- Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
- Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
-Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
With Sahaja Yoga (SY) Meditation, you can improve all areas of your life; including overcoming personal challenges, managing stress levels, improving your health and getting more enjoyment from life.
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The first step in the technique of Sahaja Yoga involves the awakening of the Kundalini energy within you, then feeling the energy flow through your chakras to ultimately connect with the all-pervading energy that connects every living thing. This results in a state of meditation.
A Sahaja Yoga session is not your average meditation class. First, Sahaja Yoga involves a non-commercial form of meditation, so sessions are always free, no strings attached. There’s nothing to buy, now or ever. Sahaja Yoga is a not-for-profit organization whose facilities and programs are funded by donations. We welcome people of all ages and from all walks of life. There’s no need to reserve a place in advance. Walk-ins are welcome.
Sahaja Yoga meetings take place across Canada on a daily basis, and are designed to help you awaken and experience your Kundalini energy, with the goal of achieving the state of thoughtless awareness. You’ll discover and experience, step by step, your own chakras and the qualities associated with each. Once you’re able to consistently feel the flow of the Kundalini energy, you can explore more advanced techniques which help to clear and heal your chakras, leading to a healthier mind, body and soul. You can explore at your own pace, in your own way.
In the process of Self Realization, you become aware of the Inner Self or the Spirit and experience the flow of Kundalini throughout your central nervous system, which manifests physically in the form of vibrations (a throbbing or tingling of the fingers) and/or a cool breeze. It is a soothing, pleasant experience.
This connection of the Kundalini to the all-pervading power that created us, is necessary to achieve a state of quality meditation in Sahaja Yoga. For the rest of your journey, the practice of Sahaja Yoga deepens, and you are more able to achieve the state of meditation known as thoughtless awareness.
The initial experience of Self-Realization or realizing the Self or Spirit varies from person to person and is largely dependent on the current health of the chakras. The state of any one person’s subtle energy system is unique — no two individuals are exactly alike. Most people feel, at the very least, a sense of inner calm and peace. Many experience the cool breeze or vibrations during their first session. Others experience these sensations gradually, within a few weeks or months, depending on how long it takes to develop a sensitivity to the state of their inner energy. Even if someone doesn't feel the cool breeze or vibrations, the Kundalini energy is certainly awakened during this process of Self-Realization. Most people experience the state of thoughtless awareness intermittently during initial sessions. Then over time, they’re able to stabilize their attention and remain in thoughtless awareness for longer and longer periods of time.
This entire process of Self-Realization in the first session takes less than a half-hour. And Sahaja instructors are always there to guide you every step of the way and answer any questions you may have. You’ll also learn how to practice the technique of meditation on your own at home or wherever you wish.
The Kundalini is your spiritual Mother, also called the Holy Ghost, and She is waiting for you to trigger Her awakening through your pure desire. Once awakened, She connects you to the power of love that created you. This is called Self Realization and the potential to awaken this energy is built into each human on the planet. See animation of the kundalini awakening
The Kundalini flows throughout our body along the three main energy channels, or nadis. Along the way, She flows through our seven principal energy centers, also known as chakras. These seven chakras are located along the spine at the sites of our main nerve plexuses. This energy is located in the triangular-shaped bone at the base of our spine. Called the sacrum or ‘sacred’ bone, it is located slightly above the first chakra. There, your spiritual Mother lays dormant, waiting for you to seek her awakening as part of the next process in your evolution as a human being.
Once our Kundalini has been awakened during the process of Self-Realization, a few strands of the Kundalini rise up through our spinal column. They pass through each of the remaining six chakras. As this happens, we typically feel vibrations or a tingling sensation at the top of our head (the fontanelle area) and in our hands. It is the same sensation you experience in your first Sahaja Yoga class or program.
As you practice the simple meditation techniques in Sahaja Yoga, you will learn to raise the Kundalini energy on an ongoing basis. As a result, you will enjoy better health, better focus, and a deeper understanding of the universe and your place within it.
While every element in nature emits vibrations, it is only through the awakening of your Kundalini that you can develop the sensitivity to feel those vibrations. Cool (not cold) vibrations indicate balance. Hot, tingling vibrations indicate an imbalance.
Your Kundalini is a primordial energy — the source of all energy. It is pure and cannot be corrupted or destroyed. It is a living energy that knows how to act. It obeys its own laws, rising upward against the force of gravity, like fire. And like fire, it purifies, consumes and cleanses imbalances and imperfections. When you feel heat in your hands during meditation, you are generally feeling negativity leaving your body.
Three energy channels exist in each human being to manage our evolution and inner growth. The left channel (blue) corresponds to our past, emotions, and desires. The right channel (yellow) corresponds to the future and all physical and mental activity. The central channel is the channel of our evolution.
