[ Health ] Kundalini Yoga :: First Class

Posted: September 24, 2013 in Blog, Health
Kundalini Yoga :: Plow Pose

Kundalini Yoga :: Plow Pose // Image Credit: spiritvoyage.com

Yesterday, I ventured into the mysterious realms of Kundalini Yoga via Seventh Chakra Yoga. I’d been feeling antsy and increasingly frustrated with life over the last few weeks. I felt I was reaching a breaking point in several aspects of my life- mainly career, relationships, and friendships. I couldn’t settle down. I didn’t know how to. I just knew I needed to take a step back and center myself, dig deep for the answers I knew were inside.

Kundalini was exactly what I needed.
It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done. We started class listing things we were grateful for, and things we wanted to purge from our lives. During the session, we’d focus on either gratitude for what we had, or releasing One of those negative aspects. At first, it was challenging just to move into the different poses, let alone think about anything else, but once I started to realize that the pose was just a way to open yourself up to different types of energy, I stopped concentrating on looking right and began looking inward instead. It doesn’t matter so much if you’re flexible, can balance, or can do what everyone else is doing. What matters is what you discover about yourself in the process.

My favorite pose ended up being the uncomfortable-looking one pictured above. When it was first demonstrated, I just gaped. There’s no possible way I could contort my body anywhere near that. Our teacher just told me to try. So I did. And fell a few times before finding a position I was comfortable in. Then I zoned out. When we were asked to release it, I wanted to stay in it longer. Later, I found out that the pose calms the brain and reduces stress and anxiety. It was exactly what I needed but never in a million years could have figured out for myself. Similar revelations occurred during the session but that was probably the most prominent.

Meditation with chanting was another thing I could never picture myself doing. I always felt silly muttering what seemed like nonsense while you were supposedly trying to reach a higher plane. When the chanting started in class, I was again apprehensive. It didn’t help that I had no idea what they were chanting. After a few repetitions though, I cautiously started to join in. After a few more, it just felt natural. It was like stepping onto a train, reaching for a force higher than yourself and allowing yourself to get swept up in it. When it was over, I couldn’t imagine why I had been so anxious. It felt like I’d just been on a wonderful journey of sound and energy and didn’t understand why I had to get off the train just yet.

Gong meditation was a different beast altogether. I’d been under the impression that a gong was an instrument that was struck once, or several times using single strikes. I was completely unprepared for the wave of constant sound it produced, let alone the reaction I had to it. At first, I felt invaded, assaulted by the sound, especially whenever it rose to a crescendo that threatened to overwhelm my already sensitive hearing. During one of those almost unbearable waves, I started to realize that parts of my body were resonating to the noise, specifically parts where I felt most vulnerable. My first reaction was to curl up and protect myself from the sound. But then I tried to relax. To stop fighting the sound and rise above it. To ride it. To conquer that fear. To my surprise, it worked. Every crescendo brought to mind a new fear, some stress, some anxiety in my life. And each time, I was somehow able to flow with the sound, let it inside and mold my energy into something positive. It was healing in a way I’d never experienced, using the medium that affects me the most- music.

I walked out of the class puzzled… and somehow refreshed. Calmed. None of my problems had been solved. But I was able to think for the first time in what seemed like weeks. To be open to possibilities, instead of closing myself off because I felt like drowning. I’m both scared and excited to go back.



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