Would you like to try a yoga practice that deeply enhances your meditation and awareness? Then, kundalini yoga might just be the yoga style for you. Kundalini yoga takes you on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening, going beyond routine physical exercise to elevate both your mind and body.
In this article, we will learn what kundalini is and discuss its unique approach to self-realization. We will also talk about its benefits and the key poses to get you started on doing kundalini yoga. Keep reading to find out more!
So, What Exactly Is Kundalini?
Kundalini, or kundalini yoga, is a dynamic and sacred practice rooted in ancient yoga wisdom. This tradition aims to provide ethical, spiritual, and practical teachings for a harmonious existence and self-realization through yogic meditation.
Kundalini yoga existed for a long time. However, it wasn’t until this ancient practice was brought from India to the west by the late Yogi Bhajan that it was more known. This was in the 1960s.
The central focus of kundalini yoga is to awaken the dormant spiritual energy known as “kundalini.” Kundali is believed to be found in a coiled form at the base of the spine. This yoga style is designed to stimulate this coiled kundalini upward through your chakras, which are the body’s energy centers.
Thus, kundalini is also called the “coiled serpent” or the “coiled snake.”
When this snake energy is awakened through yoga practice and meditation, it is believed to bring about an expanded state of consciousness. Thus, kundalini yoga can bring about heightened awareness and a profound spiritual connection with the divine.
Compared to other forms of yoga, kundalini yoga uses a range of techniques, such as physical poses, breathing techniques, mantra chanting, meditation, and deep relaxation, to achieve its goals.
During kundalini yoga, it’s normal to experience a range of sensations, including an overflow of energy and a deeper sense of clarity and inner bliss. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some kundalini students to cry during yoga sessions, as it is part of the transformative process.
Not all yoga instructors are adept in kundalini yoga, so there are certified practitioners who are specifically trained for it. Kundalini yoga requires a higher level of expertise, as instructors need to facilitate asana (yoga pose) sequences and meditations specifically designed to activate and balance the flow of kundalini energy.
Beyond physical yoga poses, kundalini yoga emphasizes the power of breath, the use of sound, and the chanting of mantras. This unique combination of movement, breath control, meditation, and sound vibration helps awaken and elevate your kundalini energy.
Kundalini yoga might seem intimidating for new yogis as it involves learning chants, poses, and proper meditation simultaneously. But keep in mind the sequences and the flow of the kundalini yoga sessions can be tailored based on your progress.
The Benefits Of Kundalini Yoga
The practice of kundalini yoga offers a multitude of benefits that extend beyond physical fitness. This type of yoga is an elevated holistic discipline—its transformative effects affect the mind, body, and spirit.
Let’s take a closer look at its benefits.
Kundalini yoga is a dynamic yoga practice that involves poses, movements, meditation, and breathwork. These exercises help you enhance your strength, flexibility, and overall physical vitality.
Since this type of yoga is dynamic, it also stimulates the endocrine system. It promotes hormonal balance and supports different bodily functions like digestion and respiration.
Speaking of balance, a unique aspect of kundalini yoga is its power to balance emotions. The yoga practice has specific techniques like chanting, breath control, and meditation that release emotional blockages.
For instance, despite not feeling angry initially, the constant vibrations during the practice can bring to light hidden emotions. The breathwork and meditation in kundalini yoga equip yogis to navigate life’s challenges, allowing them to foster a sense of centeredness in approaching daily activities.
In kundalini yoga, you go through sequences that combine breath control and meditation. Students are always encouraged to be present at the moment during meditation, promoting focus, alertness, and a reduction in mental clutter.
Kundalini yoga also helps in managing and alleviating stress. This yoga practice has certain techniques, like the Breath of Fire, that activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This induces a state of relaxation and reduces the production of stress hormones.
A study found that kundalini yoga significantly decreased stress levels. Additionally, it can serve as a complementary treatment for stress-related diseases and disorders, such as hypertension, insomnia, or immune system disorders.
Enhanced spiritual awareness
We discussed earlier that kundalini yoga is a spiritual practice that awakens the dormant kundalini energy to facilitate spiritual growth. As you continue to do this yoga practice, you experience a heightened state of awareness. You get to feel a greater sense of interconnectedness while having a deeper connection with yourself.
