It’s been really sweet to see my Kundalini classes grow. Kundalini Yoga is different than Hatha Yoga in that it is a class that relies a lot more on the use of mantra, or chanting, and incorporates lots more meditation. I think of it as the “weird yoga”. You’re much more likely to find use of Mudra, or yoga positions for your hands, and different breathing techniques in a Kundalini yoga class.
I began offering Kundalini yoga classes for donation at the beginning of January because I so missed my Kundalini practice from Austin. While living in Austin, Kundalini was not the yoga that I practiced every day, but I did enjoy dropping in on a class once or twice a week. Once I began incorporating more Kundalini and Meditation into my daily practice here in Granada, I began to miss the experience that comes from gathering in a group to practice.
The classes have been growing slowly but steadily in the first month, and I was pleased to have a guest Kirtan singer last week. One of the beautiful things about Granada is that people come here from all over the world. You never know who you’ll meet from one night to the next. While working the front desk at the hotel last week, 2 men walked in with their guitar cases in hand. Somehow the conversation got round to music and one of the men, M, mentioned that he regularly hosts Kirtan practices in Costa Rica.
Kirtan is the practice of repetitively chanting a mantra to music,in a group. M described the practice as creating a wall – each round of mantra is another brick we’re laying down. Since I happened to be having a Kundalini class that evening, I invited M to join us. What a sweet treat when he did! We practiced about 30 minutes of Kirtan after our Kundalini kriya, and I swear the vibration of our singing cleared the clouds away so the moon could shine more brightly down on us.
This evening, we didn’t have the gift of kirtan, but we did have a sweet practice and a perfect night. The breeze blew consistently as we watched the sun set over the volcano Mombacho and practiced a Kundalini Kriya to balance the 10 Bodies. The 10 Bodies comprise our varying levels of consciousness and how we relate to ourselves and the world. They are:
1st Soul Body – Connected to our root chakra, relating to our inner identity.
2nd Negative Mind – Allows us to see the danger in a situation.
3rd Positive Mind – Shows us the benefits in a situation.
4th Neutral Mind – Allows us the perspective to see positive and negative.
5th Physical Body – Bringing the spiritual into the physical world.
6th Arcline – Relating to Karma and our past.
7th Aura – Our energetic field.
8th Pranic Body – activated through the breath, provides fearlessness and health.
9th Subtle Body – carries the soul as it leaves the lifetime.
10th Radiant Body – makes one courageous and radiant.
To balance the 10 bodies, we did a challenging set of kriyas which you can download here. We then practiced a lovely meditation of shining our heart’s light into the world collecting and sending love. The kriya worked wonders for the rolling emotions that accompany the transition I find myself in at the moment. As I wrote about the other day, I’m having a hard time letting go of the way I thought things would be, and that clinging is accompanied by emotions that are causing lots of tension, or more clinging, in my physical body. My personal meditation and asana practice at home has helped quite a bit, but it wasn’t until I practiced this kriya in a group that I really felt the true power of my practice.
Practicing in a group unites the energy of each individual to give a boost to the intention and energy of the practice. The single flames of consciousness unite to burn much brighter together. In this way, we’re able to lift each other up.
Even if you can’t practice Kundalini in a group, it’s great to set aside some time and practice at home. Know that somewhere in the world, there are others meditating and uniting their energy with yours.