Kundalini Yoga for depression, anxiety and stress

Panic depression and anxiety all have a place in our lives. They are indicators of the climate within our Human ecosystem. These seemingly negative emotions are in fact not negative at all. They simply are.

We use them either negatively or positively. Depression is an emotional signal that ones life is falling short or is off course. Panic and anxiety are the stimuli which follow, hopefully pushing us back on course if we recognise and use them as tools for bringing our lives back on track they become our friends. If we don’t then they appear as our enemies.

In metamorphic terms the fact that we run out of gas when the gas gauge reads empty is not a negative. It is a fact, which is just another indicator that we weren’t listening when the gauges of our life tried to warn us. The gas gauge is a simple messenger doing its allotted job, ie reflecting the fuel level of the vehicle. Similarly fuel allows us to move forward in our life.

Panic and anxiety surface in an attempt to warn us against living in the path of chance and to prevent our total psycho-system from using the ineffective and outdated response patterns to address the evolution of our life. Evolution attempts to move us forward into these new and higher frequencies.

Through all of our diversions and distractions will turn to boredom and give way to a healthy dose of depression (a message). This depression signals to our system “We are not matching up to the current vibratory rate of the Universe if we don’t change we are about to be left behind”. At that moment rather than trying to push away this messenger we must identify the old patterns which are toxic to our evolution and use the depression as a guide to changing our outmoded habits and patterns of being. This elaborate system is set up to serve us and to save us not to wipe us out or drain us. Panic is a major intensification of our anxiety levels. It occurs when time becomes critical. If we respond to this negatively. It will create overwhelming doubt that will stop our progress faster than a bullet and our actions will become paralyzed. This in turn separates us from our intentions as we opt for a safer path. We then create a life without risk or reward which is also known as a life of fate.

The common response to depression, panic and anxiety is medication. However this does not come close to addressing the root of the dilemma. In effect through these so-called antidepressants stops the individuals capacity to recognise their destiny course is being dramatically inhibited. When we are in this medicated state we can be way out of sync with the path of our intentions and the ways of Nature without even realising it.

Ignorance is NOT bliss, it only imitates it. So when we buy into this ignorance we are shielded from our most valuable guides. In other words, medication only covers up the gauge. It does not fill the tank. The result is a false sense of well-being. Yogic philosophy understands this is an extremely challenging condition and does not respond to it lightly, but hiding from it is no solution either. Often, rather than medication, strong and closely guided Kundalini Yoga sets and meditations can create the levels of courage needed to excel into the HEART of the problem and create a solution.

For every strong movement forward we must face the resistance of opposition. This is a law of nature in the physical world. Newtons third law of physics states – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Opposition lets us know there is a commanding challenge, due to our commanding movement.

As Yogi Bhajan has so often said “Judge your strength by the strength of your enemy”. This is not a signal to slow down. It is a sign to keep up and you will be kept up. Courage, acting on the intentions of the heart has the ability to permanently eradicate the need for this doubt, panic and anxiety.

yogi bhajan

Cold Depression

Depressed – Need More Energy – Tired All the Time – Looking for Energy in All The Wrong Places?

These are Signs of the Times as we approach the Aquarian Age - 2012

Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga, cautioned us that as we come closer to the Aquarian Age – 2012 and beyond - that humanity would suffer from a phenomenon called Cold Depression. From a yogic perspective we view depression, not as a psychological disorder, but as an energy problem. Depression simply means that energy is not moving. The word energy is very much in our consciousness right now: energy crisis, energy drinks, energy bars, renewable energy, energy medicine. There is even an Energy Yoga. Scientists have spent many millions of dollars and a great deal of time to try and unlock the secrets of energy in the physical body and on the planet. We live in a sea of energy and we are feeling with each day that we need more and more just to survive.

In the Piscean Age, which we are now leaving, we could get energy from outside of ourselves. When we felt low, we would simply reach for caffeine and other stimulants: sugary foods, alcohol, drugs, overworking, loud music, high octane sports and high risk behavior. We could receive energy from other people by doing things solely for their approval and attention. Subconsciously, the same results were created through drama, conflict or playing the victim. All the above provide examples of the tricks of the Ego to energize the Piscean Game (age of darkness). Now, the Rules of this Game of Life have changed. And, it can feel disorienting, as if you were now living in a country where everyone is driving on the other side of the road.

As we enter the Aquarian Age - seeking energy outside of our selves will no longer work. You are likely noticing that those things which once gave you energy and made you feel good and safe, are not having the same effect. Cold Depression can feel like low-level apathy and numbness inside. You may feel frozen to yourself and to your feelings.

