By Doug Wilson
For the longest time I believed the only way to experience my imagined idea of peace would be for everyone and everything around me to become more peaceful. Having this perception made me feel trapped in this frantic, fast paced modern world. As time progressed, my hopeless wishing created nothing but anxiety and a stronger desire for the world to become the way I perceived it should be.
I was a slave to external situations. Whenever something caused me agitation I’d subconsciously rebel against it. I’d complain about injustice and my misfortunes, or escape into drugs and alcohol to mask the frenzied fluctuations of my mind and emotions.
The chemical changes of energy from drugs and alcohol created feelings of temporary space and relief. For short periods of time I would be at ease and the world was a wonderful place.
I survived those days without a single minute of dedication toward sitting down to relax and feel reality. Gradually, I separated further from the truth: that peacefulness is a feeling, not a concept. Whatever our feelings are, each emotional response has a corresponding chemistry within the body. As our chemistry naturally goes through various changes, we go through different levels of experience.
Kundalini Yoga & Meditation is designed to change this chemistry on a fundamental level so that we may change. Then, being peaceful becomes a natural quality of existence within.
Creating these changes will never come from wishful thinking; it’s a mechanical process. The time to give peace a chance has long passed us. It’s time to grant ourselves a moment to sit down in a state of reverence to honor ourselves and contribute to the tranquility of humankind by maintaining a peaceful chemistry within.
Añjali Mudrā (Prayer Pose) is a scientific gesture of reverence and an energetic seal to honor the self. By sitting down crossed legged and bringing the hands together at the heart center, we neutralize the polarities (+/-) of the electromagnetic field. When the left and right hands meet in this way we also balance the right and left hemispheres of our brains.
With the hands pressed firmly and evenly together and the fingers pointing upwards, placing the knuckles of the thumbs against the notch of the breastbone triggers a reflex point for the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve (CN X). It interfaces with the parasympathetic controls of the heart and lungs which help calm and slow the rhythms of the body. An electric current flows up the nerve and causes the pineal and pituitary glands to secrete and shift our brain waves from a heightened state of alertness (beta) into an alpha state—the gateway to our subconscious mind and a deeper step into meditation.
Añjali Mudrā appears in all forms of yoga, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In the West it’s seen as a sign of prayer. Often the association with religion causes reluctance in people to make the gesture, but the beauty and effectiveness of this mudra is timeless and universal. Let’s not deny ourselves this natural therapy for stress and anxiety that promotes respect for oneself and others.
It won’t happen overnight, but through time, self-discipline, and dedication, we can profoundly change ourselves to find the peace we seek.
Kundalini Running founder Doug Wilson overcame a life threatening brain tumor in 2013 and used Yoga & Meditation to support his rehabilitation. In just over 12 months after suffering extensive cranial nerve damage, meningitis and leaving the hospital in a wheelchair, he became the first person to run 7 competitive marathons on the 7 continents in under 7 days. Doug now teaches these valuable techniques for maintaining health, well-being and coping with stress in the modern world. His scientific knowledge of yoga is backed up by practical, real world experiences that make his classes and workshops informative while opening the body, mind and spirit.