Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kundalini Yoga

We are visiting my in-laws at their summer home on the river outside of Annapolis, Maryland. During the week, the kids have camp and activities but on this particular Sunday, there was nothing on the schedule in the morning so I started to look on the internet for yoga classes nearby. Bingo. There was a class called Kundalini that started at 11:15 and it looked like it was nearby. I had no idea what kind of class it would be, but, “Hey it is a yoga class,” I thought to myself. I quickly found my yoga pants and shirt and scurried out the door.

After a few harried minutes of trying to figure out where I was, I found the studio and hurried in. When I arrived I was greeted by a nice woman who asked me if I was there for the Kundalini class.

“Why yes, of course,” I replied. “I don’t even know what it is but I am willing to try it.” I said.

“We will be doing a lot of energy work,” she said. She smiled widely and led me to the classroom. I followed her with interest.

There were only three of us in the room other than the instructor. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was keeping an open mind.

“We will be doing some chanting, singing and dancing,” the instructor said. I thought this was curious but again, I was keeping an open mind. The first thing we did was rub our hands together to get heat and energy going. My hands felt hot so I guessed that I was doing the right thing.

As the class wore on, we chanted an Indian mantra with our eyes closed, we danced around the room feeling free and “looking like we were at a rave,” as one of the students noted, and we sang a song. There were breathing and strengthening exercises as well.

• By definition, Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline comprised of the physical and meditative techniques . According to one theory, kundalini energy can be awakened by openly practicing a combination of yogic techniques, including the use of mantra, prana, and breathing techniques, or purely through devotion and prayer.

Sounds a little bit out there, right? Well I certainly felt that way but hey, I will try just about anything once. I started to think about the way that people sometimes look at me when I say that I love yoga. This is what they think a yoga class is about; people closing their eyes and dancing with their arms flailing or people sitting and singing an Indian song.

It really is nothing like the yoga classes I have attended before. The yoga I have done is much more “Americanized,” focusing on the breath, meditation and movement but also very physical. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not, it was so different than anything I had ever done.

When the class was over and I had moved my arms “with breath of fire” and chanted a traditional Indian chant, I thought about expanding my practice. There is so much to learn. The next Kundalini class is this Sunday and I plan to be there.


Chez said...

Jeanne it does sound like an interesting class. I have experienced many different styles of yoga and currently follow the style of BKS Iyengar, using props. This has become more difficult with the loss of function of my right arm/hand however, I continue as I am quite proud of my agility and flexibility which I believe is due to years of practice of both Tai Chi and yoga. Just wish I had been more disciplined *sigh*

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these kundalini books?

Jeanne Marren Egan said...

I think that it is amazing that you are doing yoga in spite of all of your pain. That is disciplined!

Jeanne Marren Egan said...

I will check the books out. Thanks for the tip.

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