Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness. This awareness is dormant like a snake coiled at the base of our spine, called kundalini energy. Kundalini yoga is a sacred practice of self-transformation, which awakens that awareness and brings it back to the original self, allowing us to tap into our infinite nature, releasing us from fears and self-limiting patterns that do not serve our forward journeys.
It involves the combination of breath control (pranayam) and inner sound (naad) focusing on navel and spine activity and selective pressurization of body points and meridians. On a physical level kundalini yoga serves as a great tool to cleanse the debris gathered in our bodies and different organs through our glandular and nervous systems helping us build a strong body and immune system. With steady practice one can develop a calm, neutral mind and an inner compass to navigate through life and expand at all possible levels reaching one’s full potential.
To me kundalini yoga is a valuable spirit toolbox. A mind-body-spirit mastery manual that addresses all sorts of states of being.
- Anxiety/stress relief
- Memory Loss
- Releasing emotional trauma/ balancing emotions
- Enhancing clarity and focus
- Positivity/ Better Mood
- Enhanced Creativity
A Kundalini Yoga practice consists of 6 steps:
1. Tuning-in with the Adi Mantra
ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO (3 times)
Pronunciation: ONG uses the conch in the nasal cavity to create this initiating sound
Translation: I bow to the divine teacher within, the creative force of the universe.
This mantra calls upon the Source of creation, the divine wisdom within, establishing a sacred protective space for our highest guidance. It sets a higher vibration that connects us to the ‘Golden Chain’, the energy lineage of kundalini yoga spiritual teachers who have handed down this ancient wisdom from master to disciple through the ages.
2. Pranayam or Warm-up Series
Pranayam (or pranayama) is a technique of breathing consciousness, that governs the flow of prana (life force) and its circulation within our body and energy field though our subtle energy channels called nadis.
A kriya is a ‘completed sequence’ that is a combination of pranayama (breathing), asana (yogic posture & exercise), sound current (mantra – chanting) and mudra (hand positions) for designated amounts of time to allow the manifestation of a particular state that each kriya calls for.
4. Deep Relaxation (Savasana)
A kriya is followed by savasana for a deep relaxation that allows the body and mind to relax, recharge and absorb the effects of the kriya at all possible levels.
Relaxation is followed by a meditation. In essence, all the previous steps prepare mind-body-spirit for meditation.
6. Closing & Tuning Out
A session closes with the the Long Time Sun song followed by the mantra Sat Nam (three times):
May the long time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you,
guide your way on. (2 times)
This song of blessing helps us integrate the practice and find grounding as we resume our daily life activities.
Sat” means essence or truth, while “Nam” means name or identity.
Translation: Truth is my identity.
It helps us find our center within serving as a reminder of our divine consciousness.
Guidelines to keep in mind when coming to a class or workshop:
Avoid eating a large meal two to three hours before class.
Wear loose comfortable clothing. Natural fibres are best as they allow your skin to breathe.
White clothing is the prefered choice to project and cleanse you aura.
Many Yogi’s also wear a headcover (white) to contain energy in the crown chakra during practice.
Bring a yoga mat to work on and a blanket to cover up during relaxation or to cover the spine and avoid chills.
Bring a water bottle and drink small amounts often during a class, especially if it is strenuous.
It is best to do yoga with bare feet. This allows the nerve endings to exchange energy into the atmosphere.
Cultivate the habit of going a little beyond your limits, but not to the point of injury.
When you cannot continue an exercise, rest a moment, and then resume. Often meditations in kundalini yoga can cause some discomfort through holding a static posture. It is best to hold the posture unless it is not causing physical damage. The pain will pass and this increases the effect of the meditation.
Women should avoid strenuous exercise during the first three days of their period. They should also avoid a specific yoga breathing technique called Breath of Fire, as well as inverted postures such as Shoulder Stand. A gentle approach is best during your menstrual cycle and also during pregnancy.
Pregnant women, should avoid Breath of Fire and Shoulder Stand, and any exercise done on the stomach.