Sat Nam Fest had the pleasure of getting to know more about Karena Virginia, who will be joining us again at Sat Nam Fest Berkshires to share her special kind-hearted, joy-filled, Kundalini Yoga teaching sprinkled with miracles and angels!
How did you first get into Kundalini Yoga?
Karena: I found Kundalini Yoga when I was in my twenties living in New York City and feeling very out of place as a very spiritual woman working in a field of beauty which had nothing to do with the soul. Not many walked around New York City with yoga mats those days. I found a gem in a New York Sports Club which was Kundalini Yoga. It was in a small basement room without windows and there were two or three of us that showed up every Sunday. I felt as though a group angels had gifted me with a bag of magical diamonds. The deeper we went in mantra and chanted, the more I fell in love with the practice. In time I discovered that it was a group of angels who brought me into that small basement room. One of them is an angel I call upon daily, Guru Ram Das.
What inspired you to become a Kundalini Yoga teacher and what keeps your passion for teaching going?
Karena: The secret gem needed to be shared. My heart was exploding with love for others, and I would talk about it at auditions and help other women daily. I discovered that my soul was thriving on ecstasy each time I sat with another woman who was longing for something more than the external. I also discovered how similar we all were as women. Many of us felt insecure, misunderstood and beaten down by others. The shame thing and the eating disorders were topics not discussed the way they are now. We were hiding our souls by false appearances, and every single day my goal became to help another woman see she was not alone. This became my new focus, and my destiny as a teacher happened instantly by aligning with my heart and serving others with healing.
Why do you like teaching at Sat Nam Fest?
Karena: I love Sat Nam Fest so very much because it feels so warm and cozy to be with others who speak the language of love. It is also a special time that I share with my daughter, and love to see her immersed in the teachings. It is such a great place for kids, and this year I plan on spending some time teaching the children yoga. My kids were raised with Kundalini Yoga and it is one of the greatest gifts we can give our kids at this time.
What was it that tempted your daughter to become a teacher?
Karena: My daughter, Gabriella, decided when she was 14 to teach Kundalini yoga to younger girls to help them with self esteem. She became a certified KRI teacher at 15, and she loves being with children. She works at a camp now in the morning and then helps a teenager who has autism a few afternoons a week. It is really special for kids to learn the art of service. True happiness comes from giving to others.
What are some of your hobbies?
Karena: I am extremely sensitive and when I am in loud places where there is lots of energy, I often find myself feeling exhausted and sometimes depressed. It takes me time to work through what is my own personal sadness and what is something I am feeling for others. This is the life of being an empath. Many of us are. A few of my friends call it my mermaid time. My son calls it socialization rehabilitation which I laugh at (no idea where that term came from)… such a perfect expression of one of my hobbies… solitude…. sitting in silence with my breath and connecting to angels. Ah… it is my bliss. I also love antiques. Sometimes I go into old antique stores and read old post cards. I love imagining who the people in the photos are, and where their souls are now. I love the smell of antiques. I love to go into my mermaid time in a quiet antique store where I ask angels to show me signs and I connect with spirit. It feels so alive and authentic to me. I certainly have a great friendship with the ethereal ones…. angels are with us all day long… they just ask us to invite them in so they can hold our hands. They truly have the power to make the impossible possible.
How do you cope with stress?
Karena: I do not allow stress to take over. However, when I do not allow it in and embrace it when it shows up, it turns into imploded sadness. The sadness is the worse. So I nip stress in the bud. I ask it what it wants to tell me, and I give it a couple minutes. Then I tell it to go back to God where God can use alchemy and transform it into light particles. I also do not allow fear to win. I just had a conversation with a friend who is so frightened about what is happening in our world. I had a very public experience in the chaos, and I am still alive. I like to share that with others. The fear cannot win. We must move through it. There are so many angels at work… that is our job… to bring the angels to earth so the miracles of healing can happen. More and more angels are with us these days. I see them. Always have since I was a child. They reside in our hearts when we need them internally, and they guide us. Why fear when they are here. I cannot seem to help when I feel sadness though, and often that sadness is for the world. I believe the angels actually want me to feel sad sometimes so that I take inspired action to help heal others, Again, it is giving to others that we find happiness again. The self love movement is great, but it only works when we direct that love outwards as well. It becomes a full circle. If we practice self love without sharing it, a block is formed. When we open our hearts and share our practice of love with others, a circle is formed. How beautiful is that!
How did you get into Sat Nam Rasayan?
Karena: One day I was sitting in meditation, and my Italian father who passed away a few years earlier, came to me and said: “Go to Roma and study with Guru Dev” When I opened my eyes and my mind came into play, I realized it was impossible. My kids were young and I couldn’t just decide to plan a trip that month to go to Italy. My father was born and raised in Rome, and his entire family before us still lives in Rome. I have generations of ancestors in Rome who are alive in me. Was I being called to heal something? If it was real, it would happen if I got out of my own way and allowed it. The miracle happened, and somehow by the grace of God I arrived in Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport. The last time we were there as a family, dad was with us. This time I was alone and I felt alone. Until I met Guru Dev. Once I met Guru Dev I knew my father had organized it all from heaven.
What inspires what you will teach at Sat Nam Fest?
Karena: Teaching is one of my favorite ways to open my heart and share my love. Teaching at Sat Nam Fest feels magical to me, because I can take the students into the depths of their souls without holding back. I also feel an incredible link to the golden chain at Sat Nam Fest. I always have, but in the recent years since we have created a Gurdwara, it has been so very apparent. I always go to Gurdwara before teaching, and ask that the highest form of light move through me to help the students heal. I have heard some incredible miracles from students. It amazes me again and again. All I can say is: “Yes! I believe! I believe in miracles!”