I recently decided that meditation and yoga would be a good thing to look into. I found this free center and was waiting for a day when I could go and try it out, but my friend Stephanie found this class and wanted to try that out first. Because my experience was so insane, I will NOT be sharing where we went or the names of the instructors. The reviews for this place were amazing (all glowing and five stars), but we did not have the same experience. It wasn’t a bad class, but it wasn’t what we were looking for, nor what we expected. Also, my inner thoughts during the class will be shared via tweets that I wished I was making during the session. Yes, I thought about live tweeting… That’s how out of place I felt.
First, let me explain what this place was. It was located in a studio behind the instructor’s house. The studio just looked like a standard dance studio, but with no mirrors and lots of windows. There was a wrap around porch that looked nice and cozy, except for the seven bowls of half eaten cat food for the strays around the neighborhood. Seeing the bowls, I knew we were in trouble. Also, everyone is supposed to wear white. Stephanie mentioned this to me and we both agreed we weren’t going to buy white outfits for a one time class, but I forgot about this the morning of and decided that I would wear a bright red shirt. Needless to say, I stood out quite a bit.
Once someone finally acknowledged our existence, (we stood in the doorway for quite some time trying to figure out what we should do) we were give pamphlets and a chant sheet. Looking at the chant sheet seemed to calm me a bit. It made me feel like this was going to be authentic and relaxing. I can’t say the class wasn’t authentic, but it sure as heck wasn’t relaxing! We started out by sitting straight and chanting. I didn’t know the chant, but they were reading too fast for me to follow along (they weren’t actual words, more just sounds) so I just decided to close my eyes and just listen and try to “focus on my center eye.” After chants the class really started. We were to “pant as if a dog, but through our nose instead of the mouth.” I started this, but didn’t go for the full three minutes. I felt a lack of oxygen getting to my brain and thought I was about to actually hyperventilate. The breathing exercise sort of made sense to me. I get it, breathing is important and does things for the body. It is the next part that was confusing.
We then were instructed to have our elbows at our side, palms up, and to close our fist and open them violently. We did this for about three minutes… Not sure what this was doing for our psyche since we were given no explanation. Then we were to flap our arms like a bird “very quickly as to stay up in the air.” The lady next to me was very good at this, and I’m positive that she would have been the highest in the air were we actually flying. We were supposed to keep our eyes shut, but I wasn’t sure I was doing things correctly so I was sneaking a peek every now and then. The last exercise was one where we would sort of alternate between punching in front of us with one hand and reaching with the other. Again, not sure what that was for, but I felt as if I was supposed to punch and throw the bad energy from my body? Maybe??
The husband of the instructor sat up on the little stage with a mic and began by saying “I’ve got a couple bees in my turban this morning.” I literally thought he had bees in his turban and was about to let them roam around the room. Like, he didn’t make is sound as if he was using a metaphor, but that there were actual bees in his turban. Once I realized he just wanted to complain about things I calmed down. This class is based off of Kundalini yoga, something I have no knowledge of or about. I maybe should have looked up information before, but by the time this guy started talking it was too late.
He starts by saying that people come up to him all the time and tell him they have had a “Kundalini awaking.” He then talks about how people expect congratulations from that when they should really be thinking about what to do next. After that rant, I realized that he is just going to talk about nonsense for a bit. He starts talking about the penis as a symbol of power and how Christians need to recognize that sex has always been involved in their religion; how this certain yogi guy did make things up when creating Kundalini yoga, but he is just like a chef who builds new creations off the building blocks of others, and people need to stop complaining about that; and how he isn’t a teacher and doesn’t claim to be one but we should still listen to what he has to say. The class thought he was hilarious. I was confused..
Next came the meditation portion of the class. Twenty-two minutes of sitting straight and listening to a musical chant. The meditation was supposed to be thirty minutes long, but the guy
ranted talked too long. It was sort of relaxing and I didn’t feel like I was sitting there for twenty two minutes! I think my mind actually shut off for a bit, which is what I really wanted in a meditation class! I was SO SO SO happy 😀 Then came the gong portion, which also sounds relaxing, but wasn’t. I don’t know if it was just the fact that I was hungry or if I was getting some sort of inner alarm, but the gong sounded like a screaming woman. I heard many strange things in that gong.. disturbing things. I’m sure it’s all in my head, but it was not at all comforting. I wanted to leave ASAP.
When class was finally over, the instructor asked us if we wanted to have a flyer on the camps they are offering this summer. We politely declined. Once we were sure we could leave, we did. I felt as if I was escaping some sort of compound. We got in the car and drove off the second our butts hit the seat. As Stephanie and I were talking about it later we realized that this may have been a good class if we subscribed to their thoughts.
In conclusion, I will not be going back. I, however, did find another meditation class to attend and will be trying that out soon as well as a yoga class! I’m excited to try them out!!!
OH! I almost forgot!!
1) Our bodies seemed to have a sheen of incense. Our hair felt dirty and our skin felt course. Even after washing my hands twice, I could still smell it on my skin!
and 2) They sold Gong Energized Water for $1. I would have totally bought a bottle if it had a homemade label on it, but sadly it was just standard Ozarka.