If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know that I went to my first ever Kundalini class this past week…and loved it so much that not only did I go back the next night, but I also walked out with a month-long unlimited class pass. I’d originally been planning to talk about something else for this week’s Yoga Break, but I’m so hyped about Kundalini right now that I just had to dive right into it on the blog!
First things first: what is Kundalini Yoga? Oh, what a question! It’s one I’ve been asking myself for years now, even after having read books on the subject and talked with friends who actively attend Kundalini classes. The short answer is that this style of yoga seeks to heighten our consciousness and sense of the intuitive self through the awakening of Kundalini energy, which is said to lie coiled at the bottom of the spine (almost like a snake). To awaken this energy and facilitate inner transformation, we integrate movement, mantra chanting, breathwork, and sound. The more physical types of yoga are easier to grasp, but the concept of Kundalini (which to me sounds like a pasta) remains elusive for a lot of us. In truth, it really is one of those things that you can read about and talk about and learn about, but at the end of the day, you just have to personally experience it to have an adequate idea of its depth.
A close friend of mine (and fellow yoga teacher) in Nebraska, Kate, has long been encouraging me to explore Kundalini Yoga, especially as I’ve been trying to work through residual emotions tied to my break-up in December. So, I decided to hit up a class here in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night, not knowing at all what to expect. The class was a lot different than any kind of yoga I’d practiced before. I found that not only were the repeated movements cleansing and the mantras relaxing, but there was indeed some sort of life energy moving through me. It was almost like this energy had been stagnant and stuck somewhere deep inside of me, but with the right movements and focused concentration, it was able to surface and come shining out of me so forcefully that all of a sudden I found myself in tears.
Like, literal tears rolling down my face!
Julia, the teacher of that night’s class, spoke to us gently about not taking on the problems of others as our own responsibility (which in itself resonated as I tend to struggle with that), and then she said, “If there’s something that you’ve been hanging on to in your life that you need to release, you may do that now.”
No, I don’t mean floodgates of tears (although those were present too). I’m talking about the floodgates opening to waves of relief, to a sense of peace and renewed personal power. Although I hadn’t been thinking about it, I knew distinctly in that moment that I had let go of my previous relationship, which I’d been struggling to detach myself from for the past three months. Not only that, but I also felt suddenly as though I had everything I needed and was whole and complete and full of my own quiet power. It was truly something I have never experienced! Of course, I mentioned it to the teacher after class and she simply nodded knowingly, saying, “That’s the kind of thing that can happen in Kundalini.”
I went back the next night (with a quite different but no less amazing experience), and you’d better believe I’ll be back on Sunday night! And hopefully Monday, and probably even Tuesday…
To sum up, then, I think it’s safe to say that everyone is going to have their own unique experience with Kundalini Yoga, so all I can do is share my own. I am sure, though, that your own experience will be equally profound, even if it’s in a different way! I would love to know if any of you have experience with practicing Kundalini, so feel free to comment or send me a message and open up a discussion.
I’ll close the post with this very beautiful farewell that has been used at the end of my two Kundalini classes: “May the longtime sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on.”