Kundalini Yoga on Wednesdays at Noon

045I am excited to announce my new class, Relax and Renew with Kundalini Yoga!  Join me Wednesdays from 12:00pm (noon) until 1:15pm at Crystal Portal at the Railroad Square Art Park, 1031 Commercial Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310.

Please arrive a few minutes early so you can settle in and be prepared to start promptly at noon.  New students are encouraged to meet me at 11:45am so I can teach you the mantra we use to start class, the basics of breathing, and the root lock.

Kundalini Yoga is usually practiced wearing clothing made of breathable, natural fibers in which we can easily move and stretch.

Please bring a yoga mat or blanket.  Ideally, we practice Kundalini Yoga on natural fibers that do not insulate us from our electromagnetic connection to Earth.  You will typically see Kundalini Yogis using sheepskins, cotton blankets, Mexican blankets and the like.  I will still use a rubber yoga mat under my sheepskin when teaching because most yoga studio floors are hard enough that I need it.  I encourage you also to please use what makes you comfortable in class.  Crystal Portal has a few mats in case you forget yours.  Many students find that it is  helpful to have either a small pillow or perhaps a rolled towel or blanket to sit on when meditating, so bring one if that’s true for you.

You may also want to bring a water bottle for during or after class.

Classes cost $12.00 each, or you can purchase four classes for $40.00.

How Did I Get Into Massage?

022.JPGBack in the 1990’s, I was finished with college, had a BA from UCF in Anthropology, and worked at a restaurant. One of my coworkers told me how proud he was of his girlfriend, who was graduating from massage therapy school. I asked if it was like physical therapy, and he explained that it was kind of similar, with more emphasis on relaxation. This was the first time I had heard of this career choice and I found it a bit intriguing.

One day, a massage therapist ate at our restaurant and gave his waiter some business cards to pass out, with a coupon on the back for a free half hour massage, or a whole hour for the price of half. I was working four doubles that week, so I woke up on my day off, interestingly with the words, “The Laying On Of Hands” in my head. This quickly reminded me of the coupon, and I called to make an appointment. The therapist chided me a little for calling and expecting an appointment the same day, but he was able to get me into his schedule.

I went to his office, which was decorated with a combination of new age music, crystals, incense and walls of very clinical looking anatomy posters. I was 23 years old and had never had a massage. My goodness, the massage felt wonderful, and one thing that stood out to me was that the massage woke me up to an awareness of my body I had somehow lost. When he massaged my feet, it was like, “Oh yeah! I have feet!”

I loved massage therapy and saw this practitioner a few more times. I would look around his treatment room at the anatomical posters and the crystals, and think, hey, I could do this! This job is like a meditation in motion and a dance! Oh, but my Dad only paid for my first four years of college and that’s it. If only there was financial aid….

And one day, I picked up an alternative magazine in Orlando, where I lived, and there was an ad for a massage school and the words “Financial aid available.”

The rest is history, folks! I signed up for massage school right away, including my school’s advanced program, a detailed program about four months long that went much deeper in learning than the six month basic program. The advanced program included not just how to relax someone, but also very specific training in treating common pathologies in each area of the body, giving me plenty of competence and confidence. I took ten months of massage school, and graduated at the top of my class. Now, here I am at your service, nearly twenty years later. How may I help you?

Is Kundalini Yoga Safe?

We do hear stories occasionally of a person who was not a practitioner of Kundalini Yoga having a spontaneous awakening of their Kundalini, and that the experience was difficult. Kundalini is the energy of our awareness. It is our life force energy that stays mostly dormant at the base of the spine as we go about life dealing with the day to day and the basics of survival. It is our life force energy, so it is flowing always, but imagine it is at a much lower “wattage” when dormant. When the Kundalini energy is activated through Kundalini Yoga, it is safe, and you can handle it. The key is that Kundalini Yoga is designed to strengthen your body, and especially the nervous system and glandular system, so that you can handle the “extra wattage” of the current of this energy. Kundalini Yoga is a systematic technology aimed at awakening individuals to their fullest potential. Many years ago, in India it was hidden and only taught to the elite, but now it is available to anyone who is interested and willing to do the work. I have been doing Kundalini Yoga for nearly 20 years and will gladly share my knowledge with you. Plans are in the works for me to start teaching classes in Tallahassee again in September! Get ready! Stay posted here on my blog, or at my page on Facebook, Bridget Noel Jones, LMT.

Creating YOU Time in a Busy Life

I have often said, “If you are too busy for yoga (or massage), you are TOO busy.” I mean that not as an excuse for skipping self-care, but more as a statement to empower you to slow down and make time for yourself.

 

I know firsthand that when we are busy and stressed, the last thing we think we have is more time. Many of us will put our needs on the back burner to take care of our children, spouses, elderly parents, or pressing work assignments. This way of living is not sustainable. An over-giving, overworked, frazzled version of you is not the most effective, nor the most fun to be around.

 

Yogi Bhajan, the master of yoga who brought Kundalini Yoga to North America in the late 60’s would always say, “Happiness is your birthright.” It truly is. When you have taken steps to ensure your own happiness, all your loving and giving comes flowing from you quite effortlessly. It’s like when you get on an airplane and they go over the safety procedures. If the oxygen masks drop down, you are instructed to put on your own first, before helping others. They don’t instruct you to hold your breath while putting someone else’s on, and hope you still have strength to put yours on afterwards, because that just does not make sense.

 

What should we do about the perceived lack of time? Schedule in your self-care anyway! I went through a hiatus from my yoga practice for a while following my divorce, and gradually I became more stressed and negative. When I came to realize that I needed my daily yoga to feel good and to be able to show up for my family and clients prepared to do my best, I made time. I resolved to set my alarm an hour earlier in the morning, even though sometimes I would have insomnia, even though giving up an hour of sleep seemed crazy and risky and counterintuitive. I woke up early, I sipped my green tea, I listened to meditation music or guided meditations, and I gently reintroduced my yoga and meditation practice. The good news is that when we take time in the morning to do our yoga, meditation, a morning walk, breath work, or spend time on our creative expression, we set ourselves up to have a better day. We fill our own cup, so to speak. We have taken time to love ourselves, to align ourselves, to soothe ourselves. Now we have something to give.

 

I have noticed that I feel better now that yoga is part of my morning routine again. I prioritize myself, and I end up making myself feel loved and seen and appreciated. Does that sound funny? It’s true. I am less likely to feel unappreciated by people around me, because I am filling that need for myself. I dare say that when I feel unappreciated by others, it is a symptom that I am slacking on self-care, and am not treating myself how I want to be treated, how I deserve to be treated. It appears this is a common symptom for other humans as well. Let’s be quicker to heed it’s warning.

 

Another thing Yogi Bhajan used to say was, “Keep up and you’ll be kept up”. He was saying to do the daily yoga practice (keep up), and things will flow naturally for you (be kept up). When we do yoga, we align our spirit with our body. When we do yoga, we are bringing the part of ourselves that knows our highest desires for ourselves into alignment, so we can follow our own inner guidance more effectively, and just generally feel great. For you, it might be yoga, massage, tai chi, painting, dance or kayaking that aligns you. Learn what works for you, and then make sure you do it for yourself every day. Tell yourself, “This is the most important things I do all day,” and then do it. Watch how your life transforms!