Demystifying Kundalini Yoga
Meditation & Spirituality

Demystifying Kundalini Yoga

Posted

17 May 2019

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Today, you can find yoga studios and yoga teachers pretty much anywhere and everywhere. With so many different types of yoga, where do you even start? The word ‘yoga’ has its origins in ‘yoke’ and ‘jugit’ meaning to “join together.”

So what exactly are we joining together - and why? The answer: awareness or consciousness. Yoga is the “union of the individual’s consciousness with the infinite consciousness.

 

What is Kundalini yoga?

Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness. The term ‘kundalini’ refers to the coiled life force energy that sits at the base of the spine and is your creative potential. It’s sometimes referred to as the “serpent energy.” This energy exists in all of us but is dormant – it’s there but is asleep or not activated. Kundalini yoga is the technology to awaken that awareness or consciousness within through asana (body posture), pranayama (breath work) and mantra (sound vibration) to create change.

Kundalini yoga specifically works on the energy systems of the body including the 7 chakras (or energy centres) and aura.

Simplified, we are three part beings – body, mind and spirit. Kundalini yoga works on all of these areas, and some of its benefits include; a balance of the physical body, flexibility, greater mental clarity, reduced stress and a deep understanding and experience of connection to the universal consciousness. It is a scientific system specifically designed to create transformation. Science indicates that it is beneficial in stroke rehabilitation and improving brain function and memory loss.

Kundalini yoga also supports a strong immune system, nervous system and circulation, making us more aware of ourselves and our habits. The physiological combinations of the nervous and glandular systems affect the brain in such a way that your state completely transforms. It has the capacity to cut through deep subconscious patterns and beliefs that stop us from living the life we truly desire. When we change our inner world, our outer world changes.

 

What happens in a typical class?

The power of this practice is in the experience. A class will begin by tuning in and aligning our energies to the self and space – like tuning in to a radio station.  From here, we go through a warm-up, a kriya (a series of movements, breath and sound that takes us from one state to another), a relaxation and a meditation. The class is closed by chanting ‘Sat Nam’ meaning ‘truth is my identity’.

 

Wearing white and head covers

You may see people in Kundalini yoga classes wearing white with their heads covered. Step aside from feeling a little uneasy – there are good reasons for both of these practices.

Firstly, colours affect consciousness. How does the colour red make you feel? What about the colour blue? There’s certainly a difference. White is what we see when all wavelengths of light are reflected off an object – it's a balance of all colours. Yogi Bhajan who brought the teachings of Kundalini yoga to the West stated, “We ask you to wear white so that you will reflect what is outside and go within yourself—that’s what white clothes can do for you.”  White natural fibres resemble purity; this purity can be put into your practice.

People for thousands of years have been wearing turbans. Why? There are in fact several reasons.  Covering the head can allow for containment and focus. The skull is made of 22 bones that may be moving tiny amounts – a turban can create pressure to hold them in place. As well as this, covering the head contains the energy moving through the body in meditation and practice and focuses the energy of the chakra relating to intuition.

Kundalini yoga has the capacity to bust self-limiting beliefs, old patterns and stories that we’ve been lugging around with us. It builds resilience and inner strength to navigate the world, like polishing a dirty mirror to see your true reflection. This is what happens when we do the work. It gives us an opportunity to know and experience the ultimate truth. In this we find contentment. We come home to ourselves. What more could we want?

 

In Conclusion,

Kundalini yoga has the capacity to bust self-limiting beliefs, old patterns and stories that we’ve been lugging around with us. It builds resilience and inner strength to navigate the world, like polishing a dirty mirror to see your true reflection. This is what happens when we do the work. It gives us an opportunity to know and experience the ultimate truth. In this we find contentment. We come home to ourselves. What more could we want?


If you’re interested in finding out more check out the resources below:
www.soulsmile.org
www.3ho.org

References:
  

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17698453

http://alzheimersprevention.org/research/12-minute-memory-exercise/

https://www.jospt.org/doi/pdf/10.2519/jospt.1997.26.2.95

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