Yoga Bloomington / Yoga Musings

I’m Leaving the Ashram

After a month and a half or so of living in the Kundalini ashram, I’ve decided to move out and get my own apartment. Part of me is quite sad to be leaving, since I really did come here with the intention of learning about a new kind of yoga. For someone like me who comes from a very physical yoga practice, Kundalini seemed to potentially offer more in terms of the “spiritual” side of yoga that I was perhaps missing. And I have to say, the Kundalini yogis here at the Midland Yoga Center are incredibly dedicated to their practice, and they have created a very unique and powerful community. In fact, I’d say that I am somewhat in awe at the level of commitment that each and every member of the community brings to his/her practice. Many of the yogis here get up regularly for 3:30 AM Sadhana, which is roughly two and a half hours of chanting, meditation, and asanas. And quite a few of the yogis here are also teachers, following Yogi Bhajan’s dictum that the best way to improve one’s own practice is to teach.

What I have also come to see, however, is that in order to truly penetrate into what it is that this community is all about, one needs to really “take the dive”, so to speak, and become immersed to a considerable degree in the Kundalini system of yoga. For a number of reasons, I was not able to and/or not willing do this. Perhaps I have become too comfortable in the Ashtanga/Flow tradition, and am not presently receptive to the different methods employed in Kundalini. Certainly, I was not able to get up at 3:30 AM for Sadhana, and, quite honestly, never made much of an effort to do so. I also only attended one Kundalini class during my time in the ashram, even though I was able to attend classes for free every day of the week. It’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly why I did not take the plunge. In many ways, I felt as if I were standing on the brink of a great journey, but, for whatever reason, was unable to set sail.

As one of the teachers at Midland Yoga told me (and I agree with him), I came to the Kundalini studio for a reason — i.e. I was looking for something. And although I have chosen to walk away from it this time around, the journey I walked away from is one that I will inevitably find myself embarking upon one day. I don’t know if it will be in terms of Kundalini, but I can at least say this: whatever business I had in coming to the ashram remains as unfinished business.

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3 thoughts on “I’m Leaving the Ashram

  1. Thanks for your posts, Ravi. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

    I found my way to the ashram at Midland Yoga Center really by accident (i.e. craigslist). There was nothing in particular about that ashram that intrigued me; it was more of a general interest in Kundalini and the more “spiritual” side of yoga that brought me there. Even though I don’t live there any more, I may still try to attend some of their classes from time to time.

  2. great. speaking from experience of having been to many ashrams…keep in mind that they are not all the same. I’ve found some that I get totally into…others don’t work as well for me. Why is this the case? Different teaching styles, teachers have different interpretations of the underlying philosphy, different students….

    so…keep up your search and I’m sure you’ll find what you are after.

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