What got you into yoga?
I started practicing with a few different meditation groups after my husband Keith died 15 years ago. One group in particular was at a fitness gym taught by a yoga teacher. She used alternate nostril breathing and chakra visualizations as part of the meditation.
It was at that point I became very curious about yoga. In the process of trying different yoga practices someone mentioned Kundalini. I practiced Gurmukh’s video and was hooked.
Why did you decide to teach?
Shortly after that I went to Miami to practice with Gurmukh for a weekend event and I knew then I wanted to be a teacher. I felt joy and excitement after that weekend. I couldn’t wait to practice more. I felt like a feel-good drug was circulating in my blood stream. As a pharmacist, I knew this feeling and all I had circulating in my veins was Kundalini yoga.
I soon began a personal practice and sharing the practice in my home. It was at this time that my yoga community began to form. This group totally changed my life. This new group of friends were growing in consciousness right alongside me. We supported each other and practiced yoga and meditation together. I had a community that contributed to the lives of my two sons, and had new new tools I could use to help uplift my depression and give me the strength and courage to be a single parent.
It was in this process that I knew I needed to share this concept of community on a larger scale. The friends with whom you share a yoga practice support you in being YOU. This was the seed that started Yoga Village.
Describe your Training and influential teacher?
I became a Kundalini Yoga Teacher in 2006. I went to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico and began studying the teachings of Yoga Bhajan with Hari Kaur and her KRI team. It was a 21-day intensive training starting at 3:45AM with Sadhana everyday and ending in the evening after dinner with a Yogi Bhajan lesson on tape. Hari Kaur describes this training process as a pressurization that results in a crystallization of a beautiful gemstone.
It was during this training that I realized that I had barely touched the surface on grieving Keith’s death. Another gift from this practice is that it has given me the tools to grieve and accept death as a normal part of life. I discovered many healing tools in this practice and was excited to share and grow more.
I have completed all the Level 2 trainings in Kundalini Yoga and two years ago, I spent 3 weeks in India studying Mind and Meditation. I am now in training to be an Aquarian Trainer with KRI. Deva Kaur of Miami is my mentor; I have also studied with Kirn Kaur and Guru Meher Singh and many other senior teachers in the Kundalini community.
I am a student of the teachings of Yoga Bhajan and Kundalini Yoga. This practice has given me, ME. The journey continues. I am more passionate than ever to share these teachings. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It totally lights me up to be in the company of people who are discovering their gifts.
Describe your Practice?
My practice is ever evolving. It started with several days a week with the traditional Aquarian sadhana that we practice at Yoga Village. In fact, people would show up at my home to practice with me. This became the foundation of my yoga community.
Once I was accepted into the Academy, my mentor asked me to have a 40 day, two and half hour practice before the sun came up. I did and that was challenging and insightful. I now have a practice of about an hour, sometimes more and sometimes less, in the morning. I don’t always finish before the sun comes up.
I like to work on a particular practice for 40 days or longer as this seems to keep me motivated to “keep up” and I can really begin to see the benefits of a particular mediation or practice when it is repeated over a longer period of time.
Insights or thoughts?
I love being part of a spiritual community. It has added a richness to my life. It has given me the support to grow as a mother, teacher, business owner and as a woman. This community is showing me how to be ME.
Sunder teaches Kundalini on Mondays at 5:30PM, Wednesdays at 10AM and noon, and Thursdays at 10AM and 6PM. She is the owner and visionary of Yoga Village. Click here for her bio.