By Siri Prem Kaur
Yogi Bhajan said, “Share because it is demanded of you.” I have always wanted to share my experience with depression and now I feel I have enough courage to do so.
In Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan we say our mind has three aspects: negative, positive and neutral minds. Negative mind is there to protect us and this is the place where our fears live. Positive mind is there to act and keep us busy. Neutral mind is the meditative mind, the quiet one.
Often negative or positive mind becomes dominant and unbalanced. We tend to be either too negative or too positive—not neutral. In my life negative mind has always been strong, and generally I struggled, feeling completely overwhelmed with negative thoughts and feeling helpless, drowning in the ocean of negativity.
Blessing came into my life in 2008, when I started practicing Kundalini Yoga and met my teacher, Shiv Charan Singh. He explained to me about the negative mind and where this feeling of depression comes from—that behind it is a longing to belong and unite with my soul, my spirit, my consciousness. And when left unchecked this longing can sometimes turn into a feeling of depression—a black hole which we try to fill in with anything we can find: relationships, people, kids, things, shopping, travelling, over eating, alcohol or whatever is available to us. And of course, there seems to be no satisfaction.
For me it was a revelation to know that I could work with my longing and that it is possible to turn it into something positive and not drown in that black hole of negativity. I learned that longing in itself is already a relationship with the Universe, which is also longing for us—our awareness, our attention. It is like a phone, which keeps ringing. It is up to us. Do we pick up the phone or ignore it?
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation gave me the tools to pick up that phone and face my longing. Look at it deeply, instead of trying to run away from it or fill that hole with things from the outside.
Every day I sit down and do my practice. I tune in, I watch my thoughts pass by. I study my mind and its patterns. I use mantra to cut these patterns, and set up a new vibration in my mind.
As Yogi Bhajan said, mantra literally means mental wave, mental vibration. So by reciting a mantra we cut old patterns and set up a new vibration. There is no need to drown in negativity and depression. It truly becomes possible to transform the mind, to feel a deep sense of belonging to my spirit. As I watch people around me struggle with their own longing, I hope my words can help others to find their inner peace and know that they belong.
Anya Poroshina aka Siri Prem Kaur has been practicing Kundalini Yoga since 2007 and has studied with Shiv Charan Singh since 2008. She was born in Moscow and currently lives with her family in Amsterdam where she teaches Kundalini Yoga.