One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Friday, February 1, 2013

kundalini

Tonight I took the second kundalini yoga class in my life, and it was just as rewarding as the first. Kundalini yoga employs unique postures, mantras, and challenging breath work. If I focus too much on what I might look like or sound like to an outsider, I feel slightly embarrassed and increasingly self-conscious. I usually close my eyes to help me maintain focus on my movement and breath work, and it helps me escape into the practice. It's when I fully let go and immerse myself into the yoga that I reap the most benefits.

Kundalini is actually a difficult class for me, and I've been taking yoga for years. A lot of heat is created in the body, and movements are repeated at rapid paces for several minutes, leaving my muscles fatigued and shaking after a set. Thankfully the teacher is encouraging and motivating throughout, but it takes even mental strength to keep going and push through the weariness I sometimes feel. There's also a meditation component of the class, and by the end, I've experienced a huge emotional and physical catharsis.

The very first time I tried kundalini, I was in Colorado with my twin sister, Heather, visiting our friend, Sarah. We wanted to try it, and PrAna in downtown Boulder was offering a free class. Heather and I explored wonderful, beautiful Boulder while Sarah was at work, and then Sarah met us at PrAna later in the afternoon for the lesson. All of us were kundalini newbies, and thankfully we all were game to try it; even if we felt at all weird during the class, we kept going without hesitation and ended up enjoying a powerful experience together. I'll never forget my physical and mental exhaustion--but in a good way, like a runner's high. We meditated while looking at and thinking about our hands during one part of the class, and I remember being so moved--either my chakras were opening or else it was the, um, feminine hormones that were extra present that particular week--I was so moved by my personal study of my hands, these hard-working appendages of mine that have done so much for others and for myself, I felt my eyes welling with tears that stemmed from profound gratitude and affection for my little hands.

If I had been too focused on how foreign the mantras sound coming out of my mouth, if I had been too self-conscious about my execution of the difficult moves, or if I had given in to the shaky muscles and sweat forming on my brow, I never would have received such benefits from the class. Tonight, I felt as if I had created a healing fire inside that burned away all sorts of nasty things, accumulated and lodged in both my physical body and in my thoughts.

I have to quote Wikipedia on this, because it rings true for my personal experience: "It is reported that kundalini awakening results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. In practical terms, one of the most commonly reported Kundalini experiences is the feeling of an electric current running along the spine. [5][6] [7]." Tonight, at one point while I was lying on my stomach, I felt as if I were floating above the ground, and a gentle current of water underneath me was swaying me back and forth. It. felt. glorious.

I have a friend who is about to experience great change in her life, change that is exciting and scary and needed. I hope she is able to let herself go, to immerse herself in the change without holding back anything to be able to embrace it and come out enlightened and stronger than ever. Tonight, as we closed our practice with the following song, I thought of her, and I'm singing it out to you too:


May the long time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
within you
Guide your way on



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