What is Kundalini Yoga? This style of yoga is one of the ancient forms of yoga that is relatively new to practices in the west. In 1969, Yogi Bhajan founded what is known as the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization where Kundalini Yoga was introduced to a larger population. This style had not previously been shared with the public by Yogi Bhajan felt it was time to give everyone the chance to grow from its benefits. Yoga teacher training is another way to share a new style of yoga and to provide the practice information to others.
What does Kundalini Yoga mean?
Kundalini Yoga is a style of yoga that is physical, mental and spiritual type of practice for helping develop your personal energy and awareness of senses. Those that practice Kundalini yoga refer to it as the yoga of awareness because they say it can directly affect the human consciousness and connects us to the Infinite energy of God consciousness. Yoga teaching considers this to be a very advanced form of yoga and meditation practice and its goal is to help develop the most creative and spiritual abilities that lie untouched within each person.
Those that went through yoga certification believe that Kundalini is an untapped energy which rests at the base of the spine and can be drawn up through the body using each of the seven chakras. When the energy reaches the crown Chakra you have reached a state of full enlightenment. Many yoga teachers refer to this energy like a coiled up snake that rests at the base of the spine.
Breath and Movement
Yoga teacher training also follows the asanas with Kundalini Yoga. Each Kundalini Yoga asana series is completed in balance with a specific breath that will help intensify the effect of the pose with the purpose of reaching the energy in the lower body and helping it release and move upward. Kundalini yoga sequences which are called Kriyas may consist of repetitive and rapid movements all done using breath or holding a pose while using a specific type of breathing technique.
Kundalini Yoga is believed to help stimulate the endocrine system, especially the pineal gland, which is a small endocrine gland which is responsible for producing the serotonin melatonin, a hormone that helps control our natural sleep.
What to expect in class
When starting out with your class the teacher that went through yoga teacher training will most likely being the class with a short chant which is then followed by a warm up exercise to help stretch the spine and improve your flexibility. The main object of this class is called a kriya which is a designed sequence of poses and pranayama that will focus on a specific area of your body. The yoga teacher usually will not make any adjustments to your pose. The class session will end with a short meditation which may also be joined with the yoga teacher playing a large gong joined with a closing song. Kundalini yoga devotees tend to wear a flowing white robe and head wrap.
Along with practicing many kriyas and meditations of Kundalini Yoga, many feel that alternate nostril breathing is a simple breathing technique that many feel helps awaken the Kundalini energy. Yogi Bhajan instructed many kriyas and meditations that would help allow the body, nervous system and the mind and body to safely handle the energy as it rises.
Is Kundalini Yoga practice for you?
Yoga teacher training recognizes Kundalini Yoga as one of the more spiritual types of yoga practice. There is more focus on the practice other than the physical ability of poses with the emphasis on breathing and meditation. This style of yoga can appeal to anyone that is up for a mental and physical challenge for yoga practice. The overall goal for practicing Kundalini yoga is to be able to achieve Shakti, or the divine energy, which results in providing us an extraordinary state of euphoria and awareness.
Anamaya Resort is sharing different styles of yoga practice so that others can be more aware of what other styles may be of interest to them in their future practices. We hope to give you the tools to learn more about this style.