Los Angeles: White Tantric Yoga
Last weekend I signed up to join 478 Kundalini yogis for a one day White Tantric meditation workshop. It was a leap of faith for me and the other White Tantric virgins who, wore all white, covered our heads and gathered in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom on the UCLA campus. Sure there were many who had been there and done that, but for us novices, we had a case of the unknown jitters. (Yes that's me on the right with my lovely partner Regina Gelfo).
The White Trantric tradition was initiated in Los Angeles by Yogi Bhajan in 1970 and ever since, it's taught annually all over the world. Since Yogi Bhajan died in 2004, the wisdom (and the kriyas) are passed via a video-taped series of six to eight meditations lasting anywhere from 11 to 62 minutes. We were lucky enough to have Satsimran Kaur as our facilitator who worked with Yogi Bhajan for many years and helped him prepare the White Trantric tradition for dissemination after his passing.
The purpose: balance the chakras, create an energy force (of 478 chanting, doing asana, meditating and mudra making yogis) to cut through the blocks of the subconscious and release the burdens that plague the mind. Satsimran put it another way. "Kundalini yoga is like liquid plummer. You pour it down the drain and eventually it works. White Tantric is like the roto-rooter guy. He's able to get the job done right away and go were no one else can go."
I was also relieved that Satsimran set an important ground rule, "Don't take it so seriously," she said, "Enjoy and have some fun."
White Tantric requires participants to work in pairs and while some arrived with partners, others, like me, had to find someone (a stranger) to share this intimate experience. Lucky for me, the minute I walked in the room the lovely Regina Gelfo asked me to be her partner.
Gelfo and a group of her friends came from San Francisco to attend the workshop, as did folks from New York, Spain, England, Colorado, Germany and Hawaii. It was the biggest White Tantric gathering in Los Angeles history and the results were sweet. The day's course was called "Renew to be New" and when it was all done, we did feel renewed. Not because we were all serious and yogi-like but because we shared an awesome experience that shifted our minds and calmed our spirits.
It also inspired tech-saavy Gelfo to make this impromptu Kundalini comic featuring her friend Jiwan Shakti. Are we having fun yet? Definitely. Sat Nam.