Vivian Feggans, Guest Blogger, Kundalini Yoga Teacher
I was introduced to Kundalini Yoga by my neighbor and friend, Thu-Hien Lam. In preparation for an upcoming move, Thu-Hien was purging and minimizing her stuff. She knocked on my door carrying a box containing an assortment of books, and jazz and R & B cassette tapes. She removed a VHS tape from the box and handed it to me. “This is some powerful stuff,” she said. I was inquisitive and she assured me, “This is something you need and I think you’re up for it.” I was overwhelmed and full of gratitude to receive her parting gifts.
I did not focus on the tape while she was there as our conversation moved from one thing to another. After she left I read Kundalini Yoga, With Grace and Strength on the cover. I had no idea what it was.
The next morning I got up and put the tape into my VHS player. I viewed most of the tape before attempting to practice along with it, then I started it over again. I actually made it through the entire hour-and-ten-minute practice. The first pose was Bridge Pose accompanied by a fast breath called Breath of Fire. http://www.spiritvoyage.com/posture-landing.aspx?PostureID=POS-000015&PostureCatId=1
Even after that first pose, I felt clearer and lighter. As I advanced through each pose, my senses were heightened and I experienced an emotional release to the point of tears brought on by the deep sense of lightness felt throughout my physical body and the oneness I felt with my soul. Somehow, Kundalini yoga made me aware, probably for the first time, that I could love myself and that it was okay to do so. Low self-esteem was an area I struggled with over the years. It was beautiful how my body adapted and began to reset itself into its state of flexibility that God created it to enjoy.
It was the gentle and nonjudgmental presence of the teacher’s voice that guided me through each kriya with concise explanations that compelled me to complete even the most difficult poses. . No one was around except her and me, so I felt free to push through the difficulties. She spoke gently, reminded me not to push myself, and that if I did my best, the rest would be done for me. I learned to take each exercise as an opportunity to allow tightness in my physical body to release and with it, the weight of years of not loving myself grew lighter and lighter. After completing the tape, I enjoyed the much-deserved reward of deep relaxation.
I practiced at home with the tape for six years before attending a class in 2007. When I did, the teacher, Lauren, projected so much love and intention through her style that I began to value and seek out a Kundalini community wherever my travels led me. Lauren was the embodiment of walking light—I could feel her love and good wishes for her class. The Kundalini Yoga, With Grace and Strength and my classes with Lauren were the two forces that planted the first two seeds in me to become a teacher.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago on a drive from Charlottesville, Virginia to Maryland, after teaching my first in a series of classes at Ecovillage Charlottesville, God placed Thu-Hien in my mind. I had a vision of her handing the VHS tape to me. With the vision came the realization that she prophesied that I would become a Kundalini yoga teacher that day as she said, “This is something you need and I think you’re up for it.” Kundalini yoga was what I had been waiting for, only I did not know that at the time!
Explanation of Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini literally means an uncoiling or unfurling. Imagine a tight, curly piece of hair being uncurled until it is very straight. This represents what happens when you practice Kundalini yoga. The energy of Infinity that lies dormant within you awakens. I like to say it is an uncoiling or opening up of your God-energy within. It raises the consciousness and creative potential. One single kriya of sitting in a posture and doing the designated breath patterns balances the physical, mental, and spiritual presence. When done regularly, the kriyas can reset the healthy functioning of the body’s organs and give you deeper intimacy with your soul. It precisely and consciously combines breath, hand positions, eye-focus, mantra, body locks, and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity and purify the blood. It brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.
Many people at this time are at a critical juncture in life and they have become fragmented within. The pressures of our own multitasking minds based on expectations of the outer world are blocking us from reaching our creative potential as innately creative beings. In this practice, you can expect to confront some delusions of your ego: low self-esteem, self-sabotage, self-abasement, and fear of your own greatness, but the kriyas will help you to overcome this deception. If you stay focused and committed, you will begin to realize a physical shift within, as well as a clearer and brighter mind. You will begin to realize the presence of an infinite wellspring of compassion and love for yourself. Kundalini yoga liberates your inner light, your radiance, and your grace to define your self’s value instead of societal values. Through the practice of Kundalini yoga, you will become radiant and nothing will defeat you.
Vivian Feggans, Guest Blogger
Kundalini Yoga Teacher