Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dancing Wildly With Your Eyes Closed


...been goin’ to a lotta kundalini yoga classes....kundalini yoga, for them what don’t know, might be the most blatantly religious type o’ yoga...tied intimately to Sikhism...complete with headgear, long flowing robes, titles, and loads and loads of esoteric beliefs....making it not exactly the obvious choice for one so irreligious as your friendly neighborhood yoga cynic...

I can get you high—high on your breath.
Yogi Bhajan

...it’s also might be called the trippiest form of yoga...did I say trippy?!...I meant inward-focused...sometimes involving stuff like dancing wildly with your eyes closed*...which is why so many hippies got into it....personally, I get a solid buzz from yoga in general...but, in a kundalini class, I’m disappointed if I don’t get visuals.......not that, y'know, that's a reason to do it or anything...




* ...think I gained the respect of the drama club in high school simply by showing up for the West Side Story dance audition...I like to be in America okay by me in America everything’s free in America for a small fee in America...like, I was cool just to try in the face of an innate lack of grace, coordination, etc....in the end, getting the role of the guy who comically tries to make the Jets and Sharks dance rather than fight at the dance...without doing any dancing, myself....learned everything I know about the art of dance a year or two later at Grateful Dead shows...chemically infused & almost totally loose....so that trance-dancing in the yoga studio feels almost like coming full circle...




*thanks to Karin for her always amazing artwork*



10 comments:

Bob Weisenberg said...

Interesting cultural juxtapositions, Jay. (I never miss the opportunity to use the word "juxtaposition". Same with "ubiquitous".)

Bob W.

Meredith LeBlanc said...

This makes me feel like I am in a kundalini class, and I definitely enjoy kundalini more than the Dead shows I used to go to. Being high off the flow is much better!

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to try this form of yoga - the more inward & trippy the better for me! By coincidence I was writing a blog post yesterday on Kundalini and the biological evidence for the upward rising serpent - turns out the vagus nerve may be the physical basis of this notion - which certainly has many, many spiritual dimensions. Here's the link if of interest - http://bit.ly/bKiMFj - NAMASTE!

Eco Yogini said...

what beautiful art!

I've tried Kundalini on yogaglo before... it was extremely different. I actually had a difficult time adjusting- probably because I was attempting to practice through a medium that doesn't really lend well to a trippy experience.

also- I suck completely at dancing, but have found that trance or "rave" type dancing of bopping up and down and letting go comes more easily.

Also- DID YOU KNOW that in Street Fighter the Yogi can shoot FLAMES out of his hands and LEVITATE??? Sigh, sometimes life would be exciting if it was like Street Fighter.... (ok, maybe not really).

Karin Bartimole said...

seems like a really good reason to do it to me!
thanks for your support of my artwork Dr Jay - I love what you've written here, and the image's fit for your words.

Eleanor said...

Love that mandala.

earthtoholly said...

I have danced wildly with eyes closed, notably to Hendrix's Highway Chile...okay, not at a concert or during yoga or anything that interesting...just while cleaning house. :o/ However, it was very satisfying. :o)

And, oh my, drjay, are you possibly a Gleek? 'Cause I think being a member of a drama club qualifies you as one. Not a bad thing, ya know...

jo said...

"Great post, very useful for a beginner like me"
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berenice said...

hi Dr. Jay, glad to read your post on Kundalini, many years ago when i started practicing Yoga, at the YMCA, i noticed a Kundalini Yoga class... Kundalini and Meditation was noted... i've done already my dose of Hatha, so i went there being curious about this other type of Yoga, and i looooved it!! so different! but i guess for my "type" was a great kind of yoga, the meditation at the end with the "induced" visuals was great too, i am too thankful to my YMCA professor Jonathan Button for his Kundalini yoga class, the class was small as i think most YMCA goers found it a little too weird, but back on those days i was going through dark phases and i can surely say this kind of yoga saved my life! Hatha was always great, but Kundalini went deeper in my heart, and my brain, after a couple of months i started getting vivid dreams, colorful dreams, after practicing 3 times a week... unfortunately i had to stop going to the YMCA, now i go to a wonderful Yoga studio around my house, it's a jewel of a studio too

http://www.pilgrimageyoga.com/

i usually go to the Hatha classes, but now & then i get surprised by the instructors introducing some Kundalini movements in the class, just a couple of days ago, i had my hands on my shoulders and turning the torso fast left & right on a seated positions, ahhh Kundalini, i thought! and smile

my studio has some Free musical meditation classes, Kirtan, sadly, i take a Hatha class right before this meditation and the evening only has so many hours so i can never stay longer... one day i will though!

if you ever come around to San Diego, i will make you to take you to Pilgrimage Yoga, you'd love it there! Namaste

oh!! and loved the art! so Kundalini! ;)

nothingprofound said...

When I was a graduate student at the University of Arizona, there was a kundalini yoga center right on campus. I used to go there for a free meal once a week, and to talk to the very interesting people who lived there. I've been a fitness nut all my life, gymnastics, calisthenics, karate, bodybuilding, running, and still I was impressed by the magnificent physical shape of the kundalini practitioners. I was doing my own hodgepodge brand of yoga at the time, much less focused and serious than these folks, but I always enjoyed the challenge of trying to keep up with them.