The basics of Kundalini yoga.
Kundalini yoga is a mystical form of yoga practice that is flexible and can be customized to all levels of yoga students. Kundalini yoga is great for people looking for a consciousness-raising form of yoga. Kundalini yoga is affectionately called the yoga of awareness because of its focus on expanding the senses. This more advanced (in terms of process, not level of fitness) yoga is particularly spiritually minded.
How Kundalini yoga became popularized. This form of yoga became prevalent in the 60s and has only grown in popularity due to its methodology and poses. When practicing Kundalini yoga, there will be a noticeable gain in energy, relaxation, stress management and meditation quality.
Uniqueness of Kundalini yoga. Kundalini literally means coiling, like the coiling of a snake, according to Professor Kurt Keutzerat UC Berkeley and avid Kundalini yoga disciple. The idea behind coiling is to think of your inner unused energy as a coil or spring sitting at the base of the spine just waiting to be tapped.
Goals of Kundalini yoga. The main goal of this form of yoga is to achieve the utmost in yoga practice — the state of bliss or nirvana. According to Dr. Michael Sharp, author of several books about the awakening of the energy or Kundalini within, fully opening the heart center, serving others, and developing power and self-realization lead the way to finally merging with or ascending to the divine God consciousness.
Why practice Kundalini yoga? The path to this higher state of awareness is often blocked by knots within the channels of energy in the body known as chakras. Seven major chakras are located at the crown of the head, the brow or forehead, the throat, the heart, the solar plexus, the sacrum and the base of the spine. Yoga practice assists in breaking though these knots. Awakening the Kundalini energy within and becoming liberated from the limitations of the knots, the self-centeredness and the ego is the ultimate aspect of Kundalini yoga.
The three manifestations of Kundalini. The three forms are the key to help yoga practitioners understand the different manifestations of Kundalini yoga. All are focused on during the Kundalini yoga practice, as they’re inextricable from one another.
- The universal energy (para-kundalini)
- The energizing of the body and mind (prana-kundalini)
- The consciousness (shakti-kundalini)
How is Kundalini yoga practiced? Through various mantras (chanting), special breathing, asanas (yoga positions), asana sequencing and meditation, Kundalini yoga assists the individual in their yoga goals and intentions. A teacher or guru is very important in Kundalini yoga development. While many yoga positions can be practiced at home, nothing can supplant the importance of a learned teacher guiding the way.