Profile: Akal Kaur

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When I was Pregnant with Miles, I did two things to keep in shape: walking and Kundalini Yoga.  Before I was pregnant I did The Bar Method religiously, and although I loved it and it kept me in shape, it didn’t feel right once I was pregnant.  All that contracting and straining felt like the opposite of what I needed, which was to be open, flexible and connected.  I was introduced to Kundalini the year before and it really resonated with me.  What I love most about it is the recognition that we are all connected to something greater than our selves…the universe, the divine, God, whatever it is for you.  It also made me feel present, grounded and aware of my mind/body connection.  So when I got pregnant I knew that I wanted to take prenatal Kundalini classes as much as possible (which ended up being twice a week for most of my pregnancy).

Akal Kaur was my teacher.  She led such a beautiful class that left everyone feeling calm, happy, and grounded.  The interesting thing was that Akal herself was pregnant with her first child at the same time!  So she taught throughout her pregnancy and gave birth to her adorable son, Meherpal (meaning “the lion whose heart is filled with kindness and compassion.”) just a few months after Miles was born.  Although Akal has been a registered nurse since 1999 and works in the labor and delivery ward of one of the best hospitals in LA, she chose to have a midwife assisted home birth (Fun fact: we had the same amazing midwife).  I found this very interesting and wanted to pick Akal’s brain a little bit about her experience with Kundalini yoga and her choice for a home birth.  Here’s how it went…

Me: Can you define Kundalini yoga for those who aren’t familiar with it?
Akal: Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Awareness.  It is basically a yoga that
creates consciousness and makes a person happy and healthy.
Me: How did you get introduced to Kundalini?
Akal: A friend of mine took me to my first Kundalini Yoga Class.  It
was with that first class that I had felt that I came home.  From that
moment on my life was forever changed for the better.
Me: How long have you been practicing Kundalini and what made you gravitate towards it?
Akal: I have been practicing since 2001.  After that first class I
immediately felt better.  Then I went back again and felt even better.
I continued to get happier and healthy.  Everything started to fall
into place for me.  I woke up and life got really good!
Me: What do you think makes Kundalini different from other yoga practice (vinyasa, hatha, etc)?
Akal: Kundalini Yoga is all about raising a person’s consciousness.  The
other yoga practices are the same.  The difference is that it takes
one kundalini yoga class to absolutely and completely alter a person’s
consciousness and it takes longer in the other forms of yoga.
Me: How long have you been teaching prenatal kundalini classes?
Akal: I have been teaching prenatal Kundalini Yoga classes since 2006.
Me: How do you think Kundalini benefits pregnant women and/or their unborn babies?
Akal: I feel the kundalini prenatal classes can be extremely healing for
pregnant women.   The classes connect women to their strength and
intuition.  They also work on the physical body to prepare them for
the birth.  The classes can be very meditative which can help a woman connect more
to their baby in the womb.  The babies also get massaged in utero
which is great for them developmentally.
Me: What made you choose a homebirth instead of hospital?
Akal: I work in a hospital and I think it is an amazing place to have a
baby.  I chose a homebirth because I knew it was the safest place for
my baby to be born.  I really feel like the best place for a woman to
deliver is where she feels safest.
Me: How old is Meherpal? How did you choose his name, and what is the meaning of his name?
Akal: Meherpal is 15 months old.  His name was given to him by his
birthdate.  It is a numerological spiritual name.  The meaning is “the
lion whose heart is filled with kindness and compassion.”  The
spiritual name is a mantra.  The more a person is called that name the
more they become it.
Me: Is there anything that you would have done differently with regard to your birth plan?
Akal: Yes.  I would have had the birthing tub checked over a bit more.  When
I was in Labor we realized there was a hole in it and it could not be
used!
Me: What is the biggest thing you have learned from being a mama?
Akal: Being a Mama has been the most humbling experience of my life.  I have
learned so much but the biggest thing would be that there is no such
thing as plans anymore!  I have learned to totally let go and be
present.
Me: What advice would you give mamas to be?
Akal: Enjoy your pregnancy, connect with your baby and get lots of rest!
Also, play mantra’s for your baby in the womb.  Put speakers on so the
babies can hear the sounds.
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NOTE: Akal is available for private healings, yoga classes, counseling
sessions, and workshops which help a person to transform and elevate
in a progressive and effective way. http://www.yogawithakal.com/

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