Last weekend I went to the Great British Kundalini Yoga Festival and unlike last Summer, I only went for one day. Last year I went away on my own a few times, loved every moment of them and I could have done the same this year. Juggled some money around or spent some I didn’t really have like I used to but it didn’t seem worth it, my gut said no, me last year would be shocked and confused to why, but I followed my feeling anyway. More on that later.
This year each day was themed on an element, Saturday’s theme was water, the second Chakra. With the limited time I had I went to three workshops:
Ishwara & Kirpal talked about compassion to our self and the Universe, to be connected to what makes you, to have passion for something to make compassion. They also spoke about being with whatever energy we feel such as sadness and being more honest with ourselves. To also bring trust and intuition to move us through a domain we don’t understand.
I really enjoyed their workshop as the themes of sadness, trust, passion and compassion all fitted in with my personal journey right now, the kriya, meditation and relaxation were the best start to my day, not too high energy just beautiful!
The second workshop was something everyone had been talking about and looking forward to as it was with no other than Gurmukh, a student of Yogi Bhajan’s in the 80’s, a graceful and wise woman who still teaches and does speaking events in New York, India and around the world.
Gurmukh told us stories of what her life had been like, about being a hippie and Beatles fan and meeting Yogi Bhajan. I liked how she shared that when she was first teaching she would ride her bicycle up to the park, make cardboard box into an alter and leave a basket out for donations, even if it was the offering of a flower and teach. She went on to share snippets of wisdom – we are lead by something bigger than our personal selves, your Guru is within you, inciate yourselves. Asking – What are you contributing to the Aquarian age?
‘Never die a student, you’re ready, do it, there’s 1000 people around you who need it, be brave enough, give people an experience’ – Gurmukh
The kriya she demonstrated and led was super fun and high energy – marching around the room, jumping jacks and partner work we all involved and it was hard, but I kept up and had a wonderful experience.
Finally though I was worn out from the previous workshop I went along to Kary Stewart who kindly changed her kriya to something less intense than planned and we did some more gentle movements with a gong bath. She started off with – life is simple, just add water, there is no resistance as water moves around rocks it just flows.
Speaking with a new teacher about his classes, he said the secret to actually doing it was – trust! The whole theme of the day (and my word of the year).
There were a few stalls at the festival, yogaparadise.co.uk had a lovely book for children, I ate a scrummy Raw Cacao brownie by Beautiful raw heart kitchen, she does workshops in London. Raising Vibrations were there selling stylish white yoga clothing and Sohavi’s artisan jewellery were there too.
The great thing about going for one day and not feeling an immense need to be there the whole time was that I opened up to doing other activities and spending my money in other areas, rather than just focusing on Kundalini Yoga. I may disagree with this in the future or sound contradictory but by going for a short time I finally went to a rock climbing lesson and went for a night out dancing the night after yoga (yes my body hurt a lot, from my fingers to my feet, everything hurt) and saw another friend for a chilled day of food and cinema the day after. I had fun and I was spending money in different ways, seeing a range of friends and saw the bigger picture of bringing the wisdom I had learnt about yoga into my experience in the real world straight away.
‘Open your heart, you will be fulfilled. Trust in your prayer, it shall be answered. Dwell in God, it will be all happiness and bliss’ – Yogi Bhajan