I have done a lot of yoga. I'm a dancer, and yoga is one of those disciplines that shows up all over the place. I have literally stretched myself thin. I've been to yoga classes that were so fast-paced I might as well have been on a treadmill....Needless to say I wasn't able to concentrate on my breath, let alone how my breath is supporting and initiating movement. Both times I've been to Kundalini in the Loop have been so rewarding. My first experience at this studio was lunch-time class with Hari Dev, and the first thing he said was, “All is vibration. All is sound.” That idea was woven throughout class in a profound, meaningful way. I went to Sunday class with Hari Dev's wife, Shakta Kaur, and the first thing she said struck me as well: “Those who breathe shallow remain poor.” This thought is huge. It is its own philosophy. It's so true, it's beautiful. She went on to challenge and inspire us with a very intense kriya (set of movements) that was designed to cleanse and purify and clear out anything that is standing in the way of abundance. I have read that “kriya” means spiritual emergency. The movements are beguiling because they seem so simple yet there is an intensity and focus that doesn't allow for physical/emotional/mental wandering. I would describe it as a yoga that cuts through all the bullshit. (Can I say that?) In both classes, I was very physically challenged-the movements are specific, and both teachers' guidance/encouragement was superb. The timed exercises have a way of cutting beyond the physical to our emotional selves. In one exercise, I could feel the tight throat feelings of sadness/fear bubbling up. I remember Shakta said something to the effect that the visualization of doing the movement perfectly is quite enough. I felt supported as a whole person, not just a body. There is singing and chanting in the classes, and that is another blocked area for me. It causes really intense feelings. But, after I feel better, clearer, less scared of myself and life.
Hari Dev and Shakta Kaur are real people, with real experience, teaching at a depth that is uncommon among yoga teachers. As an added bonus, on Sunday we were fed a delicious vegetarian meal, and we all sat in a circle just talking. It was wonderful. Also, it's in the Fine Arts Building, which is so lovely and peaceful.