Kundinyasa. The fusion food of yoga. A 21st century term born in San Diego (where else but the modern mecca of yoga?) that describes a practice that combines Kundalini kriya with Vinyasa flow.
In the same way that fusion food brings together traditional elements of different cultures to create new flavors and textures, Kundinyasa transforms ancient teachings into an epicurean experience of urban zen.
Its creator, Adesh Kent, founded Kundinyasa Yoga and Rooted Kava Bar with precisely that intent - transformation.
Discover SD recently connected with Kent while checking out the kava bar.
"We start with the Vinyasa to warm up the body and strengthen it, and then move into the more esoteric, energy-moving, chakra-opening, consciousness-expanding practices through the multi-layers of Kundalini mudras and breath work," she said.
And in the same way your taste buds don't know what to expect when trying a new food fusion, expect the unexpected. So forget everything you know or have heard about Vinyasa, Kundalini, or Hatha. Although the ancient and practiced elements will give you a sense of the familiar, what will be entirely new is the palpable taste of expansion and accessibility.
"Kundalini itself is a very powerful practice, but most people feel intimidated by the white head coverings, the precision of the kriyas - which are like prescriptions of specific postures and breath - along with the mantras chanted in Gurmukhi," Kent said, "so the concept of the Vinyasa and Hatha makes it more familiar and accessible. It also warms the body - this is something lacking in the Kundalini practice today, yet it was once practiced this way in India. It provided a platform for opening the body and the energy meridians before entering the mind-altering practices of Kundalini, so what is old is new again, making the esoteric accessible."
Accessible transformation. It burns at the heart of everything at this Hillcrest studio. Urban zen, rooted like the kava in the traditions of the ancients, happens here on the mat or in a cup. Kava-kava - known as awa in Hawaii and yaqona in Fiji - is a ceremonial tea of the South Pacific with healing properties for reducing stress, relaxing muscles and nerves without affecting one's mental clarity.
"Villagers in Vanuatu came together in meeting places called nakamals for the ceremonial kava tea gatherings and they used its properties to increase sensitivity, meditate, and work on the heart-center and higher chakras," Kent said. "Here the kava helps members of our community who don't do yoga to have a place to find healing. We want everyone to feel this is a safe place to come to meditate, do yoga, or have some tea and listen to music and kirtan."
Like the Rooted Kava Bar, which offers a taste of everything from kava tea and smoothies to acai bowls and java, the Kundinyasa Yoga schedule will give body, mind, and soul whatever fusion you're craving from Hatha, Vinyasa and meditation to their signature Kundinyasa. So if you're looking for a cupful of synergy, check out this post-modern Nakamal off Route 163 in Hillcrest and find your zen on or off the mat.
Kundinyasa Yoga and Rooted Kava Bar
Where: 1731 University Ave., San Diego
Phone: (619) 293-3180.
Online: RootedKavaBar.com and Kundinyasa.com
Anna Mueco has been a student of hatha and kriya yoga since 2003. Mueco became a yoga instructor in 2006 and currently teaches in Pacific Beach. Send your thoughts about the yoga world to her at anna@HyperNinjaYoga.com.