It's not unusual to start practicing Kundalini Yoga without really knowing what it is. This was how I gradually became seduced by a practice which, at first, I didn't get, didn't understand, and didn't particularly like!
In some ways it is better not to have too much information for your mind to latch on to and analyse. You are better being left alone with the physical ordeals, the mental challenges and the multitude of sensations and emotions that accompany a Kundalini Yoga Practice. But I do want to share a little insight into Kundalini to maybe lure you into class or on to a retreat.
In spite of the love/hate relationship, Kundalini Yoga soon became part of my daily ritual and continues to fascinate me in its ability to strengthen both body and mind. I'm constantly wowed by its potent uplifting power and the subtle transformations it so naturally brings to everyday living.
Kundalini, in Hinduism refers to a form of primal energy said to be located at the base of the spine. In the Hindu tradition, Bhairavi is the goddess of Kundalini.
Very simply, the goal of Kundalini is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness, awareness and to enable the practitioner to expand their deepest sense of themselves.
Where does the potency of Kundalini lie?
The potency is in your intention. In class you are invited and supported to transform, to work towards your true Self. When you actively engage in the power of your intention, you can create personal change. By contrast, if you are not consciously and actively engaged in the power of your intention you are constantly inviting the energy to follow your negative and highly repetitive anxious thought patterns - "I am tired, I can't do this, I am lonely, I am no good at this."
The postures, mantras and meditations all support this process, and progress can be fast in terms of strengthening the self, the nervous system and holding the visualisation of intentions.
It's a yoga style that works really well for those addictive natures, anxiety sufferers, or anyone working through trauma, healing anger and low self-esteem issues.
Every Kundalini Teacher works very differently with the teachings so each class will have its own flavour. I adopt a soft, gentle approach, carefully guiding students inwards, helping them rediscover their own internal connections, while still pushing everyone way beyond the point they ever thought they could go.
I am increasingly drawn to teaching Kundalini yoga in a Retreat setting, particularly in Sri Lanka where the roots of yoga can be felt and witnessed in the everyday. Yoga is a being NOT a doing, it is not simply something you do, but is something you are; it is a way of being, a way of living and engaging with life. Our retreats are not just about the work on the mat or the daily Ayurvedic treatments, they also involve being immersed within a culture and community in order to witness union, unity, equality. For let us not forget that this is what yoga means; a practice of self mastery to bring liberation. Living simply, building spiritual community is how you can see yoga in action in Sri Lanka, bringing alive the true meaning of yoga and your yoga practice.
If you are intrigued by Kundalini take a look at the little video I compiled to run through the basics of a Kundalini yoga practice. It may help it feel a little less weird the first time you join a class! It can be found on our website: www.immortelleyoga.com/kundalini