What is a Kula?

Kula Savasana at Evolution School & Practice Space

Kula Savasana at Evolution School & Practice Space

The following words are excerpts from an essay written by West Virginia yoga teacher, Randy Boyd titled “The Meaning of Kula.”  I couldn’t have said it any better and am honored he gave permission for me to share some words from his essay, which was inspired by his long time teacher, Todd Norian of Ashaya Yoga.

The simple translation of the Sanskrit word Kula is community.

“The concept of Kula comes from another Sanskrit term Kula Siddhi. or the idea that all of the diversity of creation in the universe is in relationship and is connected. These connections explain the way that universe keeps growing and expanding.”

“The food chain is an example of how the universe feeds itself and forever expands. An animal eats a plant nurtured by the light of the sun, and another animal eats that animal and perhaps a human eats that animal. This cycle goes on and on. An eco-system would be another example of a Kula. The more diversity there is in an eco-system the healthier that system is.”

” There are all sorts of examples of other Kulas. For instance the body is a Kula that works together to keep us healthy. The Kula of cells band together to make tissues, the tissues make organs and so on and so forth . On the yoga mat we line up the Kula of the body, the different parts up of our body in a way that brings more joy and vitality to our life. The solar system is a Kula with all the individual planets revolving around the sun in relationship. If one of the orbits of the planets changes it effects the orbits of all the other planets.”

“Kula as community or as a group of people with similar yearnings of the heart is a way in which we can all grow together. We all come to the yoga matt because we share similar interests and beliefs. Kula is always voluntary and differs from cults in that Kula respects diversity. As in the example of the eco-system, the more diversity in a community the healthier the community is. Kula as community helps us to grow as individuals. We support each other. Kula offers us a way to remember our own greatness and beauty. Many times we rely people in the Kula to remind us of our own greatness when we allow the voices of self doubt to override our hearts. Sometimes the people in our community believe in us more than we belief in ourselves. Kula also can bring us back into alignment when we step out of alignment. Our real friends let us know when we our actions are out of balance, harmful to others, or ourselves.”

“There are 3 examples of ways we interact within the Kula. We can choose to isolate ourselves from community. There is nothing wrong with this, we have free choice but often we miss out on the sweetness of sharing and the bigger energy of the group. The second way to interact is to give all in service. Some people give everything they have to the community. They say yes to everything. They often do so much for others they forget about their needs. The result is they expend so much energy giving, that little is left for themselves. They can deplete their own energy so much that they loose their ability to gather pollen for the community. The third way is when an individual participates in the Kula giving the best they have to offer and reaping the benefits of the shared experience while maintaining there own personal space and attuning to their own needs in a balanced way. This is yoga , balanced action in every realm of life.”

practice . connect . grow . heal