Kundalini Yoga: What is it?
Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is a Raj yoga, encompassing all eight limbs of yoga into a single practice, and is considered to be the most comprehensive of the yoga traditions. Known as The Yoga of Awareness, it combines breathing techniques to induce heightened awareness, mantra, meditation and physical exercises.
Kundalini means “the curl of the lock of the hair”. This is a beautiful way of defining the flow of energy and consciousness which is present in all of us. Kundalini Yoga practices enable you to unite your individual consciousness with the universal consciousness, creating a divine union.
Kundalini yoga involves interactions of the subtle body with the chakra energy centres and nadis. Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics, and with proper training, moving kundalini energy through these chakras can help to open these characteristics.
Kundalini yoga balances the body and mind and enables you to experience the beauty of your true identity, your ‘sat nam’. It balances the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies and brings heightened awareness creativity to practitioners.
For thousands of years, this sacred science was kept secret and passed only between holy men, from master to chosen disciple. But in 1969, Yogi Bhajan came to the west to share these sacred teachings.
What happens in a Kundalini Yoga class?
Kundalini yoga is a dynamic blend of postures, pranayam (breathing), mantra, and meditation, which teach you the art of relaxation, self-healing and mental elevation.
Classes normally consist of a warm-up, a kriya (set of postures), a relaxation and a meditation. Each kriya will have a particular focus and may consist of anywhere between one and 20 postures.
The use of mantra or ‘Naad yoga’ is an integral part of Kundalini yoga. This focuses the mind and its vibrations resonate deeply within the body, helping to unblock stored emotion and strengthen the circulation of energy through the body. Naad yoga and the use of primal sound are very efficient at clarifying the mind and optimising the ability to reach a state of meditation.
Each class and meditation will work on many subtle levels in the body. The effects are very powerful and changes can be felt by practicing postures for as little as a few minutes. No previous experience of yoga is required for you to achieve results in your very first class.
What to bring to a Kundalini Yoga class
A mat if you have one, water bottle, a cushion to support your lower back, blanket and socks to keep your feet warm during Shavasana!
Please wear comfortable loose clothing that you feel able to move easily in.