I’ve started going regularly to Kundalini Yoga at Wilder Street on Wednesdays, and it’s great – as well as being good exercise and personally transformative, this is a very social and friendly class which is an integral part of the little bubble of community at Wilder St.
I’ve been lucky enough to interview teacher Mark Keane – he answered a few of my burning questions about Kundalini and if you’re interested in the practice, or yoga in general, it’s a must read!
Penny -Where, when and how did you train? Who did you train with/learn from?
Mark – I learnt from 3HO in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India.
P -What happens at a typical Kundalini yoga class?
M -A Kundalini Yoga class can be very relaxing or very demanding depending on your level and the focus. Typically we focus on opening up the spine through flexing it with synchronised breath to stimulate the central nervous system and the inherent power within it. There are many wonderful meditations and mantras to lead you into a state which far transcends the mundane so prevalent in the current human condition.
P -There’s a lot of conflicting information online about Kundalini yoga. Do you think you could sum up the practice and its benefits?
M – The practice is the most integrated form of Yoga, known as the ‘mother of all Yogas’. It’s benefits are multi faceted but include an exponential increase in energy, a strong nervous and endocrine systems, disease resistance, youthful and radiant appearance, calm and focused mind.
P -How did Kundalini yoga come about- as far as you know, how was it developed invented? Also, I have read that it was something of a “secret” practice until Yogi Bhajan brought it to the west. In what way, and why was it a secret practice?
M – Kundalini Yoga has it’s origins in the very distant past, we are told it dates to about 40,000 years ago. It was passed to the early Sikh Gurus from Guru Nanak. It was kept secret like so many practises until the current age of freedom of information because it is very powerful, and this has always been seen as a threat, something to be suppressed or controlled.
P -I read a lot that Kundalini is transformative. Can you give any examples of how it has transformed people? How has Kundalini transformed your life?
M- Kundalini is the transformational energy that makes one’s conscious evolution possible. Kundalini has freed me from old pain pain such as shame, fear and negative mental patterns such as attachment and fantasy. I feel an abundance of energy, a zest for life, and am able to enter deep into the joy of being.
P- Yogi Bhajan talked about white, red and black tantra, and advocated white tantric yoga for Kundalini practitioners. Do you practice White tantric yoga? Is it the same thing as the Kundalini yoga we do in the class or is it different?
M -Yes I practice white tantric Yoga. It is very intense and is done with a partner, preferably of the opposite sex. Challening exercies are performed whilst maintening eye contact with your partner and together raising your vibration to push through limitation and bounderies.
P- You also hold regular Kundalini dance sessions and conscious clubbing nights. Where does the idea of Kundalini dance come from, and what happens at a typical session? What happens at the conscious clubbing nights?
M -Kundalini Dance was created by Leyolah Antara in Australia about 25 years ago. We journey through the ‘Chakras’ and engage in a conscious dialogue with ourselves to free ourselves from stuck energy from old emotional wounding and free ourselves from limiting beliefs, and negative patterns. Some work is done alone with eyes closed, other work is done in partners or with a group. It is very powerful and alot of fun! We always end with a beautiful meditation and feeling of transformation.
Conscious Clubbing are alcohol/drug free dance events. Raw chocolate, juices etc are available instead from the Conscious Cafe. Concscious, uplifting beats are provided to free your body, expand your mind and let your spirit soar! Massage is always available, often card readings, and sometimes live music. Events are also sometimes preceded with Kundalini Yoga/Dance or Osho based Moving Meditations.