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Celebrating Gurmukh and Golden Bridge Yoga Hollywood

Posted on October 15, 2014 by Jesse Schiller | 0 comments

Rachel and Gurmukh on the day of Rachel's graduation from Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training

Have you ever had the blessing of being in the presence of someone that gets life on another level? You know, that higher level where pure peace and love simply radiate from a human being.

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa is one of those people. She is the co-founder with her equally conscious husband, Gurushabd, of Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles. This is the studio where Rachel, our co-founder, did her kundalini yoga teacher training. It has had a huge impact on our lives.

Last week Gurmukh taught a free community kundalini class in the space. It was the last ever class to be held there and I had the great pleasure of being there for it. 

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Five years ago Rachel and I were wandering across Asia when one day in Rishikesh, India, we looked up and saw a poster for a yoga teacher training with Gurmukh. Rachel had done a weekend workshop with Gurmukh a few years previous at our home studio in Vancouver, Semperviva Yoga, and that brief workshop had left a lasting impression. 

We've previously written on the amazing series of events that happened next (read that here) but long story short, we ended up in a soul-awakening kundalini yoga class led by Gurmukh on the bank of the Ganges River. It was in that class that Rachel decided she too would be a kundalini yoga teacher.  

This photo was taken after that class on the Ganges - a day we will always remember! 

A few months after our return to North America Rachel signed up for her kundalini yoga teacher training with Gurmukh. As the studio was based in Hollywood, California, it meant that over an 8 month period Rachel would fly once a month to Los Angeles for a weekend of training. 

Rachel's kundalini yoga teacher training (read that story here) changed both our lives. 

Kundalini yoga, the style of yoga that Gurmukh teachers, was originally brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan, a charismatic Indian teacher originally from India’s Punjab region. The style of yoga involves powerful energy work and Yogi Bhajan recommended that teachers and students alike wear a head covering while practicing for protection when dealing with the powerful energies.

The need for a kundalini yoga head covering is what led Rachel to begin designing our own organic cotton headbands (read "the kundalini yoga head covering" aha moment story) and what started as a solution for herself quickly snowballed into a company making organic cotton head coverings and headbands for kundalini yogis (and many others) worldwide.

It was largely by coincidence that we later set up our manufacturing in Los Angeles though in truth, having Golden Bridge Yoga in town was a perk that helped tip the scales to choosing the city (read the story of why we chose to manufacture our headbands, hairties and multi-use shawls in L.A. here).

A lovely introduction to Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

In the years we've visited L.A. more times than I can count. The trips can be overwhelming and full-on, especially when in full manufacturing mode. One of our constant saving graces has been Golden Bridge. Every trip we make at least one stop at the yoga studio that feels like a second home to us to re-fill with a class, enjoy their amazing cafe and check in on the KOOSHOO head coverings that are always selling out. 

Last week I was in L.A. on my own and received a call from Rachel on Tuesday night. The call was to let me know that Golden Bridge would be closing their Hollywood studio for good (there remains one in Santa Monica and another in New York) and that Wednesday night would be the last ever class in the sacred space. Here's the video she sent me:

The class was a celebration, and the room was completely packed with yogis of every age and background. Gurmukh taught a beautiful class (as physically challenging as ever!) focused on non-attachment. The topic, of course, was fitting. It was clear as day that the closing of the studio for Gurmukh was simply the closing of one door in order to allow a new door to open. 
Serendipity works in magical ways. Just like the day 5 years ago when we found the banner for Gurmukh's teacher training while in a small town in India, the timing of me being in L.A. for this event felt divine.
I want to take a moment to thank Gurmukh, Gurushabd, their inspiring daughter Wah, and the whole Golden Bridge Yoga family for what they've provided not only to Rachel and I but for the thousands of others who've equally walked out of that studio feeling loved, nourished and inspired over the years.  

A pic from the last class at Golden Bridge Hollywood

Fittingly, here's a video of a kundalini yoga meditation for a grateful heart taught by Rachel. Thank you for filling our hearts Gurmukh.We look forward to continuing to practice with you in Santa Monica, New York, Vancouver, online at your Global Village and wherever else in the world we find you next. 

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