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Mixing It Up: Combining Kundalini Yoga with Other Practices

By Hari Kirin Khalsa, re-posted from Spirit Voyage

Many students who practice both Hatha yoga and Kundalini Yoga ask me if they can combine them. The answer is yes and no. It’s fine to do both, but keep them separate. This morning my friend, Katrina Kenison, came over for morning practice. Katrina is a writer and a Kripalu yoga teacher. We met a 6:00 am, did a 40 minute hatha yoga series, and then began a Kundalini Yoga practice by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo and did 5 minutes of Sat Kriya, a 7 minute relaxation, followed by 11 minutes of long Sat Nam and 5 minutes of silent meditation. We closed our practice with a hukum (random reading) from the Sikh daily prayers. Katrina headed home to her writing, and I’m off to my art studio—both of our days will resonate with the joy of our shared practice (and friendship).

Last week I was in New Mexico to teach at Yoga Santa Fe and to do a book signing at Collected Works Bookstore (both fantastic places not to be missed if you visit Santa Fe). While there, I’d visit my friend Jot, a Buddhist who practices Kundalini Yoga. We would do a Kundalini kriya and meditation together and then, while I read my daily prayers in front of her adobe fireplace, I’d faintly hear her drum, bell, and chanting in the next room. We’d finish our practice with oatmeal with toasted coconut in front of the fire and then head to Jot’s art studio, where we used my chance strategies for organizing paintings with some traditional Tibetan images.

Diversity is our strength and richness. There’s no need to feel that my practice is better than anyone else’s. We all have feelings of competition and comparison. When those feelings arise, we have an opportunity to go further into respecting our own practice while acknowledging the value of our friends practice. I’d love to hear how you are experiencing the opportunities and challenges of practicing with friends in our richly, diverse world. 

Hari Kirin Khalsa is an artist, teacher, and lead trainer of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She teaches at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Antrim Girls Shelter, Omega Institute for Holistic Health, and in Peterborough, NH. She is the author of Art & Yoga: Kundalini Awakening in Everyday Life, available through KRI and Spirit Voyage. To view her workshops, paintings, and public art events visit www.artandyoga.com  To join in her current painting exhibition visit: www.whereveryouareisthecenteroftheworld.com