From Carrie Evans…
One of my favorite discoveries this year has been that of Kunadalini Yoga. More specifically it has been the expertise of Carrie Evans. I’m so grateful that Carrie has moved her practice to the Massage Center where I too, see in-person clients. Her choice to do so has connected me to the beauty, grace and intuitive ally that Kundalini Yoga has become for me!
Q. What drew you to Kundalini Yoga?
A. When I was 19, my father suddenly passed away. Without really realizing it was happening, I was consumed with severe anxiety & depression. At the time, my mother was practicing and teaching Kundalini yoga and she encouraged me to practice it too. Because I have a deep respect and friendship with my mother, I listened, and I have never looked back. Almost immediately I started feeling the effects of Kundalini and began a beautiful journey where I released my anxiety and depression solely through yoga & meditation with no drugs or psychotherapy. It completely changed my life and continues to each time I practice it.
Q. Kundalini Yoga is sometimes referred to as “the yoga of awareness”. With this comes the suggestion that it focuses on the expansion of sensory awareness and intuition, in order to raise consciousness. I’d love to hear your view of Kundalini Yoga as it relates to awareness.
A. Kundalini Yoga is designed specifically to raise the Kundalini energy that lives at the base of the spine. As the Kundalini is awakened during kriyas (sets of exercises with a desired outcome), it creates a deeper inner awareness as the Kundalini travels up the spine, awakening and balancing each of the 8 chakras. As the chakras come into balance and the Kundalini is flowing, a person feels greater well-being, and is more aware of their feelings and intuition and has a sense of a greater connection with infinite energy.
Q. As I’ve begun practicing Kundalini Yoga with you Carrie my biggest ‘aha’ has been around the breathwork associated with the practice. My insides feel like they’ve been massaged after one of your classes! Can you speak to its role and its importance?
A. Ha, Ha! Yes! Breathwork or Pranayama is crucial to Kundalini practice. Breath is life. And life is energy. Breath is a powerful lifeforce and when harnessed you can revitalize your entire body and spirit. Thousands of years ago, yoga was primarily pranayama, mantra, and meditation. Most of the asanas (poses) came at the turn of the century with the gymnastics movement. The yogis used breathwork because it was a powerful tool to create union, which is the definition of yoga. Breath brings more oxygen and blood flow to all your organs, it expands your lungs, it strengthens your diaphragm, it moves the Kundalini energy along the Ida, Pingala, and Shushumna (energy lines).
Your insides are massaged with the techniques Kundalini offers. The breathing techniques used in my classes are designed to remove negative emotion/thought, to cleanse and detox, to relax the mind and body, to generate clarity and focus, to balance both hemisphere’s of the brain, to cool or to warm the body, to open chakras, the list is endless. Many people don’t even realize that they spend their days holding their breath. Learning to breathe will bring you greater energy and awareness.
Q. How are our seven main chakras addressed with Kundalini Yoga?
A. As the Kundalini rises through the energy channels that lie along the spine, it activates each chakra. In Kundalini we also honor an 8th chakra, the electromagnetic field or aura. The kriyas that we practice also provide techniques for balancing each chakra by using certain movements, breath or sound (mantra) and often a combination of all 3.
Q. Do you have a favorite kriya or asana?
A. I have so many!! One that is dear to my heart is called “The Essence of Self” I practiced this kriya for 40 days, when I first began practicing Kundalini yoga. It is a heart opener and designed to allow a person to give and receive love without anger fear or resentment. I had many profound personal changes occur from practicing this set. I also love the morning call mantra “Ek Ong Kar, Sat Nam Siri, Wahe Guru.” It means “there is one creative creation, truth is it’s name, WOW! Indescribable wisdom!”
This mantra also blasted me into spiritual growth. And I also love cat/cow pose because it is a “stand-alone” posture and it rejuvenates the entire spine, stimulating all 72,000 nerve endings, among many other benefits. It will stimulate all of the chakras. I also love it for prenatal yoga and I practiced it myself everyday for both my pregnancies. It has the ability to flip baby if baby is breech.
Carrie is a LMT, NCTMB, Certified Yoga Teacher and Kundalini Instructor practicing in Wilmington, DE. She offers group and private instruction for Kundalini Yoga which offer you solutions to keep your subtle energy body balanced. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org