What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is a science, a technology. It is the most complete of Yogic traditions, incorporating Pranayam (breath work), the science of “Naad” or sound vibration, Asana (posture), Mantra, Drishti (eye focus) Bandhas (body locks) and Mudra (hand postures.) Its primary goal is unite the finite with the Infinite. Kundalini yoga is known as the “Yoga of Awareness” because it unlocks the Kundalini energy that is coiled at the base of the spine and brings it to the higher centers of consciousness. Many people live their entire lives from the lower chakras; from security, sexual desire, and power. Kundalini yoga raises our awareness to the higher chakras so that we may give from the heart, speak with compassion, open our minds, and live from our radiance.
What Happens During a Class?
Kundalini Yoga is comprised of a set of exercises which make up a “Kriya.” A Kriya and the sequence of its exercises must never be altered, since it has a specific function or end result as given by Yogi Bhajan. The energy must flow in response to the posture, mantras, and sound current and it does so in a very special, sequential way. A typical class will include “tuning in” with the Adi Mantra, “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” followed by chanting, “Ad Guray Nameh” a mantra for guidance and protection. Then Pranayam (breath work), Warm up exercises, a Kriya, Deep (Gong) Relaxation, Meditation, and “tuning out” with the Long Time Sun Song.
How Does Kundalini Yoga Work?
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is a science of angles and triangles. Different postures throughout the Kriya stretch muscles and press upon meridian points which send signals to the brain to give a desired result. “Naad” or sound current sends a vibration to the brain, out to the Universe, and back to you. Mantra along with sound current impact the subconscious mind to help rewrite new, healthy pathways in the brain. The Chakras are balanced through the practice of Kundalini Yoga as well.
How is Kundalini Yoga Different from Hatha and Bikram Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga incorporates all avenues of yoga as mentioned above. Hatha and Bikram, while beneficial, focus mainly on perfecting the Physical Body. Kundalini Yoga cleanses all of the energetic bodies including the Physical Body. It is said we have ten energetic bodies. The Soul Body, Negative Mind, Positive Mind, Neutral Mind, Physical Body, Arcline, Aura, Pranic Body, Subtle Body, and Radiant Body. Yogi Bhajan said, “If you understand that you are Ten Bodies, and you are aware of those Ten Bodies, and you keep them in balance, the whole Universe will be in balance with you.” ~ Yogi Bhajan
Another difference is that it can take Hatha Yoga nearly 20 years to awaken the Kundalini Energy, whereas in Kundalini Yoga the effects are felt much more quickly; typically after one class. The trick is having a daily practice or “Sadhana” which keeps the Kundalini energy awakened.
Is Kundalini Yoga a Religion?
Kundalini Yoga itself is not a religion. It is a richness of tradition, a yoga of “Kings” which was passed down from Master to Yogi for thousands of years. Many mantras have roots in ancient texts written in the days of Sanskrit & Gurmukhi. Kundalini Yoga’s main focus is to “yoke” your finite self with the Infinite, Collective Consciousness. Some call it “God.” Some call it “the Universe.” Kundalini Yoga is really about having your own experience. Anyone from any religion or non-religion can come to Kundalini Yoga.
How Can Kundalini Yoga Benefit Me?
*Kundalini Yoga strengthens the nervous system, purifies the blood, and balances the glandular/hormonal system. It can help with normal sleep patterns, help to balance the stress response, can give vitality and vigor, and improve memory. It promotes healing of the physical body, emotions, can revive the spirit, create flexibility in the spine, and allow graceful, radiant aging. Meditation alone has been studied extensively and shows to have impact on healthy sleep patterns, lessen the impact of cortisol, and strengthen the mind.
The definition of a Yogi is one who does not react to the polarities of life. Kundalini Yoga helps you to become more conscious, more in tune with the subtleties of life, and more aware of your soul’s purpose all while becoming less reactive. It allows you to be you!
Satya Amrit Kaur
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
(Resources: 3HO.org, Spiritvoyage.com, The Aquarian Teacher By: Yogi Bhajan.)
Hi Wendy –
You have been incredibly inspirational. Seriously, I am so glad you have brought this very non-intimidating, down-to-earth yoga studio to Hamilton, and I hope it grows. I remember years ago going to yoga in Takoma Park, and it was so yuppy-ish and impersonal (one instructor I had actually made me more stressed than I was before class) — your place is what I think of when I think yoga. I think it’s a wonderful addition to the community.Melanie