My first Kundalini Yoga experience!

I enjoy yoga a lot. My sister is really into it, even thinking about possibly dedicating 200+ hours to becoming an instructor. The lack of heavy cardio, no matter how hot the room may be etc, is one of the downsides, so I usually try to do yoga two or three times a month along with cardio I do in the pool, on the treadmill, and on my favorite new machine, the Lateral Trainer! I also find yoga really detoxifying, de-stressing, and helps increase my flexibility, especially since I started up synchronized swimming again. My friend recently invited me to do yoga in her home. I am always down for a personalized yoga experience! Her roommate is actually a Kundalini Yoga instructor. I've done a variety of yoga, mostly the popular Vinyasa and BikramI found Kundalini profoundly different but still enjoyable in other aspects. A more extreme focus on breath, mixed with meditation, for long periods (upwards from 2 to even 7 minutes!) was actually very challenging! It is one thing to use your physical strength to go through a variety of poses in other types of yoga - it's another thing when you are relying on your lung capacity and the condition of your lungs to perform something like the breath of fire for five minutes! Peep the vid below.

The rapid breathing in and out through your nose was actually tiring for me, like I just ran a race, even thought I was sitting down! I had to take moments to pant because I was so out of breath. You not only perform the breath of fire in a sitting position but also in certain static poses which sometimes increases the difficulty of maintaining a rapid pace of your breath. Sometimes I felt a little light headed and had to reduce the pace of my rapid breathing in and out from my nose.

Kundalini philosophy on energy, which my friend's roommate was explaining, is very interesting, especially since poses have a specific aim in mind. We did one position with arms clasped over our heads and we had to chant two words that would extend our upper torso up then back down at a rapid pace - I actually had to remove the sweatshirt after that one, I was so hot and sweaty. The purpose behind that pose was the belief that energy resides in your lower back and by doing this chant and action for almost 7 minutes helps channel the energy up your spine, almost like charming a snake. A great visual.

I read up on more about Kundalini from Yoga for Beginners: 10 Things that make Kundalini Yoga Different

In [Kundalini], there is a belief that each of us has within us a dormant energy that resides at the base of the spine. Many asanas target this energy and aim to activate and awaken it.

I also thought it was the instructor's choice to play this AMAZING music throughout the whole hour and half session but apparently music is very integral to Kundalini. Very different from the usually silent yoga rooms with panting  yogis in downward dog.

I would try it again occasionally, but I do prefer a good sweat while out of breath than being out of breath while motionless.