What is that Yoga everyone is talking about... Kundalini?
Kundalini Yoga is more than a yoga practice. In my opinion, Kundalini Yoga is a lifestyle that can be integrated into the modern world quite easily. Kundalini Yoga can be incredibly life changing. Known as the yoga of awareness, Kundalini Yoga is a technology which works on the total being. It interconnects our physical bodies with the energy flowing through us while activating the latent energy that we all possess. This energy can be awakened to the highest aspects of our potential while increasing health, happiness and consciousness. While practitioners of Kundalini Yoga find amazing increases in flexibility, immunity, weight management and detoxification, it also promotes a harmony of the mind, body and soul.
One of my favorite aspects of Kundalini Yoga is the radiance that it provides. I love to watch students transition from dark feelings of fear to overwhelming expansive sensations of love, light and hope. The radiance that we experience from a Kundalini practice is the essence of the high frequency of energy we project from our hearts into the sacred space around our bodies. When this light is activated, we become magnetic beings attracting beauty into our lives. Kundalini classes can be comfortable, welcoming, enjoyable, accessible and healing. Many students say they feel incredible ease and joy at the end of a session as well.
Kundalini Yoga was practiced for thousands of years in India, and kept secret by the teachers since ancient times. Yogi Bhajan brought the teachings to America in 1969, and it is now an incredibly popular form of healing in the United States and around the world.
The physical exercises in Kundalini Yoga can be quite vigorous, yet there are usually modifications available, and everyone can attend a Kundalini Yoga class, regardless of physical condition. This profound form of yoga uses meditative movements to balance the Chakras and increase the flexibility of the spine. This technology releases blocked energy and creates a magical flow of energy through all our cells.
From my perspective, the validation of Kundalini Yoga is in the experience itself. I have seen people completely transform their lives by simply showing up in a workshop. I have students attend who are too sick to do the physical practice, but feel an incredible healing from simply resting in the energy we create together as a group. There is a beautiful teenager who comes to my Monday class in her wheelchair. While she can move her arms only, her soul can connect with the miracles in her space, and she is igniting her inner spark in a magical way.
In an actual Kundalini class you can expect to practice powerful breathing techniques which cleanse the bloodstream. You may practice repetitive movements which are considered to optimize the glandular system and balances hormones. Kundalini Yoga is a science that works on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and even digestion. When our bodies are functioning efficiently, our natural energy starts to flow without blockages, and the effects are quite magical. Miraculously, our lives flow with the same ease, and we increase our potential to remain open, loving and peaceful in the midst of challenges.
Kundalini Yoga classes use meditative music or mantras to affect our consciousness as well as our physical bodies. Sound is an incredibly powerful force when used correctly, and it is supportive for the vigorous exercises, for deepening meditation, and for stimulating our subtle awareness.
I feel that some of the most powerful exercises in Kundalini Yoga are the breathing techniques. I always tell new students that if they take one thing away from a class, let it be the tool of deep breathing. Breath is our closest connection to life itself, and learning to breathe deeply and fully has an incredibly profound effect on our mind and lives.
Kundalini Yoga can be incredibly life changing. It is easy to begin the practice, and it truly creates a clear simple pathway for health and focus. As one’s energy starts flowing to its potential, life begins to replicate that flowing potential as well. I like to say that Kundalini Yoga is a form of energy transportation that can make the impossible... possible. Bringing deeply spiritual practices to the real world is what is needed now. Our world needs to trust the light that resides far in the distance but illuminates everything. We can do this while living a very modern life. I do it everyday, and you would never know if you saw me walking down the street in NYC.
Is Kundalini Yoga for everyone? That is something that is quite individual. I have had students come to class and roll up their mats in five minutes, because they assumed they were going to be in a basic stretching yoga type of class, and they were freaked out when we started chanting. I also know of people who never miss their practice.
There are simple ways to bring Kundalini Yoga into your life while maintaining a very mainstream lifestyle. You do not need to be in a class environment to receive the gift of Kundalini Yoga. You can be exactly who you are in your safe space while learning how to focus on your breath. Inhaling the word Sat silently, which means truth, and exhaling the word Nam silently, which means name, is all you need to do to begin your personal practice. Walking down the street and focusing on your breath with the mantra Sat Nam is like a miracle. No one even needs to know what you are doing. Sit for a moment now and inhale the word Sat, hold your breath in for a moment, and exhale completely while silently focusing on the word Nam. You are practicing Kundalini Yoga in this second.
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