Q&A: Guru Jagat
When I first met Guru Jagat, her unique approach to yoga deeply inspired me. In addition to being a rock-star yoga teacher, she is the creator of RA MA TV, an online platform that streams live yoga classes. And now, with her new book Invincible Living, she is providing a practical guide to applying the principles of yoga and meditation to everyday life. I recently caught up with Guru Jagat to chat about her book, the healing power of Kundalini Yoga and what makes a woman beautiful.
JGB: The title of your new book is Invincible Living. In your opinion, what does it mean to “live invincibly”?
GJ: To “live invincibly” to me means to live with personal and powerful creativity and clarity. For the past fifteen years, I’ve watched the pressure of the Technology age consume more and more of our inherent human vitality. In order to be successful in this Time on the planet, we need to strengthen our nerves, balance our glands and activate a deeper well of inner energy. Kundalini Yoga is a collection of self-care technologies – more long lasting than a cocktail and more penetrative than your average spa day – that bring you back to your essential nature and give you the energy for creative living. This is Invincible Living.
JGB: What inspired you to write this book?
GJ: Everyone needs access to their health, energy and the clarity of their minds. There isn’t a better, faster, more effective or easier practice on the planet for activating these than Kundalini Yoga. I was inspired to give the gifts that I’ve received from this practice and to make it accessible to anyone and everyone.
JGB: What advice would you give someone who is interested in trying Kundalini yoga?
GJ: Kundalini Yoga is one of the best yogas, fitness modalities and meditation techniques for beginners. You don’t have to be flexible, supremely in shape or know any spiritual esoterica and you will still receive massive benefits. That said, if you are in shape and bendy like a rubber band, you will find a place to challenge yourself physically and deepen your practice beyond the physical form. Come as you are and leave MORE of who you are.
JGB: What can a newbie expect when trying Kundalini yoga for the first time?
GJ: Newbies can expect to be presented with some unique postures, some sound, mind focus practices and types of breathing they might not have been introduced to in other classes. They can also expect to feel vitalized, inspired and rejuvenated, even from the first breath. Kundalini yoga is one of the few I know that will boost brain chemistry in palpable way and this tangibility feels both elevating and inspiring. The experience of dopamine and oxytocin levels in your brain perceptibly improving by your own practice, its extremely empowering!
JGB: How much meditation is involved in the practice? Why is meditation is important?
GJ: I believe so sort of meditation is no longer a luxury in this fast paced world we live in. Meditation is mind training. In Kundalini Yoga, you can meditate for as little as three minutes to detox the mind, improve brain chemistry and re-wire your neurons for creativity and elevation. Longer meditations, from eleven minutes up to two and a half hours, are available for practicioners interested in experimenting with deeper levels of their own INCREDIBLE MIND.
JGB: How can the teachings of Kundalini be incorporated into everyday life, beyond a classroom?
GJ: Kundalini yoga is full of a lot of byte sized practices meant to be part of an integrated life. Micro practices like internally running a mantra or breathing a structured pattern to quickly reset your glandular chemistry can quickly and effectively amplify your clarity, creativity and peace of mind. I’m starting a new campaign called the Deep Breath Initiative. Just three minutes of deep breathing a day, anywhere you are. It’s so easy and so deeply rejuvenating with a ripple effect that extends to family, friends and even strangers.
JGB: What’s the biggest roadblock to mindfulness for students? And what advice do you give them?
GJ: I find the biggest block to practitioners trying to achieve “mindfulness” is thinking about mindfulness. There’s a myth about meditation that it’s supposed to be somehow peaceful, blissful, or clear of thoughts. Actually, when you’re struggling – that’s when you know that it’s working! Meditation is about detoxing the subconscious mind. So if it’s challenging to you, keep going. It won’t get easier. But your real life will get better.
JGB: Tell us a bit about RA MA TV and why you created it.
GJ: I created RA MA TV so that people could access high quality Kundalini yoga and meditation anywhere at any time. I’m proud of it as it provides access to people in many different areas of the world (we stream in 181 countries at this time) where the closest yoga studio is an hour away or more. At the same time, it makes me feel good that high flying executives and creatives can keep their practice up even while changing time zones every other day. Mind command and deep health are the most valuable commodities of this age and everyone deserves access to the technologies no matter where they are. We also give ALOT of content for FREE and offer FREE memberships to active service members and Veterans.
JGB: Is practicing yoga at home as beneficial as practicing in a class? What are the pros and cons?
GJ: Yoga at home is like brushing your teeth or, better yet, going to the bathroom. If you don’t go to the bathroom at least once a day – you don’t feel very good! Likewise, if you don’t practice even a little bit of yoga or meditation a day, you get stuck with a back up of mental noise and energetic lethargy that weighs you down.
A yoga class is an opportunity to be in an amplified energy field and to benefit from group attainment. The secret in the Aquarian Age is that competition is over. When one person succeeds, millions go along with them. When you practice in a group, when one person breaks through to a deeper level of their own grandeur, grace or humanity, everyone in the class gets the benefits.
JGB: In your opinion what makes a woman beautiful?
GJ: When a woman is open, radiant and engaging with her life with confidence and truth – absolutely nothing is more magnetic.
Kundalini Yoga is the only yoga that I know of that have the actual breath, mind and body practices to create the glandular environment for physical and energetic radiance into any chronology. It’s one of the reasons why I love this yoga. It’s so liberating for the feminine being.
JGB: Who inspires you?
GJ: I’m most inspired by women and men who commit to living their lives with truth and dignity. Whether that’s activist artists like Pattie Smith, whom I was lucky to meet this past fall, great yogic masters, or the men and woman who take service jobs all over the country, when I see true humanity, I’m very humbled.
I’m also very encouraged by the examples of my teacher Harijiwan, and the master of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan. Both of these individuals have lived their lives as a constant service to the world and their tirelessness and commitment has given me excellent role models.
JGB: What are you most afraid of?
GJ: Fear is an energy sucker…so when feelings that could be identified as fear come up…I have trained my mind and body to breath deeper, dig deeper, and show up more courageously.
I don’t want to leave any love that can be transmitted through my body, heart, soul, gifts, creativity, actions, success, behind. I want to GIVE it all…in every moment. That’s my prayer and intention with this life.
JBG: More women should…
GJ: Strengthen their nerves, balance their glands and get clear in their minds! Women are the leaders of new world – as political figureheads, creatives, mothers, community creators and any role we decide to occupy. We need our stamina and our clarity so that our compassion and intelligence can SAVE HUMANITY. I’M NOT KIDDING. It’s the most important time on the planet to be a sane, secure, and deep woman on a mission.