The Kundalini travels throughout your body by way of three energy channels, or nadis. The three nadis are the left channel, the right channel and the center channel. All three work perfectly together to integrate and balance the flow of your Kundalini. Each also plays a specific role in maintaining your emotions, moods and physical health.
Each of the chakras is located on all the three channels. As the Kundalini energy rises through the central channel, it nourishes each chakra, the center, left and right side of each chakra. At the 7th or Sahasrara chakra, it achieves a connection with the all-pervading divine energy. The opening of the Sahasrara chakra thus facilitates the flow of the divine energy through this opening back into the three nadis nourishing the chakras again.
All this happens in a split second and nearly instantaneously.
The Left Channel - Ida Nadi
Your left energy channel (called Ida nadi in Sanskrit), also known as the moon channel, begins at the Mooladhara chakra and travels up the left side of your body, terminating in the superego area on the right side of your mind-brain. The superego is the storehouse of all your memories, habits and conditionings. Your superego is also the area of your brain that encourages moral behavior. In most of us, it has to wage war on our more selfish, pleasure seeking urges in the process.
Joy is an essential quality associated with the left energy channel. Ideally, it is felt as the innocent joy of a child. Remember when you were a young child and you’d wake up happy every morning? The joy carried by the left energy channel feels just like that. As adults, we long for this joy, though we don’t often find it. It may become blocked or “bruised” by some of our life experiences. However, it still lives within us and can be awakened through meditation.
If you have a problem with your left energy channel, you may experience emotional extremes. This includes moods that shift rapidly from elation to depression and back again. You may also experience lethargy and extreme passivity. Most of us have suffered the occasional “couch potato” day. Remember the lack of energy and desire you felt as you sat around, doing nothing at all? That feeling may have been caused by a problem with your left energy channel.
In summary, your left energy channel influences your emotions, feelings and desires. It is also connected to your memories and past experiences. As long as your emotions stay at normal levels, you’ll do just fine. However, if you’re feeling extremes of emotion such as depression, gloominess and brooding, then it’s time to do something about it. All you need to start clearing your left channel is meditation. Sahaja Yoga techniques are easy, safe and the renewed feelings of joy and energy you’ll experience can be positively addictive.
The Right Channel - Pingala Nadi
Your right energy channel (Pingala nadi), also called the sun channel, begins at your Swadisthan chakra and travels up the right side of your body, terminating in the ego area of the brain. The ego is the area of your brain that gives you a sense of individualism and self, as distinct from others. It is the ego that allows you to relate to yourself as “me” or “I.”
Action and planning are essential qualities associated with the right energy channel. They drive your mental and physical activities. However, the demand for energy on the right side can sometimes be so great that the left side is weakened. When this occurs, your desire for joy may evaporate, and you find yourself grouchy and irritable. You may even feel like yelling at everyone or you may be the type to “fly off the handle” when the slightest thing goes wrong.
Unfortunately, you have likely encountered many stressed out, irritated and agitated people. This is because it can be difficult to maintain a balance of emotion and action when our workplaces and schools are stressful, aggressive environments. It can also be difficult to maintain a peaceful, nurturing home where these imbalances can be corrected. These imbalances allow the negativity, stress and aggression to continue to build. Fortunately, awareness is the first step to correcting imbalance. Meditation, and accessing your Kundalini energy to restore harmony, will allow you to do so.
In summary, your right energy channel influences your ability to plan and take action for the future. It also plays a role in negative emotions such as anger, irritability and stress. Your right channel thinks in terms of “I,” “mine,” and “myself.” Overdo any of these and you may become unpleasant to be around. However, your meditation will tell you when your right channel energy is too high and when it’s time to cool down and rebalance.
The Central Channel - Sushumna Nadi
Your central energy channel (Sushumna nadi), also called the middle path, travels from the sacrum bone at the base of your spine (where your Kundalini energy resides) straight up your spine towards the Sahasrara chakra. Your central energy channel is the channel that aids your spiritual growth. In fact, we’d say that you’ve been drawn to Sahaja Yoga because of the strength of your central channel. The central energy channel can be used to help you evolve continuously into an improved personality with an increased focus on the subtler aspects of life.
Your entire subtle energy system is integrated in the Sahasrara chakra. As such, it is the most important chakra for spiritual growth and meditation. It is also the chakra in which your Kundalini has the greatest ability to maximize its potential to help you. Clearing obstructions in the central energy channel is a critical component of Sahaja Yoga. When you are constantly in balance, your central channel remains clear. This paves the way for your Kundalini to rise smoothly to the Sahasrara chakra. When this happens, your own Kundalini unites with the Divine Energy of the universe. Proper functioning of the central energy channel is crucial to maintaining energy balance. In a way, it represents the very essence of balancing the chakras and the primary goal of meditation.
