Kundalini Yoga is a yoga of mindfulness that gives a surge of energy, improves health, makes life more fulfilling and joyful.
Kundalini is called energy yoga for a reason. If you do the exercises regularly, indeed, you become noticeably more energetic, you do more. But at the same time, harmony reigns in the soul, and the desire to fuss and rush disappears.
What is Kundalini Yoga?
In Sanskrit, the word “kundalini” is written as “कुण्डलिनी”, in Latin – “kuṇḍalinī”. In Russian, the name translates as “spiral snake”, “coiled in the shape of a snake.” In esoteric culture, this is the name for the energy that accumulates in the Muladhara chakra, located at the base of the human spine.
We are talking about the sacred energy of creation, which everyone possesses from birth, and which can transform from potential into the material, kinetic.
Kundalini yoga proposes to awaken it through the awareness of subtle energies and the activation of the energy centers of the whole body. In the process of training, the kundalini energy awakens and rises up to activate the rest of the chakras – energy centers. For this, motor and breathing exercises are performed that trigger an intense movement of energy.
As a result, the “spiral snake” unfolds, a person achieves spiritual perfection, he can realize his Higher Self – to find contact with his divine essence. In Indian philosophy, this means – to connect with the energy of which everything consists, the creative principle, of which we are all apart. In fact, kundalini yoga helps to understand that a person is not a separate being, but his true nature – to be a part of everything.
Features of kundalini yoga
The features of this area of yogic philosophy include the absence of:
- clear dogmas and rules, the ability to find their own meaning in practice for each person;
- a single, common for all specific goals;
- path indications – kundalini is a tool that a person can use on his way to gain spiritual liberation.
An important condition for performing the practice is breathing control using different methods. The depth and rhythm of breathing change, which makes it possible to influence the state of health, consciousness, emotions, quality, and movement of energy in the body.
The characteristic element of kundalini yoga is mantras. Sanskrit texts are sung in a certain rhythm, which sets the appropriate vibrations that tune the body and psyche.
How did kundalini yoga come about?
The earliest mention of kundalini yoga dates back to around the beginning of the first millennium BC. According to the records found in the Upanishad, at that time it was a philosophy and science that studied the energies of the human body. In the first lessons, the masters talked about their spiritual knowledge, and their students listened. There was no physical exercise. Later, Jesus and Buddha acted in a similar way. Body movements appeared later.
For thousands of years, kundalini yoga has been a practice for the elite. Only those who prepared for several years and then passed initiation could gain access to knowledge. A kind of secret society of the Indian elite was formed, within which the Kundalini traditions were kept and passed on for thousands of years. It was believed that the broad masses were not ready for such knowledge.
It was only in 1968 that it was possible to go beyond the circle of initiates of kundalini yoga. Yogi Bhajan left Punjab for Toronto, where he began to teach this direction to all comers, founding an institute for the study of kundalini and teaching teachers in different countries of the world. It is Bhajan who owns the definition of kundalini yoga as a science that unites the finite with infinity. It was he who laid the foundation for the history of the triumphal march of this direction around the world.
The visible effect of doing kundalini yoga?
The unfolding of the energy hidden in the Muladhara chakra and the activation of all energy centers leads to results that can not only be felt but also seen:
- improving health, normalizing hormonal levels, getting rid of excess weight and many chronic diseases, and so on;
- improvement of the mental state, getting rid of obsessive thoughts and ideas, addictions and bad habits;
- increasing the flexibility of the body, its activity, expanding the range of motion;
- improvement in appearance: people who practice kundalini yoga look younger than their peers;
- improving memory, increasing intellectual abilities;
- expanding your own presence in the world through awareness of yourself, which helps to find new opportunities to reveal your talents and improve your life;
- appearance surrounded by like-minded people.
There is evidence that regular exercise even helps to get rid of drug addiction.
How is Kundalini yoga training?
Classes are of high intensity. After a few minutes, you may feel that the muscles are tense and it is not easy to do some exercises.
However, with all the obviousness of physical activity, the practice of kundalini yoga is performed “with feeling, sensibly, with the arrangement” – slowly and thoughtfully. A unique combination of movement and meditation is created – focusing on each movement, on the breath. This is where kundalini yoga differs from regular fitness.
- The lesson begins with chanting mantras that help to tune in to the practice. You can chant the words in Sanskrit – “Sat nam” (my name is truth) or “Ong Namo. Guru Dev Namo “(I bow to the deep divine wisdom. I bow to the divine teacher who is in me).
- Next, a warm-up is performed so that the body can prepare for the kriyas – about 10-15 minutes.
- Kriyas – sets of exercises, including pranayamas, mudras, drishti, bandhas and others: 30-45 minutes.
- The next step is dynamic meditation (in motion) or chanting mantras: 11-31 minutes.
- The final stage is relaxation (relaxation): 5-15 minutes. It is performed lying on your back (shavasana).
Where to begin?
If you are just going to start practicing kundalini yoga, choose the simplest exercises.
Simple rules will help make your workouts as effective as possible. So, it is worth taking food two hours before class. Choose a place where no one will disturb you and turn off the phone. Ventilate the room or practice outdoors. Drink water during and after training.
Contraindications for practicing kundalini yoga
It is impossible to engage in exacerbations of chronic diseases, mental disorders, after operations. Kundalini yoga may not be beneficial, but harm if bronchial asthma, cerebrovascular accidents are diagnosed, in the first months after a stroke or heart attack, with pronounced hypertension and type 1 diabetes mellitus, as well as in the presence of malignant tumors. In all these situations, it is necessary to consult with your doctor before deciding on classes.
During pregnancy, the selection of exercises is required very carefully. It is advisable to work with an experienced instructor who specializes in working with pregnant women. During menstruation, do not perform inverted positions and with a load on the abdominal muscles. If you have a fever or feel unwell, it is better to postpone the workout.
It’s important not to overdo it. Do the exercise as many times and as long as you think is possible for your body at the moment. You can do more the next time, but until you overexert yourself, don’t be violent towards yourself.
How to dress for kundalini yoga practice?
In India, practitioners of this direction of yoga traditionally wear white clothes – loose trousers and a shirt made of thin cotton fabric.
However, this is not necessary – your clothes can be of any fabric and any shade. It is important that it is comfortable enough – either loose or elastic – so as not to hinder movement and breathing. So that it allows the skin to breathe.