Before I found Kundalini Yoga this was how I did yoga…
Can you name this pose? Let’s see if I can describe it…
Wobbling on one leg, the other stuck out behind at an odd angle, arms reaching forward in a sort of waving for help gesture, neck pulsating, belly saggy and quivering, jaw clenched, trying desperately not to fart.
I think it might be called Wounded Swan? Downward Spiral? Upward Facing Twat? Either way, that was me doing yoga a couple of years ago.
I used to think,
‘Give me a treadmill any day. I can pound away for 30 minutes, sweat like a pig and feel like I have achieved something at the end of it.’
I always found yoga painfully slow, overly focused on form, way too technical and completely unrewarding. The only position I ever really got my head round (other than child’s pose), was downward facing dog. Everything else was like a slow death.
Until I found Kundalini Yoga.
Why Kundalini Yoga?
When I gave up alcohol I discovered lots of excellent advice about what could be done to ease cravings and fill the evenings. Kundalini yoga kept coming up.
At that point I was so keen to overcome my bad habits that I was ready to try anything and I am so grateful I did.
What Is It?
Right from the get go Kundalini has you chanting mantras, holding your hands in a certain way, breathing rapidly and focusing on your third eye. Yes, it sounds a bit ‘woo’ but for me it was like, yes! That is what yoga should be. After all yoga means, ‘unite’ or ‘join’ with the divine. According to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind.
Meditation has always helped me clear my mind, connect to my inner self and the energy all around me. Kundalini yoga integrates all of that into a practice that is also toning my body and making me bend in ways I never knew I could.
The theory is that Kundalini (Sanskrit for ‘coiled snake’) is the spiritual energy wrapped around our chakras. Yoga serves to awaken that energy and clear the 7 chakras, connecting you to universal consciousness.
If you are interested in more detail then James Macrae wrote an excellent article here. I am no expert but I can tell you what it is for me.
I recommend watching a YouTube video or signing up to Gaia.com
You will need to watch classes because it’s all very prescriptive but after a while you can do it on your own. Although, I still love doing a class and in particular watching Gloria Latham on Gaia.
Here is a starter video from super chirpy Brett Larkin.
Give yourself to it completely. Why wouldn’t you? If you do this on your own in your living room then you don’t need to worry about looking like an idiot. Just go with it and hopefully you will be rewarded with a deep inner peace, which will have you searching for your next video immediately.
Do it every day. Once you get the basics you can easily do a 10 minute version of it unaided or there are plenty of short morning videos online. I make sure I fit this in because I treat it like brushing my teeth or having breakfast – it’s something I have to make time for, every day. I was doing it at 7am this morning. (Where’s my medal?)
As with anything the more you do it the better you will get and the more you’ll love it. Yes it’s very spiritually focused but it’s also incredible for toning and strengthening your body. Huge bonus!
What Kundalini Is Teaching Me About Myself
Gloria Latham says,
’When you feel like you can’t go on, go on a little further.’
It’s teaching me not to give up. Not just while my legs are wobbling in 3 legged downward dog but in my day to day life.
We can all feel like life’s challenges are just too much or maybe we’re just bored. We quit too soon, we jump from project to project, never feeling like we have seen anything through to the end. Hello failure.
The energy and stamina I have developed from doing Kundalini yoga is showing itself in my day to day existence.
I can allow boredom, pain or tiredness to come into my awareness, accept that I feel less than awesome but know that it will pass. I understand that I will still be there on the other side of that awkwardness to continue what I started. I just don’t give up like I used to.
I Have A God Inside Me
At this point we say goodbye to our veiwers over on BBC Sceptic. Those who are still with me will love this.
I have an inner divinity that has all the answers and so do you. For me, yoga is about connecting with that inner divinity. I’ll enlarge on this in other posts but for now just think about it as your intuition, gut feeling, awareness or voice of calm.
When I start every morning with my focus on the light inside, I feel like it continues to glow throughout the day. I take that peace into my work, thoughts, interactions. Instead of trying to stage manage life as I used to, as many addicted people do, I allow life to unfold, knowing that I am not in charge.
It’s heavy, right! But very cool.
What About Other Yoga Practices?
Now that Kundalini has shown me the connection between inner calm and outer strength I am actually getting into other disciplines. I now do a mix of Kundalini, Hatha and other fusions.
Hatha is helping me improve my form (yes I said ‘form’) and I am loving holding those challenging positions, breathing into the discomfort and building stamina.
There are so many different types of yoga and they all offer a connection to inner calm, strength and intuition. And if you really couldn’t care less about all that shit then just do it for your bingo wings. It’s all good!