Kundalini Yoga is an ancient practice that helps you channel powerful energy and transform your life. It is a way to achieve a life full of lightness, happiness, and boundless love.
Kundalini Yoga is a combination of exercises or postures (Kriyas) and breathing techniques that end with meditation and chanting. Kundalini Yoga is designed to raise complete body awareness. It thereby prepares the body and mind to handle the Kundalini energy. Many of the yoga poses are designed to activate the belly button, spine, and energy points in the body. Through these poses along with breathing techniques, one can control the Kundalini energy and feel enlightened.
MEANING OF KUNDALINI YOGA
Kundalini Yoga is also known as ‘Yoga of awareness.’ Kundalini comes from the Sanskrit word ’kundal’ which means ‘circular’ or ‘a coiled serpent/snake.’ It is said by the yogis that Kundalini energy refers to the coiled-up energy that lies at the base of the spine.
In simple terms, Kundalini means “spiritual energy located at the base of the spine” which is conceptualized as a coiled-up serpent. But why a serpent? Just like a snake is charmed out of the basket by a snake-charmer, Kundalini coils and weaves to wake up and clear the stagnant energy in our body.
This yoga is a blend of Bhakti Yoga (the practice of devotion and chanting), Raja Yoga (the practice of mental and physical control) and Shakti Yoga, (expression of power and energy).
The practice of Kundalini Yoga awakens the sleeping Kundalini energy from its coiled base through the six chakras (energy centers) that reside along the spine, and through the seventh chakra, or crown. Each chakra has a function that keeps us healthy. It also helps each practitioner to prepare themselves physically and spiritually for the intensity of this energy. They become more aware, more integrated with reality, and move into a state of higher consciousness.
“Kundalini Yoga is the science to unite the finite with Infinity.” –Yogi Bhajan
HISTORY OF KUNDALINI YOGA
Long before Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism came into the origin, Eastern religions believed that each individual possessed spiritual energy at the base of their spine. It was considered as the sacred energy of creation. To unveil this energy, Kundalini Yoga came into play.
From the beginning, Kundalini Yoga was taught in secrecy and not out publicly. It was an advanced education that was passed on to students chosen by their masters who considered them worthy enough. Teaching Kundalini was unheard of in the Indian Yoga society.
However, a holy Sikh rebel named Yogi Bhajan traveled from Punjab, India to Toronto, Canada in 1968 to spread the knowledge of Kundalini Yoga to the people in the west. He knew that teaching Kundalini Yoga outside of Indian lineage was forbidden but he believed that “It is everyone’s birthright to be healthy, happy, and holy, and the practice of Kundalini Yoga is the way to claim that birthright.”
He combined ancient knowledge with modern practicality and established the 3HO (Happy, Healthy, and Holy Organization) Foundation and Kundalini Research Institute. People in the United States believe that Kundalini Yoga would have been unknown if it wasn’t for Yogi Bhajan who introduced it to them.
Kundalini yoga was also originally known as Laya Yoga that is a stream of yoga governed by Tantra and Shaktism. This school of yoga was founded by Sage Gorakshnatha from Nepal. Laya in Sanskrit means ‘dissolution or merging.’
THE PURPOSE OF KUNDALINI YOGA
The primary aim or purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to provide a way to free oneself from their Karma (past actions), achieve maximal creative potential and realize their life purpose.
Kundalini Yoga does not hold onto any strict rules, unlike other ancient religious philosophies. Over the years, this practice has allowed one to find their true purpose in life and to be able to come in contact with their higher-self. Kundalini Yoga is simply a way that directs each individual’s journey to personal discovery.
HOW TO DO KUNDALINI YOGA MEDITATION?
Kundalini Yoga meditation is a slow process with slight variations that include breath work, mantras, kriyas, meditations, and mudras. Each one of them combined together have the power to signal a chemical reaction in our mind and body that affects our mood positively. Emotions such as happiness, joy, and sadness, all vibrate at a specific frequency.
You have to prepare yourself to be able to receive this powerful energy. If the energy is not received correctly and well, it can prove dangerous. Thus, be cautious and prepare yourself mentally to perform Kundalini Yoga meditation. These are initial steps and practices to prepare yourself before you begin to perform Kundalini Yoga.
