Yogi Bhajan Q and A on Teaching Kundalini Yoga
Q: Is it permissible to chant Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo silently before teaching a Kundalini Yoga class?
Yogi Bhajan: No. Sound purifies the inner and outer environments. Chanting it on one breath is preferred.
Q: Is there anytime one would teach a Kundalini Yoga class and NOT tune in with Ong Namo aloud?
Yogi Bhajan: Is there anytime when a pipe is not fitted with the gas tank and you can fill the car? This mantra is for tuning the flow of personal energy with universal energy. That’s a fact. Do it with the group to tune them in too.
Q: Is singing the song, “May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You,” required at the end of class?
Yogi Bhajan: Yes, it is our closing prayer.
Q: Can I make up my own warm ups to teach?
Yogi Bhajan: Don’t make up warm ups personally, the teachings won’t tolerate impurity. If warm ups are needed, then students should do them before they come to class or before class officially starts, or a teacher can teach a short Kundalini Yoga kriya or pranayam series as a warm up.
Teach like me. Teach exactly as it is. Many of you do not teach Kundalini Yoga purely, then don’t teach at all. Because Kundalini Yoga has eleven thousand power watt, don’t deal with it in mischievous way. Teach it as it is.
[Also, there are 2 variations of Sun Salutation that Yogi Bhajan has authorized for warm-ups for experienced Kundalini Yoga students. Yogi Bhajan taught Sun Salutation himself in the 70s.]
Q: Is it true that only certain music should be used for Kundalini Yoga classes?
Yogi Bhajan: Kundalini Yoga is to create inner energy, not provoke outer energy. Music must be within a certain rhythm. Music that is more physical or mental than spiritual can stop the rhythm. Ours should be more spiritual. Commitment to self is not a joke. Commotional music is not required. If the music is not soothing, if it creates commotion, it is not allowed.
Q: Can we teach mantras and yoga from other yoga traditions in Kundalini Yoga classes?
Yogi Bhajan: There is no need for mixing things. Every religion and every sect has their own books and techniques but as far as Kundalini Yoga, keep it pure. Its strength is in its purity. It is a weakness to try to please every person. It is a strength to keep the teachings pure to please our own consciousness that we served it well.
Q: What is the best preparation for teaching?
Yogi Bhajan: The best thing is to take a bath or shower before teaching. If you have short hair, run your fingers under cold water, then run them through your hair and over your scalp. Comb your hair back and forth. This is most refreshing, and is done for energy. Then cover your head with a white head covering of your choice, so the energy remains with the nucleus. Cover the whole head, not just the crown chakra.
It will be the best thing if a teacher prepares for a couple of minutes in personal silence, repeats the Teachers Oath, and chants “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” for himself or herself before tuning in with the group in class.
Remember, teaching is not a personal popularity contest. You don’t have to be popular, you have to be perfect, and you have to have an impact.
Q: Sir, what will be the role of teachers in the Aquarian Age?
Yogi Bhajan: Honesty. Nothing more, nothing less. Be frank, straightforward, and honest. A teacher has to emit a radiant psyche, and that truth which he practices has to be radiant. A teacher is not a storyteller, though he might like to impress people. A teacher is a teacher. (9/22/02)
Q: How do you maintain balance as a teacher?
Yogi Bhajan: In the world of infinity, a teacher belongs to that flow of infinity. He is not an idiot who just gets lost in beauty, charm, and money. You can’t bait a teacher. Let’s put it in a simple way: he is not a fish that is ready to be caught. (9/22/02)
Q: Can anyone be a teacher?
Yogi Bhajan: A teacher is one who lives, projects, and has power through his own purity and piety. Sharing that purity is sharing your piety. There is nothing personal in it. As teachers of Kundalini Yoga, we take an oath: “I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not myself. I am not a person. I am a teacher.” (Aquarian Times, Spring 2004)
Q: What does focusing at the tip of the nose do?
Yogi Bhajan: With the eyes nine-tenths closed, focus at the tip of your nose. After awhile you will feel a tremendous lead-like sensation in the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe of the brain controls your personality. After a long period of daily practice, the sensation will be lighter and you will strengthen your elementary personality. (Aquarian Times, Spring 2004)
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