The Path to True Prosperity: A Q&A with Guru Jagat

Guru Jagat, a senior Kundalini Yoga teacher with more than a dozen years of experience, studied under Yogi Bhajan, the Kundalini master responsible for bringing the practice to the United States. She is founder of RA MA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology, in Venice, California. She has also launched RA MA TV, a virtual media platform that makes Kundalini yoga and yogic lifestyle accessible to people worldwide, and RA MA Records, an indie yoga music label. We asked her about the Kundalini teachings on what she calls “yogic prosperity technology.” 

What does it meant to have true prosperity, according to Kundalini philosophy?

True prosperity is not just prosperity on the material plane, but the deeper fulfillment and satisfaction that comes when you’re prospering on a soul level. A lot of people have had the experience of getting all the things they thought they wanted—the house, the career, the family, the whole checklist—and they’re looking around at all of this and realizing they’re still not fulfilled. It’s a harrowing moment for many people when they realize the things they thought would fill them up, don’t. My definition of prosperity is being aligned with something that can nourish you at a deeper level, wherever you are in the spectrum of age and experience—whether you’re an intern or at the top of your career, whether you’re in a challenging relationship or in the honeymoon phase. That’s when you actually feel rich.

According to the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, how do we work toward achieving that “soul prosperity”?

Yogi Bhajan used the phrase “Dreams aground”—meaning that, if you want to manifest your dreams, you have to get grounded, you have to work for it, you have to show up and plan and be resourceful, and in order to do that you need a clear mind, a healthy body, and a conscious relationship with the breath. That’s what gives you the capacity and the wherewithal to take in opportunities when they present themselves. A big part of this is strengthening the nervous system through yoga practice, so you can handle more in your life—whether that’s more joy, more energy, more love, more money, more of anything.

Another essential part of dealing with your patterns around success and failure, particularly as they relate to money, is clearing your subconscious beliefs, which often lead to habitual, limiting behavior. In our very early years, we get our programming from our parents and from our first memories around money and the lack of it—what we get rewarded for, fear around having enough, etc. All that stuff will replay itself over and over again if you don’t clear it, through meditation or another intentional practice. There’s also this idea we’re conditioned to believe that being spiritual is about giving up the material world, which can also keep us in a limiting belief pattern.

What is one practice or tool that helps us move toward true prosperity?

The first, most fundamental practice is getting conscious of the breath. If you’re conscious of your breath even for some periods of the day, you have some command over your emotional spectrum and the way you’re relating to work, as well as to every part of your life. Very pragmatically, breathing with conscious awareness means you become more oxygenated, which gives you more energy and a clearer mind, which allows you to be more creative. Can you practice breathing when you’re doing the hardest thing you have to do at work? That can change everything. From there, there’s a multitude of simple to complex practices that help to increase your enjoyment of your life and make you feel clearer and more creative and more in your body.

Could you give us simple instructions for becoming conscious of the breath, something we could do throughout the day?

Start with deepening the breath, breathing through the nose. Breathe in and follow the breath into the body with your awareness. Then release, and feel how the breath travels out of the body. Begin to become aware of the mechanism of the breath in the body—how it affects the belly, the diaphragm, the lungs, the accessory muscles, such as the shoulder blades. Just start there. Yogi Bhajan used to say, “Shallow breath, shallow thoughts, shallow nervous system, shallow life. Deep breath, deep thoughts, deep nerves, deep life.”

Find out about upcoming programs with Guru Jagat at Kripalu.

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