To date, the attendees of my Kundalini Yoga classes at EcoVillage Charlottesville have all been women. I am enjoying the time I spend with them tremendously! When I trained to become a teacher, the entire class consisted of women. The benefits of Kundalini yoga are many and they are the same for women and men. I am not sure if the scarcity of men in the practice signifies anything, but it allowed me an opportunity to reflect on a Kundalini workshop I wrote—it was one of the requirements to earn certification—titled, Women Living Life with Grace and Strength. Among other things, it reflects the desire in women to serve, nurture, and heal the planet. These traits are inherent in us by God’s design.
The Woman is the vessel through which one enters planet Earth. Woman is the embodiment of God’s creative power and embodies the feminine aspect of God. The woman is called Adi Shakti in yogic tradition. Adi Shakti is the primal energy or force that has been worshiped for centuries in the form of various goddesses. Every woman carries the divine power within. The power is merely waiting for the woman herself to recognize it. This power is a blessing, and with it comes the important responsibility of being a Nurturer. Woman has the gift of Nurturer, and all other things being equal, it is a significant part of her identity.
This gift can backfire on her when she cannot turn off her nurturing nature. There are pros and cons. On the pro side, she can handle many things at once. She is a master of that sometimes dreaded word, multitasking. She can console a friend on the phone, chop vegetables for a meal, feed the children, attend to another child doing homework, plus direct another child to assist with a chore. And at work she often wears not one, not two, but five or more hats!
This over-extension can weigh heavily on her nervous system and eventually force her sensitivity and creativity to shut down. Many women are at this critical juncture and have lost themselves. A woman is automatically intuitive and creative when she is relaxed. When she becomes fragmented from the pressures of her own multi-tracked mind or impositions of the outer world, she is not intuitive and cannot tune-in to the absolute truth about who she is and who God created her to be. She allows societal impositions to leave her fragmented resulting in a dampening of her creative energy, not fully realizing her true gifts/talents. Many of us spend years basing our self-worth on whether we met the standards that mainstream media and culture have set for women: to be skinny in order to be sexy and attractive—the European aesthetic of beauty being the standard against which all are measured.
Through Kundalini yoga women can discover their inner vitality and experience and awaken to their divineness. They will experience a re-introduction to themselves for who they truly are, the Grace of God. They can expect to confront some delusions of their ego: low self-esteem, self-sabotage, self-abasement, and fear of their own greatness, but Kundalini kriyas (exercises) will help to overcome this deception.
They will begin to realize the existence of an infinite wellspring of compassion and love for themselves. Think about how liberating it would be for our value being defined by our inner light, radiance, and grace, rather than by what society has defined as valuable. Each of us is unique and endowed with a gift: the beauty of God within us. Our beauty is not in our makeup or our fashion, it lies in the depth of our true selves. The strength of our mental, spiritual, auric, subtle, pranic, and radiant bodies form a brilliant light field and makes up our entire physical presence. Add to that radiance our smile and nothing can defeat us.
One of the goals of my teaching series at EcoVillage Charlottesville is that more women become attuned to their true identity: The very expression of God’s love.
I have really enjoyed the yoga class mainly because it has helped me to concentrate on me.
The stretches have helped the arthritis in my knees and back areas. I have managed to drop a couple of inches from my waistline—oo-la-la! I really appreciate the time and effort that my sister, Vivian Feggans, put into her classes. ~Debra Feggans~
The yoga classes have been great for me and I am hoping to continue in the future. I have been getting to know my body better through learning what moves and stretches help and in what areas of my body. Most of all, the practice is bringing me closer to the one that created me. ~Deborah Green~
My experience with the yoga class on February 18 was my introduction to a set of exercises called the Basic Breath Series. Honestly, from the very first exercise, “Left Nostril Breathing,” I was not sure what to make of it because breathing is just something we automatically do. I never had considered the importance of breathing with different techniques. As I gave attention to the breaths and not to my random thoughts like, “Why am I doing this?” each breathing exercise became more challenging and effective. The breathing techniques were helpful for me because I have asthma and sometimes become short of breath. Even that one basic series helped me a lot. The centering of my body, mind, and spirit was helpful, too. Another exercise that had us put pressure on the back of the ankle aimed at loosening calcium deposits in the body was also helpful. ~Joyce Merritt~