For most of my life I was always had a passion for dance, aerobics or any practice that combined movement with sound. After being a student for many years I began to teach, loving the feeling and expression that was created through movement with music. Hoping to get my body somewhat back into shape after son #4, I joined a gym in New Zealand, where I was living at the time, thinking I would get back into shape through aerobics. Well, no way this body was going to do that – pain appeared to teach me and guide me through some necessary changes! In 1994 I found myself very challenged with a great deal of physical pain throughout my back, hips and neck – I was literally brought to my knees and completely humbled! Something needed to change, to shift, to be healed. It was in “The Land of the Long White Cloud”, New Zealand, that I did my first yoga practice and was completely humbled by the experience. I was determined to recover and reclaim my body and the joy of movement… but first the Universe had a few lessons in mind for me.
What I needed to learn more about was compassion, truthfulness, acceptance and tenderness. Not just to others, but also for myself… for how we treat ourselves is often how we treat others. And what we do unto others is what we do unto our own selves. I needed to learn to move from judgment, which constricts and stagnates, to evaluation, which allows for more possibilities and greater horizons. I needed to reclaim, to reveal and to accept all parts of myself, because only then my relationship to my life and to others would become richer and more meaningful.
Yoga has truly been one of the most transformational and sacred gifts I have received in my life. It has graced me with an eternal wisdom, a light filled energy and endless experiences of moving into Oneness, that space of knowing that all is connected. I feel as human beings; once we experience something that makes us feel more joyful and balanced, we then have a natural desire (as well as a responsibility) to share that with others. And so my journey as a Yoga teacher began…
A series of divine interventions eventually led me to the most amazing, effective and creative form of yoga, Kundalini Yoga, as taught by the late Master Yogi Bhajan. Kundalini Yoga is a sacred science which uses kriyas (movement), meditation, mantra and pranayama (breathing techniques) to raise Kundalini energy, open the Chakras, balance the pineal and glandular system and purify the bloodstream.
What I immediately loved is that I didn’t have to be a pretzel to practice. This is a yoga for householders, for people who have to cope with daily challenges and stresses of holding jobs, raising families, managing businesses. Truly, anybody of any age, gender and fitness level can do it and for me personally, such profound changes occurred on all levels in a very short period of time. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I was shifting, harmonizing and healing. My back, which for 7 years had been very painful and challenging, really began to heal. What I experienced and now know to be true is: even if we have structural misalignments in the physical body, as long as our internal energy is flowing, the experience of our body will be greatly eased, more comfortable and more harmonious.
What a blessing to have been given this experience and to still be happily inlove with Kundalini Yoga. How deeply grateful I am that I had such pain, for it led me to Kundalini Yoga, to great teachers, travels, transformations and the ability to teach with greater sensitivity and consciousness.
Doing is believing, and as Yogi Bhajan says, “you can be: Bountiful, Blissful and Beautiful! In fact, you ALREADY ARE! You just have to experience it.”
Rebecca Pflaum currently teaches at Yoga Barn and her retreat centre, Naya Ubud, in Bali. She also has an upcoming Yoga Alliance certified 200-Hour Teacher Training Bali taking place 24 July – 21 August, 2015. For more information, visit www.chakrama.com