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Posted on 11-30-2016
Yoga and Men: an interview with Ravi Sing
by Mike Hart
Mike: Most yoga classes are primarily made up of women. Why do you suppose this is?
Ravi: Women are much more comfortable with their spirituality. A big part of honoring Spirit is to be open and receptive which is a feminine trait. Men want to always appear in control. We've seen that many men dread coming to yoga class because they're afraid that they will look foolish because may not be able to do various yoga poses, or even sit cross-legged. On the other hand, simply attending a yoga class does not a spiritual man make. Of course, many of the most spiritual men have never set foot in a yoga class.
Mike: What are some ways men can benefit from practicing yoga?
Ravi: Men typically tend to internalize stress and try to appear to the world as if they have everything covered until things start to fall apart, physically and mentally. Yoga helps us to neutralize stress and give us better coping mechanisms going forward. It also helps men with nerve strength, focus, and capacity for commitment. In addition it opens men to their softer side and helps them embrace authentic self-expression and a true lightness of being.
Mike: What is Kundalini Yoga and how similar and different from other styles of yoga?
Ravi: In a sense, Kundalini Yoga picks up where other systems leave off because it's energy work. It's also very physical in a way that is more than skin deep. It works on nerve strength which is where real strength emanates from. In Kundalini Yoga we practice what are called kriyas. These are groups of exercises that create a synergistic effect. Ultimately, Kundalini Yoga is all about Spirit and is a technology designed to allow this energy of our higher potential to inform everything we do and are.
Mike: What do you mean by raising the Kundalini? How would that help to make a man more balanced?
Ravi: There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to raise one's Kundalini. Many people think that it's a kind of Spiritual Fourth of July. What it really is, is firing on all cylinders, all chakras, and a whole brain entrainment. It's living on fire and inspired. It's also the birthright of every human and something we are all meant to express every day. Kundalini Yoga is a daily practice to manifest this ideal.
Men can certainly relate to finding an edge in life and expressing one's excellence. All things being equal, when Kundalini, the energy of Spirit Rising, is in evidence, then we are more consistently victorious in every area of our lives.
Mike: What advice do you have to men who are thinking about taking up yoga?
It's no accident that there as many yoga centers now as MacDonald’s! That's because all forms of yoga answer some important questions about life as we know it: Why am I here? What am I meant to do and be? How can I honor my out responsibilities and still honor my inner prompts? How can I get more energy and stay healthy when so many things seem to be conspiring to compromise these?
Yoga wouldn't be as popular as it is if there wasn't something to it. The reality is that no government is going to save us. No boss. Not even a significant other. We have to take responsibility for ourselves. Yoga, especially Kundalini Yoga helps us get everything covered in the time we have.
Mike: Speaking from your own experience, how has yoga helped you to become a more balanced man?
I (Ravi) was born in the 50's so I'm basically straddling the line between the world of our fathers and the Age of Aquarius (which has arrived). Yoga has helped me realize (over time) that it's okay for men to be men (in a good way!) but also to cultivate reverence for the beautiful inner dimension of Self. I am a poet from way back and Kundalini Yoga has helped me to cultivate my inner warrior.
Mike: Are there any other things you'd like to tell our readers about yoga?
Yoga is more than a group of various poses. It's a way of life and life itself. It is a noble and beautiful path. It gives us elegant methodologies to fulfill the main areas of work on ourselves: bringing our mind under conscious control, creating a relationship with energy, turning past pain into infinite gain (clearing karma), and cultivating our unique gifts and using them to heal uplift and inspire.
We are all in process and the process never ends. Yoga is the perfect companion for this journey.
Ravi Singh and Ana Brett will be leading a Kundalini Yoga workshop at Samadhi Yoga Studio, 106 Aurora Street, Houston, TX 77008. For more information and to register visit samadhistudios.com or call 979-739-8875. www.raviana.com
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