Kundalini Yoga has been one of the most exquisite gifts in my life. I stumbled upon this incredible path after years of soul depleting habits. I smoked, drank, ate bad food and permitted an abusive relationship. In my early twenties I was living in Manila, Philippines, one of the most polluted cities in the world. I was doing all the things I "wanted" to do but with very little consciousness. I was doing well I thought. Then my body caught up with me. I was overweight, not menstruating and would be puffed walking to the end of the block. I had practiced Iyengar Yoga years before and I enjoyed that so I went looking for Iyengar classes. I found a local yoga school around the corner practicing Tantra Yoga. That didn't mean much to me at the time and I didn't really mind. I didn't fully understand these people in orange robes and mantras in a foreign language. I just remember starting to feel good, really good. I was enjoying classes so much I started practicing at home. I was without any books just repeating some the of things we did in class. I quite easily and naturally stopped smoking, cleaned up my diet and started menstruating again.
Upon returning to Australia I immediately went looking for Tantra Yoga. The only class in Melbourne was on the other side of the city. Damn. So I thought I'd try Iyengar Yoga again. Disappointingly and somewhat surprisingly I left class feeling "unfinished". Where was the mantra? That feeling of deep connection? What I would now call a spiritual experience. Thus began my search for a yoga like Tantra Yoga that could deliver this feeling I was looking for. The wholeness and completeness. I tried all the classes in my local area. One day I saw a little flyer for Kundalini Yoga with a picture of a lady in white. I thought I may as well try that one too. I arrived into a warm and inviting space with only a handful of students. As soon as we tuned in with the Adi Mantra I thought "I'm home". Just like that. I knew this was right for me. I diligently attended classes every Tuesday night and resumed a home practice this time with the help of some books. I was also riding my bike 30km a day. I was feeling amazing! Obviously I'm a huge fan and here are 10 things I love about Kundalini Yoga. I could probably write 100 things I love about Kundalini Yoga!
1. The way it makes me feel.
I feel clear, inspired and energised. It tends to strip away tiredness and lethargy leaving me with the vitality to manage life a little less crazily!
2. The people I meet.
Sat Nam, meaning truth is my identity, is our greeting in Kundalini Yoga. It has become for me a key for belonging. I've travelled around Australia and to many corners of the world. Sat Nam is the link to community and global family around the world.
3. The mantras and music.
The mantras range from fun and upbeat to absolutely divine. I find mantra to be the most efficient and effective way to calm my mind and arrive in consciousness. Beautiful artists such as Snatam Kaur, Jai-Jagdeesh, Sada Sat Kaur, Nirinjan Kaur, Mirabai Ceiba and Gurunam Singh take me to higher places through their music.
4. The relevance to 2017.
With ever increasing speeds and constant demands for our attention, Kundalini Yoga provides a systematic approach to soothe and balance the nervous system. It creates a space for peace and clarity amid the noise and constant barrage of information.
5. Yogi Bhajan.
Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga, left an incredible legacy for our time. He broke with tradition in order to serve an aching and desperate need for meaning. He is a Teacher of the highest order, a Teacher of the heart. He continues to hold the teachings that he shared for all of us today. Sometimes I feel he is right with me when I practice which is a great source of comfort.
6. The Kriyas.
There is a kriya or meditation for just about anything you can think of. Conquering sleep, compulsive eating, creating prosperity, for a flexible spine. For paranoia, anger, emotional balance, an open heart, to name but a few. You can really use the kriyas and meditations as a therapy and find something directly relevant to where you are at in your life right now.
7. The caliber of Teachers.
Kundalini Yoga teachers have a trained ability to hold a clear, strong and humble space for students. They are powerful, devotional, compassionate, inspiring and radiant. Teachers such as Guru Jagat, Guru Singh, Guru Charan Singh, Shiv Charan Singh, Sunder Singh, Gurmukh and many others, we are spoilt for choice.
8. The weird, wacky and wonderful stuff!
I've pop-corned, elephant walked, slapped the ground, danced, laughed, cried and everything in between. Kundalini Yoga has some pretty weird and wacky stuff but I love how it makes the class laugh and relax. Yoga is not all serious!
9. The resting bits.
It is often in the space between a posture or kriya that provides the most clarity and calm. A sweet release from the holding. It is a time when I feel an integration of my body, mind and spirit. An expanded sense of self. A deep peace.
10. The support of a lifetime practice.
Since starting Kundalini Yoga in 2008 I have time and time again used it to support me through highs, lows and the daily humdrum. As I evolve I continue to find deeper and deeper meaning and relevance in the teachings. For this I am eternally grateful.
If you have never tried Kundalini Yoga, I really recommend you look up a class in your local area. If you're in Brisbane, you can find us on Monday nights at Soul Space in Newmarket. Keep an eye out for our free classes in January 2018. If you are a seasoned Kundalini Yogi, you might consider joining us for Teacher Training starting in June 2018 for the next level of wow.
Love and Sat Nam.