Sunday, 21 October 2012 
Within about 10 minutes of arriving for our Saturday workshop session, a half dozen people had asked me if I was excited about the afternoon’s classes.  Excited?  Hell no.  I would rather have been in bed, with a cup of tea and the book I’m half way through.  I wasn’t in the mood for four hours straight of Kundalini yoga, even if it was with celebrity-yogi Gurmukh. 

Semperviva’s director, Gloria, told us recently that she was in the habit of dropping everything and going wherever Gurmukh was to practice with her.  After a few minutes in the presence of this small woman in her 60’s, clad in white and topped off with a white turban, I could already understand why.  Gurmukh oozes worldly life experience and emits a great sense of peace and well-being, whilst still acknowledging that these things are something that you work for every day of your life.  She has a great sense of humour and I never felt that she places herself above those before her as all-knowing.  Her workshops are not for the faint hearted.  Resting your weight on your hands and lifting and pedalling your legs doesn’t seem like all that difficult a task… until you do it for nine minutes.  Kneeling, sitting on your feet and bending forwards to the ground and rising back up again doesn’t seem all that difficult… until you do it for six minutes.  Sitting with your legs crossed and breathing around your tongue where it’s placed between your teeth doesn’t seem difficult… until you do it for 11 minutes.  Holding yours hands up on your head and flicking your tongue back and forth just outside your mouth doesn’t sound difficult…until you’re asked to do it for 22 minutes (I didn’t, by the way.  I bailed after about ten minutes and had a nap).  There were some exercises that really worked for me, and a whole lot that didn’t, so I don’t think I’m sold on regularly practicing Kundalini, but I do like the idea of incorporating some of it with other styles of yoga.  It’s certainly highly accessible because it’s not reliant on flexibility and strength the way other styles of yoga tend to be, and the singing and dancing is fun no matter how young/old/fit/frail you are. 

In total we spent eight hours with Gurmukh over the weekend.  A bit much?  Maybe.  Keen to practice Kundalini regularly?  No, not really.  But she was awesome and I definitely recommend looking her up and reading about her incredible life story (check out Wikipedia), as well as checking out her interviews etc on youtube.  

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