Other Symptoms of Cold Depression: what gave you joy in the past no longer holds appeal and you sometimes feel that life has started to hold little or no meaning compensating for this emptiness by sleeping too much or not at all. feeling limited, small, undercut, neglected or rejected. going back to your past and reaching for an old identity that you have outgrown or the return of old habits and addictions little patience or tolerance for others – seeing them as blocks along your path

Cold Depression is the dismantling of the Ego and is part of the process of becoming fully conscious. The Ego is angry that it does not have the same impact on reality as before – all the usual tricks no longer work. When the Ego loses power in this way – it wants to destroy. Have you noticed how movies, video games, television shows – other media images are becoming more and more violent and shocking? These are the last ditch efforts of the Ego for power and control.

Cold Depression is also a build up of anger and hatred directed at yourself for all the times you have betrayed your consciousness - all the times you chose your Ego’s advice and denied the voice of your own Soul. The mind receives thoughts from the universal mind (infinity), so it has an infinite capacity. But the mind is also limited and gives us our perceptions of reality. With the rapid increase of information in the information age, the mind becomes scattered by too much information and focusing becomes really difficult. Without focus, the things you create as your life become more fleeting and less substantial. The result is a lot of “multi-tasking” and doing lots of things that amount to no real progress. This causes a state wherein you’re depressed and you don’t know why– because you’re doing so much, but nothing is really satisfying or enriching. This is what Yogi Bhajan termed “Cold Depression”

Overcoming Cold Depression by Shanti Shanti K. Khalsa, Ph.D.

Depression is a frequently diagnosed condition, yet it is poorly understood in relation to energy. As yogis, we address depression in terms of energy flow. One way vitality moves is from soul to mind to body. The amount of spirit, the wattage, is important, since spirit determines the quality and nature of our thoughts. Spirit sets the vibration of the mind. Our thoughts then regulate how we feel, and our feelings then guide our behavior. Thus, the thoughts we hold, how we feel, and how we behave are a direct consequence of the level of spirit or energy.

When internal energy is low or blocked, we experience inertia, tiredness, and little enthusiasm for life. We feel cut off from our essential source of energy, our inner spirit. Problems, even the ordinary events of life, seem insurmountable. Silence of the Self Yogis describe this cutoff from inner spirit as the "Silence of the Self." It occurs when one's feelings and original identity of spirit are not experienced or even acknowledged. According to the science of Humanology-the yogic approach to the psychology of the whole person-Silence of the Self results in cold depression.

When we are in cold depression, we forget we are spirit. We forget our identity, who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and to whom we belong. We become silent to our Self. And thus, cold depression can best be defined as a state of being when tolerance is low, patience is low, energy is low, and clarity, wisdom, and understanding are less available. "If I didn't have to go to work or prepare the children's meals, I would not get out of bed at all," Ruth, 37 years old, described how she felt most of the time. "For months I have just dragged myself through the day. I want to cry over small setbacks. I used to feel better by making up sleep on weekends, but that doesn't begin to help now. I need my life to be different." Before Ruth takes steps to make her life "different," she needs to raise her spirit, her inner energy. If she attempts to make change without enough energy to put the changes into effect, likely she will feel more defeated. Spirit gives us the support to deliver and the energy to come through.

By raising spirit, we feel the sense-memory of our original self, our identity. We break the Silence of the Self and overcome cold depression. Instead of building inner spirit, however, we often seek outside stimulation to increase energy. Drinking caffeine, eating sugar-filled foods, overeating, overworking, or overspending are common strategies to raise energy externally. We may unconsciously find ways to create crisis or chaos during the day to keep the adrenaline up, or we may use alcohol or recreational drugs as a distraction from feeling low.

