What is Kundalini Yoga
In the last few years, yoga as a form of exercise has risen in popularity. In urban areas like New York and Los Angeles, there is practically a yoga studio on every block. People who practice yoga are called Yogi’s and it has created a subculture that people love to be a part of.
The reality is that yoga has ancient origins that dates back over 5,000 years ago. Since it started, yoga has been a practice geared towards both the enrichment of a person's physical body and spiritual mind.
With years upon years of history, it is no wonder how the practice of yoga has many styles to pick from. One of the most interesting forms is the Kundalini.
What is Kundalini Yoga?
Once you start researching yoga you’ll soon discover that there are quite a few different styles that have developed. While some focus primarily on the physical side of the activity like Bikram – others like Kriya yoga focus on the mind through meditation.
Kundalani Yoga is particularly interesting because it combines the best of both worlds. Unlike popular yoga studios, Kundalani yoga centers are more like a temple than a gym. That is because Kundalini focuses on activating energy centers in the body. It's main goal is to raise and expand self-awareness in order to cultivate an inner peace in yourself.
What is the History of Kundalini Yoga?
Unlike other more established forms of Yoga, Kundalini does not have strict rules that it upholds. For Yogi’s, Kundalini yoga is a means for self-discovery.
In Sanskrit, Kundalini translates to the term “coiled snake.” This type of yoga is grounded on the belief that every individual poses a kind of shared divine energy. This energy is primarily in the base of the spine. In order to be truly in touch with divine powers, postures and stances of Kundalini yoga are geared towards uncoiling the said snake.
Kundalini yoga was introduced in America in the 1960’s when Yogi Bhajan visited California and recognized similarities between the hippie revolution with his sikh lineage.
Kundalani initially was forbidden to be taught or discussed outside of the Indian community. However, following a meditation trip, Bhajan decided to educate the west with the ways of Kundalini. He subsequently established 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) and the Kundalini Research Institute.
Benefits of Kundalini
The aim of Kundalini yoga is to raise your self-awareness. It is geared towards wellness of the mind, body and soul through self-discovery. People who this type of yoga swear by many of its benefits.
It is different for each person. However, if you are interested in taking the plunge and going through a Kundalani yoga journey, below are the possible benefits you can achieve through the awareness you’ll experience:
Kundalini Yoga is Good For Your Body
Being still and alone with your thoughts is good for the body. At the core of Kundalini is meditation. Meditating has been known to help with stress levels and relax your body and mind.
Not only that, but it opens up your blood vessels. When these open it helps your blood pressure to drop.
Practicing this type of yoga promotes the health of your immune system and improves circulation to make your nervous system stronger.
As a whole, Kundalini yoga has the ability to make your body look and feel younger.
Wanting To Manage Stress, Kundalini Can Help
Stress is a major problem for people and they are stressed for so many reasons. One reason you can often get stressed from is when there is so much that needs to be accomplished and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to get it all done.
Kundalini yoga clears the mind and can help you determine your priorities.
Kundalini Yoga Help You Get in Touch With Your Inner Self
It seems that life takes us in so many directions and quite often we feel aimlessness. With all the distractions of everyday life, it can be difficult to pinpoint the things that are important.
Kundalini yoga makes you become aware of your inner self. With reflection and meditation, it uncovers what you should be focusing on.
Ways Kundalini Yoga Can Help You
Kundalini yoga is one of the many types of styles that you can practice. What makes this type of yoga unique is that it doesn’t concentrate on one aspect or the other – mental or physical. Instead you’ll focus on developing your physical, mental and spiritual awareness.
You’ll be able to do this because this type of yoga is grounded on the idea of a divine energy coursing through every person’s body. The flow of this energy is an integral part of living a healthy and happy life.
Emotional turmoil can be attributed to knots and blockages that make it difficult for the energy to reach all of the important points in your body.
Kundalini yoga does wonders for a person’s psyche in this regard. Grounded on the practice of meditation, it allows you to go down a personal journey of self-discovery.
The mental and spirtual side is not the only ones that people experience when they practice this form of yoga. You’ll also notice a positive physical change when you introduce this type of yoga into your daily life and fitness schedule.
Kundalini yoga can help you improve your life in many ways.
