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Yoga Class Geared to Non-Competitors

Sport's Object--Relaxation

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

There is a new recreational sport at Harvard geared for students not particularly interested in physical competition: it's called Kundalini Yoga.

David A. Lee, instructor of the activity, explained yesterday that Kundalini Yoga is subtly different from the Hatha Yoga classes also given here.

He said the difference is that there are no gurus in Kundalini Yoga. "The emphasis is on meditation, concentration, exercises, and breath control," he said.

"A yoga is the union of two souls in love--of the dancer at one with the dance: that moment when clarity strikes the mind," Lee said.

One of the methods of enabling clarity to strike the mind in Kundalini Yoga is for the student to shut his eyelids and focus his eyes on an area in the middle of his forehead. While breathing deeply and rhythmically, sometimes chanting "satnam," and seated with legs crossed, the student stares for several minutes at this "third eye" area.

"Some of you might be thinking, who is this guy with the white turban." Lee told a class of eight beginners Thursday afternoon. (Classes are held Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Phillips Brooks House.) "But don't be self-conscious about these exercises," he urged.

Lee said that Kundalini Yoga has many applications. "The epitome of it is to have a yoga, to have a union. To have that, the mind must be relaxed and focused. For example, there are unions in football."

"When the quarterback shoots a pass, he has to keep his awareness on the receiver. And the receiver must keep track of the quarterback, he has to be relaxed, because when he worries," he'll lose the ball," Lee said.

"That's why someone is a really great and, because he has the ability to go beyond pain and other factors, has the ability to have that union."

Lee said that he would like to be able to have about 20 Harvard athletes spend several weeks in his yoga classes. "We would do it as an experiment. If they used as much energy on yoga as they do for football practice, their body consciousness would develop very fast. You wouldn't believe the spirit and energy they would have," he commented.

Lee explained that Kundalini Yoga originated in India about 5000 years ago. "It used to be shrouded in mysticism, fear, egotism and ignorance. The new method of teaching Kundalini Yoga came three and a half years ago when Yogi Bhajan came to the United States and started teaching.

"Almost everybody would agree that this is the most powerful method of yoga," Lee continued. "The power comes, at least on the physical level, from increasing the circulation of blood, expanding the lungs, and in allowing the hormones to secrete in correct balance."

The power of Kundalini Yoga, Lee said, also comes from the "energy coiled at the base of the spine, which, when released, expands one's awareness."

Lee said he became involved with Kundalini Yoga two and a half years ago, while he was living in the mountains of Colorado. He heard of a Yogi who held classes nearby, and participated in them.

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