It was almost as awesome as the kundalini yoga (KY) DVD I do at home.
During my infamous "sabbatical of 2007/2008"--e.g., a seven-month period where I was unemployed--I stumbled upon a yoga DVD entitled "Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh" and decided to give it a try. I dabbled in yoga prior to 2008, but had never heard of kundalini. I think what attracted me to this DVD was that it talked about meditation and restoring balance. A few months into my unemployment, I became severely depressed and I wanted to do something to come out of that. I knew I couldn't attract a job or money to me in that kind of mental state.
I tried the DVD and loved it! Kundalini focuses on breathing, imagery and creating space and balance within the body in order to have space and balance in the outer life. It's challenging, but not as intense as when trying to do poses found in other types of yoga. My spirits lifted, my outlook shifted, money started to come in before the job offers did. I could really feel a difference. Then, I stopped doing it.
Fast forward to now and I'm getting back into it. I blew the dust off my 'ol faithful DVD, but I wanted to try something different. I remembered passing a sign for kundalini yoga classes held at the Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan. Over and over I would tell myself one day I'd check it out. One day finally came--FIELD TRIP!!
I tracked down the website via Google and found out they offer classes seven days a week. Monday through Friday there is a session that meets during lunch time, 12:15 to 1, so that's what I fed my spirit today. I'm so glad I did! When I first walked in, I was pleasantly surprised to find the instructor was an inviting Black woman (we need more sistas teaching/practicing yoga! Rock on!). There were already three other students on mats when I arrived about five minutes before the start of class, so I could already tell it would be an intimate session. Smaller classes are definitely a plus in my book, and extra kudos for mats already being provided.
I filled out a brief form with my information and paid my $11. You can pay for classes on a drop-in basis with cash or credit, but it's definitely more cost effective to purchase a group of classes.
The session started with a little casual conversation to get everyone settled and then the instructor, Jasdeep Kaur, began by explaining a little bit of the background of kundalini. Here's a brief intro taken from the KYL literature:
Kundalini Yoga is the original of the twenty-two schools of yoga and is called the "mother yoga." It works on your entire nervous and glandular system. The word "kundalini" means awareness, and manifesting the hidden potential of that awareness. In the yogic tradition Kundalini energy is portrayed as a coiled serpent lying dormant at the base of the spine. To raise Kundalini means to awaken and enliven this creative energy.
Doesn't that sound like some dope -ish?!! It really is. Each month of classes has a theme and the theme for August is "Radiance and Victory"--loves it! We went through a few carefully selected breathing exercises and poses and ended with a gong meditation. The studio has an actual gong! No CD, folks! The vibrations were awesome.
I will certainly return to class again, I'm thinking tomorrow. On Sundays, there is a potluck following class. I need a T-shirt that says, "Will Do Yoga for Food!". You already know where I'll be Sunday morning.
September is National Yoga Month, but by all means try some yoga before then. If you've taken classes here, or have taken the teacher training, I'd love to hear about your experiences.