Boosted energy levels
Finally, this yoga practice is renowned for its ability to boost energy levels by stimulating the flow of vital energy throughout the body. This process eliminates lethargy and promotes a natural energy boost.
In our experience, even a short kundalini yoga session can leave you feeling revitalized and invigorated. It also contributes to better sleep!
Kundalini Yoga Poses
Kundalini yoga comprises a lot of holds and stretches. Again, the aim of this yoga practice is to uncoil kundalini, and the flow is designed to be both calm and dynamic to enhance the energy’s movement.
Let us take a look at some of its asanas below.
- Tune in pose
- Cat-Cow stretch
- Breath of fire
- Nabhi kriya
- Easy pose
- Pelvic lift
- Frog pose
- Spinal flex
- Camel pose
- Crow pose
- Bow pose
- Firing up the core
- Sat kriya
- Crow walking
- Corpse pose
- Sat nam kriya
- Baby pose
- Dribbling kriya
Tune In Pose
Sit comfortably on your yoga mat and cross your legs. Deeply inhale and exhale while you chant: “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.” These words should be chanted three times for you to tune into the yoga flow and to align yourself with the yoga practice.
Always start your kundalini practice with this yoga pose. It makes you more focused and intentional with the next yoga poses.
Tip: Make sure that your chants vibrate throughout your body.
Start this yoga pose by getting on your hands and knees. Inhale when you arch your back and exhale as you round it up. Hold it for 1-3 minutes.
Tip: Try to sync your breath with the movement for a more energizing experience.
Breath of Fire
Sit comfortably on your yoga mat and try to keep a straight spine. Then, rapidly inhale and exhale through your nose. You should focus on the exhale. Remember to start slowly and then gradually increase the pace. This is done for 1-3 minutes.
Tip: Keep your breaths powerful and rhythmic. Whenever you inhale and exhale, your diaphragm should be engaged.
Lie on your back and slowly lift your legs at an angle of 90 degrees. Then, place your hands on your thighs. Begin the Breath of Fire yoga pose while pumping your navel point. This asana strengthens the abdominal area and stimulates your core.
Tip: Engage your core muscles and synchronize your breath with the pumping motion.
Sit on your yoga mat with your legs crossed (make sure your spine is straight). Then, place your hands on your knees with your palms facing up. Your index finger and thumb should touch each other. Close your eyes and focus solely on your breath.
Tip: Ground your sitting position and lift the crown of your head toward the ceiling. These will help you have a comfortable meditation yoga posture.
Start this asana by doing the easy yoga pose. Then, lift your arms overhead and curl your fingers into your palms. Your thumbs should not be included in the curl and should be pointed up.
Inhale deeply and hold your breath as you slowly lift your pelvic floor. While doing so, squeeze your core, rectum, and sex organs. This yoga pose enhances awareness around the pelvic region, which helps promote better energy flow.
Tip: Remember to release your breath before repeating this yoga pose.
Start by kneeling with your knees wide apart and your big toes touching each other. Then, place your hands on the floor in front of you and press your hips back in the direction of your heels.
Engage your core and breathe deeply to open your hips and release tension. This yoga pose may look simple, but it is difficult to hold it without engaging your core.
Tip: Your spine should be straight during a frog pose.
Begin this yoga pose by sitting on your heels with your hands on your thighs. Then, inhale as you arch your spine forward. Exhale when you round it backward. Continue doing this flexing motion.
When you do this asana correctly, it’s also a great stretch for the back and a gentle massage for the spine!
Tip: Try to keep the movements fluid while synching your breath.
Kneel on your yoga mat with your knees hip-width apart. Then, place your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing down. Slowly arch your back while pushing your hips forward. Be sure your head is dropped back.
Tip: To protect your lower back, engage your core. Only go as far back as what is comfortable for you. Avoid rusing your progress.
Start by squatting down on your yoga mat and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Then, lean forward and lift your hips, attempting to balance on your hands. Bring your knees to the outside of your triceps.
Tip: This yoga pose is a bit difficult to do. So, if you are a beginner yogi, start with short holds and gradually increase the time as your balance and strength improve.
