At Gurmukh’s Sat Nam Fest Saturday workshop, “The Joy of Togetherness,” we practiced the “Kriya to Withstand the Pressure of Time” (originally taught by Yogi Bhajan at Women’s Camp in Espanola, New Mexico on July, 1984). The kriya opens with two vigorous shaking exercises — first sitting and then standing. Gurmukh played some rockin’ music (Punjabi drum or bhangra rhythm CDs work well with this set) and cheered us on: “Shake out your anger! Your frustrations! Shake out all the ‘what if’s,’ shake the disease in you, shake it all out!” adding, “It can happen right now, healing can happen right now!”

It’s said that ancient yogis did this every morning, she pointed out, and shaking has been used by many indigenous peoples for healing. The yogis would get up, jump in the cold river, come back, and shake out their ill thoughts, cleansing on a cellular level every single morning. It’s like a “body and brain colonic,” said the legendary teacher, “clean it out right now!”

“Shake the eyeballs, shake your skull, your lips, your mouth, your tongue, shake it all! Shake from the inner core! Shake your back — your past — shake it up and find a brand new day!” Gurmukh called out. “We as yogis need to shake our own lives up and then shake the whole world! It’s up to us, we are the leaders, we are the ones the whole world is waiting for. They don’t know it, but we know it. We are the change we want to see. We are living it, breathing it, doing it!”

Shaking really works up a sweat, and is an excellent way to achieve good health and wellbeing. It balances the nervous system, and helps you let go of stress and tension. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!

The directions for this kriya state it plainly: “Have some fun with this kriya. This will release toxins from your muscles. Get wild. Shake like an earthquake. It would take hours of massage to get to this point. Cheeks should get red. You must come to the dead end of tiredness.”

You can find the full kriya in the I Am A Woman yoga manual and on the DVD Healthy Body, Fearless Spirit with Gurmukh and Snatam Kaur.

If you don’t have time to do the full kriya, you can also use the “yogic shake” to clear the aura. You simply raise up your hands and shake, shake, shake — clearing the dust and debris out of your magnetic field for three minutes. It’s a powerful cleansing exercise! Just like shaking out a dusty old rug!
Gurmukh always shakes things up metaphorically — but this time she did it literally, too.

“You’re not dancing. You’re formless! You’re going wild!” she called out as we shimmied and shook our way to cleanse. The spacious Pavilion at Sat Nam Fest was literally vibrating! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ground underneath that big tent in Lenox, MA is still quaking quite a bit!


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Kathryn E. Livingston (Harjot Kaur) is the author of the memoir Yin, Yang, Yogini: A Woman’s Quest for Balance, Strength and Inner Peace, a story of transformation through yoga. A Kundalini Yoga teacher at Montclair Kundalini Yoga and at Mahwah Yoga Cooperative, Kathryn has been writing professionally for many years. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, and has three grown sons (one still in the nest). She loves Sat Nam Fest, global sadhanas, and chanting!