Why practice for 3, 11 or 31 minutes & 40, 90 or 120 days?
A typical thing in Kundalini Yoga is that the exercises are giving in a specific order with a specific timing for a specific amount of days. This isn’t a coincidence and as a teacher and a student you are asked to respect the timings given.
Our rational minds go: "Today I don’t have so much time, so I’ll just do it half the time". Or, "I don’t like this part of the Kriya so much, let me just skip it."
Obey to initiate yourself
The whole idea behind Kundalini Yoga is that you ‘obey’ the teachings so you allow to initiate yourself through the practice, through your commitment. Instead of your mind telling you what to do (or not) you simply do as you are told. Nowadays there is a lot of resistance against this, we ought to think for ourselves, which is true. But in case of a spiritual tradition you need this obeisance or surrender in order to go beyond your own mind and it’s created reality. Otherwise it will easily hold you in its grip, meaning old belief systems that not necessarily support and uplift you.
Your body as the teacher
Through obeying the times given and the order of the exercises (not skipping or mixing it up) you let your body become your teacher, you learn through your experience and get the chance to observe your mind and it’s habitual reactions.
The exercises are given in a specific order because they each create a different impact on your body and how the energy moves. So to reap the benefits of these exercises you respect this and allow your body to go through the changes. It’s useful to keep in mind that these exercises were given by a Master, Yogi Bhajan, someone who could sense exactly what is happening underneath the direct and physical appearance, what is happening on a subtle level. Something that cannot be grasped by our rational minds, but which can be felt through sincere practice.
Of course you will meet resistance along the way, that’s totally normal! All the while you keep chanting, moving, breathing, what ever it is you do, you’re not letting your mind stop you. That’s how you transform, how you get to experience you are way much more then you think or belief you are.
Now that we have the ‘obey’ part covered, let’s look at the timings and numbers.
They are not just random. Hopefully this explanation will inspire and motivate you to sit/move/stick ‘m out:
3 minutes: Affects your circulation, blood chemistry and stability of the blood. The increased blood circulations begins, distributing enhanced neuroendocrine secretions throughout the body.
7 minutes: Brain patterns start to shift from the static of beta waves, to calmer alpha waves and ultimately to deep relaxing delta waves. Simultaneously, the magnetic force surrounding the body increases in strength.
11 minutes: The pituitary gland, glandular system and the nerves start to learn and change. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems begin to accommodate the increased energy.
22 minutes: Anxiety producing thoughts in the subconscious begin to clear. Your three minds (negative, positive, and neutral) start to work together so your mental integration changes. 22 is the infinite number of longing and gives mastery of the mental realm.
31 minutes: Affects your whole mind and your aura. Endocrinological balance is achieved, as is balance of the chakra’s of the ethereal body. This balance persists throughout the day, and is reflected by changes in moods and behavior.
Amount of Days
11 days: 11 is the number of Infinity in the material world and conqueror of the physical realm. So it’s like the first step to break loose from the entanglement of the mind.
40 days: Helps to break negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the Kriya or mantra, if done 40 days straight in a row
90 days: When you practice the Kriya or mantra for 90 days straight it will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious mind. It will change you in a very deep way.
120 days: When you commit to practice the Kriya or mantra for 120 days without skipping a day it will confirm the new habit of consciousness. The positive benefits of the Kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.
1000 days: This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the Kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.
You are very welcome to try the Kundalini Yoga meditation we are currently sharing as a Free video! If the experience of doing a full Kriya is calling you, please visit our Practice page. And last but not least: If you are curious to feel what kind of impact an 11 days or 40 days commitment to the practice can have on your life, turn to our Sadhana page where we offer several possibilities to make these experience under our guidance.
Please note: With strenuous exercises you could half the times of the exercises to begin with, to allow you to gain strength. When you reduce the time of one exercise you should do the same with the other exercises. E.g. If an exercise should be done 3 minutes and you practice it for 1 minute, then you reduce all other exercises to one third of the original time. Of course you can always take a little break, as long as you start again and don’t give up. If you want to accomplish a 40, 90 or 120 day Sadhana with a Kriya or meditation, you start counting on the day you are able to fulfill the complete times of the exercises as given.
Resource: The Aquarian Teacher: Level One Instructor Textbook, by Yogi Bhajan, PhD, Meditation as Medicine, by Dharma Singh Khalsa, Waves of Healing, by Siri Atma Singh Khalsa and www.3HO.org.