By Surjot Kaur
If you are a woman who is considering becoming a mother, and you are looking for a perfect rite of passage to prepare you for that journey into motherhood, I would suggest you complete Level One training to teach Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yoga Bhajan.
Now it may sound odd: why would a woman who wants to become a mother train to be a yoga teacher?
A woman may be many things: a lover, an artist, a friend, a professional. But when a woman becomes a mother, she is a teacher. Yogi Bhajan said, “A mother is not a person. A mother is a Guru Dev Mata.” This means from the child’s first breath until its last, the mother serves as a teacher who dwells in divinity.
A mother wastes no time entertaining the whimsy and wishes of her personality; instead, by becoming a mother, a woman agrees to venture into the vast terrain of Infinity that is creative divinity. And establishing a strong yoga and meditation practice before one embarks on the motherhood agreement is a great way to learn what it means to embody creative divinity.
When a woman brings a child into this world, sacrifice equals happiness. It always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable when other mothers tell me that the way to cope with the challenges of motherhood are a Spa Day, or a wine bar gossip session away from the kids.
They recommend getting out and about and spending time and money for some much-needed “me” time. This kind of thinking, though it may work for some, creates too much spiritual dissonance for me. I would prefer that when things get challenging, rather than feeling desperate to escape my family life, I would hope to feel like I am masterful at creating “me” space though I may be in the throes of service to others.
That’s where a strong yoga practice comes in handy.
Instead of Spa Day, I like to practice making my entire home my sacred space. I chant throughout every room. I chant over cradles. I chant through chores. While I chant, nursing, rocking in a chair, I can feel my home fill up with the nectar of the sacred sound current. Living and dwelling in such a vibration, I feel that G.O.D. comes to my aid in the big challenges, or even when I am simply making a bed, organizing the closet, and, yes, even when wiping clean a tushee.
Before teaching yoga, a teacher recites the teacher’s oath: “I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.” As a mother, I have often thought about and played around with what a mother’s oath might look like: “I am not an authority. I am not a socialite. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a mother.”
Yogi Bhajan has referred to the mother as the “most perfect source of God to create divinity” and in that same lecture he goes on to say that divinity cannot be created from identity. It’s not about what zip code we live in or where we send our children to school. It’s about whether or not a child can see, feel, and experience his or her mother’s divinity. So, what does my divinity look like to my children? My guess is that each mother’s divinity is unique.
My divinity smiles often. My divinity sits down to a meal and says a simple blessing over the food. My divinity celebrates cooperation and relationship over competition and the rat race. My divinity loves music and dances daily.
When a woman spends most of her time caring for young children, meditation is a must. We all know that when every action becomes a meditation, a mind can rest in neutral space and feel clear and at ease, poised and graceful. This is ideal, but how does it look? How does it work? What are some real-life, critical moments in which a mother might rely on the practical tools Yogi Bhajan gifted us in order to transform stressful challenges into opportunities to be healthy, happy, and holy?
Practice, practice, practice has helped me transform. In our Level One training course, Krishna Kaur guided us to the Gutka Kriya (Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad). This meditation gives you the power to control the mind and totally synchronize the mind to reverse negative energy.
I started practicing Gutka Kriya and was able to transform a challenge into a game. For a period of a few months, my three-year-old daughter would vehemently refuse to get dressed. The win-lose confrontations between us would either end in her tearful and angry or me giving up and choosing to stay home that day.
When I started chanting the Magic Mantra, softly or silently, before we would begin the dressing routine, the routine turned into something beautiful and blissful. I would ask her, “Have you taken your sun bath yet?” She would smile and then roll around naked in the sunlight that was shining in through the bedroom windows. She expressed total amusement when I would rub sunlight under her armpits, between her toes, and on her bottom. She was gleeful and resolute about bathing every part of her body in the light. Only then was she eager to dress.
Anytime sunlight comes to my aid to transform a challenge into bliss, I pay close attention; I am grateful; I bow. I am a teacher to my children, and yet these children are teaching me so much about humility through their extraordinary presence. As well they should. And as Yogi Bhajan has said, “Children are born to rule. And they shall.”
May every journey into motherhood be filled with consciousness and joy! Sat Nam!
Surjot Kaur is blessed to serve as mother to two daughters, Selena (7) and Zaydah (5). She teaches Kundalini Yoga at Karma Yoga Studio in San Diego. She volunteers at the San Diego Rescue Mission teaching homeless women the technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Surjot Kaur lives to serve and uplift and celebrates the challenges of the householder yogi path.