“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” – Sharon Gannonaif
Have you ever tried yoga? I’m not a yoga guy…or at lease never wanted to be one. I’m a gym guy. 6-7 days a week until about two months ago when an exercise physiologist said to cut back to five days. I love the gym. But, you can’t grow if you’re never willing to try something new. A couple weeks ago I tried my first class in Kundalini yoga as part of a Mastering Your Relationships workshop with Mastin Kipp (relationship expert and all around awesome guy) and now… I think I’m a yoga guy!
I attended a class that included some Kundalini yoga from one of my favorite writers, speakers and now Kundalini yoga teacher Gabrielle Bernstein (gabbyb.tv, look her up… amazing work). I could focus this whole blog with how much I love Gabby, but this is about yoga. This was my third class of Kundlini Yoga. Let me tell you, it is not easy. I’m a big guy… a big strong guy at 6’1″ 230 pounds! I am not flexible, and holding some of the yoga positions feels a little like torture! During my first yoga class, I was thinking to myself, this is bullshit… It was uncomfortable, it hurt at times and I didn’t get it. The next day, my body hurt, it was sore and it hurt to sit down. It wasn’t what I expected, and I loved it!
I’m too new to Kundalini to understand or to speak about it. What I want to talk about is how GREAT I feel. I don’t understand it. I’ve never felt this good after a gym workout. I feel calm, centered, and lighter. My face is relaxed and I have a constant slight smile. I’m carrying no tension in my body, and I feel really loose. This form of yoga focuses heavily on breathing (I don’t know if it’s any more than the others)… I never knew how focus on breathing can feel so healing. I don’t know… I feel amazing.
Having said that, I want to tell you about the hurt and the fight my body goes through while holding the yoga positions. Possibly the most difficult part is sitting cross legged with my shoulders back and a straight spine. This is not a pose, this is just sitting! I didn’t realize that I’m so use to comfortable chairs that my body is unable to hold itself up for any length of time. My body seems to fight it’s natural state. The remedy is to focus on breath, feel the discomfort and focus on breath. When we work on the yoga exercises I feel lots of pain and discomfort and the solution is to focus on my breath.
For today I see the exercises a metaphor for life, focus on my breathing seems to be a solution for most of the discomfort I feel in my life. Focus on my breath keeps me present… Focus on my breath allows me to pause before I say of do something stupid… Focus on my breath allows me to feel my feelings and step into gratitude and the start of a GREAT day. If you’re thinking about trying something new to better yourself and you never tried Kundalini yoga, give it a try. I hope your experience is a enlightening as mine.