Often emotions are used as a passion to propel us. Emotional patterns formed from low energy become a substitute for genuine energy. Anger, grief, and fear are often cofactors in cold depression. Anger "When I am angry, at least I feel alive and effective, even if it is for just a short time," 28-year-old Mark, a Web designer, observed. "The downside is that anger also closes my heart, makes me numb and insensitive to myself, and just barely keeps me from feeling the fear and sadness that are underneath. I started yoga for stress reduction, yet as the months passed, and I felt more renewed, I noticed the anger that had been there for years. Continued practice helped me to replace it with energy more true to who I am." Grief Grief and sadness are not only a result of loss, but often result when we don't resolve conflict. Unresolved conflict with ourselves or with others creates further cutoff and can leave feelings of hopelessness. Fear Fear, anxiety, and insecurity freeze us into inaction or repeated self-defeating patterns. Ruth discovered this for herself when she realized she needed to make some changes at her job and to not keep accepting more assignments. "Once I made the decision to work just 40 hours a week, I noticed how anxious I was about telling my boss. Setting boundaries has always been difficult for me. I don't want to make waves or hurt someone's feelings by saying no. Yet the depression was so overwhelming I had to overcome the fear if I was going to get my life back. I made it clear to my boss that I am committed to the job and will give my best in these 40 hours. When I got the courage to determine how I spend my time, my depression lifted." Ruth no longer takes refuge in sleeping too much. Now she says simply, "When I am honest with myself, and present myself honestly as I am, I am not depressed." More women are diagnosed with depression than men. Is this because fewer men than women get depressed? More likely, men are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Many men who are depressed don't demonstrate depression in ways we commonly think of as "being depressed." Instead, they may self-medicate by attempting to raise inner energy through external means such as reckless behavior, constant anger, participation in extreme sports, or risk taking. These men, their friends, and family members may not recognize these behaviors as signs of depression, and thus they do not seek treatment. In self-assessing cold depression, begin to pay attention to how you feel over a period of more than a week and ask yourself, "Am I generally calm, but have no energy?" A "yes" answer can be an indication of depression. "Do I generally have energy, but no calm?" A "yes" to this question can indicate anxiety or anger in the form of inner agitation. "What behaviors do I engage in that buffer these feelings, yet may be harmful to me or to my relationships? What am I doing that keeps me silent to myself and cut off from my inner spirit?" As practitioners of yoga, we look for the presence and balance of both energy and calm and behaviors that support a strong inner energy over the long term.

Yogi Bhajan has stated:

"Kundalini Yoga is to create inner energy, not provoke outer energy."

To increase the flow of inner energy, to raise the wattage of spirit, we must breathe, move, and chant-the basics of Kundalini Yoga. Yogic breath meditations often result in increased energy and reduced anxiety. The physical movement of a kriya changes the nervous and glandular chemistry of the body. Chanting releases emotional pain, increases energy, and changes thought patterns. When we are low in spirit and stuck in a cycle of self-limiting thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, chanting is the practice that clears the subconscious, retrains the vibration of the mind, breaks the emotional hold, repatterns behavior, and helps us identify with our real self. "That all sounds good in theory,"

Brian, a 42-year-old technical writer, told his yoga teacher. "I am depressed. Don't you understand that I don't have the energy to move in the first place?" Yes, we do. Most people, even yoga practitioners, have felt depressed at one point or another. To get started, consider these thoughts: Doing something is better than doing nothing, and a little movement goes a long way. Then, if you stop for a few days or even weeks, just start again. Begin with something simple and brief. You can always choose to add more time or other practices. When making any important life change, yogis teach that two things are helpful for success-sadhana and sangat-a specific practice and social support. Invite a family member, friend, or coworker to participate with you.

Many people suffer from depression these days. It’s a sign of the times. Our fast paced world actually gives us a scattered feeling of emptiness. Things are moving so fast that our creations are shallow, lack depth, and so create a feeling of hopelessness. The following mediation can help calm the mind, bring things into focus and relieve anxiety.



Yogi Bhajan has told us that the years between now and 2012, when the Age of Aquarius has set in, will place many people in a state of confusion & emptiness, due to the change of the times. He let us know that many people will hit the stage of “Cold Depression” – becoming frozen and unable to move, do, engage. This ‘epidemic’ will increase as we near the dawning of the Aquarian Age.

This meditation will help you to find the pockets of internal conflict, open them up, and transform this stored energy into ecstasy & intuition.

Position: Sit with a straight spine. Interlace the hands in Venus lock in front of the chest, with the Jupiter fingers (index) pointed straight up. (Venus lock means the hands are interlaced with the thumbs pressed into the opposite mounds on each side of the thumbs: For Men the right thumb is above the left; for women, the left thumb is above the right. )

Eyes: Closed.

Mantra: Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru, Wahe Jio. Focus: *

On ‘Wah’ chant from the navel. * On ‘Hey’ chant from the heart * On ‘Guru/Jeeo’ chant from the lips.

Time: 11 minutes. End: * Inhale deeply, hold, and concentrate on the sound at the navel, heart & lips. Exhale. * Inhale a 2nd time, and hold, giving your cold depression to ‘Wahe Guru.’

* On the 3rd inhale, hold and give your life to God, and let it merge with the Universal Force.

Comments: “Take the curse off and place it around God’s neck. Free yourself. Purify yourself and be free.” –Yogi Bhajan

Wahe Guru: *Wahe basically means “Wow” or “Ecstacy.” It’s sort of an exclamation of the joy of existence. Guru means that force which brings one from darkness into light. Together it means basically: Wow! How awesome is that force that guides me to the light of my soul… or something like that.