Kundalini Yoga is an ancient and powerful school of Yoga rooted in spirituality and is known as the ‘Medicine of the Future’, drawing on science and technology to fully benefit and enhance the life experience. Kundalini Yoga aims to elevate human consciousness and help us evolve from a lower expression of human consciousness to our higher vibration, our birth right. I appreciate how Kundalini Yoga spurs me on with interesting practices that are illuminating, practical and deeply healing.
Yogi Bhajan is among those who brought Yoga from India to the West and the Kundalini Yoga I speak of here is as taught by him. He was destined to affect the western world with his teaching of practices that had been maintained for thousands of years as a shrouded and protected oral tradition reserved for male practitioners. He was radical in wanting to reveal and share Kundalini Yoga with both women and men at a time in history when it appeared to be highly needed. Despite the alienation he experienced from his people in India he boldly ventured into western society in the 60’s to share these oldest Yogic teachings. Noted among his first students were heroin addicts seeking recovery and his documented success and results have offered a significant contribution in the field of health and wellness.
Kundalini Yoga is for the householder and provides methods to ‘manage one’s personal energy’ to meet the complexities and stress of everyday living. It focuses on the nervous, glandular and energetic systems to increase awareness, energy, health and well-being. It profoundly transforms the painful (human) sense of separateness to that of inter-connectedness. A class or practice includes asana (body postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), mudra (hand positions), bandha (body locks), drishti (eye focus) and mantra (sound currents). They are combined together in sequences called kriya which defines as ‘complete actions for purification’.
These kriya are precise and scientific, to be followed in a certain order to attain a specific determined goal. They are numerous and precise with the benefits of increasing spinal flexibility, balancing the glandular and hormonal systems, energizing the personal magnetic field, working with addictions, and healing complex emotional unbalances.
There are hundreds of specific kriya – some are meditative and simple and some are very involved and dynamic.
The asana used have quite exacting angles and repetitive movement, in order to create pressure on specific glands and organs. This pressure stimulates secretion and circulation of hormones to ultimately balance our glandular system and internal chemical stability having a strong effect on our emotional stability and physical endurance.
Various pranayama relate to effecting different states of emotion, consciousness and health.
Mudra are used according to their reflex and relation to different areas of the body or brain, which represent different emotions or behaviours, giving clear energetic messages to our mind and body.
Bandhas are physically engaged to move and direct Kundalini energy in the spine which will affect the nervous system, cerebral spinal fluid movement, the flow of prana (life force), and blood circulation. They concentrate the body’s energy in order to raise consciousness and heal.
Mantra is the science of using sound currents to tune and control mental vibrations, and next to pranayama, is the most important and adventurous aspect of Kundalini Yoga.
Kundalini Yoga is transformative. It releases deeply held issues in the body and mind. It can be practiced by anyone at a pace that suits their level of flexibility and endurance, appealing to our inherent sense of wonder in the human condition and ability to transcend suffering.