Hi Mark, I’m really thrilled that you agreed to do this interview today. For those of you who don’t know Mark, I attend kundalini yoga lessons he runs weekly in Bristol and I thought that it would be great if you got to know him too. So to get started I’d really love you to tell us in your own words who you are and what you do.
Hi Fiona, thank you very much for inviting me here. Yes my name is Mark Keane and I am a Kundalini Yogi and teacher of Kundalini Yoga. I also facilitate the acceleration of the spiritual connection in other ways in my life and passionately share this with others.
What was it like when you were growing up – do you come from a very spiritual background?
I grew up as a Catholic and very much felt connected to God in this way, but felt controlled and boxed in by the religion and its dogma, so soon developed my own felt sense of spirituality free from the necessary trappings of religion but entirely inclusive of them.
When did you first become interested in Kundalini Yoga and why do you think it became a driving force in your life?
About 10 years ago I had an experience which may be described as a spiritual awakening. The very next day I got drawn to reading about Kundalini Yoga. By the end of the week I had tried it and it absolutely blew me away. It enhanced the feeling of presence and aliveness 10 fold – I have never turned back. It became a driving force as I recognised it as the fast track to full realisation and freedom.
Can you share with us what Kundalini Yoga is all about and how it is different from other types of Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is very much focused on the spine, and awakening the Kundalini energy (life force) to clear through physical, emotional and mental blocks to make way for abiding in peace with a zest for life.
Whereas some yogas concentrate on asana (posture), others on meditation, others on pranayam (breathwork), and others still on mantra (voice vibration), Kundalini Yoga integrates them all. It is this synthesis that is the secret to its transformative power.
I was drawn in as I read that it can not only help with spinal problems but calm the nervous system. Would you say this is true and what else does it offer those who are curious to find out more?
Yes our nervous system was not designed to cope with the pressures of modern day living. Kundalini Yoga will strengthen our nervous and immune system enabling us to go through life with grace and ease. Flexibility in the spine and the smooth running of the spinal fluid will also increase. The results are considerable, and also depend on your focus within this vast technology of body and mind. However, we can expect increased vitality, to find peace and get clarity on our purpose and how to achieve it. Ultimately it is about rediscovering who we really are.
The breath of fire is the most powerful breath in Yoga. It harnesses the power of the navel plexus which can be used to ignite the Kundalini energy and flush the nervous system with energy. The result is a relaxed, energised body and a clear, calm, focused mind.
Yes, that’s something I’ve experienced many times in your class. Can you tell us what role kundalini yoga plays in your life today and how you have personally benefited from it?
KY is the cornerstone of my spiritual practice and my life, along with experiencing life as life itself and life as a meditation. I am very fit and healthy, with lots of energy and creativity, with a passion for life. Ultimately I have found joy and peace in the ground of my being. KY has been the basis from the transformation from mental addiction to freedom. The journey is a constant unfolding, every day is an adventure and opportunity to dive deeper.
Where did you actually do your training as a teacher and how was this experience for you?
Anandpur Sahib in the Punjab region of Northern India. It was in a house/ashram owned by the late Yogi Bhajan, JY master who brought KY to the West. The experience was very rewarding and enlightening, albeit intense and challenging. The real training occurs in the challenges we face in life.
Do you think you have become a different person through the KY?
I am always growing, expanding and transforming to reveal more clearly who I really am. It is really about being really honest with ourselves and coming home to the simple truth of who we really are when we drop identification with the body, mind and emotions.
What other things do you enjoy apart from Yoga?
I love dancing, it is the most natural way to connect with God. I love walking in nature.
If you had complete freedom of choice (which you have), what would you be doing with your life right now?
I am called to spread the message of Truth through the transformational power of our Kundalini life force and meditation. I am committed to allowing this to take precedence more and more.
Who has inspired you the most on your spiritual journey?
Other than Yogi Bhajan, many from the Ramana Maharshi lineage such as Gangaji, Satyananda, Mooji, Pamela Wilson, also Eckart Tolle, among others. Also in my personal life I have met some great teachers, most of them women!
I know you organise other events in addition to the KY. Could you share a little more about them.
Kundalini Dance is a form of self healing and personal transformation. It is a fusion of free dance, meditation and ritual, a practice that is deeply transformational and totally ecstatic. It involves journeying through the seven chakras akin to the Yogic tradition. The practice rejuvenates the body, clears old stagnant emotional energy through streaming, brings insight and clarity into limiting beliefs, and supports the awakening of higher consciousness.
Conscious Clubbing is an alcohol free dance event with inspiring recorded and live music, high vibration food and drink, with a chance to connect with people who have freedom and spirituality as a focus in their life and love to dance!
Do you have anything lined up for the months to come regarding the yoga and dance in Bristol or elsewhere?
Kundalini Yoga is every Wednesday, 6pm at Wilder St Studio.
Kundalini Dance currently every Monday, 8pm Wilder St Studio
Return to Presence workshop on 26th June at Elsie Briggs Centre
Conscious Clubbing regularly throughout the year at Wilder St Studio.
Kundalini Retreat coming soon
If anyone reading this would love to contact you, what would be the best way for them to do this?
Best way is through my evolving website:
Thanks so much Mark. It’s been a pleasure having you share this with us. Those of you who’ve enjoyed reading this will be pleased to hear that I am planning a podcast with Mark Keane in the very near future so I’ll definitely keep you posted with details.
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