It's Spring, a time for renewal and rebirth. With the growing interest in Kundalini Yoga in the Bay Area, as well as more studios offering it, we couldn’t think of a better time to write about the form of Yoga meant to awaken the spirit to it’s true calling. This week, we caught up with Liya Garber on what inspired her to teach Kundalini. Liya has a workshop coming up thisSunday, April 17th at Yogatree Telegraph - don't miss it!
What drew you to Kundalini style Yoga? And what made you eventually want to teach it?
After 5 years of living in NYC in my early twenties and giving all of my energy to my work, I decided to leave the city to start a journey of self-discovery. I began at a very special retreat center: Les Pyramidas Del Ka. I was studying the Mystical Kabalah, Astrology, Dream Works and Past Life Regressions. In most of my meditations, I'd see a repeated image: a big wooden box with white clothes inside. I couldn't understand what its meaning was and didn’t know yet of Kundalini Yoga. During my studies, I went into a long period of silence; supporting my consciousness to clear and elevate to re-connect with my true self.
After that , I continued around the world, connecting with different masters and teachers and became interested in various methods of self healing. I was visiting NYC and attended a powerful workshop with Snatam Kaur at Integral Yoga that left me crying uncontrollably. I went to her at the end of the event and asked “What is this powerful release I’m feeling?” She looked at me and said: " You need to teach, go study with Gurmukh and become a Kundalini Yoga teacher.” After 3 months, that's what happened. I went to India and was in my first level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher training with Gurmukh. In the end of my training Gurmukh said to me: "You need to teach, teach, teach... " and I started teaching the next day. I stayed in India for another 6 months teaching at 2 studios, in Rishikesh and Dharmsala.
And what sort of other 'life shifts' happened over that time period?
I started to clear old patterns from my ancestors and my past lives from my consciousness. I was able to manifest more quickly and with more clarity than before. I felt I could see my life more clearly, and confusion began to melt away. As I progressed deeper in my own healing through Kundalini Yoga, I understood that my purpose in this lifetime is to be a Kundalini Yoga teacher and spread these deep principles.
What are you focusing on in your classes this Spring?
This Spring I am focusing on clearing the Arc Line and detoxing the body, especially the Liver. This is deep work that clears Winter from our mind and also from our actions which create a reaction in our present life. Yogi Bhajan taught that the 6th body is the arc line, which is the halo that stretches around our forehead, earlobe to earlobe. Women also have an extra arc line that runs from nipple to nipple. As Spring arrives and the days gradually become longer and warmer, and we prepare for the increased activities of Spring, it is a time for the bodies to detox and clear the accumulated waste of the winter.
This is the inspiration for my Spring Workshop I am holding called “Awaken the Nerve of the Soul,” on April 17th at Yoga Tree Telegraph in Berkeley. Click here for more info.
It's inspired by a quote from Yogi Bhajan that goes like this, “Kundalini Yoga is known as the nerve of the soul. This is to be awakened. Your soul is to be awakened"
Are there specific Kriyas (or series) related to this season that we can check out before coming to class?
Here are some favorites below:
Can you tell us more about what to expect in your workshop?
In this workshop we will experience movement in kriyas, chanting, and a deep, long relaxing savasana with the sound vibrations of 4 gongs, singing bowls and chimes. Danny Goldberg will be creating a sound-healing experience. The sound is the glue or medium that connects the Little Me, the Individual, to the Big Me, the Universal self. It is the vibrational harmony through which the infinite can be experienced. Kundalini Yoga is based on the experience of how sound vibrations affect the body, mind and spirit.
Sounds amazing! We can't wait to check it out. Liya Garber teaches regularly at Yogaworks/Yogatree and contributes for SFYogaMag. Please visit her on facebook for more info on her upcoming classes and events.
Photo: Courtesy of Liya Garber
Post written for SFYogaMag.com