Frequently Asked Questions
Is it appropriate for beginners?
My kundalini classes are available for everyone. The postures or gestures can be modified to suit all abilities and the practice remains just as effective. Feel free to talk to me at the start if you feel you need guidance. Every class I start from the most modified version and build from there. Just practice at the skill level that best serves you. If we hold a gesture too long for you, stop.. Rest. Respect your body. Return when you are ready. Remember, this is a practice to be done again and again. Strength and stamina will come over time if you are diligent.
What are the guidelines for pregnant women?
Kundalini is supportive of pregnancy with a few modifications:
~ Breath of fire is replaced with 4 light inhales & 4 light exhales. ~ No strain on the abdomen such as belly down or deep backbending
~ No deep abdominal work, including leg lifts when lying down. ~ Don't engage the bhandas/energy locks when the breath is paused. ~ Yes! Come to practice!
This is a great no/low impact means to boost your circulation safely, build strength and stamina, and connect to the power of your pregnancy. "Woman has to understand her role. Her role is not to worship God; her role is to be the very self of God. Her oneness can affect and open every heart." – Yogi Bhajan
Come talk to me before any class for details. I'd love to have you with us!
What do I need to bring?
Wear loose, comfortable clothes or any yoga clothes that allow you to move and breathe freely. The studio provides any supportive props we may need. Bring a sense of adventure, a sense of humor, some determination, and a smile. Bring a friend. Then you won't have to explain the light in your eyes at the end.
How would you describe a typical class?
Every class begins with Adi Mantra: ong namo, guru dev namo. Just as you would pause before a meal to say thanks for the abundance and effort that brought the food to your plate, so too we pause (namo = I bow to, give thanks and reverence for), grateful for all that is created around us and within us (ong = creative consciousness, or natural universe). We also bow to our beloved teacher (guru = that which brings us from dark to light, that which instructs us, which calls to us and motivates us to know more, learn something new, explore ourselves). I lead you through it. Very simple. Join in, or just listen if you prefer.
We warm up to start. Simple movements through the hips, spine, and shoulders. We want to start to move the energy in our bodies. It invigorates us, like going for a light walk. Energy gathers in from the limbs and up through the spine and out the crown of the head, unblocking what may be stuck or stagnant on the way. We work to move through the body to free up what feels stuck in our lives.
Then we start the kriya (intelligent movement), or sequence of movements. Each kriya has a specific purpose such as connection, or building power and confidence, or transforming obstacles. Traditionally a kriya is done 40 days in a row. We do the same sequence every class each month. The new month starts a new sequence. In this way we build familiarity with the movements, improve strength, stamina, and feel the effects in your life such as easier speaking up for yourself, making new choices, stepping into new roles. We shake, twist, bend, breathe, rest, jump, laugh, whistle sometimes, chant sometimes. Every class ends in Savasana, skillful rest and quiet. Even after only your first class you can feel a sense of ease in your body that previously wasn't there. That ease clears your mind. We feel more connected to ourselves and our choices. Our SAT NAM, our true self, our Great Self. This is the practice.
Why are you teaching in white?
In class, as we move, we generate energy. It moves through us and all the way out through the space around us. White clothes magnify this radiance and symbolizes purity. As a teacher, I wear white to honor the tradition of kundalini, as well as to increase my own presence in the room. When we all wear the same color, there is no division between teacher and student, between me and you. We are unified. Shining.
Do I have to wear white to class?
Wear what elevates you. Wear what feels comfortable so you can move and breathe easily. We encourage you to explore noticing what you wear, how it affects your thoughts and attitude as you dress to practice. Rather than all white if that feels uncomfortable or inauthentic, try wearing a white shirt and bright pants. Most importantly, choose something that starts to lift your spirits even before you reach your mat.
I hear lots about Kundalini and chakras. What are they?
Think of yourself as a multifaceted crystal sitting on the planet. When the light from the sun, the source of life, shines on you, you become like a prism. The light becomes refracted into a rainbow of colors that reflect the different qualities of your energy body. The light is most dense at the base of your spine, closest to the earth, and least dense at the top of your head, closest to the heavens. Where this light pools in specific densities is where your chakras, or energy centers, are located.
Each chakra is associated with a specific quality. For instance, the first chakra, closest to the earth, is related to your ability to feel grounded and secure in your life. The chakras tend to be associated with organs and glands but function independently of them as well. These pools of energy can, just as the systems in your physical body, be in balance or out of balance. The sequences of exercises in the Kundalini yoga kriyas are designed to balance all the chakras and uncoil the Kundalini energy in a gradual and balanced manner. This is one reason we do not change the order of the exercises in the kriyas, or perform any techniques for longer than recommended. The yoga is working on a subtle level as well as on the level of your physical body.