Raising the what now? The Kundalini! This is a style of yoga that is considered to be the “yoga of all yogas”, the yoga for “people going places”. I like to think I’m going places, but really I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to the hefty breath work and 10 minute chanting meditations involved in Kundalini… I’m not one to say no to free yoga classes so I went along.
I have only done two classes so far and they are very different from the other styles of yoga I’ve done over the years. The thing I like most is that you don’t use a normal yoga mat, oh no, you use a giant SHEEPSKIN! So cushy.
Yesterday’s class involved of going into downward dog, then putting one leg up in the air like a dog going to the toilet, then doing press ups with your body still in a v shape. Oh boy, I was panting like a dog. And we did that for a solid 5-7 minutes. To some that may not sound like many minutes, but trust me, it’s a killer.
Then we moved on, to sitting in lotus pose (which I can’t really do comfortably so I just sit cross legged), and holding your arms out front, hands entwined. Then you lift up, and down, and up,and down, breathing in and out, getting faster and faster, until you begin to feel all weird and dizzy and have to bury your head in the sheep skin for a while. At least that’s what I felt was right for me.
We continued to do similar exercises that made me feel like I was hyperventilating (am I doing it wrong??). Then we lay down and did a shavasana on the sheepskins. My favourite time of day.
Then came the communal chanting meditation section of class. Always provides quality entertainment, occasionally a spiritual breakthrough and pretty much never makes me feel 100% comfortable.
Deep breath in, suck in your anus and sex organs (his words not mine), chant “ek ooooooong kaaaaaa, sat naaaaam kirileeeee, wahe guru!”. You must really hiss the ek and the wa.
Essentially the idea is that every time you breath in you suck in so that the kundalini energy is raised a little higher, until it pops out the top of your head and you become an all-wise guru, who sees all with his third eye. Or her third eye, in my case, because I totally managed the full expression of this chant. I am MASTER.
Haha! Kidding,. I kept forgetting the words. If you would call them words. So mostly I hummed along tunefully. This lasted approximately 10 minutes, continuous chanting. Thoughts popped into my head like “did someone do a fart, or was it just a hiss?”, “how long has it been?”, “my legs need unfolding”, and mostly “I wonder what we are having for dinner”.
I’m becoming more spiritual everyday, can’t you tell?
Anyhoo, I’m off to yoga to practice my headstand! My mission is to be able to do one without the wall by the time I leave here in 2 weeks time. Eek.