Gary Foreman  standing in front of statue - PURE Yoga Texas

A quick recap from last edition!

  • Got started in the hot room …
  • Was dealing with a previous injury …
  • Began exploring Kundalini Yoga … 

If you missed the first blog, read it here

Toward the beginning …

The practice did become a part of my day-to-day activity, but only after the first 6 months or so. I was not practicing every day, but I was preparing in other ways. I was washing my yoga clothes and towels, freezing containers of water (at that time), and remaining diet conscious. And now, because of yoga, I had a good reason to polish up my diet habits a little more. 

I began thinking about when and what to eat on the day of class as well as between classes. And now water became a priority. Every body is different and every body runs differently on any given day. And I did occasionally experience an extreme depletion of energy during class and sometimes DEHYDRATION. Remember, this was all a work in progress. There is a learning curve.

There was also the thought of when to leave my house and when to arrive at the studio so I wouldn’t feel rushed. Upon arrival, should I lie still, conserve energy and acclimate to the heat? Or should I do a few simple movements to move my muscles and joints from what might be a still day? It took time before I learned what worked best for my body and my practice.

Detox … 

I remember that the hot room was responsible for a lot of my detox. Of course, I was responsible for getting to the hot room so ultimately, I was responsible! So … what is detoxing? I started doing a little self-analysis and some research to find out. After some Q&A among other students and teachers, followed by a lot of reading, I began to understand. 

The detoxification was not only physical – as was indicated by the sweat on the mat. It was mental and spiritual too. While building more mental endurance, I was getting rid of old limitations. I was moving through times of doubt, and not giving up! The emotional detox was so very present. During class, I felt a spectrum of emotions from anger to sadness, to exhilaration!

I remember the frustration of not being able to do camel. I didn’t know it until later, but I was too challenged emotionally to expose the heart center in that way and at that time. Mental and emotional changes had been stirred up during the length of the class, but also cumulatively, class after class and day after day. This is what detoxification is all about! Through it, we are on our way to clearing and cleansing from the inside out. We do this with movement, stillness, breathing, and silence in the hot room. Who knew this was all possible? I didn’t at the time! 

Right away, I embraced the sweating. I loved it and still do. The experts were telling us that one might lose 2-3 lbs of water weight and burn anywhere from 400-800 calories in every class. Keep in mind those are calories, not fat cells! I may have lost 1-2 pounds after 20-30 classes, but more so, I noticed a redistribution of body weight. Through all of this I was gaining muscle and strength in places that I needed to be strong in.

What’s lost after an exercise regimen is waterweight, and that “lost” weight is replaced, happily, and almost immediately once you rehydrate. It is the losing water, replacing water, and subsequently eliminating water that is the detox process. This is vital for general health and wellness. The body weight might stay the same but the physical detox process is present and valuable

Never give up … Keep up … 

I was paying attention, eating better, and doing everything I could do to follow the dialog to help further my practice. All the while, I kept hearing about the possibility of repairing old injuries. For this chance at living pain-free from my own back injury, I had to keep trying and give it my all! I began to focus on fractions of inches within my foot placement that affected the hip, low back, and spinal alignment. When the teacher said “round the spine” I gave it my best effort. And when I heard, “One day, your head will touch the floor,” I knew I could do it. I felt it in me. Once you dedicate yourself to your practice, you begin to understand what is happening inside and out, and you will want to keep going. I did! And then something amazing happened. My back injury became better! This felt great to me. I was taking responsibility and it compelled me to continue further – happily and with zeal!

Furthering my practice and exploring other forms of yoga 

My yoga journey has exposed me to a number of different yoga forms, like Kundalini Yoga. In my studies of Kundalini Yoga, I found it to be fairly standard in format; Tune-in, Kriya (a kriya is, a sequence or series of postures / movements), savasana (lying still), gong bath (if available), pranayama (breath control) / meditation and closing song. 

It appears this is where I learned pranayama or breath control. Breath of fire (B of F) was something we did frequently. Sometimes it was done along with a posture and sometimes it was done in the later part of the class. B of F is a rapid, equal inhale and exhale, with vigor, pumping the navel point. It is routinely followed by a deep inhale and holding of the breath while performing Mula Bandha or Root Lock. 

The Root Lock is the contracting of the anus, while tucking the navel point and pulling up on the sex organs. This raises the Kundalini energy. The Kundalini energy is the coiled energy that resides at the base of the spine. Every human has this potential. The energy rises up the electric cable which is the nerves that reside within each vertebrae of the spinal column. Between the holding of the breath, the lock, and the raising of the energy this could create a temporary euphoric effect in the mind and body. This is the effect of presence and awareness, even if just for a second or two. Although this effect could be there one day and not there the next, I have become very familiar with this process. 

Things like B of F in Kundalini Yoga gave me more breath control in the hot room. It gave me an understanding of the importance of breathing. When we achieve stillness in a posture, we are able to focus on the breath, find control,and be aware and fully present. This takes time and possibly many classes. 

Remember, every body is different on each day and what might be “achieved” in one class might not be available in the next. Kundalini Yoga gave me practice and understanding of different kinds of pranayama. This was a valuable tool that transferred to the hot room but also, meditation in general!

Next Blog:  

  • Continuing in the hot room …
  • Further strengthening of the back and front …
  • The moving meditation, stillness and the mirror …
  • More on Kundalini Yoga …

About Gary 

Gary is a drummer, life coach and yogi.  His life long journey in self-healing and self-discovery have helped him heal his body and his mind. When you see him at the Dallas studio, say hello!

Connect with Gary: website, facebook page, or email him

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