Yesterday evening, I attended my first Kundalini style Yoga class.
Disclaimer: I am conveying my personal physical observations throughout the class. My intention is not to portray the practice of Kundalini in a negative light.
The predominant style of popular Yoga today is a varied form of Mysore Ashtanga (If you are not familiar with styles of Yoga, just google it and check out Wikipedia). I haven’t encountered many Kundalini style classes being offered. However, there were a few free classes offered last night at one of my favorite Yoga spots in Philly. I thought, why not? Why not try a new style of Yoga? I’m always up for trying new things…
Let me flashback just for the purpose of generating a more clear picture for you: In 2007, I began practicing Bikram Yoga. Just wanted to try something new. After my first Bikram class I was absolutely heartbroken. How can they call this practice Yoga? A 90 minute class of 26 asanas and not one downward dog? A day with out down dog is like a day without sunshine.
BUT! I don’t want to live my life despising anything.
What you resist persists. What you don’t like; what you focus on, you’ll only get more of it, the more you give attention to your dislike of it.
Thus, I set out to practice Bikram everyday until I loved it. What happened? I fell in love with Bikram Yoga (I just had to Practice Vinyasa afterwards to get my daily down dog in)! I practiced everyday, DID NOT MISS ONE DAY for six months. I felt great. I was genuinely happy in my skin, in my body. No aches, no pains, focused mind.
Now back to the Kundalini. Cultivating the energy of kundalini is said to be the only way of attaining Divine Wisdom. I guess I’m not attaining Diving Wisdom in this life, if that’s the truth.
I felt like a little dog…
I wanted to run out of the class with my tail between my legs!
see his little tail between his legs?!
All of this spinning and rocking, breath of fire and extended moments of holding my arms overhead! Ahhhhhh! I felt trapped in my own body as if it were a cage, and I just a small rodent on the wheel.
No, really, I had quite a difficult time engaging in a full 1.5hr Kundalini class!
The moment where I was really feeling it, was the possibly the third or second sequence we did- with our arms coming out in front of us on an exhale and up overhead with an inhale, fingers interlaced. UP and DOWN! Inhale and exhale, over and over and over and over. How long were we rocking?! I felt dizziness whirling through my entire being!
Then, the spinning. Seated in Sukasana, Easy pose. Elbows are bent, fingertips placed upon the shoulders, palms down. Twisting from the hips, Inhale left, exhale right. Inhale left, exhale right. Inhale left, exhale right. Inhale left, exhale right… We’re halfway! Keep going!
In my head I’m screaming, “NO! NO! NO! NOT HALFWAY! FINISH NOW! CAN’T..[gasping for air]..SPIN…ANY!.[gasp]..MORE!”
So what did I conclude from the experience. Time to practice Kundalini!
Wikipedia states that Kundalini Yoga is “closely associated with Raja Yoga, Tantra, Ashtanga and the sutras of Patanjali.” If you have been keeping up with my posts, TANTRA is where my attention is currently focused. Really, Tantra? I learn something new everyday!
Lesson for today.