When I first started yoga there were so many tangible changes to both my body and spirit it felt as if my practice were enchanted by magical sprites from another dimension of the multiverse. I left class feeling elated as blockages began to dissipate, and each practice had an impact that palpitated my being and cultivated my soul. I may have been frustrated I couldn’t fold my leg behind my head with a serene look of dignity, but I was encouraged by my improvement and had high hopes of what was to come if I maintained commitment to my mat. The drastic changes of my beginning years eventually got replaced by the subtle nuances of my intermediate years, and I began to realize that although I still adored yoga, my practice had reached a plateau and become almost boring.
Sure, I could sometimes really get into connecting to my back left pink toe, focusing on the knuckle of my middle finger, or bringing attention to my inner lower-to-the left then back to the right then a little left-of-center abdominal muscles, but something about my practice felt stagnant. I had come to a point where I was able to do what I was able to do, and everything else wasn’t even worth attempting. I could hold a crow pose, but was not going to bother with one-legged crow with opposite leg extended. Yeah, a handstand for 20 breaths was no problem, but push up to handstand from uttanansana? I would rather think about dinner. It wasn’t that I had given up, but the leap from where I was to some of these advanced poses seemed so beyond my reach that I wasn’t even motivated to try.
As my vision of what I was capable of started to dwindle, so did the intense emotional and mental element of my practice. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good after class, but the difference was unremarkable. I no longer felt that yoga gnomes were breathing spirulina-infused air into my lungs while I danced in a coconut-juiced waterfall. Yoga became something I did, not who I was. The transformational element wasn’t as attainable, and I was losing my grasp on the other dynamic components that were once so prevalent.
Until I found Kundalini…
Kundalini is kind of peculiar; I am not going to lie. The teachers wear white turbans and you do movements that can be reminiscent of finding your inner child at an adult exploration class. But once I transcended the idea that I didn’t always have to look or sound graceful, I opened up to the infinite possibilities of transforming my practice.
The Kundalini Kriyas are sets of movement that are working towards a specific intention. There is a Kriya for eliminating tension and pain, one for a healthy bowel system, another for sex energy transformation and so on. I may feel a little funky doing repetitive open legged crow squats with my fingers in a Venus lock, but to know that I am connecting to my essence of self is well worth the potentially embarrassing sounds.
Kundalini focuses on endurance, meditation, and mantra. I held poses for longer than I ever would on my own, or even ever thought possible, and when I came out of it I felt like all my cells had been washed in acai berries. The attention paid to mantra and meditation is how you are able to push past the feeling that your arms are going to fall off if you hold them outstretched for another second longer, and before you know it 26 minutes have past. Because much of the practice is about pushing past limitations I found that I started to dig deeper into my inner self and access parts of my energetic body that has been dormant for years.
Yoga is a lifestyle that, once you commit to it, is virtually impossible to abandon, and Kundalini has enlivened my practice when I needed it most. I am excited for class because I don’t know what to expect, but I do know that I will leave with a slightly new perspective. We yogis are lucky that there are so many different types of teachings for us to explore.
Toni Nagy writes for the blog tonibologna.com, an amazing blog about Toni Nagy and her baby. It was not easy for Toni to get the job writing for Toni, and rumor has it she slept her way to the top. Toni has written many text messages, and has been published by Huffington Post and Salon.com.
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