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.

Meditation Made Easy

The first time I tried meditation, back in college, I did not know exactly what it was. I attempted my idea of it, with no instruction whatsoever. I thought that when you meditated you were not supposed to think or feel anything. Boy was I disappointed when I couldn’t get away from the sounds of my breath, the soreness in my back, my constant stream of thoughts, and the frustration that meditation was not working for me.

Now it’s more than a decade later and I have had intensive training with yoga and meditation, and I laugh to think how my first experience was. But I also acknowledge that my original perception of meditation was a common one for beginners.

One of the tips I picked up along the way was to focus on the breath. Give your attention to your breath instead of trying not to be aware of it. When we meditate, we train our minds to be aware, not the other way around. And what better tool can we use than our constant companion, our breath?

To start, do a few stretches to help your body relax and be still more easily. Then come sitting on the floor cross-legged with a straight spine. If you are a beginner, you may want to lie flat on your back with a pillow under your knees, or sit up straight in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. Close your eyes and notice your breath. Feel it entering your nostrils and passing down your throat. Observe the coolness or warmth of the air. Notice your lungs expanding and contracting. If your mind wanders, gently bring your awareness back to your breath.

You can count on your mind to wander. Yogis sometimes refer to it as “the monkey mind” because it is prone to getting into mischief. While meditating, your thoughts can wander to daydreaming, worrying if your checkbook will balance, planning dinner, wondering if that certain someone likes you, and more. You can get so caught up in the thoughts, and the emotions that go with them, that you may forget you’re meditating. When you realize your mind has wandered, don’t be hard on yourself. Just come back to your breath.

Be aware of your breath and at the same time, notice the sensations of your body, such as the pull of gravity on you, the feel of the surrounding air on your skin, and the sounds in the distance. Just observe these things and do not judge them as good or bad. All the while, keep in tune with your breath. If a thought comes to you, just notice it but don’t let your “monkey mind” wander off on a tangent. It’s actually funny to realize just how easily we can be distracted. Keep that sense of humor about yourself and return again and again to your breath.
We refer to meditation as a practice. It is practice at being conscious in the present moment. It quiets the mind, relieves stress, strengthens our nerves, and balances our emotions. The more you meditate, the more you can carry this clarity into your daily life.

Take on ten minutes a day to start with and gradually extend your practice to a half hour or more. You may even want to enrich your experience by seeking out and meditating with a local group. Whatever form your meditation practice takes, have fun watching your “monkey mind”.

Cleaning House with Kundalini Yoga

It helps our minds to have uncluttered houses.  But sometimes we clean and clean until the house sparkles, but our minds and hearts remain discontented.  It’s time to go within.  Let’s use our Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to clear away the subconscious garbage that trips us up in life.  Are you relating to people today through the issues you’ve had from childhood?  It could be fear of abandonment from the parent’s divorce, or maybe a high school sweetheart broke your heart and you still live like an insecure teen in your thirties or forties?  Or perhaps you have it all handled. Congratulations, if that’s true.  A lot of us walk around with old stuff lurking below the surface, not dealt with, and it leaks out in ungraceful ways.  We say cutting remarks before thinking, we try to control our loved ones, we develop addictions, etc.  Is this how you want to live?  Not I!  Let’s courageously delve into our selves, see what’s in there.  Cut away the ego’s attachments.  What’s ego?  It’s just your old way of being.  It’s not the real you.  It’s a conglomeration of coping mechanisms clinging desperately to itself for survival.  I see it as a crusty or dusty layer over the real you, that unique divine spark burning inside.  So let’s roll up our sleeves, get down to business and uncover the true Self!  It’s time!