These wise words are one of the best-known quotations by Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga & Meditation to North America. Over the past several years, since I began my teacher training in 2006, I’ve been both inspired by and irritated by the words, “Keep Up!” Recognizing – often after having completed the class – that the irritation likely related to the need for me to process certain experiences and emotions in my life, didn’t always allay the irritation, interestingly, but did allow me to truly begin to reflect on my practice. The expression, “Keep Up & You’ll Be Kept Up” is deceptively simple – but what did Yogi Bhajan mean by them? And what do teachers mean when you hear them coach you to do the same?
My understanding is that when you “Keep up” – what you’re doing is building your endurance – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Thus, once your endurance and your stamina has strengthened, you’re better able to handle life’s challenges, or “be kept up”. Make sense? Pushing through the mental blocks, like, “I can’t do this”, or “My arms are going to fall off”, or moving into and through emotional upset by giving yourself the cue of keeping up – even for just a few additional seconds past what your mind tells you, can help, trust me!
So how can you “keep up” when the going gets rough? Kate Bailey offered these five tips in her blog on www.spiritvoyage.com, “What’s Up With Keeping Up” that are particularly helpful.
Mystic Yogini also has a beautiful way to describe her understanding of this quote and how it can help you to commit to your sadhana (daily practice).
In the spirit of recommitting to making healthy changes and creating positive habits, Modern Alternative Mama has this fantastic and helpful perspective. This entry also describes some of the significance of the number 40, which comes up quite often within the practice of Kundalini Yoga, for those of you interested in learning more about that.
So, whether you’re looking to commit to (or in my case, re-commit to) a daily practice, or you’d like to learn strategies to cope with the stress in your life, I hope the above links help somehow.