Today I finally went to Golden Bridge, the kundalini studio in SoHo that I’d heard so much about. It’s a branch of the hugely popular studio in LA.
The space was less immense than I expected; it’s a cozy townhouse with one classroom per floor (and retail on the ground level), fireplaces and couches skirting the classroom. I felt really at home.
Siri Sat Kaur taught a great class, peppered with a lot of information. Kundalini tends to give you a lot more of the WHY behind the poses. I’ll paraphrase her comments.
We started off with sithali pranayam, a cooling breath where you roll your tongue into a U and inhale, then exhale with closed mouth through the nose. It’s good for the hot season, or amusing children.
Then we did a spinal warmup similar to the one I do in the mornings:
- seated breath of fire with arms in a V above head, fingertips curled (ego eradicator)
- seated spinal flexion with hands on ankles, then hands on knees (stretching lower, then middle back)
- seated spinal twists with hands on shoulders (sitting on heels)
Next were the pelvic exercises. The major triangle is formed by our root, sacral and navel chakras. When this part of the body is in balance, the whole body can balance.
- long deep breathing in reverse table top (hands facing back, torso parallel to floor)
- breath of fire in wheel (surprisingly difficult, I ran out of breath a lot)
- breath of fire in stretch pose (on back, stretch head, hands and feet towards the front of the room)
- long deep breathing with alternating forward bends (standing with feet medium wide, hands together over head, hinging from hips to touch hands in front of each foot)
Then we did some heart opening poses. The heart is the center of love, but also of fear, compassion, and right action. When you move from the heart, you will never go wrong. The heart is connected to the thymus gland, which regulates your immune system.
- long deep breathing in cat-cow, with leg extension on the inhale and knee-to-nose on the exhale (burned like the Buns of Steel I did as a teenager)
- sitting with arms at 90º out to sides, clenching fingers like a cat, with breath of fire
Finally, some relaxation and meditation:
- five minutes in corpse
- ten minutes sitting with hands in front of heart, palms facing out, index fingers touching and thumbs touching to make a triangle, other fingers folded to the center of the palm
I’m forgetting some poses, but it was a well-balanced class. I love how kundalini integrates asana, prayanama, and meditation into one. It doesn’t give you the stretched-out-workout feeling, you have to keep up vinyasa for that, but I get a serious happy buzz the evening or morning after a difficult class because it balances the glands and hormones. Strange but true.
The founder of the LA studio, Gurmukh, is teaching a couple workshops this weekend. Then she’ll be in LA until October. I want to go, but they’re $55 each, so I’m on the fence. Which is not so comfy.