My Coping Skills Guru

Hibiscus in BermudaHer name is Guruatma. Weekly she goads us, her students, to ask the universe for what we want and to believe we will make it happen. “Do you want more joy? Ask for it!”, she exclaims. Whatever worries I may have brought to this kundalini yoga class, I would quickly forget once we began chugging away with fire breath and three-part breathing, sitting, stretching, standing, more breathing, arms wide or by our sides, holding the pose for 30 seconds or three minutes.

Having studied hatha yoga on and off for the last 26 years, this kundalini style yoga seemed tame and too easy initially. I quickly learned how wrong I was. What I’ve gained is balance, arm and ab strength, and most important: coping skills. When I’m worried or stressed and cannot relax, three-part breathing (breath in 1/3, then 2/3, then full breath and hold it – then out in three parts, hold the air out and repeat) saves me from myself. If I’ve been sitting a while and start to hunch forward onto my computer, I hold my arms wide, lift my chest high and reach into the universe to get the kinks out. If I’m feeling down, fire breath (breath in and out rapidly through the nose, eyes closed, rolling eyes upward toward third eye brow point) gives me energy and stamina.

Guruatma exudes love and positivity each time we meet and relates stories of challenges she and her friends have overcome by their awareness and practice of the tenets of kundalini. If you visit the link, you’ll learn that kundalini is much more complex than I’ve indicated here, but I’ve received great value out of the three 10-weeks sessions I’ve attended, without delving too deeply into the practice. The session is over for now, but the benefits and skills remain for a lifetime.

Here are the mantras with which we begin and end the class, respectively:

Ong namo guru dev namo which means I call upon Divine Wisdom.

May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you. And the pure light within you guide your way on.


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