Kundalini Yoga is the fastest growing form of yoga on the planet right now. As I observed in my last yoga-related post, Mallorca is rapidly becoming yoga island. So it’s wonderful but perhaps not surprising that we have our own excellent Kundalini Yoga studio, the RA MA Institute in Santa Catalina, Palma.
Kundalini Yoga is very different from the postural yoga most of us are familiar with – Vinyasa Flow or Ashtanga, for instance. In Kundalini Yoga, you practice a series of kriyas or combinations of posture, breathing and sound, a mantra, that have a specific purpose.
Kriyas are used to do things like strengthen the nervous system, balance the glandular system, purify the body and calm the mind. They work by generating and organising energy to direct a yogi to a state of great awareness. There are often pauses between kriyas to enable yogis to experience the benefits.
Kundalini Yoga devotees usually wear all white when they practice, although you don’t have to. Women, and sometimes men, cover their hair. This is because Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West, taught that tying hair on top of the head and covering it enables yogis to harness energy, clear the mind and focus.
These elements combine to make Kundalini Yoga feel especially intense. It was the first kind of yoga I practiced and I feel incredibly fortunate to have found it. For me, no other yoga is as powerful an agent of transformation and inspiration, especially when it comes to creativity.
I interviewed Nam Satya Kaur of the RA MA Institute about how it arrived in Palma and what Kundalini Yoga has to offer.
Incidentally, Kundalini Yoga teachers all take spiritual names. Kaur means ‘princess or lioness of God’.
Why Palma, Nam Satya?
Guru Jagat, founder of the RA MA Institute in Venice, California, had been invited to teach a workshop on the island. Before leaving, she proclaimed the idea of RA MA Mallorca and so it came to be. We opened our doors at the current location in 2017.
Why you think Kundalini Yoga is growing so fast?
We live in accelerated times. I’m sure we can all agree that things that can seem normal today were not considered that way or even likely to happen only two or three years ago. Because the world is constantly changing at a much faster pace, it’s only natural that our spiritual practice follows suit. Yogi Bhajan, the Master who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in the 1960s, predicted the rise of technology and technology related illnesses from overstimulation of information and so on and he decided to bring these otherwise hidden teachings into the light of day. Until 50 years ago this kind of yoga had never been taught publicly as it was considered to be ‘too powerful’. He saw that this practice was exactly what people needed at this time on the planet.
People coming to Kundalini Yoga experience a practice that’s different from other kinds of yoga, which for the most part have been altered and watered down to fit better with our Western concepts. Kundalini Yoga is focused on the internal experience of ‘You in You’: your experience of yourself, within yourself. It’s not a ‘pretty’ form of yoga. It’s often uncomfortable, confrontational, goes very deep into the subconscious levels of the mind and touches on those parts of us that we don’t normally like to look at. But that’s what people need to do right now, and that’s why they practice it.
And in Mallorca?
We’re the island’s only yoga studio dedicated to Kundalini Yoga. RA MA draws an international and local crowd – people based on the island, those passing through on holiday – and is a destination for the European and global communities. Our community is growing and ever expanding as Kundalini Yoga is recognised and appreciated for its quick, straightforward approach and fast results.
Why do you personally practice Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga gives me an experience of my own capacity to be ‘More’ than what I thought I was. It’s a way to experience and work directly with the source of power and energy inside myself, to confront, and to expand my capacity to hold more.
It was not an overnight sell though. I was practicing for some years on and off, but it wasn’t until I met Guru Jagat that I really understood just how significant this practice could be to my life if I committed to it fully. She really taught me about commitment to yourself, the student/teacher relationship and what it means to be a true practitioner of yoga. It’s something you can’t study your way through.
Receiving the benefits is only possible by actually doing the yoga and the meditations and listening to and reciting the mantras. I think that’s what attracted me to it as well. Even though Kundalini Yoga is in many ways a shortcut, within the practice there are no shortcuts. You have to show up for yourself and commit to what you’re doing. But whatever you put into it you receive back ten-thousand-fold.
Now that winter’s here, I asked Nam Satya Kaur to suggest a way Kundalini Yoga can help us stay energised and positive.
Try this: come on to all fours on hands and knees. Inhale, bring the head up, stretch the throat and heart open while bringing the navel towards the ground and the tailbone up. That’s the ‘cow’ position.
Exhale as you send the tailbone down, round the spine and let the head hang between the shoulders in the ‘cat’ position.
Inhale back into cow, exhale in cat. Keep going for three minutes. Don’t be afraid to go fast and be vigorous but keep the breath full and deep. Finish by relaxing into Child’s Pose. Sit back onto the heels and bring the forehead to the ground. Breathe and let go.
Three minutes of this every day will balance the glandular system and keep your summer glow all winter long. Tune into your own and the universal higher consciousness before you begin by chanting or simply saying the mantra ‘Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo’ three times.
Nam Satya Kaur also recommends chanting mantras as ‘Another very simple but effective tool to change your mood and the vibrational frequency around you. In Kundalini Yoga, we use them to regulate mood and reset glandular and hormonal balance. Sleeping to mantras or experiencing a gong meditation are especially beneficial.’
The musical group, White Sun, creates beautiful mantra music, and won a Grammy Award for their album, White Sun II. They released an album of Gong tracks, which is incredibly healing. Their third album came out this summer and Nam Satya can’t stop listening to it.
She adds, ‘Gathering together in conscious community is also one of my favourite ways to get through the off-season winter months in Mallorca. When we come together and practice yoga we feel the benefits of the practice even more deeply because when one person is uplifted we’re all uplifted.’
As well as Kundalini Yoga classes in English and Spanish, RA MA offers meditation, gong experiences, sound alchemy, trainings, workshops, health therapies and dance. It’s a large, peaceful studio where you’re made to feel very welcome. I had an extremely powerful gong experience at RA MA.
RA MA Mallorca also hosts a weekly by donation class every Friday from 18:30 – 20:00, open to everyone who might be curious about Kundalini Yoga and who wishes to try the practice, see the studio and meet others in the community looking to live in a more intentional way.
Between January 15 – 18 next year, Guru Jagat’s signature woman’s programme Immense Grace will have its first immersion on the island. According to Nam Satya, this will be ‘A significant event we predict will bring more than a hundred women from all over the world to this place that holds so much relevant energetic wisdom. A lot of magic has happened here.’
There will also be Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 with Harijiwan and Guru Jagat between January 18 – 24 as well as Level 2, Conscious Communication with Harijiwan and Guru Jagat, January 26 – 31.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more.