THE MIND OF THE MATTER:
KUNDALINI YOGA & MINDFULNESS WITH SARAH BLADEN
International journalist Sarah Bladen was an Editor for OK Magazine in Europe who lived a jet set life mixing with famous personalities in the most luxurious and glamorous places around. The worlwind lifestyle of first class travel, fun filled adventires, and weekly interviews with celebrities were exciting but not so much mindful. Three years ago, everything changed when Zen entered her life.
Bladen left her job, ended her engagement, and endured the passing of her father. These three excruciating heartbreaks transformed Bladen’s life from fast paced and feeling empty to a substance infused existence resulting in On Cloud Zen. Her grief led Bladen invite, welcome and cultivate mindfulness when she healed her heartbreak through Kundalini Yoga.
What Bladen experienced as a result of mindfulness was a present moment awareness that was possible from the shedding of inner emotional baggage, old beliefs, habitual patterns, distractions, all of which remove a person’s ability to stay present in the moment. Rather than perceive the world through clouded lenses. Kundalini Yoga, through its practices of meditation, chanting, specific yoga movements called “kriyas”, and mindful eating, provide a foundation for discipline the mind and releasing toxic thoughts from one’s consciousness. For mindfulness to cascade a person’s entire existence, an inside out cleanse of all that isn’t that, is mandatory.
The practice of Kundalini yoga begins with changing what you put in your body. A diet overhaul is often required. Since becoming a Zen Meditation and Mindfulness Coach, and Chakradance Facilitator, Bladen has developed a wellness practice based on the principles of Aryuvedic healing. One of the first things that Bladen counsels her clients to do is begin eating according to their body type. In Aryuveda, there are three main “doshas” or body types: kapha, pitta, and vata. This is determined by the physical structure of a person’s body, key characteristics of their appearance, and patterns in emotional temperament.
Mindful eating the Aryuvedic way requires knowing exactly what the best food is to put into your system. Mindful eating is also about being able to detect subtle cues from your body as it adjusts to a diet.
“Your body is used to a certain way of eating and so all this fresh food is probably a shock to the system! When anyone changes their diet or starts doing kriyas there will be changes,” counsels Bladen.
Bladen also recommends her clients integrate these new eating practice gradually along with practicing regular Kundalini yoga kriyas and meditation.
“If your food choices were very different from before, I'm guessing it will be working hard to eliminate toxins. Once you overcome the tiredness stage then you will see far more energy.”
When she first began vegetarian Bladen felt very tired and found that she needed to balance it with the occasional fish dish plus organic meat once per month. Being mindful and paying attention to her body’s response to regular Kundalini Yoga and Aruyvedic eating was a tremendous help to Balden in the transition to a ore mindful diet.
“Do listen to your body. If you are not used to doing all the kriyas that can also be heavy going forward. Make sure you get enough sleep, try napping too, and please take it easy with the kriyas we well,” advises Bladen. “They are quite powerful. What is happening is a good sign because you are changing your lifestyle into one which will ultimately give you long term benefits. You just need to get over this initial slump. You can have the occasional indulgence, just don't binge on anything .”
Bladen works with clients and brings her passion for Zen while spending time between London, Dubai, and India, through On Cloud Zen. She continues to work as a freelance writer to bring these words of wisdom to fruition of other mindfulness seekers in the world.