Google the word Kundalini and you will find the following: instructions, videos, warnings and everything in between. Carla has brought this ancient wisdom and yoga technique to Premier. If you have practiced with Pamela Davis then you know what a great feeling you have after just 45 minutes.
I was introduced to the basics of Kundalini Yoga when I received my yoga training. I had heard of it before and had been warned to stay away from it. Why? We will delve into that but first, what is Kundalini Yoga and why should you practice it? As yoga has become so very mainstreamed, used in marketing to advertise everything from banking to food, Kundalini is beginning to come out of the shadows.
According to Yogapeida, Kundalini means “coiled like a serpent” in Sanskrit. More digging tells us that the word comes from a goddess’s name and represents her rise from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Basically, what we are talking about is the rise of energy from our tail bone going through all seven chakras ending at the top of our head.
This strain of yoga can be found in the Upanishads, an ancient text of Hinduism. Prior to being written down the teachings were given from master to student and were veiled in secrecy. The modern-day concepts and techniques were brought to the Western World by Yogi Bhajan in 1969. His goal was to demystify the practice and help people to find self-awareness, to connect to this form of yoga. And people, that is what Kundalini is, a form, a type, a branch of yoga.
Let’s get the myths out of the way. Many people have the following misconceptions:
- This practice, this journey can only be started under the guidance of a guru. Well, remember that this branch of yoga was started with master teacher/novice- beginner mode and was an oral tradition. Thus, the guru reference.
- It’s dangerous. Well, so is swimming, hiking, biking, kickboxing…… As with any form of exercise, check with your physician or health care provider before engaging in any type of new physical activity.
- Kundalini is a religion. False. The word Yoga means to connect and this form of yoga does just that. It connects your being with your energy. If you follow a religion, or not, a Kundalini practice with help you to tap into energy, spirit, consciousness, the universe, the Divine and mainly your body and your breath!
- Kundalini is really about sex and that is the true agenda. Not true. Through a Kundalini practice or any other type of yoga practice, you are lining up the spine so that all of your organs work better as they feed off of the awakened nerve endings that run throughout our vertebrates.
- A head piece is required. Thankfully no because I would not wear a white turban and go without makeup. Give me a pony tail and a little mascara and I am good to go! Remember, this tradition was started in India and many modern-day practitioners choose to cover their heads and follow that tradition. There’s more to it than that but why complicate such a simple and wonderful practice?
So now that we have cleared up some of the misconceptions, what are the benefits? Kundalini is a healing force that clears the channels. Yoga teachers design classes that line up the spine so that you have a well-marked path of healing and vitality. We have seven chakras from the tail bone to the crown of the head. Each of these points on your spine correspond with various organs and systems found through out the human body.
When you attend a Kundalini class at Premier with our newest instructor Pam, you will move through some familiar yoga poses such as Cat/Cow. The difference in this type of yoga is that it is a moving meditation. You will coordinate the breath with the asana in such a way as to activate the nervous and endocrine systems. By using a more vigorous breathing method, you are bringing more oxygen in, creating more heat and ultimately reorganizing your own life energy.
I can tell you from personal experience that Kundalini yoga helped to reduce swelling in my knee when nothing else worked. I had a meniscus tear last summer and underwent orthoscopic knee surgery in November to repair the damage. February of this year found my husband and I on a train in Utah, it lurched forward suddenly and I fell on that knee! Ouch! And friends, this was a ski trip! I tried ibuprofen, ice packs, everything. Nothing worked. We were in Utah for two weeks, I had some down time so I tried some basic Kundalini asanas and breathing techniques. My knee finally stopped hurting and the swelling went away, completely! Coincidence? Maybe, but I firmly believe that I super oxygenated my blood, removed toxins, lined up my spine and saw an immediate benefit.
According to Anodea Judith, author of Wheels of Life, “The raising of energy to higher chakras occurs naturally and spontaneously when we relax deeply and pay attention to all of our chakras.” Think about that statement. We raise our energy when we pay attention to our bodies! And that is Carla’s goal. That is why she opened our beautiful studio. With the addition of a Kundalini class to the schedule, Carla is providing a chance for you to enjoy the journey of life, deepen your own personal practice and benefit from more healing modalities.
Here is a personal note from Pam about her class:
I’m very excited and filled with gratitude to have the opportunity to share the technology of Kundalini yoga, meditation and the gong in Mansfield. I was inspired to teach from my own personal experience after coming across the mantra music and the changes that happened in my life. While discovering more about myself through my practice, I uncovered my own passion, teaching. So, if you’ve been curious about Kundalini yoga and not sure what to expect, I encourage you to come with an open mind and see for yourself.
Grace and Peace,