I’ll be teaching four “Kundalini Yoga Foundations” classes over the next couple of months. All classes will be held on Sundays (January 7, 21 & 28 + February 25) from 10-11:30am at Yoga West, located at 2662 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver. These classes are perfect if you’re practicing Kundalini Yoga for the very first time or want to brush up on the basics.
Kundalini Yoga is a holistic practice that acknowledges that we humans are multi-faceted by nature and that all of these facets are intimately connected. Each class will focus on one aspect of this practice, always in the context of this holistic model.
Four Sunday Classes (10-11:30am)
Class 1 (January 7, 2018): The Power of the Breath (Pranayama) — Most of us were never taught to breathe growing up…and likely aren’t breathing as effectively as we could be. During the class we’ll explore a variety of breathing, or pranayama techniques that help us tap into our inner calm as well as some to energize and cleanse the body.
Class 2 (January 21, 2018): Nerves of Steel (Nervous System) — Yogi Bhajan put a lot of emphasis on the nervous system and gave us a wealth of techniques to help us build this system so that we’re better equipped to handle the stresses of life. I’ll be taking you through some of these techniques during the class and talking about some things you can do in your day-to-day life to help maintain a strong nervous system.
Class 3 (January 28, 2018): Your Guardians of Health (Endocrine System) — Yogi Bhajan also talked a lot about the endocrine system and collectively referred to these glands as our “guardians of health”. We’ll go through a series of exercise that are designed to balance these glands. The results can be felt across a wide spectrum, from improvements to digestion to a more balanced emotional state to having a better memory and sleeping better at night.
Class 4 (February 25): Beyond Stress: Tapping Into Your Vitality – This class centres around a theme of vitality. We’ll explore the concepts of healthy and unhealthy stress and I’ll introduce you to some exercises designed to help you tap into your inner vitality.
Kundalini Yoga: What to Expect
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is sometimes called the “mother of all yogas”. A typical class incorporates postures, movement, breathing techniques, meditation and mantra to support enhanced health, focus and connection to purpose.
The class begins with the chanting of a short mantra (“Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo”), a key component in setting the stage for a powerful experience during the class. A set of warm-up exercises is followed by a yoga set, or “kriya”. A kriya is a sequence of exercises that are masterfully woven together to achieve a specific effect. Yogi Bhajan shared hundreds of kriyas, each with a different focus.
The kriya is followed by a long, deep relaxation, to integrate the effects of the exercises, and a meditation. There are a wide variety of meditations that make use of various hand positions, or “mudras”. Some meditations are silent and others incorporate the repetitive chanting of a mantra.
Most mantras are chanted in Gurmukhi, a language born out of the ancient language of Sanskrit. What makes these mantras special is the effect that is achieved as these words are chanted. It’s something that must be experienced to be appreciated. Words will be provided and, while I encourage you to chant along to get the full impact of the meditation, listening is always an option.
Each class concludes with a short prayer and the chanting of “Sat Nam”, a mantra to call upon and acknowledge our inner truth. “Sat” means truth and “Nam” is the naming or calling upon of this truth.
Come and Have an Experience
I hope that what I’ve shared has given you a good taste of what to expect…and piqued your curiosity. Fundamentally, Kundalini Yoga can’t be explained in words. The only way to learn what it’s all about is to come and experience it for yourself.
Attend as many classes as you like. Dress in comfortable clothes and be sure to bring a water bottle. If you’re attending a class at Yoga West for the first time, plan to arrive 15 minutes early to give yourself time to complete a short form and to settle in to the space.
If you need a visual reminder, consider printing out this poster and putting it up on your fridge. And why not invite a friend to join you on this new adventure. And you’re very welcome to contact me or Yoga West if you have any questions.