“Kundalini Yoga is not a religion. Religions come out of it. Kundalini Yoga is not a fad, and it’s not a cult. It’s a practice of experience of a person’s own excellence, which is dormant and which is awakened.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 7/26/96
What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga, also known as laya yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Kundalin’ which means ‘circular’ while in Tantrasadbhava Tantra, it means ‘ring, bracelet or to coil’. Hence, Kundalini is refered to the energy that coils from the base of our spine or the Muladara Chakra.The energy of Kundalini can be felt only when it moves through the body, as the body begins to observe its strength. Kundalini is symbolized by a serpent or snake.
Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. Eastern traditions conferred Kundalini as a concealed spiritual force of immense power and potential. This indwelling energy can be awakened to purify the subtle system of the being. The awakening of Kundalini takes place from the base of the spine and at this point the coiled energy moves to uncoil itself and travels up the spine. The energy travels through the Ida and Pingala Nadi in the subtle body. Once it reaches the crown i.e. top of the head the divine union takes place integrating with the Greater Beyond.
So how does one uncoil this hidden energy?
The practice of Kundalini yoga includes movement or asanas, dynamic breathing techniques or Pranayama, meditation, and the chanting of mantras. It is designed to elevate complete body awareness to prepare the body, nervous system, and the mind to handle energy of rising Kundalini. The asanas or physical postures mainly focus on navel region and movement of the spine. Pranayama and practice of bandhas helps to release and control the flow of Kundalini energy from the lower centers i.e. base to the higher energetic centers i.e. crown.
Yogasanas in Kundalini Yoga:
- Warm up – Sukshma Vyayama and jogging at one place
- Alternate leg-rise in sleeping position.
- Paschimottanasana – Forward bend Pose
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
- Dhanurasana – Bow Pose
- Chakrasana – Wheel Pose
- Cat-Cow Pose for breathing
- Matsyasana – Fish Pose
- Chaturanga Dandasana – Four Limbed Staff Pose
- Adho Mukha Svanasana – Down facing dog
- Pranayama – Nadi Shudhi Pranayama (Alternate nostril breathing) with Kumbhaka.
- Nadi Shudhi Pranayama basically done the cleansing of the Ida (Left) and Pingala (Right) nadi. This helps in a free and proper flow of Prana or the energy to travel from the base chakra to the 7th chakra through the central Sushumna nadi intern awakening the Kundalini Shakti or energy.
- Meditation – Usually done in a seated position either in Sukhasana/ Padmasana (Lotus Position). One must sit straight and be completely relaxed. One has to be aware of his breathing and slowly the Guru gives instructions to focus and concentrate of each and every Chakra starting from the base of the spine. Some practice Kundalini meditation with mild music.
- Bhakti Yoga – Shloka chanting, music.
Benefits of Kundalini Yoga
- Regular Kundalini Yoga practice makes you happier, healthier, creative and stress-free.
- Blocks in the Chakras are removed one by one to have a healthier body.
- When the Kundalini energy uncoils you develop intuitive mind. Your decisions are right most of the times and you are able to think better and move in the righteous path.
- You develop more positivity.
- You will be balance emotionally and mentally as a result the work which you do will be more productive.
- Your energy levels increase both physically and mentally.
- You will have a blissful state of mind.
Always remember aim of any Yoga is to find the ultimate bliss and to unite with the supreme but Kundalini Yoga mainly aims at finding the ultimate bliss. One should always start from the scratch and not rush into conclusion. To handle the energy got from Kundalini Yoga and to utilize the same one needs to know how to balance one self and to do the same one has to follow his/her Guru’s instruction appropriately.
Things to Remember:
Kundalini Yoga must be done early in the morning or three hours after food in a well-ventilated spacious room facing towards East or North direction. It is best to pray or chant “Om” before commencing the practice. While practicing Kundalini yoga always remember to take Satvik food and to avoid all kinds of junk food and beverages in order to increase the Satva quality in oneself. Help the ones in need and avoid loose talks. Develop habit of sacrifice and reduce your wants. Respect elders and your Guru. Regular practice is a must to experience the bliss of the ultimate energy.