My First Kundalini Yoga Experience
I recently went to my first Kundalini yoga session at Be The Change - Yoga and Wellness and it was quite amazing, very different than what I've done in typical Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. In recent months in the midst of growing my sense of spirituality and well-being, I found out there’s many forms of yoga, other than just the hot Bikram yoga everyone talks about and Vinyasa / Hatha yoga. There’s also ashtanga, yoga nidra, restorative yoga, and sooo many more.
I chose to go to Kundalini yoga one day because I wanted something more spiritual & because part of it is about awakening your third eye. I like enhancing my intuition and being more self-aware because it helps me stay grounded and more focused. Kundalini is much more than that though. I went into the session not really knowing what to expect physically so I looked up a video on YouTube just to get an idea of what I might have to do. The first thing I noticed was the intense breathing, but I didn’t want to scare myself so I quickly turned it off and went to the class to get the full experience.
What I learned
Before we started the session, the instructors asked us to set an intention of what we want to gain out of the class. In the session you will awaken your kundalini, or third eye, body and soul, you chant mantras such as Sat Nam, which means "truth is my identity" and occasionally you chant names of gurus, which I didn't do because I don't praise gurus for personal reasons. You also have to breathe...A LOT. At first I felt like Elizabeth Gilbert in that scene from “Eat, Pray, Love” where she was in India and couldn't meditate & focus, because this form of meditation and yoga was new to me. I didn't even know how to breathe the proper way and an instructor was nice enough to correct me on my breathing and told me to breathe through my nose in and out. That was hard for me because that kind of breathing usually makes me dizzy, but once I got the hang of it and really got the exercises down, I enjoyed it.
A breakthrough sort of happened. I started feeling emotional the more I inhaled and exhaled. Tears filled my eyes towards the end and I didn't know why. I realized that it was probably because we do moves that build up tension in our bodies purposely to feel every inch of our bodies and soul and then exhale alllllll the tension out. I'll have to be honest, some of the moves became a little painful after doing them repeatedly, such as when we were standing and squatting over and over or when we were sitting down folding our arms in and out keeping them up. It’s almost like a yoga version of a boot camp class when your body feels like it's about to go out but you know you have to keep going to get the full effect. It was worth it in the end. We danced it off and ended the session laying down listening to high frequencies of crystal bowls surrounding the room. I swear I could still hear them in the shower the next day.
All in all, I would definitely do it again and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a slightly more spiritual experience or something more challenging than vinyasa yoga. Thank you Kundalini Vibes (Heather & Sina) for guiding a great session. Namaste.