Chakras to me

If you haven't heard of Kundalini Yoga, I urge you to try it...it is definitely an experience! Last month when my good friend Amy invited me to stay at her lovely Montecito home overlooking the ocean and mountains to do a 10 day yoga detox/cleanse with her, I couldn't refuse. I mean, she had me at Beach in Santa Barbara! Not only was it perfect timing to get in shape for Summer, but also it was a chance to try something new: Kundalini Yoga!

After a bit of research before the cleanse, I learned that Kundalini Yoga is the most powerful and inclusive of all yogas. It blends breathing, movement, stretching, meditation and chanting (yes chanting). Kundalini yoga is sometimes called "the yoga of awareness" because it awakens the "kundalini" an inherent form of dormant energy that exists within the body (a coil in the spine) and moves the energy through the chakras.

Benefits include enhanced health and well being, greater physical flexibility, stronger and balanced immune, digestive, eliminative, and nervous systems. And helps one to gain greater calmness, clarity, creativity, and improved concentration. And added bonus: regular practice in Kundalini can greatly increase your levels of sexual energy leading to a wonderfully enhanced sex life.

I have to admit, I was a bit of a skeptic before going in, but after the first day I was an addict! The energy in the room was incredible, so much so that I could actually feel it around me...no joke. Siddhi our yoga guide had the most soothing voice and calming demeanor. She started each class with a song/chant called *Wahe Guru, where we would sit cross-legged and repeat the words Wahe Guru over and over starting in a deep low voice (think bottom of the belly) and go up the scale until it felt like we reached the top of our heads with a high pitched voice. The vibration in the song helped to excite the chakras and start the flow of energy. All very foreign, yet interesting stuff to me! In addition to the daily chanting, Siddhi focused each day around an organ in the body (i.e. liver) to detox, so we would preform certain intense yoga poses (some which left me in pain the next day) and a bit of cardio in the form of dance and movement flow to help release the toxins from that specific organ.

Along with the yoga portion of the detox we also followed a pretty rigid diet plan. This was the part that I had the most fun with! Siddhi provided a list of foods we were able to enjoy during the 10 days, most of which included fruits and vegetables (think extreme vegan), and we were instructed to eat every 2-3 hours. Each day I created a refreshing juice blend, a fulfilling salad and a flavorful dinner for Amy and I. After a few days we both felt amazing and much lighter...not just in the physical sense but also mentally. Here is one of my favorite recipes that I created (perfect for a summer day):

Quinoa Veggie Salad:

1/2 cup Quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1 Zucchini (cubed)
1/2 cup Grape tomatoes (halved)
6 Asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces)
10 Kalamata Olives (pitted and chopped)
12 Basil Leaves (chopped)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TBS Olive Oil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Combine quinoa and water in a small pot, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 15 minutes (or until liquid is gone). Then set aside.

In a saute pan, combine olive oil, zucchini and asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes, then add tomatoes and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat.

In a serving bowl add quinoa, sauteed veggies, olives, basil and lemon juice and mix. Top with fresh ground pepper and serve.

Yield: 2-3 servings

All and all my Kundalini Yoga detox experience was wonderful and I would highly recommend it! Check out Siddhi's website for information on her upcoming events, http://www.siddhisyoga.com/ or check into a yoga studio around you for Kundalini classes. If anyone is interested in more recipes, just let me know and I will gladly send them over :)

*Wahe (Wha-hay) means “Wow” or “Ecstacy.” It’s sort of an exclamation of the joy of existence. ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘Ru’ means light. So Gu-Ru is basically the transformation from dark to light, which is why we have associated the word with ‘enlightened’ or masterful individuals.

No comments:

Post a Comment