Students are introduced to yoga at all stages of life. Wah Khalsa began practicing when she was just 8 years of age. “My parents are both yogis and I was born into the Kundalini lineage,” said Wah. “Yogi Bhajan, the founder of Kundalini Yoga in the West, was the spiritual teacher of my community.”
Although her family members were yoga practitioners, Wah said she wasn’t sure being a yoga instructor was her calling. But ultimately, her path led her to not just being an instructor, but also directing her family’s yoga business, Golden Bridge Yoga, which has locations in New York City and Santa Monica, California.
“When I was 18, I thought the last thing I would ever do is teach yoga, but life kept happening and here I am, running our family yoga studio and teaching,” said Wah. “When you’re a yogi and your soul calls, you answer. I am just answering the call.”
Golden Bridge Yoga was founded by Wah’s parents, Gurmukh and Gurushabd Khalsa, in Los Angeles. They opened a second studio in New York City in 2008. The studios offer Kundalini Yoga, a physical and meditative discipline that combines asanas, pranayama and the chanting of mantras.
“It takes a certain kind of openness to dive into Kundalini Yoga,” said Wah. “Our space is often referred to as a temple and a sacred place where people feel at home. Many students have said that Kundalini Yoga saved their life. To be a part of that is a huge blessing.”
Wah began running the studios when her parents began to travel more, though Gurmukh and Gurushabd still stop by regularly to teach classes.
For Wah, the moments at the end of each class are what bring her the most fulfillment. “It’s like for those few moments before [students] have to rush back to their lives there is space for peace,” she said. “I believe the more we can experience that peace inside and around us the more we will want to return to that place. I see it with students all the time — that longing to go back to that place of stillness.”
Wah described her teaching style as “all over the place.” At times playful, real, challenging and beautiful, she said ego is the biggest obstacle. “If anyone said differently they would be lying,” she added. “I learn every time I teach — the opportunities to learn are endless.”