Hello lovely humans
So, this week, I finished teaching for the year. I decided I needed a little pause before Christmas, some time for some stillness and reflection before the chaos of having 3 very excited children in the run up to Christmas Day.
When I finished my final class on Friday I was taken aback to find myself feeling all kinds of emotion. It may sound mean but I will admit I felt some relief. I’ve been teaching online every week since February – even before lockdown. And whilst I have seriously loved every moment, from those early shaky, croaky-voiced classes that I spent days-on-end planning, to the insanity of zipping myself up in to giant inflatable Christmas Tree costume to dance with abandon to Wizard in the final classes of the year… I am tired. I need some stillness, now. But I am happy. Really, really bloody happy. My overriding feeling, as I stepped out of my elf costume and carefully rolled up my mat was not the relief at taking a break but gratitude. Overflowing with it. To so many people, to so many experiences, and to myself, too.
Instagram scrolling changed my life…
I spent a long time looking for a Kundalini yoga teacher training. A few years. I was completely dedicated to my practise from the first days of Kundalini yoga entering my life. It helped me. So much. And I knew from an unfamiliar part of myself that it was something that I was destined to take further. To share. But the trainings I explored, considered, sat with for months on end, wondering why, exactly, I felt uncomfortable about signing up when I so wanted to teach, was so certain it was what I was supposed to do… something held me back from them. I knew that, for some reasons I could identify and some I could not, that they weren’t for me.
I remember the day I saw a post pop up on Instagram from Carolyn Cowan that announced she was going to be running a level one Kundalini Yoga teacher training the following year. I was scrolling through Instagram absentmindedly and, for some reason, it felt as if my world stopped. Just for a split second. I’d only been following Carolyn online for a little while… I was drawn to a photo she had shared of a naked woman with a dove strapped to her back and from there I became beguiled by how refreshing her voice was in the sea of Kundalini teachers I had started to listen to. Something about the news of Carolyn’s training made me feel as if I’d been plugged in to the mains… it lit me up entirely and I remember quickly adding myself to an email list and making a note down in my diary about checking in on news about what it would involve. I’d seen enough of what Carolyn shared to know this was going to be something different.
The more Carolyn shared about what she would be exploring on her training the more certain I became that the universe had been conspiring entirely for me to wait for this. I did some online classes with Carolyn and was completely taken aback by how powerful and calming her presence was. How enormous and yet safe the space she held could be – even over the Internet.
I waited with some anxiety for news about where her teacher training would be and how much it would cost and, with a heart beating faster than anything I’d previously experienced, the evening she opened up the website to book, I signed up.
And then I got insanely nervous…
I lived and worked in London for a long time, and, since moving away, I’d convinced myself that I hated it now. That I couldn’t cope with being there for extended periods of time. I was also terrified of Carolyn. I’d never met anyone like her before, I was sure of that, and I immediately got in to a mindset of how I ‘should’ be before I even attempted to take up space on a training that I wasn’t sure, in all honesty, I deserved.
I took on a Kriya called Strengthening the Aura because I thought it would protect me from my vulnerabilities, and train me up for being strong enough to cope with my feelings of inadequacy. I continued this until only a few months ago. It took me well over a year to realise the intention behind my daily practise had its roots in shame, in fear.
In February the time finally came to make my way down to London and join the first module.
It was mind blowing. It was intense and it was completely magical in every way. I will not write about the experience in detail (no spoilers) but it was beyond anything I could have imagined. It was also terrifying.
The great pause and moving online
After that first module I will admit, that whilst I found it extremely powerful, extraordinary and very fascinating, I was on a different planet. I was so ungrounded.
I remember walking my dog the morning after I got home from London, and having a sense I was observing myself from above. My physical body felt an unsafe place to be, for the first time since I’d discovered Kundalini Yoga.
When I look back now I realise a lot of ‘stuff’ I’d stuffed down, that I was
holding in the physical body, was beginning to make its way to the surface.
Whatever experience I had had to date with awakened Kundalini energy, which had all been so lovely with birdsong and beautiful leaves and heightened senses was being pushed to one side as the shit I had refused to deal with came bubbling up eagerly saying ‘now you’re safe enough to really transform.’
And then COVID hit.
