Girl, Why You Teaching Kundalini Yoga?
Girl, why you doing kundalini yoga now? The short story; it makes me feel good and I want to share these tools with others.
Long story (if you fancy). At the beginning of teaching yoga I realised pretty quickly that to teach I needed my own practise. I began practising yoga every morning; a mixture of online classes and doing my own thing.
One day I came across an online kundalini class; it was 30 minutes, something along the lines of ‘shift your energy’. I tried it and I noticed such a tangible shift in my energy. It really did what it said on the tin, I was intrigued.
Kundalini yoga soon became the best way to start my day. At that time I was based in Paris and was taking french classes. A fellow student remarked that she loved bumping into me at college because I had this energy around me that lifted her spirit. A voice inside was like girl, that’s not you, that’s the kundalini yoga and you know it!
I began practising kundalini yoga on and off for 5 years, taking live classes when I could but mostly practising online with a teacher called Kia Miller. I discovered that kundalini yoga is efficient, powerful and full of new ways of moving and breathing. It’s definitely exercising the body and is often physically very challenging but like most styles of yoga, kundalini yoga is not about the workout.
Instead it is a coming together of mind and body (and that something else that can observe the body and mind; our soul? Our spirit? Consciousness? The essence of who we are? Oneness? All of the above? I need a cup of tea).
In Kundalini yoga the body is simultaneously being used as a vehicle to sort out the tricky mind and is receiving it’s own healing treatment of movement and breath. Often the tension we habitually hold in our bodies (in our neck and shoulders for instance) is impacting our mood, our energy levels and the various systems in our body.
We don’t make the connection, we just get used to the tension and carry on being a grumpy bear. Kundalini yoga shakes us up and shakes us out!
Eventually I felt a longing to teach this technology that was helping me so much. It has always been part of my practise as a teacher to share what I am passionate about and what I myself am practising. So when yoga teacher Shama Kaur contacted Yoga Home and asked if she could hold some kundalini workshops at the studio I saw it as a sign that kundalini yoga was coming to get me!
She held three packed out workshops at Yoga Home and this experience was the confirmation I needed that I needed to teach this. In a room full of women, chanting and standing strong in archer’s pose I had this moment of clarity; this is the next step, you need to study this.
I applied for a scholarship to study at the main kundalini yoga ashram in New Mexico the following August. I didn’t think I’d get it, and I also knew I couldn’t go without it so I sent off my application and didn’t think much of it. I got it. I went. I studied. I immersed myself for a month in kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan and it was challenging, intense and wonderful. Just my kind of holiday. Yep, I’m a 100% yoga geek.
During this month, amongst other things, I finally understood and experienced the power of Naad Yoga; Sound Yoga. Chanting certain words that make your tongue touch meridians in your mouth and get the cells in your body vibrating is one powerful thing to do. I finally understood why chanting is a big deal in kundalini yoga; that stuff is healing.
A few times after chanting (once for 2 and half hours!) I felt lighter, like I had unloaded baggage that I had been carrying around for a long time. The kind of baggage where you don’t even know what’s inside, you’re not even sure if it’s yours, you just know when you put it down that that stuff was weighing you down.
Anyway, point being, in a wordy nutshell, the above is why now I’m teaching kundalini yoga to the best of my ability. As one wise teacher said to me during the training; I’m the kind of teacher that teaches what they teach from a place of being personally psyched by what they are teaching and it doesn’t hugely matter if there are students there are not! Having said that, if you are looking for a style of yoga that will challenge you both physically and mentally I look forward to sharing this technology with you!