Transformation Through Yoga
My first introduction to Kundalini Yoga was 14 years ago whilst visiting a dear friend of mine in British Colombia, Canada. I hadn’t seen my friend for over two years, and I was amazed at how radiant she looked and how vibrant and contented in her life she was. She had been practising Kundalini Yoga! I’d never heard of Kundalini Yoga before and I was very keen to try it, so I joined her in her practice. I quickly noticed its many benefits and on my return home I continued a daily practice using a DVD by ‘Gurmukh’, a renowned Kundalini Yoga teacher/ trainer based in Los Angeles.
As a result of this practice, my inner voice (The neutral mind) became stronger, and my ability to fully trust and listen to my intuitive self, became a life changing experience for me. My energy levels and my motivation increased significantly, and my creativity, discipline and focus blossomed. For years I had wanted to study at university but had been stuck in a place where I didn’t think I was ‘good’ enough, along with a whole load of other self-doubting processes. These ‘fell’ away (they no longer served me!), and at the age of 37, with a four-year-old son, I went to university to study Music.
During my third year at University, I had my second son and I graduated when I was 40. After graduation I became a self-employed violin teacher and I continue to share my Musical knowledge with both children and adults to date.
I continued to practise Kundalini yoga intermittently and then I found a teacher in Leicester. After taking in person classes for two years, I decided that I wanted to share the transformational technology of Kundalini Yoga with others, so I began my journey into becoming a Kundalini Yoga teacher.
My teacher training took place over the duration of a year, which included a week’s stay in an Ashram (place of spiritual study), white tantric Yoga, numerous practicums, a final written exam, development of 2 specialised courses and participation in 10 intensive in person weekends of training and early morning practise (sadhana). It really was a deep dive into Kundalini Yoga, and a truly immersive and transformative process.
For me, teaching and sharing Kundalini Yoga is all about uplifting people and facilitating their journey to experience their authentic selves. In this state of true authenticity, a great sense of calm can be felt. This state of being is present in everyone, it’s just that in our fast- paced modern world, we have ‘forgotten’ this presence, or we continue to immerse and indulge ourselves in consuming experiences that aren’t always in our best interests.
My Yoga space is like an intimate retreat in the city, a calm and uplifting space where through the practice of Pranayama, movement, mantra, and meditation…(all of the components that make up Kundalini Yoga), you develop your self-awareness, experience your true essence, re-charge, rejuvenate, and raise your Kundalini.
“Kundalini yoga is the supreme technology to awaken your awareness and take you into your original self. It is a natural unfolding of your own nature”.
I completed my Level 1 Kundalini Yoga teacher training with the Karam Kriya school in 2020.
During my mid-twenties I suffered with panic attacks and a real lack of self-confidence which ultimately left me dealing with feelings of frustration. I avoided situations that created anxiety in me, and I feel like I missed out on a lot of opportunities as a result. I now realise that taking yourself out of your comfort zone is where you grow, but I really didn’t have that awareness at the time. I was working as a residential social worker in a hostel for people with mental health difficulties, and I was referred to a cognitive behaviour therapy group. The group did help me to understand my anxiety more, but at that time in my life I lacked the commitment to manage and to confront my anxiety. So, I did the flight rather than fight thing, and I went travelling again!
I spent the next five years either travelling or working to save up to go travelling. I spent a year in India, then went on to travel around Nepal, Thailand, and Cambodia. I had total wanderlust and ended up living in Japan for a year teaching English. Living and breathing in different cultures was a truly humbling experience and has moulded who I am now. It also left me with a deep respect and ‘longing’ for the East and it’s ancient wisdoms and knowledge.
When I wasn’t travelling, I worked with people with mental health difficulties, as part of a team giving vital support to people living independently in the community. This was also a very humbling role which had its challenges. At times we all face struggle, feel vulnerable, and have challenges to meet in life…some way more so than others, and seeing the strength in humans that are looking directly into the face of adversity really made me realise I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is something that I do every day.
This has been and still is the most important and the most rewarding role that I have had the pleasure to experience to date. It has also been incredibly challenging at times, and one of the most selfless journeys that I have undertaken.
Unconditional love is a great teacher, and I have two wonderfully bright sons (bias of course)!! who have taught me so much about myself, and who continue to fill my life with so much love and happiness. Of course, life’s not always a bed of roses, and there are problems to fix, and difficult situations that present themselves, but my consistent practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation helps me to step back first, and then the response usually comes from a heart-centred space. I ask myself how my higher self would choose to respond in difficult situations.
“Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodahah” Patenjali’s Yoga sutra
“Yoga is the uniting of consciousness in the heart”
From ‘The secret Power of Yoga’ by Nischala Joy Devi
Being a Yogi and a mum has not always been easy!! But I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
There are times when I’m trying to find a quiet space in the house to meditate and everything seems to be transpiring against me! Well, I have learned to embrace the noise, and get on with it, rather than looking for the ‘perfect’ situation in which to meditate. Being able to enter that zone inside regardless of what’s going on outside is ultimately the aim of Yoga. It’s a dive inside to your soul, into your inner strength, your inner well of equilibrium. Meditating with mantras is a great way of staying focussed during meditation.
Meditation clears the subconscious mind of unnecessary clutter and gives you access to the stillness and tranquillity that is present inside. It helps you to be the best version of yourself and nurtures the qualities of self -discipline and commitment. During my Kundalini Yoga and meditation practices I have had many poignant moments that have given me so much insight into myself. I have had many ‘downloads’ for creative ideas and projects, and I have grown in awareness and shed habits that were unnecessary or toxic. I remember one particularly poignant moment for me was after coming out of a class, and feeling uplifted and very peaceful and ‘conscious’, I looked at a flower. It was Just a regular flower, but the flower was so beautiful. What came to me was this: “All it needs is the earth, water and light to blossom into its full potential, that’s all.” Just the presence of flowers gives us joy, but when we smell their essence, we are drawn even further into their beauty.
Mantras contain bija, or ‘seed’ sounds and when we chant them, they grow and expand within us, just like the DNA code contained in a seed that we may plant in the garden, it becomes what is contained within. The quality or essence of the mantra then becomes embodied within you.
Sadhana = Daily Spiritual Practice
Nowadays I rise early before anyone else is up and do my Yoga practice and meditation. This is my daily spiritual practice. This routine is as familiar to me as a flower is familiar to a bee. Sadhana gives me integrity as a teacher as I gain first- hand knowledge of Kriyas and meditations. I understand how they feel to practice and how the body integrates the effects within. Sadhana keeps me present and fresh. It is a time for my higher consciousness to connect with the universal consciousness.