I’m married to an airline pilot, so inevitably some aviation jargon seeps into my daily speech. You’ll often hear me quoting the famous flight attendant warning to “put your oxygen mask on yourself before helping anyone else” to convince people of the need for self-care. Instead of the ABC’s, I’ll say Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, or I might give the current time in Zulu.
Since before the Wright Brothers built and flew the first successful airplane in 1903, people have dreamed of the freedom that comes from flying, limitless and free. After a long roll down the runway, the gear is retracted, and we climb soaring to heights of up to 40,000 feet. As we rise, the world starts to look smaller and smaller and our perspective on it changes. We see how connected everything is and that we individually are minuscule.
Most flights are smooth, but often there is turbulence and the ride is bumpy. Ultimately our flight ends, and we land safely to resume our lives on the ground- perhaps with an eye to the sky in remembrance.
Practicing kundalini yoga can feel like flying. After a few warmups to get going, we slowly pick up speed through breath practices like Kapalabhati and before we know it, we are soaring.
We may feel like we have left all our baggage back at the airport-the clarity is so vivid. The combination of powerful breath work, rhythmic movements called kriyas, and mantras that focus the mind, Kundalini yoga is a practice like no other.
The feeling is almost euphoric with the mind settling to stillness and quiet, allowing us to experience creativity, unity, harmony, and peace. We sense how small the world is and how bound we are to others through our shared humanity. Like flying, however, there will be some turbulence- awakening can be rocky at times. Seeing life from a new and different perspective can be jarring.
But the journey of kundalini is safe and when the flight ends, we are back on solid ground a little more enlightened, conscious and aware. Ready for the next flight.
Want to learn more about Kundalini yoga?
Join Debbie Simon, certified Kundalini yoga teacher for the 4-week Kundalini yoga beginners series starting Sunday, July 14th, 1-3 pm $75.