Teacher Feature: June Connell (Prabhu Anand Kaur)

What got you into yoga?

When I was in high school, one of my sisters practiced at an ashram near our home so sometimes I would go to class with her. It made me feel calm and peaceful and I loved the deep sleep I could sometimes drift into during savasana. I went for many years without doing yoga regularly, but every time I went back for a class or two, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed it and how good it made me feel off the mat.

When and why did you decide to start teaching?

After a lifetime of searching for deep spirituality, I finally found it in 2007 when I began a regular practice of Kundalini Yoga kriyas, chants and meditations. I wanted to deepen my knowledge and practice, so with the support and encouragement of my husband and two sons, I signed up for the 2009 teacher training. Throughout the 10 months of weekend-long trainings, I felt old emotions release and new ways of viewing life emerge in my mind and heart. I had no intentions of becoming a yoga teacher when I started the training, but by the time it was over, I had been transformed and wanted to share the teachings with others who might also be searching for spirituality through yoga. Every time I teach, I learn something new. It is the experience of what Yogi Bhajan says – if we really want to master something, we need to teach it. 

Describe your training and influential teachers.

Teacher training was intense. We met for a full weekend every month for ten months. Every weekend we focused on a different aspect of Kundalini, experiencing it through our minds and bodies, with discussions and lots and lots of yoga, chanting and meditation. Some weekends were informational, others were transformational, but every training weekend shifted my view, released something that no longer served me, and allowed my soul to reveal itself little by little, as it continues to do. Receiving a spiritual name during our training was very special. I started to see positive changes in so many aspects of my life during that training for which my family is most grateful! I loved all of our teachers – each one had something unique to offer. Early on in my Kundalini pracatice, I fell in love with the chanting and meditations so the teachers who led those weekends hold something particularly special for me.

Describe your practice.

I usually practice some kind of yoga every day.  Sometimes it’s a full kriya, which is a set of Kundalini exercises, and a meditation. Other days, it might be breath work and a meditation. I usually practice early in the morning, anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on what my family’s needs are on that particular morning.  I have enjoyed participating in the recent 40-day global meditations (www.spiritvoyage.com/globalsadhana). I also like to go to other yoga classes – Kundalini and Hatha – to stay fresh as a teacher and to experience different styles of yoga.

Additional thoughts or insights?

Yoga helps me feel sustained in a busy world and helps to keep old patterns of anxiety and depression at bay. Kundalini is helping me to become who I am meant to be in this world, to find my soul’s purpose and to connect with a higher power. I am so grateful to have found a path to the divine through Kundalini Yoga. 

June teachers Kundalini at 9AM on Mondays and is also teaching birth classes as a certified Child Birth Educator.