For over 50 years, luminary yoga teacher Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa has been pioneer in the field of Kundalini Yoga. Renowned for her energetic teachings of physical and spiritual training, her method has uplifted hundreds of practitioners worldwide. Today, as we search for self-knowing in a time of uncertainty, Gurmukh distills key lessons for emotional awakening.
If you don't know you have a choice, then you don't have a choice.Gurmukh
Q: How do you feel your role as a teacher and mentor has evolved over the years?
Gurmukh: Well, it's been a long journey. I'm 77 and I've been teaching for 50 years. I would hope it has evolved immensely. Otherwise, you'd just be like, dead. I can still identify with the essence of who I was at the age of 26 But I was able to build on top of essence or soul through what I learned throughout life and Kundalini Yoga. I'm the same, but I hope I'm a better character than I was at the age of 26.
Q: Have these recent times of uncertainty posed any challenges for you as a teacher and spiritual leader?
G: This whole situation on Planet Earth is causing me to react more. Because strength for me is to live from my heart and kindness. This means having a neutral mind, which means having no opinions or judgments. However, the amount of judgments that have come forward in my mind with this situation has just caused a lot of disturbance, a lot of turbulence, and a lot of anger. And so yes, I've been going through a lot of what many, many people go through, but I have to believe that it's a stage in the evolution of humanity.
But the question is what to do to get back to that neutral kindness when you know that truths are not being lived globally with this situation. We are seven and a half billion people operating like slaves to a small unit of people whose truths are based on lies. So how do I not follow like sheep? By not watching popular media that's not based on truth, and I pray more. I get up and do a strong early morning practice at four in the morning. I've been vegan for years and organic, but I'm more particular now, you might say, to feed myself the right foods that will give me the right headspace. At the same time, some of my friends are like me, they're just doing more to maintain their heart space.
You can do anything with fire, you burn houses down or you can ignite it.Gurmukh
Q: It is difficult to preserve a level of equanimity in the face of all this uncertainty.
G: You have got to work hard because it can feel like you're on a treadmill and it just gets harder and harder. But you have to have some daily sustenance to return to. You now have time to go deep into your essence, but from that deepness, you have to rise up. And one of my greatest ways to stay healthy in my body, mind and soul right now is saying, "how can I help people?". I've learned a lot about how I can uplift others, but there is still the underlying anger that deserving people are not being taken care of. I find no kindness. I find no humaneness in that, and that's what brings tears to my eyes.