A Kundalini yoga class features the familiar elements of asana, meditation, and chanting, but it all adds up to something quite different than the average yoga class. In 1968, Yogi Bhajan traveled to the US from India, bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West. Teachers trained in the tradition of Yogi Bhajan wear white and, in most cases, play a gong in class.
Why the white clothes, the gong, and the unusual-sounding name? It all ties together in the goal of unleashing each individual’s energy and potential. “Kundalini” refers to a stream of energy that rests at the base of the spine. A Kundalini yoga practice helps awaken and move that energy, leading the yogi to happiness, health, and awareness.
The purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to awaken the Kundalini energy that rests at the base of the spine. Two lines of energy move up and around the base of the spine, intersecting at seven points referred to as the chakras. Each chakra has a function that keeps us healthy. The rhythmic, steady movement of Kundalini poses starts the flow of energy and corrects any imbalances in the chakras. Once the energy starts moving, the yogi becomes more aware, more integrated with reality, and moves into a state of higher consciousness. The greater awareness and peace lead to a happier, more productive life.
“The totality of all yoga is Kundalini Yoga – the yoga of awareness. This yoga is for those who want a specific course in consciousness and awareness.” – Yogi Bhajan
Kundalini Yoga, also known as the yoga of awareness, is an ancient science of self-healing that uses breath-work (pranayam), yoga postures (asana), sound (mantra), and meditation to revitalize the body, balance the mind, and stimulate spiritual awareness. These yogic practices are merged into carefully choreographed exercises called kriyas that open up energy flow in the body, channeling it in a way that removes blocks to consciousness.
This type of yoga balances and purifies all of the systems of the body, while at the same time calming and sharpening the mind. Regular practice of Kundalini Yoga promotes optimal general health, reduces stress, establishes emotional balance, and enhances intuition. It trains the mind to be calm, clear, non-reactive, and flexible in the face of stress and change.
Kundalini Yoga is a safe and complete yogic system and is acknowledged by yogic traditions to be one of the fastest catalysts for personal growth.
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