Saturday, 1 March 2008
Mantra Girl Presents Advanced Kundalini Yoga for the Spiritual Warrior (AKA 'If You've Been Doing Ravi & Ana Ha Ha on You')
Advanced Kundalini for the Spiritual Warrior is KILLER! I just finished this workout about two hours ago, and my quadriceps are having post-traumatic-stress-induced flashbacks. Ouch!
The workout starts with tuning in, stomach grinds, spinal flexes and a long forward bend. Then the workout begins. *whimper*
You start with hands in gyan mudra out to the sides, standing up, and you do moderately paced knee runs while doing breath of fire. This goes on until the ends of your hair are dripping with sweat and your breath has gone from 'light sniffing' to sucking in and out through the mouth, with the occasional Amy Bento style 'Whoo!' to keep the spirits up.
Next you get in down dog, but instead of going into plank, then push up, then up dog pose (as with most of my yoga DVDs), you swoop from down dog directly into up dog. I found this terribly hard--and you do it about a thousand times (or so it seems). Sweat was dripping onto the mat and I was actually grunting by the time we finished this set.
After that, you sit in easy pose and hold your left arm out straight from the shoulder and hold it out there while breathing deeply. My heart was pounding and sweat still coming out of my hair during the left arm, but by the time we moved to the right arm I was beginning to feel human again. (Sort of).
The rest is sort of a blur, but I think the next thing is the dreaded froggy squats. On this section I could not keep up. In fact, if I had pushed myself any harder, I feel sure my quadriceps would have cramped up and I would have fallen, crippled, to the floor. Seriously. I did my best, which was nowhere near what the unflappable Mantra Girl was serenely doing. After that set, you stand up on your knees with hands on quads, sit on your heels, stand back up again, sit back down again, over and over and over and over. This actually wasn't so bad and helped stretch out the quads after the torture of the froggy squats. Then you get in down dog and do breath of fire.
Somewhere during this blur, you attempt to do the impossible: sit with legs out as far as you can, put your hands on your thighs and do spinal flexes, then after that set, put your hands on the floor in front of yourself and push down into the floor, lifting your entire bottom and legs off the floor and dropping back down again. Mantra Girl and her cronies were all doing it. The modifiers in the back were just pressing into the floor, but they were doing better than me. I was just sort of leaning forward a bit. And my version of having my legs out to the sides is nowhere near their version. Let's just say they're more flexible. (The little tramps).
At some point around this time, you lie on your belly and clasp your hands behind your back, pull your chest up off the floor and do breath of fire again. Then you do what I call the 'walrus flop', where you put your chin on the floor and thump your pelvis up and down against the floor while doing breath of fire. (This was the only part of the workout that got DH's attention; the rest of the time he sat on the sofa reading a magazine.) Then you hold your right foot behind your back and rock back and forth on the belly, hold your left foot and rock, then hold both feet and rock. Then you do breath of fire while kicking yourself in the butt one leg at a time. (I told you it was a blur--the order of these sets is probably not quite accurate).
At some point we did the other thing that I absolutely could not keep up with: you sit down cross-legged on the floor, get up without using your hands, switch feet around, sit down without using hands, stand up no hands, switch feet, sit, stand, sit stand, sit stand, so on and so forth, never using your hands to help. It was during this set that I called Mantra Girl that bad word from 'Atonement' and complained aloud that Yogi Bhajan was nothing but a cab driver anyway. (Okay, so my serenity and loving-kindness need as much help as my strength and flexibility. It's why I'm working on it with this stuff!)
There are some leg lifts in this workout somewhere; can't remember where! There's also a 'washing machine' twist set with hands interlaced at the solar plexus.
The closing meditations are wonderful--Adi Shakti and Ra-ma-da-sa sa-say-so-hung.
ADI SHAKTI, ADI SHAKTI, ADI SHAKTI, NAMO NAMO,
SARAB SHAKTI, SARAB SHAKTI, SARAB SHAKTI, NAMO NAMO,
PRITHUM BHAGAWATI, PRITHUM BHAGAWATI, PRITHUM BHAGAWATI,
KUNDALINI, MATA SHAKTI, MATA SHAKTI, NAMO, NAMO.
The First Shakti Mantra tunes into the frequency of the Divine Mother, and to primal protective, generating energy. Chanting it eliminates fears and fulfils desires. Adi Shakti means the "Primal Power," Sarab Shakti means "All Power", and Prithum Bhagawati means "the power through which everything manifests". Mata Shakti is the Divine Mother. Namo means "I bow to".
RA MA DA SA, SA SAY SO HUNG
is the Siri Gaitri Mantra, and is chanted for healing. Ra is the sun, Ma is the Moon, Da is the earth, and Sa is Infinity. Say is the totality of Infinity, and So Hung is "I am Thou". "Ra Ma Da Sa" is the Earth Mantra. and "Sa Say So Hung" is the Ether Mantra.
These mantras are mesmerising. When I finished the second one, I felt as if I was waking up, and I looked over at the couch and saw that the hypnotic sounds had put DH right sleep.
All in all, a wonderful and invigorating set. I bet I'll be sore tomorrow.
May all beings be at ease.