When the school board called a snow day for Tuesday, I was thrilled. I love when there is nowhere to go; I love no alarms to set; I love no rushing. I love stopping. I love expanses of unstructured time. And then, on Tuesday night when they called for another snow day on Wednesday, I felt that "my cup runneth over."
But soon, instead of my figurative "cup" running over, it was my literal house. Reality started seeping in through the door frame and all that beautiful time stretching before me became about mitigating water damage.
For the third winter in a row, we have ice dams in our gutters and, consequently, water leaking into our foyer and living room. Nothing can be repaired or changed until all the snow is gone. (I know many of my fellow New Jerseyans have been there.)
That means there is a drip, drip, drip in my life and there will be for awhile.
Some of these drips have "interesting" consequences, like turning into a sheet of ice on the front porch and freezing the screen door shut and yellowing the moldings and making the ceilings bubble.
This kind of situation is what the great yogis have called "a giant pain in the butt."
Kundalini Yoga trains us to deal with these pains and all the inconveniences of everyday existence with grace and ease. It is known as a householder's yoga. A robust practice strengthens our nervous systems, so that the unhappy surprises don't send our whole beings out of whack. Meditation helps us to have more control of our minds, so we can notice unhelpful negative thoughts when they arise and redirect ourselves. Here's how Yogi Bhajan put it:
"The Kundalini experience does not mean you have gone into a deep breathless trance and are beyond this world. … It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you can act more efficiently."
To me, this is one of the best reasons to do Kundalini Yoga. While it has some elements that make is seem strange and mystical, it's actually very practical. Everything we do -- breathe strongly, chant, repeat unusual movements -- is all part of a very pragmatic training of the body and mind to sail through life's ups and downs, surprise snow days and leaks and dams.
Blog by Cate Baily
Cate discovered Kundalini Yoga by accident over 20 years ago and was surprised and thrilled by how engaged, energized, and inspired it made her feel. She's been practicing ever since. Click here for more complete bio.
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