My photo
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Feb 18, 2011

Awake Kula

I have been thinking about the concept of Kula.  I originally heard about "kula" from Douglas Brookes about 10 years ago. He was co-teaching with John at an Anusara certified teacher gathering.  It was  profound for me then and has only become more so over the years.

A kula is a family. It is also a group of practitioners who share the same practice. I have heard different teachers (Paul M.O., Carlos Pomeda, Douglas Brookes and John Friend) all  define "kula" it in slightly different ways but in common there seems to be an understanding that a kula is a body that works together (albeit not always efficiently or gracefully).  That "body" could be a human body or a family or a tribe or a galaxy. It could be a community of spiritual practice or a rotary club.

A kula can be awake or asleep. An asleep kula is very much like a body that is full of contracted or weak muscles, with poorly-tuned neuromuscular communication.  Consequently there is not a  great capacity for quick, subtle or intricate response.  That body just sort of lumbers along and reacts in a large muscle gross sort of way - (think bull in a china shop or couch potato or the worst extended family you ever heard of).

An awake kula is very much like a finely tuned body that is able to respond with flexible permeability to a wide variety of circumstance, having cultivated a capacity for quickness, intricacy and subtlty  (think elite athlete or dedicated yoga practitioner or the best extended family you ever heard of). That body can articulate an intelligent and kind response to a wide variety of circumstance and can do so without a lot of interference from various cramps. As I said - this capacity is cultivated - very rarely inborn. It is a result of steady practice over a long period of time with dedication.  Practice could be asana, meditation, dialogue, music, etc.  So you see that in spite of the body analogy, I'm not talking about athleticism here.

I thought about all of this a lot during the past few days following a tragedy.  Dana Weigel who lives in Southern Idaho, is an Anusura student and teacher. She has taken classes at Garden Street occasionally but lives so far away that we hadn't seen her for awhile.   A few days ago she lost her home, Yoga studio and husband all in one horrible, tragic, painfully dark day.

The Anusura community both locally and nationally was easy to rouse.  It has not been at all like a couch potato.  It sprang into action like an elite athlete - like the awake kula that it is. The effort to help began quickly and proceeded efficiently and with very little interference from weak muscles of compassion or cramped muscles of self-concern or suspicion (as evidenced by the fact that people who have never even met Dana are contributing).

Several communities in Idaho, Montana Arizona and etc. are rallying their local kula show of love and support for Dana. For you who are associated with Garden Street, thanks for your love and support which has already started coming in.

Here's the details:

Call for support .........

Many of you have already heard the news.....Dana Weigel a fellow Anusara student and teacher from Southern Idaho suffered a great tragedy recently. She lost her house, yoga studio and husband all in the same tragic event.
Garden street as well as several other communities is gathering items to send in loving support to get her through this tremendous loss. Dana is okay but has lost everything. She will need love, support, and material items. What is needed is below. It seems to me that as the support rolls in and we’re not sure who has donated what – the gift card idea will become more and more of a good idea. But all support is welcomed gratefully
You can bring items to Garden Street studio over the next 2 or 3 weeks – Also feel free bring them with when you come to the Anatomy workshop that is coming right up. Spread the word.

Wardrobe: Dana is a size medium yoga pant and small to medium top. She could use all kinds of clothing as well- it's Idaho, so think spring: sunshine to snow. Any gently used items are appreciated. Also gift cards to yoga clothing co's: Athleta, Prana, Lululemon, or other clothing co's (Gap, Target, REI, etc).

Books: Dana is an avid student and teacher of yoga. She needs to rebuild her library for study. If you have any yoga books to offer, she could use them, (she already is getting a "Light on Yoga," and "Yoga Sutras.") Or if you are lost for what to send, gift cards to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. would be wonderful. (I understand Borders is about to go out of business)

Puja: Any murtis, or tokens of light and love.

No comments:

Post a Comment