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The Difference in Yoga Instructors and Practice: Part VI – Kundalini Yoga

Terry Michael is sharing the difference in yoga instructors and practice to help our readers interested in fi
nding a yoga “home” where they feel comfortable and supported. You can refer to her previous posts featuring Tina Marie Rodriguez, Eva Montalvo, Anya Deva, Grace Surjan Kaur Geller and Kathleen Hayden. This month, Terry interviews Meredith Kramer, a Kundalini Yoga instructor.

KundaliniWhat is your personal philosophy as a Kundalini Yoga instructor?

Yogi Bhajan said that it is the birthright of every human to be “healthy, happy and holy.” The art of Kundalini Yoga is a practice that supports us becoming just that! My personal philosophy incorporates a daily practice of mantra, meditation and mudra.

What types of Yoga do you teach?

I am a Kundalini Yoga teacher. I offer Yin Yoga and mindfulness approaches for my students. I practice Kundalini Yoga with all people: big or small, healthy or ill, mild to medium (haha).

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness. As the organization 3HO describes it:

“It is a dynamic, powerful tool that is designed to give you an experience of your soul. In Kundalini Yoga we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the domain of the will, which is the instrument of the soul. This technology precisely and consciously combines breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra, body locks, and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and purify the blood. It brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.”

What is Mindfulness and how do you bring this to your work as a Yoga Teacher?

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” says Kabat-Zinn. “It’s about knowing what is on your mind.” With such delight, I offer short meditations and gentle yoga poses to my students. I am enthusiastic about Mindfulness because of my experience with this enlightening art. Through this beautiful practice, I healed from the loss of my young father’s suicide. I am better now for mankind. I had to open an old wound to heal, and thus I teach my students to define their strongest points and take them home every time I teach!

Can you tell us a little about your training?

My certification was completed at the Golden Bridge Yoga Studios in Santa Monica and New York. I then packed my Florida bags and moved out to LA for an experience of a lifetime – to study under the most pronounced Kundalini Yoga Teacher in the country, Gurmukh. My training was direct, challenging, rewarding and rich.

Can you tell us a little about your practice?

I am a dedicated warrior. I practice mindfulness daily and Kundalini Yoga as often as I can. Other Yoga practices have my attention in group settings. I often join communities that offer Kirtan Song and Estactic Dance, an extension of Kundalini Yoga Flow. I am a divine channel of God through my mantra voice and I sing everywhere!

Would you describe one of your classes for us?

Kundalini

Come dressed to impress in all whites, as I am loyal to the practice. We open the class by tuning in with the traditional Adi Mantra, I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher within.

“This mantra is used for “tuning in” to the divine flow and self-knowledge within us all, and linking us to Yogi Bhajan and the Golden Chain of teachers. It is chanted at least three times at the start of each Kundalini Yoga class.” (via 3ho.org)

I feel at rest here as I know I am in good hands. I follow with a Kriya, a set of exercises for purpose. I chose based on intuition for what is best for my students. I end class chanting Sat Nam with the students, truth is my identity! “This mantra reinforces the divine consciousness in everyone. It is used as a greeting as well as the mantra for Kundalini Yoga exercises, inhaling Sat (truth), exhaling Nam (name, identity).” (via 3ho.org)

I am also available after class for all questions.

What do you like best about teaching?

I like it all! I am interested in the music, the mantra, the mudra, the movement, the environment, the students, all of it!

Talk to me about the most beneficial pose in Kundalini Yoga?

Let me just quote Dan Charnas, Sat Kriya, “Why? Because this one exercise contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini Yoga within itself. Sat Kriya is designed to do the one thing from which all well-being springs: raise the kundalini energy.”

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