“Kunda” or “kundala” is the ring, the circle (the curled up snake of energy at the base of our spine). And I’ve certainly done many a circle in my yogic biography.
After having giggled at yoga in the back of gym halls in my teens, I started getting more serious some 40 years ago in my early 20s with Yogi Amrit Desai at Kripalu,
I then stuck with yoga all my adult life as an on-and-off practitioner, but only really got more or less serious some 15 years ago, when I did my first yoga teacher training. It was Sivananda Hatha Yoga then, added upon with short trainings as yoga fitness trainer, yoga personal trainer, mindfulness trainer, NLP practitioner, and a long run in biographic therapy.
Followed years later by yin yoga teacher training – and never ever actually got around to teaching!
(On mobile device, tap photos for caption!!!)
Then about three years ago I remember taking a walk with a dear friend and telling her quite seriously that I thought I would end up with Kundalini yoga. Something was drawing me towards it, without actively engaging in it at all. I knew it had something to do with the turbaned community, all that white, the mantras, and the kriyas - but also with my personal fitness which I had finally stepped up since turning sixty with regular personal training and kickboxing. (You must know that I hated the Kundalini weekends during my yoga teacher training, found it way too dynamic, way to demanding, way too “hard” both in the sense of being difficult and generally not soft enough!). And there I was telling my friend about this strange attraction, still knowing very little about Kundalini yoga at all!.
Another year passed and I finally got my first taste of Kundalini yoga with a great teacher in my Dutch hometown. I still found it difficult but admired her and followed her in different teaching settings, still not even being regular once a week, though. But I began feeling comfortable with it.
PHOTO: ... during a 2018 photoshoot I even went as far as "faking" a Kundalini identity
Come 2019 and the attraction intensified. I now went regularly to weekly classes, felt quite at home with this - for me - perfect mix of mantra, meditation, and dynamic exercise. Halfway through the year the idea of yet another, my “last” (!?!) teacher training took shape and I began researching the possibilities. By November I had decided that I was going to do it, it felt fine to have this new focus entering my 65th year. Just before that birthday I had also heard that there was going to be a winter solstice festival of the Dutch Kundalini community. Would I dare to go? And I did.
PHOTO: My first Kundalini festival: Winter Solstice 2019
Right before Christmas 2019 I spent three glorious days with another 300 yogi(ni)s in a Dutch castle doing sadhana together, singing, meditating, dancing, eating (rather mediocre) food in long lines sitting next to each other on the floor. Right before going I had decided upon and signed up for a Kundalini yoga teacher training in Germany, starting in March 2020.
As of September of 2019 I also joined a sadhana community in my Dutch home where we meet each morning from 6-7 a.m. for 22 days of doing a kriya via internet in a Zoom conference call. And starting over again the first of the following month with a new kriya. And I haven’t missed a day: September, October, November, December, January, February. Amazing: it’s my 6th month! And meanwhile I have been recruited to train as a Zoom teacher myself. I have done practice sessions and taught three times so far, am signed in to teach twice more later in the month. And I can do it! (I still don’t sleep well before leading the sadhana the next morning, but once I sit on the mat and go online I am fine …)
PHOTO: ... beginning to lead sadhana with www.zoomyoga.nl .
Finally, finally I have come full circle and can even enjoy leading the sadhana. A full-fledged Kundalini teacher I still have to become, my level-1 certification will be accomplished by fall. But I feel such growth, such a great sense of moving in the good direction, such a sense of fulfillment … just in time before retiring from my bread-job, just in time to prepare for a glorious “un-retirement” spreading the light of yoga as a mature teacher, hopefully being a shining example of health, happiness, and holiness (the 3 “H” of the Kundalini community)!
Sat Nam, yours truly
Sita Dasjyot Kaur*
(*the Kundalini name was a gift to myself for my 64th birthday.
It’s not an easy name to carry, the “Dasjot” or “Dasjyot” being somewhat awkward and unwieldy, certainly not easy for Western ears – but the meaning is great: tenfold “jyoti”, manifold light!
The light I hope to spread, and doing so on the sound base of Sita, the motherly love that’s rather befitting to my age!).
Beata, all-round encourager:: of art and artists of Nepal, of a preschool in Kathmandu, of the great work of encouragement based on Adlerian psychology and the Theo Schoenaker's concept!