The class is part of weekly fitness classes offered by Les berges de Seine. From Pilates to running, from yoga to boxing, a wide variety of activities is offered to the public along the river’s borders. I signed up for the one-hour class not knowing what kind of yoga to expect. But who would say no to the sun, the Seine, a breath of fresh air and yoga? Not me. That’s for sure.
People from different age groups were there, soaking in the sun, taking in the timeless scenery. Only passing runners and hundreds of tourists in the bateaux mouches kept it all real.
Soon, the teacher arrives, sits down and introduces the class. Once I heard it was kundalini, I got excited as this would be a new experience to me in all its entirety.
Kundalini yoga is also known as the yoga of awareness. It follows the tradition of yogi Bhajan who brought it to the West in 1969. It focuses on raising your kundalini ( your latent or dormant energy) and awakening the chakra energy centers with mantras, breathing exercises and meditation.
Some asanas are similar in ways to other styles of hatha yoga, however, the approach is different.
During that class, we remained seated, either in a crossed-legs position or on our knees in Vajrasana before melting into savasana ( or corpse pose). So, I cannot really talk about the standing postures nor about how they incorporate the breath, the mantras and the bandhas ( locks).
“Picture from the berges de seine website”
The main “exercise” was the spinal flex. This exercise releases the tension in the lower back and increases the flexibility and fluidity of the spine. We started with an easy pace and sped it up as we progressed.
We also engaged in the powerful Sat kriya. Here's an article explaining all the details of this “exercise”.
It was a very satisfying experience*, however, my thirst wasn’t quenched. I wanted more. I wish the session lasted more. I wish we indulged in a few standing postures. But maybe next week. I’m going back. I’m intrigued. I want to learn more and experience more.
* except for the times where the teacher’s voice became inaudible as I sat in the back.
If you are in Paris and would like to take part in any activity, register at the berges des seine website and come on schedule :). If you’re passing by and see a class you like, you can still attend by filling a form on site. You can’t however do that if the class has already started. No need to bring a mat. They will provide a foam mat that is more than okay for that type of class. If you have a knee problem though, having a towel or mat can come in handy for extra padding and support.
Read more about kundalini yoga: