Codified yoga, where teachers, dressed in white, wear a turban on their heads, Kundalini yoga could frighten Westerners. However, he is gaining more and more followers. But what do practitioners come looking for in these classes? Some evoke a gain of meaning in their millimeter life. Others find themselves returning to themselves, to their true nature. Kundalini Yoga is a yoga apart, which can be challenging to understand. To whom is it addressed? What is his story? How are the sessions going? And above all, what is its purpose? Today, I am explaining to you everything you need to know about this exceptional yoga.
What is Kundalini yoga?
Kundalini yoga is a type of yoga closely related to spirituality. It is often called “Original Yoga.” Indeed, it is said to be the basis of all yogas. Its main characteristic would be that it relies more on yoga as a philosophy. Here the yoga postures are secondary. Or, they are seen as complementary, with meditation, chanting mantras, and breaths. These exercises are linked during the session to achieve the goal of Kundalini yoga: awakening gradually.
Indeed, the Kundalini is often called the “yoga of the awakening of consciousness. ” It has a powerful spiritual dimension. In particular, it would make it possible to achieve a new reality. But rest assured if this idea doesn’t appeal to you, you won’t need to buy into it to practice it and reap the benefits.
Yoga and Tantra
Kundalini yoga could be defined as the meeting between yoga and tantrism. However, Tantrism is seen here as a religious current. It does not have a direct relationship with sexuality as we sometimes think. It is, in fact, an Indian doctrine in which we find two polarities. The masculine pole is inactive, dormant energy for tantra, and the feminine, active and creative energy. The latter is also called Shakti. Shakti energy would be found in the body in the form of Kundalini. It is a latent energy that should be awakened to awaken to oneself. I tell you more about it at the end of the article.
Kundalini yoga is, therefore, a type of yoga that will allow, through the movements of the body and the breath, to warm this sleeping energy. We use the term “reheat” because it is considered cold. Moreover, you will sometimes see her represented by a snake.
To awaken the Kundalini, it will also be necessary to remove the blockages of the mind which prevent access to it. The goal of Kundalini Yoga is, therefore, partly related to this goal. The overall purpose of this type of yoga is to bring up the energy of the Kundalini. To feel better in his body and his head.
Yoga for everyone?
It’s true, in general, one rarely goes wrong in choosing a style of yoga. Nevertheless, Kundalini yoga is truly a part. If you plan to take your first yoga class with the expectation of practising a physical activity that is open to all, you may need to go your way with the Kundalini. On the other hand, if you are open to spirituality or if you already know a little yoga, you can find in Kundalini yoga a complete practice, both energetic and bodily. This style of yoga will have effects on your emotions and on your unconscious blockages. Each session will leave you with a feeling of well-being and better integrate your body. Finally, by helping to circulate vital energy, Kundalini yoga makes it possible to find a better physical and energetic balance.
History of Kundalini Yoga
Are you wondering what the origins of this practice are? In the 1960s, Harbhajan Singh worked in India as a customs officer and was in contact with many Western travelers. At that time, they had a lot of hippies. Harbhajan found that these people came to India hoping to find something but often returned home unsatisfied. As if India had something to tell them about themselves and life.
Since his childhood, he initiated Kundalini Yoga and recognized master Harbhajan; therefore, he decided to settle in Canada and then in the United States as Yogi Bhajan to transmit this style of yoga to as many people as possible. Indeed, Kundalini yoga was a codified practice shared only between initiates and designated persons until then.
But if Yogi Bhajan decided to reverse this trend, he discovered many young people who had fallen into drugs at that time. He considered that Kundalini yoga could help them. In addition, he thought that yoga would be very beneficial because of the new era which was coming. Deep down, he felt that the world would experience significant changes and need Kundalini Yoga to help them through them. If you are open to spirituality, know that Yogi Bhajan evoked, at that time, the passage towards the Age of Aquarius.
Thus, he founded the organization Healthy Happy Holy or 3HO. This allowed helping its practitioners to balance their body, their mind, and their energy through yoga. He, therefore, shared in the West the thousand-year-old techniques of the Kundalini. This, in particular, is through courses for students at the University of Los Angeles. Its goal was not to teach students but to train teachers to disseminate this practice as much as possible.
