Narayan “Cy” Sevak, formerly known as, is a Kundalina Yoga teacher at Divinitree Santa Barbara. A former D1 NCAA wrestler, rock climber, and motorcycle racer, Narayan went through a spiritual transformation when he found Kundalini Yoga through the 3HO organization. Kundalini is a harsher, extreme version of yoga practiced by the warrior Sikhs and brought to the United States by Yogi Bhajan in 1968. The practice of Kundalini yoga focuses on rising energy from the body’s lower centers to the body’s higher centers through mantras chanting, breathing techniques, and performing challenging exercises called kriyas.
Jimmy: Narayan, you wrestled in college, you raced motorcycles, what led you to practice Kundalini Yoga?
Narayan: At the time, my former girlfriend asked me, “why do you have to put your life at risk to feel alive.”
I told her, ‘Look, if I could get the same feeling I get from being on the rock or riding 150 miles an hour without risking my life, if I can get that feeling some other way, I will do it.’
Then poof, Kundalini yoga.
Kundalini Yoga is brought into our lives when we are ready for it. Kundalini is a rather extreme eccentric form of yoga that works off of energy, works with our energy, and works on our energy to correct imbalances and realign. It is a natural fit for people who come from extreme sports background. It is magical in the sense that it is there when we are ready for it. I can’t tell you how many times people have come to my class and say, “this is exactly what I needed today.” I’m like, “It is not me. It is just the teaching coming through me. It’s the magic of the science.
This science from old –from thousands and thousands of years ago- is designed I believe for us to use now in this kind of crazy fast paced existence in this contemporary world. So I was ready for it.
Jimmy Commentary: I can personally attest to this statement. There have been several instances where I have been in a negative state of mind and Kundalini gave me exactly what I needed to release the stress in a way that no other form of exercise or therapy could have done in that particular moment.
Narayan explains, in the metaphysical sense, that the practice of Kundalini removes blockages from our energy fields – conscious and subconscious obstacles that we cannot put a finger on that are holding us back from our true potential.
Jimmy: What is the definition of Kundalini in your words and why does it hold significance?
Narayan: Kudnalini is the creative life force. It is the same energy we use to create life as humans –such as creating a child. It is the same energy we use to create our own life.
So many of us live in this existence and our energy never rise above our third chakra –it never gets into our heart. We are then really confined to the physical world. We are not communicating to others through our heart. We are not looking into our third eye. We are not looking into our destiny. We are not communicating to the cosmos. And we are as much as we are out there as we are on earth. We need to be sure we open up a channel to live a full existence –a fulfilled life.
Jimmy Commentary: Narayan goes on to explain Kundalini using the concept of Chakras. In Eastern spirituality, Chakras are spiritual energy centers in the body- seven total centered geometrically throughout the body. The three chakras in the lower body are associated with survival, pleasure, and self-esteem. The three chakras present in the upper body represent love, truth, wisdom, inner beauty, and our connection to a higher power. The seventh chakra, the center tipping point, is our heart.
Narayan: We rise through the practice of Kundalini yoga. We give a clear channel through the yoga. And we allow that energy to arise through breathing techniques, through chanting mantras, and through different rhythmic exercises. We clear the channel and we give it an opportunity to rise up. Essentially, the way I perceive it is that we create our own life in our upper triangle [chakras].
The upper triangles: the ones above our heart, we speak our truth, we see our truth, we communicate through the cosmos to maybe experience and download our truth from the cosmos. So we want to live equally in both triangles with the heart being the tipping point. We want to raise that energy to the heart so that we open it up and see who we are and know who we are.
So many of us that are stuck in our lower triangles, we don’t even know who we really are. We go around grasping for things: we are addicted to substances, we are addicted to sex, we are addicted to affirmations from others, we are all locked up into this lower triangle, and we don’t get a chance to realize who we are.
Jimmy: Kundalini yoga implements the chanting of mantras into the practice. What language is the mantra and why does chanting feel so profound?
Narayan: The founder of Kundalini is a Sikh. We are using the language of the Sikhs, Gurmukhi, when we are chanting. We have all these meridian points in our mouth and these languages are known as mantric languages and the meaning is the sound.
JC: Meridan points, Narayan explains, are the physical ends of energy channels.
Jimmy: The meaning is the sound?
Narayan: Yes. When we do “Ohm” we are vibrating the entire roof of our mouth. That is stimulating almost all these meridian points. That stimulates different parts of the brain, different parts of the body, and releases different neurotransmitters into our bloodstream. This has a consequential reaction to our energy level. Our metabolism, our hypothalamus, and our thalamus are then activated. The pituitary gland of our body is also affected and then the neurotransmitters are dumped into our bloodstream and then we feel different, we act different. Our body metabolizes thought differently. It allows things, not just food, to come through and go away through Upana. Upana is a force of elimination.
I think this is being discovered now in a scientific level that that is how it works: that vibration is the means of realigning ourselves on a cellular level.
Jimmy: Why has this practice of Kundalini worked so well for you?
Narayan: It has a spiritual aspect and it has physical aspect and everything in between. This is a very comprehensive practice.
Jimmy: What is your advice for people that want to live a healthier, happier life?
Narayan: Make changes at the margins. Not a major change right away. That is too hard to stick with.
Start with diet. Stop eating packaged foods. Then meditation. Sitting still and knowing yourself. Also, moving meditation: yoga to tone the body.
You have given your body the fuel it needs to live healthy. You’ve given yourself an opportunity to know yourself by sitting still with the breath. And then you have toned the body so you can move and enjoy this vehicle that carries you around. The trinity of happiness is having good food, a good space to know yourself, and a good body to enjoy this physical world.