Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh

I received this DVD yesterday and of course had to jettison my planned workout for it. (Sorry, Rodney Yee--but you know I'll be back to you!)

DH and I did this workout together. We didn't know what to expect of it. I knew that Gurmukh was a former hippie and had been trained by Yogi Bhajan himself. The DVD was made in 2000, when Gurmukh was 58. She looked about 35. These days, she's finally beginning to show her age, but all the same, she looks radiant. Just a have a look:

Gurmukh at 58

Gurmukh at 66

What a great testimony to kundalini yoga and a vegetarian lifestyle!

The workout is set in what seems to be a rainforest glade in Hawaii, with the participants on giant oriental rugs and Gurmukh on a kind of bamboo platform. We start with a single 'Ong namo guru dev namo' (as opposed to the usual 3 repetitions), then straight into the traditional warm-ups of sufi grinds and spinal flexes, etc. The workout is divided into Awaken, Energize, Strengthen and Relax. The Awaken section features the grinds and flexes. Energize is mostly the twisting movements peculiar to kundalini yoga. You do seated twists and then standing twists. The Strengthen section features lots of punching and vigorous movement. I was sweating during this part! There are some really fun chorus girl style high kicks going across the body--I wasn't expecting that! Gurmukh encourages you to push yourself, but also constantly reminds us to work at our own pace. The Relax section features a very brief satanama meditation, then a silent meditation in corpse pose accompanied by a gong. The workout takes an hour from start to finish.

I loved this workout! It is a great complement to KY for Empowering Women, because KY for Empowering Women is mostly floorwork emphasising the abdominals and pelvic floor in a series of static poses, while KY with Gurmukh is vigorous cardio-style stuff with no static poses at all.

Highly recommended!

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