1. Prepare the Mind
The most important step before starting Kundalini yoga is to prepare your mind. If you are not a regular practitioner of meditation, this will take time to get used to. Patience is the key to move forward with this slow and deep process. Sitting for 2 minutes initially might seem like a long time but do not give up and continue to keep your patience running. Thus, with regular practice, you will begin to enjoy the process.
Before you start with the yoga meditation, find a peaceful place, wear loose-fitting clothes, cover your head with a scarf or shawl and keep some water to drink besides you.
Covering the head is considered an important element of Kundalini Yoga. According to Yogi Bhajan, tying or covering your hair allows one clear his/her thoughts from the mind, to harness the inflow of energy, and focus on yoga and meditation diligently.
2. The Right Posture
Sitting in the right posture to meditate is crucial as the chakras are in the right alignment, making it apt for the energy to rise from the base of your spine. IF your posture is not straight and erect, this could disrupt the alignment of the chakras stopping the energy to rise. Sit comfortably with your legs crossed and your spine straight and erect. Place your palms together in Prayer Pose at the center of your chest with your fingers pointing up. You can also place a pillow underneath while you sit.
If you find it difficult to sit on the floor, sit on a chair with your legs firmly grounded on the floor. Do not leave your legs loose. After sitting in the right posture, close your eyes lightly.
3. Feel the Breath
As you close your eyes, to begin with, the breathing process, focus your gaze at the brow point where your third eye or 6th chakra is located. This is the point between your eyebrows and up a bit. As you inhale, divide your breath into four equal parts. After you breathe in four equal parts, hold the breath and exhale out. Break the outgoing breath into four equal parts and then hold it for a few seconds. Do these four times. On each inhale and exhale, pull your belly button towards your spine. Each breath cycles takes about 7-8 seconds. Practice this yoga meditation for 3-5 minutes
You must gradually increase your breathing time and eventually feel your breath and its movement inside your body instead of just hearing it. If you go further, you will be able to control the flow of your breath, and that will lead you to uncover the kundalini.
4. Exercises for Meditation
A step before you go deep into meditation is a set of exercises that will help your mind to settle down and ease you into the meditation process. Some simple ones are:
- Spinal Rotation: Sit down on the floor with your back straight and erect. Fold your legs without crossing over the thighs. Keep your focus at the center of your brows. With your hands placed on the thighs, move your torso in a circular motion 26 times each in both the directions. This will enhance the life force throughout your body and open up your hips and spine.
- Roll Your Neck: Sit in a relaxed position with your back straight and erect. Adjust your head by moving it back and forth to loosen up any tight muscles. Bend your head towards the right, roll it backward in a circular motion, bringing it back to the same position. Then, try it from the side. Do these rotations for about 2 minutes to release all the pent-up and locked energy.
5. Find the right Mantra
Chanting a powerful mantra in your mind while you breathe will help you concentrate and focus better. It will prevent random thoughts from troubling you. You can chant the mantra Sa Ta Na Ma during this meditation, especially if your mind is anxious or your thoughts are distracting you. Sa Ta Na Ma means “Infinity, Life, Death, and Rebirth.” This mantra will help you focus on your mind and thoughts, ultimately connecting you to your highest and most true self.
These mantras work as an inspiring and uplifting means for your meditation. There are a wide variety of mantras to choose from such as Om chanting. Try a few chants that you are comfortable and can easily connect to. The right mantra has a great impact on your meditation and can awaken the kundalini energy inside you.
Kundalini yoga is also a great yoga practice when you are in a hurry. Do it for 2-3 minutes when you feel tired, before meals, at work, driving home. You will notice an overwhelming change and feeling within you. It will create peace, relaxation, and deep satisfaction with relationships, work, and creativity.
KUNDALINI YOGA BENEFITS
Let’s face it, all of us are struggling to find peace and prosperity in our life. We are struggling through a disturbed mind and a sea of failures. This has thrown off our mental physical, and emotional balance. Thus, Kundalini Yoga helps us to find and achieve the highest level of happiness and peace.
