Chilean Adventures in Yoga

I decided yesterday after first almost getting ripped off by my taxi driver (“I can’t believe you’ve never heard that the base fare for that stop was 1,400″) to running into my former boss at the pharmacy (the one who stopped paying me and subsequently threatened to deport when I told him I needed money to, like, eat) that my karma was already off. Yes, it’s a record! It was only 2.5 days into the new year and I’d already gone and screwed it up. Somehow. Trust me, I could probably shatter that too if I tried.

I decided to try a class at a yoga studio that came recommended. It’s a Kundalini studio. the last Kundalini class I attended in Chile consisted of an exercise to control and see our auras which inexplicably left me near tears. My classes in the U.S. were more mellow. I think I was expecting a mix of the two in this class.

Kundalini yoga image from

The environment was welcoming. People in flowing white clothing waited on bean bag chairs for the next class to start. The secretary who took my sign-in information didn’t say anything when I snarfed at the question “what is your spiritual name?” Sister, I’m lucky if I remember my real name on most days, I wanted to say, but I refrained.

As I was waiting, a man with long hair tied back in a bun walked in carrying a tiny basket. He announced that he was selling little “balls” made with oatmeal, cocoa, and honey and that we could buy one for 200 pesos. That sounds nutritious and delicious, I reasoned, I’m in! I forked over my two coins, and as he handed me my healthy treat, the man behind me said none too quietly, “You must not eat before meditation.”


Really? *sigh again*

This is how the brainwashing starts, I thought. First they tell me I can’t eat, then the next thing you know I’m wearing a turban and all white. Leave me alone to eat my little oatmeal ball that I paid 200 pesos for and let me worry about my meditation.

Once we got in the classroom, I realize that the man who had chided me earlier was blind and a favorite amongst instructors and students. He sat up by the front so he could hear how the postures were described. I normally try to sit on the left side, so I can see the instructor with my good eye…and yet I still complain! That’s it, I thought, now my karma is really messed up. This year is a wash before it has even begun.

The class was a nice mix of kriyas to calm the nervous system and open the glandular system .I enjoyed it, except, as usual, I couldn’t concentrate during the meditation. Not even for five minutes. It’s like my subconscious wanted to screw with me.

Subconscious: Hey….hey…hey!
Me: Uh…what?
Subconscious: Nothing. I just wanted to say that you should be concentrating.
Me: I’m trying but you interrupted. 
Subconscious: My bad. I’ll be quiet from now….
Me: Thanks, because I’m starting to get really distracted. In fact, I’m thinking that I want those rock lamps for my apartment.
Subconscious: Totally. You totally should. *whistles* Hey…hey…hey!
Me: Yes?
Subconscious: You should get the little crystal ornaments that are hanging from the ceiling, too.
Me: Good idea, tha- STOP THAT! Are you doing this because I ate?
Subconscious: Your guess is as good as mine.

Yes, my meditation was off. It’s because I ate. It had to be. That is what food does to me. Everything comes down to food. I leave jobs (actually, I left joB, not jobS – and just the one mentioned above) because I like eating it too much and I can’t concentrate during meditation because of it. Food is overrated.

This month, as I finish the last two classes for my master’s I think I’ll take full advantage of the one-month pass I bought for the studio. Maybe I’ll work up to fasting beforehand like a diehard yogi, or maybe I’ll continue to struggle with my self-sabotaging subconscious. We shall see. I just know that leaving the studio last night, I felt awesome! Maybe I put some points back in the karma bank? Yes??

To be continued…

7 responses to “Chilean Adventures in Yoga

  1. I don’t see a whole lot of Kundalini classes around here. Of course, I also probably don’t know a fourth of the studios that exist either.

    It cracks me up when I see that some studios suggest that you not eat two to three hours before yoga class. If I did that, I’d never practice.

    I’m definitely curious about how you’ll feel once you’re deeper into your Kundalini experience.

    • THe funny thing is, I have a hard time finding a hatha class around here. There is only one studio I found with hatha classes. The others are all kundalini, astanga, or iyengar. I know that iyengar is based off hatha, but sometimes I just want basic hatha. I agree with you about the eating. I have to eat something small before practice or I would get weak and shaky. I can’t hold a pose while hungry.

  2. I would have eaten it, too. Otherwise, I get distracted by my rumbling belly.

  3. I don’t eat prior to morning yoga classes – but I don’t eat breakfast anyway so this isn’t a stress to me. And I still have trouble with mediating (I may have fallen asleep during meditation on tuesday (hey, I’m still jet lagged)).

  4. Dude obviously didn’t know you’re a vata — you need to eat regularly. It’s like a doshic requirement.
    I’m glad you found a studio nearby and that you’re getting to explore Kundalini some more. I’ve only taken a few classes (not too many teachers out this way). I took a class that combined Vinyasa and Kundalini that was ROCKIN’… I’d really like to try some more. Keep me updated so I can live vicariously through you (for Kundalini AND Chile)!

  5. Pingback: On yoga teachers, bendiness, and favorites |

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