And not just because I’m teaching it now. It rocks because of how my attitude changes when I practice. I sit to practice and immediately feel a surge of peaceful intensity which grows with each breath and movement. Breath of Fire is the main type of breathwork used throughout the class. It’s simply sniffing the air in and out through your nose, with equal force and duration. This breathing, along with the repetition of the exercises, and mentally thinking ‘Sat Nam’ (The Truth Within You) with each inhale and exhale, creates an uplifting experience which, for this Yogi, is magical. I Love almost all types of Yoga, yet Kundalini is so different from most Yoga because it creates a state that energizes me similar to hearing and singing along to my favorite music. You know what I’m talking about, that song comes on and you must stop everything, and (if you’re alone?) you scream out the lyrics!
Ok, I’ll tell you about one of my favorite songs: ‘Sitting Still’ by R.E.M.
This is an awesome song because, like Kundalini, it is repetitive, but has a soft beginning and builds up intensity, and back and forth many times. It is undeniable a rocking pop song. I can only decipher some of the lyrics, and just now for this story I had to look up the lyrics. What I found made perfect sense, but didn’t. Curious that the song is from their first album, 'Murmur', which is what the singer, Michael Stipe is known for. Here are some of the lyrics I remember. The dots mean I can’t understand the words:
“This...I got, we all agree.
...stop stop it...
We could...in the...
We could gather, throw a fit.
Up to...Katie buys...a kitchy times but not me...
Sitting top of the...wasting time, sitting still.
I, I, I can hear you. (x3)
I, I, I can hear you. (x3)
Can you hear me?”
Here’s one link to the (real?) lyrics, which are so undecipherable that no one can agree:
The song doesn’t really make much sense, yet haven’t you known a song that just Feels right?
What I like most is how Michael Stipe’s voice varies from calm and soft, then shifts to a growling passion. The music follows exactly, starting with a fun guitar strumming, and a lovely folk-like picking part that separates the lyrics, making each stand out beautifully.
When his voice is softer, the music is calmer. When he growls, the music propels the song to a passionate stirring. When I think about that, many of the songs I like have the same quality.
Those lyrics though.
“We could gather, throw a fit.” The song does this! I envisioned a gathering of friends, calm at first, and then just cutting loose and having fun, which reminds me of Ecstatic Dance, which I Love! Next...”Katie...(and) “Sitting top of the...wasting time, sitting still.” There’s a girl, and at the time I first heard the song I wasn’t in a relationship, but wanted one. I felt I was “wasting time, sitting still!”
Then, the ending...a question, “I, I, I can hear you. (x3) Can you hear me?” Much of my life I only remember the struggles and depression and hell I felt because I didn’t have anything or anyone to depend upon or talk to. I wandered through life not knowing where I was going or having any purpose. I felt as if I was Listening for Spirit, or at least talking to It, but was Anyone hearing Me?
Kundalini Yoga is exactly like all the songs I Love!
We start the same way, with a centering repetitive chant which sets the tone and brings us directly within. Then, some warm ups and between each exercise we meditate. Like the song, Kundalini Yoga builds quickly to a “passionate stirring” which then falls back to a calm and peaceful centering, or Meditation. In the song “We could gather, throw a fit.” is first sung very calmly, then later it is transformed into the growling passion and takes us soaring. The intention changes, but the lyrics do not.
"The kundalini experience does not mean you have gone into a deep breathless trance and are beyond this world. … It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you can act more efficiently."
~Yogi Bhajan, from Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power.
Yoga has surprised me, sustained me, depressed me, angered me, and Loved me. I’ve discovered much about myself through Yoga and I am still discovering. Kundalini Yoga helps me get through the ups and downs of life easier, which includes the wonderful relationship I have with Leah. It’s also one of the many things we enjoy doing together. I have come to Believe that Kundalini Yoga has allowed me to 'Sit Still' and listen more closely to the Love within that is guiding me hOMe to myself. I can Hear Me...and that ROCKS!
We've had several amazing teachers over the years I would like to mention, my first being Donna Witters Banks (Samadhi Banks). Leah and I are taking her 2 week Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Teacher Training Intensive in Dallas, July 7 - July 20, 2018. I would Love for you to join us there! Also try one of my classes, especially every Wednesday, 8-9am at Namah Shivaya Yoga. And here is a video of ME doing a short LIVE Kundalini Mix class!
Our other amazing teachers, Ravi Singh and Ana Brett, (Raviana) we met at the Sedona Yoga Festival while we all were presenting. Check them out, and they have a New Book, 'Life in the Vast Lane' coming out in March 2018!!
Our life and circumstances may change, but our intention to reveal more of Who We Are does not.