Written by guest blogger, Ravi Hari Kaur
KUNDALINI YOGA! What can I say? My love affair with Kundalini Yoga began 34 years ago in NYC when I walked into class with the incredibly talented and soulful teacher, Ravi Singh. Here’s the backstory. I was dancing professionally, when I sustained a back injury. I started Hatha Yoga as a way to rehab myself. About a year into my practice, my Hatha teacher called me aside after class and suggested I study Kundalini Yoga. Why? I never thought to ask. Several years earlier, I had lived in Seattle and had taken a single Kundalini Yoga class taught by a friend. I thought it was just plain weird, walked out of class, and thought, “Well, that’s the end of that. This is far too simplistic for the sophisticated and well-trained dancer in me.” What arrogance! Fast forward a few decades, and I will remain forever grateful for my Hatha teacher’s keen insight into who I was and what I needed.
From the beginning of my training in Kundalini Yoga, I felt a deep affinity for this type of strange and wonderful Energy Medicine. What kept me coming back again and again was the fact that I began to notice a softening and a fluidity in long-term, rigid patterns of thinking and feeling that had left me feeling depleted, fatigued, frustrated, and hopeless at the very young age of 29. These chronic patterns of thinking and feeling had affected my digestion, my posture, my movement, my outlook on life, my interactions with others, and, most sadly, my relationship with myself. As these patterns began to morph and change, I started to gain access to enormous amounts of energy that were contained in the very emotions that had been negatively impacting my mental and physical health and worse, killing my enthusiasm and Spirit—fear, anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy, and frustration.
Over time, I noticed a lightness and an ease that I had never experienced before. A highly emotional person, I was no longer being buffeted from mood to mood by the strong winds of my thoughts and emotions. I began to deeply access the energy and flow of my emotions. I was no longer being held hostage. I was no longer getting stuck in the mire of the same old, same old over and over and over again. Slowly, but steadily, I was gaining access to one of the most precious gifts in this world—psychological flexibility.
Emotions = Energy in Motion. Emotions—some difficult and challenging, some deeply pleasurable–contain useable energy. It’s really that simple. Our emotions exist to help us connect with depth, safety, and authenticity to the world around us. Emotions can provide a gateway into who we are, what we value, and who we are as spiritual beings. If we can engage in lifestyle choices that help to keep this energy moving and fluid, we can then harness, utilize, and channel enormous amounts of life-force, or prana, into productive, life-promoting choices that have the potential to lend richness and variation to life. Kundalini Yoga, for me, has been one of those lifestyle choices that has truly made a real difference.
I’d like to invite you to this experiential two-hour workshop, Cultivating Emotional Freedom Through Kundalini Yoga, to try out for yourself some of the tools I have in my own Kundalini Yoga toolbox to maintain emotional and physical equilibrium in a world that is often challenging and unpredictable. All levels are welcome. No prior yoga experience is necessary. If I may, I’d like to share my motto with you: “Come, be welcomed. Prepare to move—and to be moved!” I hope to see you there!