We are here to answer your questions about the 3HO lifestyle and your Kundalini Yoga practice. Sewa Singh, our senior 3HO lifestyle advisor, responds to your questions with compassion, insight, and deep understanding of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Send your questions here. A few questions will be chosen and the answers will be published in the Yogic Living enewsletter.
Breaking My 40-Day Sadhana:
"If I miss 1 day of my 40-day sadhana, is it really necessary for me to start over again? If so, why?"
Dear Sister in Divine,
Thank you so much for your insightful inquiry. It has great value as it speaks to the heart of many other questions.
As you may already know, the concept of doing a kriya or meditation for 40 days is one part of the yogic technology of transformation that also includes units of 90, 120 and 1000 days. Doing a practice for each of these specific numbers of days has it’s own unique effect on the body, mind and spirit. For more details please see this page.
According to the ancient yogic technology, doing a practice every day for 40 days straight will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible from the yogic method you have chosen. Our community has extensive personal experience with the effectiveness of this process and I encourage you to speak directly to those people who have been able to use this knowledge to make dramatic positive life changes.
Yogi Bhajan, who so generously shared this technology, was able to masterfully communicate to a great range of human experience. He would inspire people to reach for perfection while at the same time never encouraging fanaticism. To those people who responded best to rules and regulations with little gray area, he offered rules and regulations with the sharp clarity of black and white. To those who required deep philosophical reflection, he offered profound reasoning. However, whatever the modality or style of understanding that was required, his teaching always led us to empower our consciousness and spirit towards unity with the Divine.
The ultimate answer to your question is your answer to the question. When you make a commitment to yourself to do a self-elevating process and you make a slip, do you punish yourself and disregard your effort to that point, or do you forgive the error and give full credit for the purity of the intent and the energy already expended? Be clear about who and what you are committing to, and why.
Is there a magical thing that happens at exactly 40 days? What if you started 1 minute late one day? 10 seconds late? What if you fell asleep for a few moments? Does the magic disappear? There is no magic—this is a human process with all the variations, inspirations and possibilities of the human experience.
If you are a 'rules and regulations' type of person and you break the 40-day rule, but keep up without worry, guilt or self-criticism, perhaps the self-acceptance and ability to relax completely are more valuable than if you had done the practice perfectly. On the other hand, if you are the reflective type, and you begin all over from the beginning, perhaps the value to your transformation would be greater than if you had convinced yourself intellectually that it was okay to just move on.
The bottom line is that this is your commitment, your life, your assessment, your choice and your intuition. These technologies are for our elevation and positive transformation. When you relate to them even a little, the part of you that is vast, willing and open is nurtured and will respond in profound ways, known and unknown, to move closer to complete oneness with the Divine.
I encourage you to use your intuition to answer this question and express great gratitude in advance for the priceless blessings that it bestows upon you. For even just considering challenging yourself with a 40-day sadhana, nature will reward you in unimaginably valuable ways.
Thank you again for making the effort to communicate your thoughts so sincerely.
Please note that the information and opinions here are based on the experience of one person and any contradictions or omissions regarding the teachings of Yogi Bhajan are unintentional. Any diet, exercise and/or lifestyle information in this communication is a representation of yogic traditions and is not intended as a substitute for consulting a qualified health professional. This information is only for educational purposes and not for any person’s specific medical condition. Always check with your personal physician or licensed health care practitioner before making any significant modification in your lifestyle to insure that the lifestyle changes are appropriate for your personal health condition and consistent with any medication you may be taking. If you have unresolved emotional issues, consult with a qualified therapist. 3HO Foundation International and I are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences for the use of any of the information presented in this communication. For more information about Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®, please see www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga and www.kundaliniresearchinstitute.org
Sewa Singh Khalsa has been teaching Kundalini Yoga for over 40 years and has been providing counseling to couples and individuals based on Kundalini Yoga and Yogi Bhajan's teachings on Humanology for 35 years. He holds an MFA from the University of Washington and has taught at Eastern Washington University, Western Washington University and the University of Washington.