Gurmukh: Conquering our Imagined Disabilities
As a teacher of Kundalini yoga, I had been looking forward to Gurmukh's intensive all week. Having taken her classes in the past, I knew it would be a challenging session and inevitably, my entire body would be sore the next day. Yet there was no fear; I felt a familiar sense of calm and homecoming when Gurmukh walked into the room gracefully with her white turban and flowing chuni.
She spoke of imagined disabilities--areas in which we feel inadequate or things we feel we cannot do, based on programming from multiple sources, including our parents and society. We set the intention in class to release anything, conscious or unconcscious, that keeps us from connecting with our highest potential. Or more simply, from being happy. Gurmukh reminded us of Yogi Bhajan's (the father of Kundalini yoga in the West) favorite teaching, "happiness is our birthright."
Throughout the day we completed two challenging yoga sets. Gurmukh encouraged students to push past perceived barriers in the exercises (for instance, holding the arms up for a full three minutes, rather than giving up due to the discomfort) in order to dissolve mental and emotional blocks in the body. We twisted, we laughed, we walked outside, we hugged and we danced. Even for the least touchy-feely member of the class, there was no denying the shift in energy and lightness of being that happened over the course of the day.
The yogini to my right, JoJo Field from Longmont, CO, shared with me at the end of the day. "Her classes are rigorous, both physically and mentally. But I always feel cleaned out and softer on the inside."
Softer on the inside, indeed.