Will Yoga be suitable for me?
The practice of Kundalini Yoga gives us a perfect opportunity to develop a loving relationship with our bodies. When we do the exercises we pay attention to the effect that each exercise is having on the body. The goal is to activate various parts of the body. By this we are creating alignment and stimulating an optimal functioning. We are not forcing, punishing, the intention is to stretch and strengthen, not strain or hurt.
Kundalini Yoga, involves using your tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints in novel and unfamiliar ways. While all the movements are possible, none of them are inherently harmful. However, you must be careful. Many of the movements are so different from those that you are used to, that your approach must be patient. Do not rush or push and do not force your body.
A Kundalini yoga teacher never touches their Students!! This is because it will force external change on an essentially internal and personal experience, and can force a posture further than the student is ready for.
Our bodies know the difference between challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves too far. If we simply pay attention, we will sense the difference and be alerted to how far to go and when to stop. If at any point you need to stop then inhale deeply, hold your breath for a moment and with the exhale relax. Be patient with yourself. Your ability shall increase with practice.
Between most exercises we rest and pay attention to the effects by feeling the energy and the sensations within our bodies. Often this aspect is overlooked in our practice. However, it is during the relaxation when we are consciously “doing nothing” that we can actually listen to our body. It is this optimal time to stay in the present and let our bodies communicate with us.
Our bodies have much to share if we would just stop long enough to pay attention. Wrong attitude causes injury, not yoga exercises or poses. Poses are not inherently dangerous. It is important, as a beginner, to be wary of a prideful ego that is unwilling to be a beginner and learn through progression, this may cause injury.
“You are not here to prove anything. You are here to improve everything”
What about Medical Conditions?
As a student of Kundalini Yoga you should let your teacher know if you are being treated for any medical condition and especially if you’re taking any prescribed drugs. Likewise, if you’re suffering from an illness or injury, please consult your doctor before taking part in Yoga.
Under no circumstances should you practice Yoga while under the influence of any controlled substances (alcohol or drugs).
Pregnancy and Yoga?
So much of Kundalini Yoga is beneficial in preparing for childbirth. Yoga exercises, especially squatting, sitting cross-legged, sitting (with the soles of the feet together), root locks (contracting the sex organ and rectum only, basically Kegels), will tone the muscles used during childbirth. Keeping up a Kundalini Yoga practice will also keep your hormones in balance, helping keep the body fit and toned in a way that is very helpful in achieving an easy childbirth. In addition, you can also expect Kundalini Yoga to increase your energy levels and encourage more restful sleep!
After 4 months you will still be able to do certain asanas with modifications. About this time avoid doing any kind of stomach pumping or anything on your stomach. I t is also important, avoid rapid or deep twisting or any exercise that compresses, or puts a strain on your stomach area. Breath of Fire can be done until the 4 months into your pregnancy, after that substitute with Long Deep Breathing. Avoid holding the breath or any exercises you feel might make you dizzy or lose your balance. Instead of lying on your back, lie on your side, when you relax. Again, listen to your own body and pace yourself accordingly.
Regarding inversions – an alternative would be resting your pelvis on a bolster or blanket and having your legs up resting against a wall. This is an excellent pose for stress and swollen ankles!
During pregnancy there is a hormone secreted that makes muscles very easy to over stretch. It is important to realise that this can make you more susceptible to injury if you over-extend. Be careful not to overstretch, focusing on good alignment and breath, then you will find a deeper range of movement that will carry over into post-pregnancy practice. Note that most upper body work can be done throughout your entire pregnancy.
Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga and pregnancy are always an individual matter. May sure that you listen to your body and be sure to clear everything with your doctor.
What should I wear – do I have to wear white?
The short answer is no. You can wear any clothing that’s easy for you to move in and that makes you feel comfortable. There are no requirements in Kundalini Yoga. There are only recommendations!
Yogi Bhajan, the man who brought Kundalini yoga to the West, taught that wearing white natural fabrics expands one’s auric radiance. Others have said that wearing white turns your outfit into a mindfulness practice and puts you “in the mood” for class.
So, wearing white to class is just a suggestion. If you wish to, try it, see how you feel? If you don’t want to try it that’s perfectly fine.