After dedicating his life to the transmission of Kundalini yoga, Yogi Bhajan passed away in 2004. Today, the Kundalini Research Institute continues its teaching and helps spread this new type of yoga worldwide.
How is a Kundalini yoga session performed?
Kundalini yoga is a codified practice like Ashtanga. He, therefore, respects a specific sequence during each session.
A Kundalini yoga session will always begin with the chanting of several mantras. The first “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo ” allows you to focus on yourself and take a moment to arrive on your mat. This mantra creates valuable common space for practicing with other students. Then, we chant a mantra called “protection.”
The most important part of the session consists of a series of Kundalini yoga, also called Kriya. It is, in fact, a succession of codified postures. We can find a series of static or moving postures: added pranayamas (breathing exercises) or chants.
Yogi Bhajan was able to teach nearly 1000 different series by giving exact indications on the order of the postures or the execution time. Your Kundalini yoga teacher will therefore follow this special order and guide you through each exercise. As in Ashtanga, each series is also focused on a specific theme such as “strengthening your aura,” “becoming more resistant to disease,” “harmonizing body and mind,” or “improving the flexibility of the spine. “.
End of a Kundalini Yoga session
After this series of postures, we usually do a meditation. It can be done while sitting, standing, or moving with or without visualization. Sometimes directly integrated into the series, these meditations are also codified and must respond to a particular theme.
Then we go into Shavasana for a moment of relaxation. And finally, we close the session with new chants of mantras. Usually, the session ends with the mantra ” Sat – Nam ” which means “My name is truth.” It refers to the idea of divinity present in each of us.
Kundalini yoga classes are usually done in loose white clothing, referring to the White Tantra of which Yogi Bhajan was master. The teachers also wear a white turban on their heads, another legacy of Yogi Bhajan and the Sikhism of which he was a practitioner.
Kundalini Yoga: For whom?
Kundalini Yoga is different from all types of postural yoga that you can practice. Compared to a Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga class, it doesn’t always involve many dynamic postures. On the other hand, you will find there a lot of songs and breathing exercises. This is why it is a practice that will not necessarily please everyone.
If you want to discover yoga for the first time, and its spiritual aspect scares you, this is not yoga that I recommend.
Defining Kundalini yoga as a spiritual practice inaccessible to some would be a mistake. I believe that it does not necessarily imply being very open to spirituality to practice it. It’s a bit like energetic healing given by a magnetizer. We can not believe in it but still receive the benefits.
In addition, Kundalini yoga does not require having practiced other styles of yoga to start. It does not need to be in a spectacular physical condition since the practice of the postures remains quite gentle. It is, however, considered yoga to be intense or even very intense. This is mainly due to the breathing exercises, which are not always easy to practice. But I think it’s mostly related to his intention. Indeed, as it consists of awakening you, the Kundalini can affect your mind and your emotions. For example, you may experience fits of laughter or tears during the sessions. Likewise, you may feel more or less well after some lessons. However, keep in mind that you will generally come out of your sessions with a lot of energy and a good feeling, just like after a classic yoga class.
Is Kundalini Yoga Dangerous?
Some more traditional yoga teachers take a dim view of the practice of Kundalini yoga. This type of yoga is accused of being potentially dangerous. Indeed, it is mentioned that if the Kundalini, the latent energy, is “released” too quickly, it can create adverse effects. We speak in particular of emotional and mental imbalances in fragile people. For some teachers, Kundalini yoga plays with sensitive areas of humans and can cause harmful effects if left unchecked.
That is why, as with a hypnotist, an energetics, or any professional who works with your mind and your energies, it will be better to turn to a Kundalini yoga teacher who inspires you with confidence and who knows what he is talking about. However, you may find that some sessions particularly shake you up. Do not hesitate in this case to come back to him to discuss it. His goal will also be to accompany you at the end of the session if it is too strong emotionally.
You now know everything you need to know about Kundalini Yoga, its history, its benefits, and the questions it poses. Do not hesitate to enrich this article via the comments area with your testimony and personal opinion on this yoga practice.