What Kundalini Yoga Can Do For You
You may have been to a handful of yoga classes with varying degrees of difficulty and styles, but when you walk into a kundalini yoga class, the first thing your brain will do is wonder what the heck is going on.
On the surface, kundalini yoga looks like a bunch of pointless rituals and strange breathing. But the daily practice of kundalini yoga works with the energy in your body to unlock your greatest potential as a person. These very rituals have been passed down for thousands of years from yoga master to student. The energy that kundalini yoga can offer you is tremendous.
The term kundalini refers to the energy that harbours at the bottom of your spine which can be moved with the techniques of kundalini yoga, through your body to access greater states of consciousness and expand your brain and sense of self. If you’ve been wanting to overcome fear, change your life, improve your attitude and shake your past, this type of yoga is designed to help you feel confident and creative. It is something that can affect you quickly.
You may now be thinking, so what is kundalini yoga? It’s a combination of chanting mantras, breathing exercises, practicing meditations and doing movements. But it’s also so much more than that. If you’re looking for a beginners guide to kundalini yoga, look no further. Here is what you can expect when you take your first class, whether it’s online or in person.
What to Expect In a Kundalini Yoga Class
You may be wondering how kundalini yoga differs from other types of yoga.
The process is more focused on your internal energy rather than on your physical body alignment and form. You may struggle as a beginner to keep your mind from wandering, but your teacher is trained to guide you through each exercise, called a kriya, with very specific instructions so that you can start to raise your kundalini from the bottom of the spine to the upper chakras where your higher vibration emotions can be accessed.
First of all, you’ll find that the teachers and many students wear white which helps clear the mind for meditation as it soothes the stimulation that can come from a loud environment. You’ll hear mantras that are in Gurmukhi as well. You do not need to stress about memorizing the mantras as they will calm your nerves just by hearing them.
When you start your first class don’t be intimidated by the opening mantra which is called the Adi Mantra: “ong namo guru dev namo.” It means, “I bow to the creative wisdom and I bow to the divine teacher within.” This opening mantra is chanted three times to set the tone for the class and remind you to go within to find your answers.
Then you’ll usually do a few warm-ups that are about three minutes each. Depending on how long the class is and what the topic is, you’ll probably do a rigorous yoga set that involves moving your spine, arms and often doing a lot of squats. There are thousands of kriyas that teachers can choose from so you may find one class very difficult and the next class easy.
After the high energy yoga set, which can involve doing strange positions or even interacting with your fellow classmates, you’ll usually be guided to do some form of breathing exercises and a meditation which can involve chanting more mantras.
The end of the class will allow you to relax while the teacher plays the gong. They play a song at the end of class which helps you set your intention of sending positive energy out to the world. They play different renditions of “The Long Time Sun Song” for this. Then you’ll often chant ‘Sat Nam,’ three times with your hands at your heart. Sat Nam is a greeting similar to Namaste which means, “I see your true identity.”
To someone new to this, it would look like the people are praying to the teacher on the stage, but do not be deceived by appearances young grasshopper. The teacher is elevated so their Solar Plexus chakra can be at the height of your Third Eye chakra. The teacher has a large energy field that can help elevate whatever energy you’re working with on day one or day one thousand. It also allows students to see the seated teacher easily from anywhere in the room.
One final thing that might send your brain scurrying for an explanation is why in the world people wear all sorts of head coverings in kundalini yoga. The answer is that they are actually quite functional. The hair picks up electromagnetic energy and when you’re doing breathing exercises that strengthen your life force and aura, you can easily get a headache if all those little antennae on your head are bombarded with energy. It’s helpful to keep the hair covered so those symptoms are diminished and you can get deeper into meditation. The tighter the head covering, the more your energy is drawn to the forehead to help you meditate with less distraction.
Why Should I Try Kundalini Yoga?
There are numerous benefits of kundalini yoga that attract celebrities, successful business owners, and creatives from all backgrounds. Kundalini yoga strengthens your nerves so that you can feel what it’s like to not be bombarded by negative thoughts. You’ll start to understand your mind and see your own patterns of thinking. With practice, you’ll be able to direct the mind to think positive on a daily basis.
Creating new thought patterns that you’re worthy, that you have a soul and a connection to higher spiritual consciousness will allow you to expand your career, the depth of your relationships and improve upon your habits. It allows you to rid yourself of things that previously had power over your mind or body.
Besides being used to overcome addiction, it can help blast away depression, indecisiveness, low confidence, and even the feeling that you are stuck in life. The people who continue to practice find that the layers of self-doubt, anger, greed, and ego start to come off so they can find their purpose and have the energy to pursue it. Energy is moved through the meridians with the use of bandhas, which are body positions and muscle engagements. As you learn to move your energy, you can self regulate your emotional state and get into the flow of high vibrational living enabling you to attract positive things to you.
It is hard to fully answer the question “what is kundalini yoga?” without a long history lesson reaching back thousands of years. We know that Yogi Bhajan studied with yoga masters in India and combined techniques he found while innovating new ones. Today, teachers follow what he left behind, which is an effective system for deep personal transformation.
Essentially, every kriya in kundalini yoga works over the course of 40 days towards a specific goal. There is a kriya for every obstacle you could face in life. This daily practice can make you a happier person who has the energy to help uplift others.
Kundalini yoga is the product of hundreds of years of study of the human condition, the psyche, and the energy system. Some call it “experiential yoga” because when you’re blissed out after a class, it’s not a feeling you can describe in words. Try out kundalini yoga and see for yourself!
Related Article: How To Activate Your Upper Chakras To Increase Creativity