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Kundalini in the Canyon Yoga, Child Care and Yogi Tea for the Soul
October 22, 2009 -
On a misty morning in a yard in Topanga, students begin to arrive, their mats rolled up under their arms. They quietly take their places in a warm, carpeted room. Soft music plays in the background. The class begins with a chant invoking the teacher that abides within us all. I see myself mostly as a facilitator, Petra Gordon, the instructor, says later. These teachings are so strong, they take on a life of their own.
This is Kundalini Yoga, an ancient tradition, practiced in the way Yogi Bhajan, the man who brought it to the West in 1969, always encouraged: in a private home. Though every class does include some of the stretching and breathing associated with Hatha or Flow yoga, Kundalini's teaching tends to be more intimate. It focuses on specific remedies for the maladies of our modern world: reducing stress, releasing anger, increasing prosperity, overcoming fear and fatigue. The list is long. Kundalini aims to give students the tools to meet these challenges in an actively spiritual or yogic way. I'm continually blown away by the response, says Petra. It's just amazing what people take away.
The culmination of the class is a meditation, but not the silent kind this word brings to mind. Music plays and there is more chanting. The energy becomes intense before Petra guides the class into a deep relaxation. Petra, who has been teaching yoga for twelve years, was authorized in the highly physical Ashtanga style, but turned to Kundalini after having children.
I love that it is for every type of person, from toddler to great-grandparent, and there is a great emphasis on family, and community in the teachings, she says. In keeping with this spirit, Petra arranges childcare at every group class and prepares the Yogi tea that is served afterwards. It's part of the tradition, she says, with the sound of laughter and children playing in the background.
For more information about Petra's classes please call or e-mail her at (310) 795-8902 or firstname.lastname@example.org respectively.