Lie on your stomach with your knees bent. Then, reach back to grab your ankles. Slowly lift your chest and thighs off the yoga mat.
Tip: In order to open the front of your body, focus on kicking your feet into your hand to lift your chest.
Firing Up the Core
Lie on your back and slowly lift your legs. The lift should be at least six inches off the yoga mat. While doing so, extend your arms alongside your body. Keep your head and shoulders lifted. Maintain a strong breath.
Tip: If you are a seasoned yogi, you can intensify this yoga pose by fluttering your fingers and kicking your legs up and down.
To do a sat kriya, first, sit on your heels while slowly raising your arms overhead. Then, interlace your fingers while leaving the index fingers pointed up. Inhale and exhale while chanting “Sat.” Pull your core in when doing the breath exercise. This yoga pose strengthens the core and balances the kundalini.
Tip: To fully experience the sensations, focus on the sound and the feel of your navel point while chanting.
Start this yoga pose with a low squat. Then, place your hands on the floor and walk forward. While walking forward, lift your hips and try to straighten your legs as much as possible.
Tip: You should move mindfully while connecting with your breath. When this asana is done right, you can feel the strength and flexibility developing in your legs and hips.
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Your palms should be facing up. Then, close your eyes and relax your entire body. Allow your body to become heavy.
Tip: Use this yoga pose as a moment to integrate and reflect. Focus on releasing the tension and surrendering to the present moment.
Sat Nam Kriya
Sit comfortably on your yoga mat and try to keep your spine straight. Then, place your hands on your knees and chant “Sat Nam” with each breath.
Inhale “Sat;” exhale “Nam.”
This yoga pose is a powerful mantra meditation that also awakens the chakra to further achieve self-realization.
Tip: Focus on the vibration of the mantra and allow it to resonate across your body.
Start in a kneeling position, then sit back on your heels. Then, reach your arms forward on the yoga mat. Slowly lower your chest toward the yoga mat.
Tip: Use this asana as a resting position between more challenging moves. This yoga pose relaxes the back and promotes a sense of surrender.
Sit on your yoga mat with your legs crossed. Extend your arms straight in front of you and take forceful breaths. While doing the breaths, shake your hands vigorously. This simple yet energizing yoga pose helps release built-up tension and stagnant energy.
Tip: To feel more energized, allow your whole body to shake and focus on letting go of any anxiety or stress.
In our fast-paced world where disconnection prevails, kundalini yoga can be a sanctuary—a sacred space to reconnect with yourself. It’s a transformative experience that offers a blend of physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.
This yoga practice offers physical benefits like increased flexibility and strength. Beyond that, kundalini yoga also promises emotional balance, mental clarity, and a sense of inner peace.
By tapping into the dormant kundalini within, you, too, can experience an eventful yoga journey toward self-discovery.
Can everyone practice kundalini?
Absolutely! Kundalini yoga is accessible to everyone. However, individuals with specific medical conditions, such as respiratory issues, or those who are pregnant should consult their doctors first.
The good news is that kundalini yoga can be adapted to various fitness levels, making it suitable for everyone. So, if you have fitness concerns, work with a certified kundalini yogi you can see often.
Is this type of yoga good for my spine?
Yes, kundalini yoga can be beneficial for your spine. This style includes poses and movements that enhance spinal flexibility and strength, like the easy and frog pose. However, to actually feel the effects of kundalini yoga, always practice proper alignment in your asanas.
How often should I practice kundalini?
Kundalini is one of the yoga styles where you do not need to regularly have sessions to gain the benefits. Aim for at least two to three yoga sessions per week.
Can I practice kundalini alone at home?
While attending group yoga classes with a certified kundalini instructor is better, it is also possible to do this yoga practice at home. However, for beginner yogis, it is best to start yoga practice with a yoga instructor so you can learn the proper form, technique, and philosophies of this yoga style.
Can children do this yoga practice?
Kundalini yoga poses and techniques can be adjusted for children. However, it is advisable to have a certified and trained yoga instructor or use resources specifically designed for children to ensure that the yoga flow is safe and age-appropriate.