I am no stranger to yoga. I teach yoga every Monday night after my day job ends once I commute across town to my local gym. Lately, I’ve really been complicating things, feeling as though I’ve been serving two masters. Those ambivalent forces are both ego and inner peace.
In Yoga Teacher Training back in 2012, I basically learned how to teach the Primary Series of staunch Ashtanga Yoga inside and out. As militant as it can be, it’s an easy fall back pattern in which to teach a class, especially if you begin with a Sun Salutations warm-up.
However, with my aging body, Ashtanga just pisses me off. I want to complete the majority of the poses (and teach them) when my ego is in control of my mind, body, and spirit. People, this is not a good way to be! One of the main goals of the eight-limbed yoga path is to escape one’s detrimental ego.
Instead, I have found solace in Kundalini yoga. I achieve my workouts through bicycling, hiking, running, power walking with my family, and jumping on our mini trampoline. Hell, some days at the office I run around so much I know I achieve my cardio workout. So, do I still need to come home after clocking in a 10 hour day at the office only to beat myself up on the yoga mat with Ashtanga? No!
Kundalini is more spiritual and definitely more relaxing. Some of the kriyas (mini-workout sets) can involve hard breathing and strenuous working out causing cardio to occur. But overall, Kundalini feels like a date with a spa, albeit on my yoga mat. I even have a white fur rug I put onto of my lululemon mat to stimulate that pure white energy from the great beyond. I practice my Kundalini workout in my Zen room, which is painted white and sparsely decorated.
Tonight, I was pretty tired after a long day of work training and I did not want a hard workout. I turned on my smart phone’s YouTube app and loaded my usual Tibetan Singing Bowls 9 hour “song” video. But then I realized that there was a fresh storm outside, complete with night thunder and rain pelting my window. Talk about an electrical charge from Mother Nature!
The minimalist in me turned off the electronic device and cracked the window. I soaked in the natural sound of the storm while doing my Kundalini yoga “workout” tonight. Thunder and lightning can really give the conscious yogi a natural high!
If something is not bringing you joy, simplify until you find your inner peace. For me, that comes in the form of Kundalini yoga instead of Ashtanga, Bikram, or other forms of Hatha yoga. And why play artificial sounds when I can just tune into the natural music of nature?!
“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.” -Henry David Thoreau, Walden