running astray: a break into kundalini yoga
posted: August 23, 2011
photo by tiffany a
Who am I? I am a runner. So when a friend asked me if I would try Kundalini yoga with her, I was hesitant. But instead of making excuses, I decided to join her and (momentarily) left my running shoes behind.
breaking into kundalini
In those rare occasions where I do decide to toss my sneakers aside, I tend to choose a class where I’m guaranteed to get a good sweat. Somehow Bikram or Power Yoga leave me feeling less guilty when I reach for that extra piece of peanut butter cheesecake- which I inevitably know I will. Yoga for me was a deep breath, a deep stretch and a brief stint in my running routine, but nothing deeper than that. That is, until I met Gloria Latham, owner of Semperviva, Kundalini instructor and lululemon ambassador. Gloria struck me as a tiny woman with a huge presence and just like everyone else in her yoga studio, sitting mat to mat; I was instantly attracted to her.
If you have heard anything about Kundalini you have probably heard, and been skeptical of, the dance aspect of the class but as soon as Gloria turned the lights down and the music up I remember thinking “this cannot be yoga.” About halfway through the class I caught myself dancing like a pre-teen at a Justin Bieber concert. It worked my core, my arms and legs and was the most fun I had had all week. It was nothing like what I’d expected at all. I wasn’t sure how it happened or why it was happening but there I was, in a room full of strangers, dancing like no one else was even there. We finished with deep relaxation and I left the class with a new perspective on yoga. I still didn’t know a lot about Kundalini, but I knew I was coming back.
Through Kundalini, I discovered that my breath does more than just keep me alive, it can act as a natural reset button, calming and setting me back up to think a little clearer. ‘On the mat’ I can visualize who I want to be ‘off the mat’ and what I need to do to get there. It’s all about pushing myself a little bit in each class so I can then push myself a little bit in each area of my life. Yoga is time I am giving to myself to escape from the busy life I lead and to get some clarity. Every new experience creates learning outcomes and to call it the end wouldn’t be accurate. There is no end to any yoga practice only infinite possibility for growth. Giving myself a little distance from my regular routine makes me so much more excited for each and every run that I do.
I ran astray from the comfort of my running routes and stumbled across something else I truly love. How do you mix up your go-to workouts from time to time?