle body is working well, you can walk into a roomful of people and you just “know” what is going on. You find yourself in the right place at the right time. You get a feeling for the general atmosphere of the place you are in. Basically, you are not naïve — you are “in the know”. When your subtle body is working you know the art of communicating gracefully and clearly, even when you are saying something that is hard to take. As a result, your communication is well-received, and things work out for you.
As soon as I read about the subtle body, I realized that I didn’t have a clue how to be subtle. I would naively get myself into situations that got me into trouble — talked into buying something that I didn’t need, blurting out my opinion and offending others, focusing on the one small detail that was wrong when everything else was fine, and on and on… When I had something difficult to convey, I didn’t know how to do it without being blunt (I thought of it as “straightforward”). When people reacted in anger to my attempts at communication, I often felt wronged, misunderstood — a typical reaction for those of us with challenging 9s.
So at some point I realized that I wanted to change these old patterns. Luckily for me, there is a specific set of Kundalini yoga exercises that are for strengthening the subtle body. So I made a commitment to do this yoga set every day.
If you are not familiar with Kundalini yoga, it is good to know that besides postures that are contained in Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga also contains sets of exercises and postures that are practiced in a given sequence and focus on specific effects. There are yoga sets for releasing inner anger, for adjusting the spine, for strengthening the aura — hundreds of them.
Another aspect of Kundalini yoga is that there are specific time periods to commit to in order to affect changes. The teachings say that you can do a meditation or a yoga set for 40 days to change an old habit, 90 days to confirm the new habit, 120 days to make it who you are, and 1000 days to fully master the new habit.
I decided to go for the big prize. I committed myself to practicing the yoga set for the subtle body for 1000 days. I can tell you first-hand that 1000 days is 2 1/2 years. After the first year, I knew that yoga routine so well I could do it in my sleep, and sometimes (like when it was late at night and I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t done my yoga set) I almost was doing it my sleep!
These 6 or 7 exercises mostly involve holding the body in positions of subtle angles, like leaning forward or back 30 degrees. The yoga set uses a mantra for mental focus, and has an element of turning the head side to side, which works on the thyroid and parathyroid as well as the throat chakra (related to truthful communication).
After some time I found myself in familiar situations, but with new ways of responding. These new ways seemed to come forth effortlessly, so much so that I barely noticed that anything was different. People began telling me that I seemed different, and I could tell they were happy about it!
Thus my life changed for the better, subtly and smoothly and without much thought or excitement. But if it wasn’t for the transformation of those two and a half years, I doubt that I would be the international traveler and teacher that I am today.
So out of gratitude for my own transformation, and the satisfaction that comes from sharing something really beautiful, I have come to teach others how to use this great self-help tool. You can get a taste of it on www.positivemind.com.