Kundalini for Weight Loss
Often exercises and routines geared towards losing weight are associated with rigorous and repetitive movements. Many believe that yoga per se is not the best way to reach your goal weight. However, Kundalini yoga can be very effective if you want to lose a few extra pound of weight. Similar to aerobics, breathing is at the heart of Kundalini yoga. Combine that with stretching, rolling and twisting and this type of yoga proves to be as strenuous type of exercise. Even more so, than some aerobic routines.
Kundalini for Increased Sexual Activity
Kundalini yoga aims self-awareness in both body and spirit through the flow of energy. Through meditation and awareness, practicing this type of yoga would enable you to regulate blood flow and release energy to shakras that relate to sexuality and intercourse.
Kundalini as Anti-Aging
Yoga in general has the ability to relax and relieve stress. Meditation, which is an integral part of Kundalini yoga, has rejuvenating properties and helps release stress even more.
A session would help you to get rid of some of your tension and stress. Stress can speed up the aging process, but if you’re practicing Kundalini and eliminating your stress this will help slow down the process.
Plus stress can make people look infinitely older. Practice of Kundalini yoga relieves people of the tension and problems of every day life. People who take part in this type of yoga ultimately look more youthful and radiant.
Feel and Be More Creative, Productive and Relaxed
A relaxed and aware mind is a productive mind. Kundalini yoga allows the ample flow of energy throughout the body. It refocuses emotional energy and resolves conflicted energy. This type of yoga will help you be increasingly more aware of your priorities and where you can improve – by improving you’ll get better and more productive.
Kundalini Yoga Can Help You Sleep Restfully
In general, both meditation and helps people sleep better. Being at peace and taking quiet time for yourself is a great way to wind down from a busy day and let’s get real most days are busy.
Life is tiring. There are a lot of things that need to be tended to at work and at home – sometimes 24 hours is not enough time to accomplish all of your chores and tasks. The only way to relax for some people is the sleep that they get after a long and tiring day.
Even though you are tired after a long day you’re stressed about activities that happened throughout the day and you might have a difficult time calming down enough to get to sleep – even though your body and mind is tired. After doing chores, going to work, cooking dinner and taking care of the kids, it is frustrating how difficult it is to fall asleep.
Kundalini yoga is a great way to have a restful night of sleep. This yoga combines both your mind and body and will help you relax enough to go to sleep at the end of a rough day. Make this part of your routine to get the much needed sleep that you deserve.
Meditation Before Bed
Often people bring the stressful issue they have to deal with to bed. But if you’ve put meditation into your nightly routine then you will be sure that you take time to wind down and meditate, so you’re putting these problems on the backburner – allowing you to focus on relaxing and getting the rest you need.
Kundalini yoga through meditation calms the mind and helps you get rid of stressful thoughts and feelings you’re going through – so it is perfect for a stressful day.
Ways To Get Started With Kundalini Yoga If You’re a Beginner
Are you thinking about putting Kundalini Yoga into your fitness routine, but you’re not sure how? This is a great addition because when you meditate on a regular basis it can do wonders not only for your mind and spirit but also for your health.
You’ll be able to deal with stress more effectively, as well as find daily quiet time. Who doesn’t need a little quiet in this chaotic world?
Meditation might sound easy, but if you’ve never practiced this it might prove to be a little difficult. For most, staying still and quiet for two minutes feels like an eternity. When you’re quietly reflecting it seems like a lot of time has gone by when the reality is it has only been a few minutes. The great news is that the mind is a muscle and it can be trained like any other muscle.
Below are five ways in order to be effective in meditating:
Find the Perfect Spot
The key to a successful meditation is to find a quiet place and time for you to be alone with your thoughts. If you can, wake up a little bit earlier than the rest of your family. The calm and serenity of early morning is sure to put your mind in the perfect place for meditation. Plus, this will be a great start to your day.
Watch How You Sit
If you are not used to meditating, it can be easy to focus on the pains of having to sit on the floor while you are trying to keep still and quiet. In order to not be distracted by back and leg pain, practice good posture. Do not slouch. Try to figure out the natural curve of your back and go from there.
