I was thirteen years old when I decided to start exploring yoga. I had no idea it was something people actually did seriously. I had no yoga mat, no idea what a downward dog was and my entire family thought it was just another ‘thing’ I would give up on after a week. That was six years ago and I can now say I own a yoga mat and attend a yoga class regularly.
Kundalini Yoga was where I began. Some woman on a show recorded from one of the two fitness channels we had, dressed all in white, was my instructor. I stuck with Kundalini Yoga for about two years. It was what was comfortable and what I knew. Today I am feeling nostalgic. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for Kundalini Yoga and the lessons it taught me.
1.) Time Goes Slow & Patience Is a Virtue
I’ve never been too concerned about time but when you’re sitting in a pose you’ve never heard of with your eyes closed for five minutes; all you can think of is how quickly those five minutes will go. In the beginning I would do half of the allotted time or skip ahead but somehow I managed to learn how to be patient and appreciate those five minutes.
2.) Never Underestimate the Power of Breathing Through Your Nose
As I mentioned; times goes slowly. Breath through your nose. Sounds simple right? But it’s not. It is not simple and it is not simply ‘five minutes’ when you feel like your nose is burning. Nothing is easy when it comes to yoga. Even breathing through your nose.
3.) Laying Down is Yoga?
I learnt that yoga involves a lot of being on the floor. Sometimes laying on the floor. Laying absolutely still on the floor. This sounds simple enough and to be honest it took me a while to get the full benefits because I didn’t take it seriously. The self awareness that comes from Kundalini Yoga is powerful and I attribute it to me being able to practice Yoga Nidra today.
4.) Any Part of Your Body Can Be Used for Yoga
Nothing is off limits. Your entire body is useful and has a purpose. A body part as simple as my hand now played a pivotal role in helping me stay centered and relaxed.
5.) Chanting? A Little Weird At First But Has a Purpose
The very first time I chanted ‘Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo’ I had a case of the giggles and the first time my sister heard me; she laughed at me. It was new. It was a little weird. But boy am I thankful for it today. There is something that changes within you when you know the meaning of what you are saying and the significance of it. This led me to try and understand anything new in yoga before laughing at it.