Transformed by Yoga at the Radisson Blu Amrit

February 28, 2014
Katherine Austin Wooley


It was to be hatha yoga poolside, but Katherine got the divine message that what we needed was Kundalini. The sun was setting behind the hotel and the cool Indian night easing in. The trees swayed more than they had all day.

We moved in our postures as she directed, the honey-sweet voice of Snatam Kaur and other inspired songstresses our soundtrack. When we began class, each of us were in our own swirl of discomfort from a day of intense sensory stimulation - good, all good, but hard, too.

Coming to India is the ultimate yoga class, Katherine had said earlier today.

And as we moved through the physical, I saw the shift happening. Literally saw it. I went from missing the comforts of America and my family to feeling liberated and lucky and excited to be here in India, with all the noise and traffic and yes, garbage in the streets.

The beauty, too. The colorful saris and turbans, the smiles from so many people walking by, motorcycling by, bicycling by. People content in their day, eyes forward, head upright.

Last night was the Golden Temple, and we visited into the inner sanctum, breathless, speechless at the ornate gold carvings and decor. The incredible devotion to The Guru, to the holy words, to the divine invitation for all people, all faiths, all genders to dwell together in holiness in one site.

At night, the Golden Temple sparkled with light. In the day, it was different traffic - 100,000 people eating the free meal of chapati and lentils made fresh every day, by volunteers in service to their fellow humans. So many people, on the cool marble, in so many states of transformation.

All of us, together.

It was intense, yes. We snapped many pictures, took in sites and notions and revelations and constant transformations.

Sometimes we don't see it. And then we're in the thick of discomfort because releasing what has been pent up for so, so long needs to go.

Transformation is never easy. By the time we all gathered around the table at the Crystal Restaurant (yes, it's safe for westerners to eat there, don't worry, let go of the fear!), we were strung out and in need of quiet.

So we got it.

Dozed poolside with music in our ears and the slight wind on the water's surface an easy lullaby. Took naps in rooms, checked our email and Facebook, just to reconnect and let go.

And then we gathered for yoga, led by Katherine, to complete the transformation.

We all know on some level the healing effects of yoga - otherwise we wouldn't be in this community, returning to powerful class after powerful class.

But in the thick of the discomfort, we can forget how easy it is to shift the energy and transform to a higher plane.

Katherine took us through a fluid Kundalini class with Snatam Kaur singing about the Golden Temple in Amritsar. We'd been there just today! When she sang bow your head and go home, it finally registered: be grateful for every moment, even the tough ones. Go home to the inner peace, live in sync with your soul.

I'm going to admit that when we began the yoga, I felt homesick for the ease of life in America. I was deep in the discomfort of so much sensory stimulation.

By the end of the class, I opened my eyes at the sky turning toward dusk and felt exhilaration. Thank you God for bringing us here - to the chaos, to the beauty, to the challenges, to the joys.

This is what a trip to India is like.

Palak paneer and garlic naan and mango ice cream for lunch. Dentures being cleaned and men's faces shaved at the roadside. Cows and emaciated dogs roaming the streets. Mothers begging to feed their babies. Babies cradled in their loving parents' arms.

All of it, all the world the journey to our soul.

What better trip could you take?

(By the way, we're having technical difficulties uploading incredible pictures of this trip to the blog, so please visit the Karma Yoga Facebook page for a constantly updated gallery of photos.)

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