Ex-Boozer Chronicles: A Kundalini Yoga Class

When journeying through this ride called sobriety you have days when you feel a little lost, like you’re not entirely sure who you are anymore. You’ve got nowhere to hide the parts you don’t like. No means to bury those emotions you don’t want to have. It’s all you, all day, everyday. Some days it feels great to be simply you, and others it feels like an uphill battle, with people throwing water balloons filled with sewerage at you from the sidelines.

Other times it feels like you are in a doctor’s waiting room, that feeling of general nothingness, as if you’re waiting for something but you aren’t overly looking forward to it. A purgatory life, not one way or the other. Stuck. However, in the intermittent moments of inspiration, when it’s great to be me, to be alive and kicking without a drink in hand, I search for ways to feel like this more often. I explore the possibilities of finding a way to engage in life and obtain contentment without hiding from it inside a bottle, and this is how I ended up in a free women’s Intuitive Power class on a Monday night.

‘Intuitive Power?’ you say, as you scratch your head quizzically, ‘what does that entail?’, you query. The simple answer is I don’t know. From reading the website it looked like it was Kundalini yoga, with elements of witchcraft, numerology, and astrology. I told a few people my plan to attend, and it was met with derisive laughter. I get that. I’d laugh too if someone told me they were going to an evening to indulge in all the alternative practices possible. Throw in Reiki, acupuncture, and tarot, and you’ve got yourself the whole mixed bag of hippy-ness. However, I figured I could either laugh about it, and go home to let life happen to me, or I could attend the evening, and invite something new into my life, despite any misgivings. I reasoned I definitely needed more intuition.

I was running late, and saw this as a bad sign. Perhaps the Brisbane City Council had created a traffic jam in the busway as they didn’t want me to expand my intuitive power? However, when I hurled myself through the door, running 5 minutes late, I was met with a blockade of women trying to discard their shoes. The room was packed, and there was a heavy theme of white. Floaty white linen. I felt a little out of place in my pink galaxy lycra tights. White turbaned heads dotted the room, like we had all gone back in time to 1970s India to listen to George Harrison play sitar.

Yoga mats were laid out, with two cushions on each, and I plonked myself down next to a silver-haired woman in white sans turban. We chatted idly, querying who of us had been before. At my confirmation that it was me I said ‘I don’t think I got the memo about the white’. She smiled drily, obviously not finding me overly funny. Possibly she’d seen a few of us galaxy pant clad newcomers saunter in and then never come back.

Two ethereal turbaned women sat at the front of the class. They were the purveyors of the spiritual experience, and they invited us to start the class with a chant. It was melodious and pleasant to the ears, unlike when you attend some yoga classes and the omm-ing at the end sounds like dogs and children have been hurt in the making of it. This was followed by moving through the room grinding and shaking as many body parts as possible to tribal music. I’m not going to lie, I found this part extremely awkward and couldn’t wait for it to be over. My intuition told me I wasn’t comfortable but maybe that was the point.

The class was filled with various chanting, and movements with matching breathing, including one where we were instructed to swirl our index fingers around in a circle close to our body whilst chanting hare, harray, harree with halting breath. I thought the class was going to be a cake walk compared to other yoga classes but there were a few intense moves, like doing 56 froggies. If you haven’t heard of froggies, run for the hills. They are horrible thigh-burning punishments that leave you walking with a wobble for days. I was surprised as I had expected slow thoughtful movements. Essentially Lazy yoga, that’s what I had assumed it would be.

The last exercise of the class was to sit opposite another woman, and stare into her eyes for about 5 minutes, while bouncing a positive affirmation back and forward like a ping-pong ball. If I’d thought the dance around the room had been awkward, well, this activity won first place in the uncomfortable moment of the evening prize. At times as I stared into my partner’s eyes they would blur into a mesh of indistinguishable facial features, and my mind would drift and be at peace with the situation, and then I would snap back into reality, and awkwardness would tap me on the shoulder, ‘errmmm,yeah, we are still here. Bob needed a snack so we popped out for a burger, but we’re back now’.

When the class finished we sat together drinking tea, eating strawberries and chocolate, discussing spiritual concepts, like how it was the 11th year (I’d counted 2018 but I guess I was wrong), and good things happen in the 11th year bla bla bla. And even though I enjoy entertaining ideas such as these as it’s mystical and fun to think they exist, I know deep down the only person making it a ‘good year’ is me, and my actions. I know that I’ve already instigated change by deciding to quit booze, and I’m going to keep making changes to make it my best life, and I don’t really need to stare someone else in the face to realise it.

For more Ex-Boozer Chronicles click here

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