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Since Donna (Amrita) produced her first video Strength and Serenity in 1990 the popularity of yoga has exploded. There are many types of yoga and teachers to choose from. Kundalini Yoga focuses on the breath, physical poses for flexibility, strength and endurance and uses the healing effect of sound through mantra and music. While not as gymnastic as some forms of yoga, this Kundalini set can be used by people of all ages by following the clear instructions given for a physical, mental and breath workout.
Amrita's second video The Challenge (1997) was chosen in 2000 by Yoga Journal as the only Kundalini video in their Top Ten. This sequel has a special section for learning the breath techniques properly, additional poses to enhance your practice and suggested modifications where needed. Donna-Amrita has been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 1985 in New York City, is certified by 3HO and Yoga Alliance. She also has been teaching at and running her retreat with her husband musician and songwriter Kent Bonham in northern Maine since 1997.
Kundalini Yoga The Awakening
Amrita first warms the body with a few traditional sun salutations; she performs two modified and then a third round with jump backs and the full versions of the poses. Returning to lying on the back, she explains that she will be moving through a yoga set consisting of 14 steps to awaken the ten bodies. The first postures in this set are stretch pose, tuck pose, and Kundalini eagle pose, all performed while doing the breath of fire. The moves which follow focus more on the spine and include a wide legged stretch, spinal flexes (2 positions), spinal twists, elbow raises, arm raises, single and double shoulder rolls, and head turns (to work the throat). The final posture is frog pose, and then the set concludes with a brief relaxation.
At this point (approximately 20 minutes left), Amrita states that many people hold tension in either the hips/groin or the chest/shoulders, and so she introduces one posture for each of these areas: crow squat, which she performs at a moderate pace, and cow-face arms, which she holds for a bit of time on each side. Amrita then does tree pose for balance and a version of rabbit’s pose to finish. She cues 3 minutes of left nostril breathing and allows approximately 3 minutes for relaxation, although this is not the final posture. Instead, Amrita finishes with a reclined twist and then shakes out the body in both lying and seated positions. She concludes the 65-minute practice by singing the “Long Time Sun” song and chanting a final sat nam.
In the Awakening, Donna Davidge Amrita offers a nice Kundalini yoga set which targets the entire body but which is particularly effective for working on the spine and upper back/shoulders. It would be an ideal routine for those with some basic yoga experience who were interested in trying the Kundalini method.