It was upsetting, at the time, that our training had to move entirely online. But, in retrospect, in my view, it only went on to make the experience of the next 3 or 4 months one that took us all deeper in to the work we had to do than would ever have been possible had we not all been, as Carolyn so brilliantly put it, ‘sent to our rooms to think about what we’ve done’.
From there, it has been the most insane and flabbergasting experience of change. Not always, in fact rarely ever, comfortable. But always so incredibly valuable. I don’t even recognise myself in the recordings of the training from back in March. The triggers (and there have been many) and morning group practices and the amazing, amazing, modules online – every aspect of the experience of training has shaken me up and caused me to look at every aspect of my relationship to myself and to the outside world. The work is not yet done, it never will be, but Carolyn’s training is absolutely the best thing I have ever chosen to do for myself.
It’s empowered me in ways I did not ever imagine possible.
Falling in love with teaching, falling in love with yourself
My teaching is evolving. Always. But the magical thing is that I have learned how to step in to being allowed to hold space for others, to hold the power that comes with that, in a way that is hugely open-hearted, kind, inclusive and all whilst ENTIRELY being myself. I love it. I adore it. And I really cannot believe the transformation I have gone through when I think back to the absolute terror I felt on the first module when we were invited to form groups and teach each other. I was horrified. Nauseous. Shaking. Ashamed.
When I think about my total open-hearted joy as I taught this week it is gratitude that comes to me, that comes overflowing out of me. It really is the best thing I have ever done, to join the new Kundalini Global community. To share with others the practise that has allowed me, finally, to start being myself.
When the question first came in to the training of ‘how do you feel to step in to the power…’ of teaching, of holding space, I thought I understood. And that I felt ready. Like I said at the start, I spent so long knowing I wanted to teach Kundalini. And I’d been practising myself with such dedication.
But as I started to tip toe in to it I realised it made me feel vulnerable, childlike, pathetic… this was hard. So frustrating. How could sharing something I loved so much feel so difficult? Somehow, magically, the way the training was delivered and how it unfolded, the work on this was done bit by bit. And I can honestly say, now, that I teach my classes with my head held high, believing I deserve, and with no expectation of myself other than to be authentically me and to keep the integrity that the training has fostered.
I have changed this year because I am able to really accept my story, not hide from it. And not feel ashamed. I am able to embrace the lower triangle, the divine feminine, the left side, not only able, I WANT TO and it feels AMAZING. I am able to stand up for myself, to speak for myself in a way I never ever ever have in my entire life. The training has awakened every creative and passionate aspect of myself that has always been there, popping up to say hello throughout my life, but never all at once, and never with the sense of possibility I have now. I feel messier, somehow, but in the best way.
If you are reading this and you are thinking to yourself that you may, one day, like to teach too, please go and check out Carolyn. She helps people in ways I find completely awe inspiring and to be gifted a certificate at the end of my experience, that allows me to share on some of what I have learnt… I have never been prouder, happier and more ready to build on what I have done for myself and for others in 2020 for the rest of my life.
And, by the way, Carolyn did terrify me at the start, yes. Because she is powerful and funny and unashamedly herself. But more than that she inspired me. From the first moment I sat in a class with her. She is, in actual fact, one of the greatest, kindest and most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet. She gave me the best gifts ever, including but not limited to:
Teaching me how to really feel safe in my body.
Direction and help toward letting go of shame.
Goals plans and huge amounts of excitement, bring on 2021
I may have ended my classes for the year, but I have a lot I plan to do in coming weeks.
I have SO MANY exciting plans for 2021 and I really cannot wait to show you some of what I have planned. I have been brainstorming ideas of how to marry together the joy I get from writing this blog, from my Instagram account, and from teaching and sharing the practises of Kundalini Global. And I have something magic planned. Really really magic.
Beyond that I plan to start running workshops in the New Year, hopefully both online and in-person. I plan to train more. A lot more. I am only at the beginning of my journey. I am committed to this path now. Completely. And I can’t wait to see where the Sara-Jayne Kundalini community is at this time next year.
I’m so so grateful for every single one of you who reads my posts on this website, who comments on my Instagram posts and who come along to my classes. You’ve played a huge part in my transformative year and you gift me more joy than you would imagine. Thank you.
I will be blogging and posting throughout this festive period so no pause on the blog. Just a massive hug and an even bigger thank you.
Sending you all LOADS of love