It may sound complex, but understanding your energy channels is quite simple if you think of them in the following way. You’ll want to use your left and right energy channels to balance your emotions, desires and actions as you live and enjoy your life. At the same time, you’ll want to spend time on the central energy channel so you can continuously improve yourself as a spiritual personality. Keeping all three channels balanced and clear will give you the power to manage your life, and all its challenges, with ease. You’ll also experience and enjoy all of life’s pleasures in a balanced and more meaningful way.
These are the energy centres that are the source of human qualities (such as love, innocence, , self esteem). Discovered thousands of years ago, these chakras govern our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. All chakras are located within the plexuses along the spine.
Each chakra (wheel in Sanskrit) is located within the energy channels of your body. Your Kundalini flows through the channels and chakras, energizing, nurturing and balancing them.
To visualize how energy flow works, imagine your subtle energy system as a flute with seven holes. Each hole represents a chakra. The air blown through the flute represents your Kundalini energy. If the flute's holes are unobstructed, the flute can produce melodious, harmonious music. When your chakras are clear and free of obstructions, your Kundalini Energy flows through your body smoothly, achieving a harmonious balance.
The chakras cannot be seen, just as electricity cannot be seen. However, you verify that electricity exists every time you turn on an electrical appliance. In much the same way, you verify the existence of your kundalini bringing balance to your chakras when you “turn them on” through meditation. You will experience the sensation of energy flowing through them, as well as the impact of this energy flow on each chakra's corresponding nerve plexuses and associated organs. You can literally feel the energy flowing through each chakra and even detect specific blockages in the path of the energy flow.
Each of your chakras, is associated with specific functions and qualities. For example, the third chakra, Nabhi, is located in the solar plexus or central stomach area. This chakra governs the functioning of your internal organs and nerve networks in that area. It is associated with the states of contentment and satisfaction. Because you’ve always had all the energy centers within you, you’ve always had the potential to be content.
In exploring your chakras, you’ll find that most physical or psychological difficulties you’ve experienced can be traced to an imbalance, or catch, in a specific chakra. A catch is a blockage, obstruction or impairment of a chakra. A catch prevents your Kundalini from passing through that blocked chakra to rise to a higher level. As a result, the obstructed chakra does not function efficiently. This inefficiency manifests in your life as a physical, cognitive or emotional problem.
Once you’ve allowed your Kundalini to heal and balance an impaired chakra, the problem disappears. The newly repaired chakra’s associated qualities are enhanced and strengthened. This will help protect you from future problems. The stronger your chakras are, the stronger the associated qualities are within you. The more you develop and strengthen those qualities within you, the stronger your chakras will become.
The good news is that meditation is a valuable, and powerful, self-discovery tool. In fact, once your Kundaini has been awakened, Sahaja techniques will help you diagnose problems within your own subtle energy system. The special sensitivity, or vibratory awareness, you will gain through awakening your Kundalini will serve as a reliable gauge of your true inner state.
A nerve plexus is a system of connected nerve fibers that link spinal nerves with specific areas of the body. Fibers in a plexus connect the spinal cord and the body by grouping themselves into one larger nerve. The human body consists of several nerve plexuses, including the brachial, cervical, coccygeal, cardiac, lumbar, sacral and solar (celiac) plexus.
The main function of a nerve plexus is to ensure that all areas of the body are innervated, thereby equipping each region with the ability to send and receive messages from the peripheral nervous system. The different plexuses are charged with innervating different portions of the body and help to control the functions unique to each portion. A nerve plexus is formed during development, when disparate muscles of the skeleton fuse together and result in large muscles requiring innervation.
One of the most important nerve plexuses in the body is the solar plexus This region innervates the body's internal organs. A few of the areas served by the solar plexus include the stomach, pancreas, and specific areas of the heart.
The brachial nerve plexus supplies nerves to the arms, chest, hands, and shoulders. It runs from the spinal cord through the chest and shoulders before reaching the armpit; from there, it descends down the arm and into the hand. The brachial nerve is comprised of a series of branches, cords, divisions, roots, and trunks.
Areas of the head, neck, and shoulders are innervated by the cervical plexus. The cervical nerve plexus is primarily located in the neck, linking the spinal column with the rest of the head and down into the shoulder region. There are two types of branches in this plexus: cutaneous nerves, which provide innervation to the skin, and muscular nerves that provide sensation to and from the muscles.
The coccygeal nerve supplies nerves to a limited area near the coccyx bone. Rooted in this nerve is the anococcygeal nerve. This important nerve transmits sensation to and from the skin over the coccyx area.
The cardiac plexus is one of several nerve networks situated close to the arch of the aorta (heart). The cardiac plexuses contain sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibers that follow the right and left coronary arteries into the heart. Some of these fibers terminate in the sinus node; others terminate in the atrioventricular node and in the atrial myocardium.