Find the Balance between Tension and Comfort
While it is important for you to be comfortable while practicing Kundalini yoga, there is such a thing as too much comfort. You run the risk of falling back asleep if you are too comfortable. It is important to find the right balance between awareness and comfort.
Play Soothing Music
Kundalini yoga is often accompanied by music or a mantra. It is best to find something that soothes and motivates you. The right music or mantra can truly make a difference in your meditation and put you in the right mindset.
Find Your Motivation
Yoga is good for the body and soul. However, it is not magic. Whether its Bikram or Kundalani, change does not happen overnight. Your meditation will truly make a difference if you believe that it will. Find time to reflect on why you are practicing yoga.
Ways to Enhance Your Yoga Sessions
Kundalini yoga in general is safe. With its deliberate and gentle movements, injuries do not happen all that often.
With anything you simply cannot predict when an accident will happen. No matter how careful you are, there is still a possibility that you can be injured.
In order to reduce your chance of you getting hurt during a Kundalini yoga session, below are a few reminders that will help keep you safe and enhance your experience:
Do Not Eat 2-3 Hours Before a Session
Just like with any form of physical activity, it is not advisable to have a full stomach before a session. Especially for Kundalini yoga, you should expect a lot of body locks or bandhas, pranayamas or breathing exercises and asanas or poses.
Plus it is just plain uncomfortable if you cannot move well because you’re stomach is too full. The discomfort you’d feel would probably lead you to be distracted from what you are doing.
Kundalini yoga all is about awareness, so you’re defeating the purpose of the whole point if you eat right before you start your yoga session.
Drink Plenty of Water
Kundalini yoga is designed to flush out toxins and other harmful things from your body. So, it is a good idea to drink plenty of water to replenish the nutrients and hydration you have lost during your session and make sure you get enough before and during.
Do Not Overdo It
As a physical activity, there are Kundalini yoga poses that are easy to do and there are more advanced ones. As with every other exercise option, it is smart not to overdo yourself. Make sure you stay on the comfortable side of the exercise so that you’re not straining anything while you’re performing the poses. There should be a balance in your routine in order for it to take effect in the long-term.
Don’t Compete With Others
Your journey through Kundalini yoga is a personal one. It is about your self-awareness and yours alone. As such, go at your own pace.
Just because someone seems to be getting the poses better does not mean that you are failing. Enjoy and relish the transformation.
Practicing Kundalini Yoga Isn’t All About the Comfort
Kundalini yoga is an exercise of both the mind and the body. It aims to foster self-awareness and personal discovery through breathing, meditation and poses. With that being said, there should be a little deliberation when it comes to deciding the clothes you would wear during a session. After all, this activity is more than just a form of exercise, it is also a spiritual journey.
According to Yogi Bhajan, one of the original Kundalini yogi, colors affected a person's perception of themselves or their general psyche. He suggests that during a session of yoga wearing a white outfit has a huge impact on its effect.
Bhajan notes that white is the combination of all colors. It is a prism that reflects what is within. Moreover, wearing white helps with the practice of mindfulness. After all, exercise and keeping clothing crisp and white isn’t easy and takes effort. So you’ll have to be more aware of your environment in relationship to yourself.
Unsure about the outfits you could wear during a Kundalini session? Below are a few pegs you can take into consideration:
Tunics or Peasant Tops
While yoga is not rigorous exercise, it is still a good idea to wear comfortable clothes – something that you can easily move around in.
Tunics or peasant tops allow movement. They don’t cling to the body – so there isn’t a need for tugging and fixing you’re clothes the entire time.
At the heart of Yogi Bhajan's teachings is the notion of covering the head in order to harness the flow of energy in. According to the renowned yogi, a turban can help clear the mind and redirect focus to the deliberate yoga poses and breathing.
Flowy Pants or Harem Pants
Similar to the purpose of peasant tops and tunics, using flow or harem pants with a little bit of give makes a more comfortable Kundalini yoga experience.
Kundalini yoga is a way to connect with your inner self and it raises your self-awareness by creating an inner peace. You’ll learn how to develop your physical, mental and spiritual self. More than that though this style of yoga will help you be more creative and productive.
If you’re looking for a yoga style Kundalini yoga might be the perfect fit.