Kundalini Yoga

What is Kundalini?

September 2, 2022

Some of the questions that can be answered are:

∙ What is Kundalini?

∙ What are the powers of Kundalini?

∙ Does Kundalini Power exists?

∙ What is Kundalini meditation, and how is it done?

∙ What Is Kundalini Yoga and What Are the Benefits?

∙ Is Kundalini yoga safe?

The term Kundalini is surrounded by mystery. Let me introduce myself and give you some insight into what Kundalini is and how to use it. I have been practicing Kundalini Yoga for almost 20 years and teaching for 15 years. I have taught people of all ages and stages of life. It has been my mission to make the teachings accessible and impactful to my students both on and off the mat, in real life as well as online. Please join me on YouTube channel so that we can practice Kundalini Yoga together. I owned a Yoga Studio close to Toronto, Canada for six years. During that time, many people would visit the studio to find out about Kundalini and Kundalini Yoga. Here’s the inside scoop.

What is Kundalini?

Kundalini Is a generic term. It refers to the energy of consciousness. Consciousness is when your head, heart and spirit are aligned in how you manage your life. Kundalini is a spiritual path of self realization, of living your path and understanding the events that happen to you and around you. A Kundalini rising or a Kundalini awakening is about awareness. Awareness is being able to see yourself in a neutral, birds eye version of yourself rather than from the heat of a moment or from a place of shame or judgement. In ancient depictions, energy moves through the chakras (Sanskrit for wheels) and travels along the spine cord to help shift thoughts, ideas and perceptions. It is a life’s practice to raise this energy. It is not a one time experience as many articles would lead you to believe. Learning how to connect with your spiritual self, changing behavior, gaining insights into the human condition takes time, energy, and a community of people who support and nurture your growth. As I said before - it is not a spontaneous event - one must cultivate and harness the nervous system to approach life in this manner.

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Awareness. It is a systemized and systematic way of moving the body, using breathwork, mantra and meditation to strengthen the nervous system. When the nervous system is strengthened, we become more ready to receive new information, can adapt easily to change and a person is much more willing and able to commit to a spiritual practice. The body is the temple for cultivating Kundalini energy - when the body is ready and relaxed - an awakening can steadily and surely take place. This comes from regular daily practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.

Kundalini Meditation

An important part of the Kundalini Yoga class experience is meditation. Classes begin with tuning in  - using a Mantra to signal the start of class, a series of warm up exercises, a Kriya (set of prescribed postures), relaxation, meditation and closing with a song or mantra. These elements offer a gentle ritual, a process for connecting with one’s inner guidance and cultivating a relationship with universal energy. There are literally hundreds of Kundalini Meditations. Each meditation offers a solution to a worldly or spiritual challenge or goal. The meditations vary in length, breathwork, the use of mantra or silence and the conclusion. Each meditation is a powerful practice unto itself and becomes even more impactful when practiced in a group.

Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is a dynamic practice. Movements are done at a steady pace for set periods of time. Movement allows the body to get stronger and to relax. Think of the body as a complex machine - it needs to move or it will break down. Kundalini Yoga will challenge you to move differently and when we move differently - we set off new neural pathways in the brain. This makes us flexible and resilient in our approach to life’s challenges. Mantra is used to open and close each class. Chanting raises our vibration and creates a connection between the practitioners - whether they are in the same room or not. Breathwork is the element that ties all of these pieces together. We take over 20,000 breaths per day. Most of those are done by our bodies automatically. When we slow down and take conscious breaths - we send a signal to the brain to calm down. We reassure ourselves that the present moment is safe. And that is the ultimate goal of a Kundalini Yoga practice - to come to present awareness and to be with what is happening in that moment rather than the past of the future.

Is Kundalini Yoga Safe for Beginners?

Yes! First of all the teacher does not demonstrate the practice. Her job is to watch everyone and to make sure movements are done safely. So when you practice Kundalini Yoga - you will have the instructor’s attention and you will be encouraged to move in the best way you can with the given instructions. Secondly, all of the movements, breathwork and meditation are timed, so there is a clear beginning, middle and end. The idea is to allow the body to adapt to the movements with enough time for the benefits to be experienced and absorbed. The student’s goal is to do what they can, while respecting any physical limitations. Thirdly, Kundalini Yoga does not include headstands, shoulder stands or other kinds of complex inversions. The postures can be intimidating for beginners, and by knowing the classes will not include these kinds of movements is reassuring mentally. There is still a physical challenge in the Kundalini Yoga postures. The challenge takes on different forms such as holding for longer periods of time, or being in unique postures.

Tips for taking a Kundalini Yoga Class

Kundalini Yoga classes are taught in a specific manner. Knowing this information will help you be prepared for class and enjoy the experience. Remember to keep an open mind and do your best with the movements. If you have limitations in movements, arrive a few minutes early to speak with the teacher ahead of the class.

The teacher will wear white. This allows them the student to have a neutral background for for practice and extends their aura so they can connect with everyone in the room.

The Teacher does not demonstrate. This gives the student freedom to move as they need to move without the pressure to copy or conform to what another body can do. You also get to trust your own intuition on what to do and how to do it.

The practice is done with eyes closed. No peaking! And also no pressure to keep up with what everyone else is doing in the room.

You might just fall in love with the music. Kundalini Yoga classes use very distinct mantras, coming from the Sikh faith. You may find a whole other level of learning and comfort from the music.

The structure of the class is preset. There is a predictable rhythm and flow to the class. So you know what to expect each time you go to class.

Expect to chant during class. If you like to sing - this is a great opportunity. If you are shy or reserved - just listen and soak in the experience of group singing. After a while you may just want to join in. It’s very beautiful and always sounds amazing.

Enjoy the meditation. Each class will include periods of meditative silence and also time where you will be guided on a specific meditation. This will help build your meditation practice so that you can practice from home or whenever you want to revisit the feeling of being in a class. If you want to learn more about how to meditation - check out this guided meditation course.

Taking Kundalini Yoga Classes Online

This is a great option if you are not able to join a live class. The online classes will be similar in structure - with a few differences. Each teacher’s style comes across differently on camera than in person. Test out Kundalini Yoga classes on YouTube and get a feel for the teacher’s voice, style of delivery and types of classes. You may find some teachers tend toward more gentle kriya (set of postures) than others, some are more spiritual than others. Keep looking around until you find a teacher that inspires and motivates you.

Check out Kundalini Yoga groups on FaceBook. There are often listings for free or low cost classes that may help you find the teacher and practice you are looking for. There are literally hundreds of offerings available every month. Now is a great time to dive in and find a practice and teacher who really speaks to you. Best wishes for your Kundalini Yoga adventure and as always Sat Nam!

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About Salimah

Salimah is a Yoga Therapist and the Director of YogaVision, a leading online school for yoga education. She specializes in Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training, Kundalini medicine, numerology, meditation, and women's healing, offering yoga as a tool for health and transformation.

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