When a student comes into the studio, whether it is for the first or hundredth time, it brings a warmth to my heart. I know that they came to me seeking to become healthier and happier. I greet my students by asking them how they are doing, how the day has treated them, and if they have any problem areas they have noticed lately. This allows me to sense their energy, and choose a Kriya that I know will benefit everyone’s mind, body and spirit. Each day, each session, is driven by the energy that’s brought into the studio. Regardless of the stresses and various states of mind my students may be in to start, the sessions always progress in very much the same way.
As they warm up, I watch as they close their eyes, and start breathing long and deep. Their breathing and movements come together as a group, as if to support one another. Already, I can see the stress and tension start to melt away.
Moving into the Kriya, our movements and breath increase in speed and intensity. Each student’s ability to keep pace or hold their posture varies with their own ability and state of mind. I encourage each of them to focus more deeply on the mantra: Sat Nam, and find their inner self; to allow themselves to let go of tension, and to breathe. For many of my students, their Kundalini Yoga practice provides the only time during the week where they allow themselves to focus inwards rather than on the demands of the world around them.
As the Kriya ends and we move into Shavasana. Everyone sighs: some with relief at the end of a challenging set, and some with joy for the past hour of inner quiet. Their bodies mold into their mats, and the tightness and tension they brought into the room has been replaced by softness and flexibility.
Each session is brought to a close by gently bringing awareness back to their bodies, allowing them to gently stretch and move before we begin our meditation. The accompanying chant is meant to allow each student to feel the vibration with every particle of their being. Some participate loudly, and others only with their presence, but the impact is the same. Everyone is calm, happy, relaxed, and supporting one another in the meditative space. We close out with an affirmation of appreciation and love.
As everyone gathers their belongings to leave, I hear “I feel so much better”, “This is exactly what I needed”, “Now I can face the rest of the week”, and so many other beautiful realizations. My students thank me for bringing them peace, but I thank them for bringing themselves peace. It was their energy, willingness, presence and endurance that brought them there. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting to class.
As a Kundalini Yoga teacher, I don’t look at my students in their daily roles. In class, they are not mothers or fathers; workers or professionals. They are each energetic spiritual beings brought together by their need of rejuvenation.
This is why I teach: to allow people to be at their best mentally, physically and emotionally.