The lumbar plexus is responsible for nerves in the abdomen, calves, back, knees, groin, and thighs. It contains several smaller nerve systems that handle such tasks as muscular contraction of the abdomen, the raising and lowering of testes in males, and the external rotation of the hip joint. The lumbar plexus is interwoven with the sacral plexus.
Some of the same areas are served by the sacral plexus, namely the calves and thighs. The sacral system also sends nerves to and from the buttocks, feet, and pelvis. One of the main responsibilities of this plexus is the transmission of sensory and motor stimuli from the spinal cord. Given its relationship with the lumbar plexus, both regions are sometimes lumped together under the term lumbosacral plexus.
Once we have our Self Realization, our Kundalini communicates the condition of our chakras to us. When we feel a cool (not cold) breeze over our hands, or within our bodies, or at the very top of our heads, She is flowing freely, and all is fine. When She encounters imbalances in the chakras, She will bring you the knowledge of the roots which will show you how to nourish your chakras and channels so they become stronger, and no longer block the flow of the Kundalini.
You need to experience your Kundalini awakening to have the knowledge of the roots, or the absolute truth, which is Self Realization.
Sahaja Yoga was founded by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, a renowned spiritual teacher, hailing from India (March 21, 1923 – Feb 23, 2011). Her parents were actively involved in the struggle for Indian independence, and she would later join the battle herself as a young woman. She frequently stayed with Mahatma Gandhi in his ashram, consulting with him on spiritual matters. Shri Mataji would go on to study medicine at the Christian Medical College in Ludhiana and the Balakram Medical College in Lahore.
The unique and profound spiritual achievement of Sahaja Yoga could only be made possible through a technique that allows humans to connect to the universal collective consciousness. Shri Mataji first accomplished this feat in 1970 on a beach near Mumbai, realizing the special gift she had and in those moments, established the very purpose of her life.
Shri Mataji made this spiritual connection accessible to all human beings. Having achieved this breakthrough, she then developed the technique through which anyone’s Kundalini energy could be raised, spontaneously and with little effort, through a sequence of simple steps with no prerequisites, ‘tests’ or previous experience required.
Shri Mataji embarked upon a journey, first touring the United Kingdom, teaching small groups of people how to achieve their Self-Realization. Soon, she began traveling world-wide, making spirituality through Sahaja Yoga accessible to all who were interested, showing others how to achieve Self-Realization through the practice of Sahaja Yoga with tangible, verifiable results. Her goal was to spread a message of peace and love across the globe.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, she toured North America frequently, giving lectures and interviews and participating in medical conferences. She was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace prize.
Today, the Sahaja Yoga form of meditation is practiced routinely all across North America, and the Americans can receive the benefits of this powerful spiritual practice in their own homes, rather than needing to seek spirituality in the Himalayas or other remote places. And for many people, meditation through Sahaja Yoga has become a lifestyle choice, a routine part of family life.
For the complete life history and achievements of Shri Mataji please visit shrimataji.org.
Sahaja Yoga is run by a registered not-for-profit organization that provides free meditation programs across the country. In fact, we’ve been providing meditation programs to communities in more than 75 countries worldwide for over 40 years, people of all ages, ethnicities and cultures.
Community Sahaja Yoga facilities in Canada are run by volunteer instructors who donate their time and money to further the organization’s goal. Our goal? To offer spirituality to North Americans, promote mental and physical health and wellness, improving the quality of life for people in the communities where we live and work. We encourage adults to bring the kids, the grandkids — we welcome all ages.
We partner with organizations for short-term programs, one-time engagements or long-term partnerships.
Our programs are designed to be a practical education resource about spirituality and for self-improvement through meditation. Audiences are guided and educated by our volunteer instructors, who are experienced Sahaja Yoga practitioners. No advance preparation is required and individual guidance is always available.
We offer Introductory Programs, ongoing Weekly Meditation Programs and courses. While the actual practice of meditation forms the core of our programs, sessions can also include specially prepared presentations, and Q & A sessions. Sessions typically last one hour; introductory programs are typically slightly longer.
Through spiritual energy-based meditation, we provide audiences with a unique, practical self-improvement strategy and a path for pursing their spiritual journey that nourishes every aspect of physical and emotional health and well-being and strengthens total mind-body resiliency.
We’ve partnered with several community and civic organizations across Canada to organize Sahaja Yoga programs for a wide variety of audiences; including, for example: libraries, community centers, senior centers, and organizations dedicated to health, fitness and wellness.
Community response to our programs has been overwhelmingly positive, which has inspired us to expand our partnership program. We are always gratified when people who attend our sessions tell us how the practice of meditation through Sahaja Yoga has improved their lives. Our programs and classes are always free.
Our volunteers will work with you every step of the way to tailor a program that’s right for your organization; provide any necessary certificates or other documentation and answer any questions you may have.
Please submit a request for a program on the Contact page.
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