First off: I am a Kundalini skeptic. I’ve tried this yoga style a few times throughout the years and it’s always just stirred up a lot of aggression in me. The repetitive, monotonous, basic movements and the all-in-white sect vibe still put me off, but I would lie if I said I didn’t feel better after practice.
Kundalini is a bit like the not so tasty kurkuma ginger drink you have in the morning instead of a sweet café latte. It’s not really enjoyable in the moment, but it unravels its benefits later on: still gives you that energy kick but without feeling groggy or bloated shortly after.
Armed with an open mind and some hope for that nice Kundalini “aftertaste”, I registered for a Kundalini Yoga Rebirthing workshop at WAHE. This place to me is an “edgy” yoga studio in Wiedikon specialized in Kundalini and other deeper practices mainly catering to women (womb health, fertility etc). The workshop promised an opportunity to clean up the subconscious house and let go of all the personal garbage that takes up unnecessary place. Live gong performance and accompanying music would support the journey.
That evening, I arrived in probably the most beautiful movement space ever: entered into a living room / kitchen in sleek colors and mosaic floor, and took a spot in the adjacent practice room with light-colored hardwood floors and top-to-bottom windows. The atmosphere was perfect, just a light breeze flowing through the room, as me and the other 6 participants settled down.
Urs led the 2-hour workshop with a lengthy and very insightful introduction on the origins of Kundalini yoga and on rebirthing practices. The theme of this session was renouncing fears, a very well-chosen topic in these times of many unknowns. As our bottom chakra (muladhara) is the center of safety and security, we incorporated some movements that would awaken our pelvic floor. Still, the main focus was on shoulders and armpits, as the latter are laced with nerves and can act as strong triggers for our subconscious.
In typical Kundalini fashion, we did not practice many poses, but each of them was a dynamic repetitive movement lasting between 5 to 15 minutes. (Side thought: When was the last time you did the exact same thing for 15 minutes straight? Watching a movie does not count, no.) Joke aside, it was great to stay aware, awake and present for a longer period of time, to just move and observe. To observe how a feeling of discomfort just arises, stays, lingers, tortures, but then passes… as a great reminder that all is transitory and all will pass.
After the movement part passed and we were instructed to lie down, I totally lost track of time as the gong sounds enveloped me. It’s a very personal thing, but I really enjoy strong and complex sounds that I feel I can spiral down into. Urs’ performance was one of those deep experiences that sealed my journey that evening.
I left WAHE in a very happy, almost ecstatic state of mind.
Have I been reborn through Kundalini yoga?
Probably not, but hopefully I’ve been updated to the next version of me. There’s certainly something beautiful in the feeling that I can let go of a sandbag or two, to rise higher and look further… ♥