This yoga practice helps us to connect with our inner self, helping us to fight our fears and insecurities and being emotionally stable. With the onset of pressure, both professional and personal, many of us are breaking down. We are filled with negative thoughts and energy that is diminishing our creativity and growth.
Kundalini Yoga is also known as the science of angles because the different poses and movements involve having our limbs at angles which put pressure on specific organs and glands. When you hold the pose and breathe the right way, the pressure builds up, and when you take the pressure away, blood and energy flow to those areas. This leads to the healing of different parts of the body and mind. Such as:
- It activates the glandular system, expands the lung capacity, and purifies the bloodstream.
- Eliminates back pain.
- It gives you a clarity of thought, improved memory skills, and greater physical strength.
- Relief from stomach and throat ailments, liver problems and kidney stones.
Kundalini Yoga also strengthens and calms down the nervous system as it focuses on 5 main energy centers (chakras) present in the spine and 2 in the head. Thus, boosting your energy levels for healthy physical well-being.
Kundalini Yoga positively affects the mental stability of an individual. This is because when the Kundalini energy is awakened, the energy center at the crown(head) gets activated. This releases energy to the brain giving signals to the mind to feel more relaxed and be able to handle stress. The same energy uplifts and trains you for success and excellence in life. Regular practice can cut down on your stagnant and dormant energy that interferes with your creativity and productivity. This form of yoga meditation enables you to be more intuitive and send signals to the universe to attract new opportunities for yourself.
Once the Kundalini energy is awakened, the life-force rises up through the 7 chakras of the body. It cleanses and purifies the “sacred fire” within us which is equal to the heat-producing metabolic energy in the body. If Kundalini is unobstructed by a physical or energetic blockage, it exits through the crown chakra that is located at the top of our head. It mixes with the Divine energy and takes us on a journey of self-actualization. This energy builds a firm foundation from within for those who want to have a spiritual life. It also awakens your soul and spirit.
After practicing Kundalini yoga devotedly, some of the practitioners adopt Sikh faith. However, this yoga practice is non-religious and is suitable for people of all faiths and none. A spiritual awakening is what you experience, no matter which religion you may choose to follow. This even applies to non-religious folks.
The awakening of your mind and soul will enable you to fulfill your desires and fight your fears instead of being a victim to your past destructive emotional self. Practicing Kundalini yoga will open you to numerous life experiences that will cleanse your body and subconscious mind of anything negative and self-harming. Kundalini Yoga controls the central nervous system to enable to spread electrifying energy to our mind and body.
It will also bring awareness and balance to the body, mind, and soul. The greater the awareness and peace you experience, the happier, more productive your life will be.
Why do Kundalini yogis wear white clothes?
Many of you must wonder why Kundalini yogis wear white clothes and also white turbans or coverings for sessions. Well in Yogi Bhajans’ words,
“Colours create an uncontrollable action in your subconscious mind of inspiration, productivity, and expansion. Colors have an effect on our consciousness. We wanted to develop a very fast, progressive, spiritual and technical method of all the colors, so we have adopted the one color of the seven colors, which is white.”
Yogi Bhajan taught his students that wearing all white clothing expands one’s auric radiance by at least one foot. Since white as a prism is a balance of all colors, it has a unique impact on the conscious and subconscious minds of individuals.
But is it important to wear white clothes? Yoga experts believe that wearing white fosters comfort, flexibility, and free movement. But also expands your aura, engages your center and uplifts your mood. White clothing specifically for Kundalini yoga promotes purity and peace
The practice of Kundalini Yoga poses (kriyas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and sacred chants, increases life force flowing through your body. It also helps you heal and love yourself to an extent. This yoga practice bounds to awaken the stagnant energy at the base of your spine. This enables you to connect with your true self and also find your life’s purpose.
A good Kundalini yoga session will leave you feeling like you have just finished an intense yet satisfying workout or an emotionally relieving therapy or just a fun-filled brunch with your friends.
Therefore, the key is to do it gradually, listen to your body, stop when it tells you to. But above all, stay consistent and determined. Transform your life and relationships, and feel more fulfilled and satisfied.
Embark on this exciting new journey of self-discovery and self-love!