It all started in a yoga studio in San Francisco where I attended a Kundalini yoga and recovery workshop with Tommy Rosen, a teacher whose work I admire so much.
That first class made me cry. Sob, actually. It was a physical reaction to a breathing exercise designed to cleanse and detoxify the body and mind. In that moment, I released a long-held sadness I wasn’t even fully conscious of.
But actually, it started before that.
I began practicing Kundalini yoga before I even knew what it was. It was a meditation suggested by Gabrielle Bernstein.
At that time, I wanted to organize a meditation retreat in Bali and write a book and do lots of things I didn’t feel qualified enough or capable enough to do.
It may sound crazy, but those meditations cleared the way for me, through the mire of my mind, to allow both those projects to be born.
I literally breathed through the fear to allow them into being (the ‘book’ is now my e-retreat).
But it actually started before that.
Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Khum Nye yoga (a Buddhist style) and even Bikram yoga.
For more than a decade I have been breathing and twisting and ommming in yoga studios around the world, and yet, I always considered myself a dabbler rather than a yogi.
Honestly, the last year of (almost) daily meditation has done more for my psyche and spirit than a decade of downward dog, but I do not discount that it all led me right here, to this moment, and to the practice of Kundalini.
I have two wonderful teachers here in Playa del Carmen, who lead morning classes in a beautiful palapa-style studio at ‘Posada Suuk.’
The word ‘kundalini’ refers to a coil of energy situated near the base of the spine. The practice of kundalini yoga allows this energy to rise through the chakras (energy centers), balancing them and cultivating consciousness.
I look forward to class so much. We chant, we sing, we breathe and we move. Most of the classes are taught in Spanish, with a few translations kindly thrown in for the English speakers, but the language of Kundalini is universal.
“Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. It is a dynamic, powerful tool that is designed to give you an experience of your soul.”
This description from the 3HO website, a foundation developed to expand the practice of Kundalini in the west, sums it up better than I ever could.
Kundalini is very different different from traditional hatha yoga, and honestly, if I had walked into a class five years ago, I don’t know that I would have liked it much.
In fact, I know I was far from ready for it then. But now, I am at a point where I am willing to extend myself outside the limitations of what I once deemed as ‘normal’ to feed the deepest, truest part of me and nurture my connection with the Divine.
Which is why, when I stumbled upon an event listing on Facebook announcing a masterclass with Gurmukh, the founder of one of the largest Kundalini schools in the US, Golden Bridge, I just about fell off my chair with the serendipity of this journey.
Just several months after my first ever formal class, the Mother of Kundalini in the west and a student of Yogi Bhajan (the man who brought the practice to the US from India) came to Playa del Carmen for a one-night-only women’s workshop.
In the beautiful Yogaloft studio in downtown Playa del Carmen, I joined more than eighty women for a ‘Radiant Power of Women’ masterclass in which we sang, danced, sweated and breathed our way into our Divine feminine power and it was… magnificent.
Photo by Karla Sekera
Basking in Gurmuh’s warmth and glow was a complete honor. Beneath the turban and the aura of holiness is a warm, caring and accepting woman; a woman who well and truly lives in the world and has dedicated her life to helping other people live happily within it too.
At the workshop I bumped into one of my teachers, Karla, and found out that she was a student of Gurmukh at Golden Bridge.
The fact that I am in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, receiving the Kundalini teachings directly from those most intimate with them is such a blessing I really don’t have the words to express it.
At the end of the masterclass, Gurmukh remarked how amazing it was that in a world of seven billion people, we found ourselves in the same space.
Meeting Gurmukh instilled a greater sense of knowing in me that I am on the right path. Life keeps delivering messages about what I am meant to do and right now, it’s to keep showing up for this inner journey which continues to transform me.
I am really excited about what this new phase of it will bring.