Home > My Story > My Story – Madelaine Palko


My challenge for the Level 1 Kundalini Teacher Training was feeling out of my element…and homesick. Also, I felt my age. I am 53. It’s nothing I ever really think of that much on a day-to-day basis but with all the young people I did feel out of my element at first. I did however remember what it was like when I was 20; I traveled extensively, went to school from coast-to-coast, and the world was my oyster. I did find this challenging but on the other hand I have always welcomed freshness and adventure. Knowing that all was in order at home and that I did have a wonderful boyfriend, house, family, and job to come home to made my learning experience easier. Also, I think that my life experience gave me an inner strength I wouldn’t have had in my twenties. As for the custom…early mornings, wearing white, veggie diet, no coffee, etc, these are all things one can get used to.

The heat is definitely exhausting if you are not used to it. The vegetarian food was great. I enjoyed the variety of preparations and not having to cook. I really loved the yoga and meditations with a large group. This does not mean that the yoga was easy; it was hard work. I loved learning from all the different teachers; each one had something special and significant to teach. Learning about the Naad was inspiring. I found my voice again, which was hiding since I was a child. I love to lead small group meditations with challenging chants. They work. I have become more confident in my teaching but I am constantly learning.

On a more personal note, I enjoyed my check-in group. Our group leader, Dev Amrit Kaur from Mexico, is a jewel. One morning when I was feeling most challenged on all levels she gave me a hug of reassurance, which made me cry. I realized that age is not really that important (she is much younger than me). Also, a young man with whom I was partnered one day said that age was not that important, the main thing was that I was doing it now. The fact that this young man is younger than my son hit me. What a wise young man. And in the same moment I realized my son is very wise too. He was very supportive of me taking the teacher training course. My son, James, is 23 and has Downs Syndrome. The challenge and fear that I had to overcome to grow up has made me stronger and willing to face challenges and change. I won’t get too comfortable and forget to “keep up” and keep on going!

Sat Nam. Cheers!
Madelaine ~ Dharampreet, Canada