In Kundalini Yoga the most important thing is your experience. It goes right to your heart. No words can replace your experience. — Yogi Bhajan.
Kundalini is a little different than the more popular fitness yoga you see today. You can expect opportunities to dance, move, hold poses with unusual angles, breathe with a focus, chant mantras, immerse in gong baths, create community and have fun. Health, strength, increased flexibility, fitness and overall happiness can be the benefits of practicing kundalini yoga. I especially enjoy the simplicity and real life applicability of these ancient technologies, to maintain a state of calmness and ease in our fast paced and ever changing modern world.
Kundalini is gentle and great for beginners. It is for anyone that can imagine improving and maintaining a healthy and elevated state of being. It is universal and experiential. It encourages you to push past your comfort zone and grow and expand if you wish to fully dive into the daily practices.
“ Kundalini Yoga consists of active and passive asana-based kriyas, pranayama, and meditations which target the whole body system (nervous system, glands, mental faculties, chakras) to develop awareness, consciousness and spiritual strength. ” — Yogi Bhajan.
There are many benefits of Kundalini Yoga practice in general. Yoga can increase flexibility and strength. The asana and pranayama science stimulates all of the physiological systems of the body, including the circulatory, immune and digestive systems. The practice can also have a range of emotional and energetic benefits, increase discipline and concentration, and ready the mind for meditation. On a more subtle level, the practice stimulate the energetic body, opening the chakras and the nadis.
Kundalini Yoga Classes
Kundalini Yoga classes are a dynamic blend of postures, pranayam, which is the life force found in the inhale and exhale, mantra, music and meditation, sound healing, which teach you the art of relaxation, self-healing and elevation. Balancing body and mind enables you to experience the clarity and beauty of your soul.
Suggestions to Bring to Class:
Yoga mat and blanket
A water bottle, staying hydrating is very important.
Comfortable clothing, something you can stretch and bend in.
Breathable natural fibers are highly recommended. Why natural fibers? Through time, yogis found it to be the best insulator to keep grounded during meditation.
For women sports bras that do not poke or constrict.
Sheepskin or blanket (natural fiber) to sit on and a shawl or second blanket to cover yourself during relaxation and meditation.
If you are tight in the lower back, hips, or legs, have a pillow or cushion to elevate yourself on during meditation and seated postures.
Support pillow, Zafu, blocks, yoga straps
Before You Begin:
Consume only a light snack and water in the 2 – 3 hours prior to practicing.
Turn off all cell phones and other distractions.
Have water in a closed-lidded container handy
Tune-in with the Adi Mantra: Chant Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo three times before beginning any warm-ups, kriyas, or meditation.
During Your Practice:
Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness. Listen to your body; do what works for you.
Challenge yourself to extend just past whatever you think your limits are. For instance, if you think you can only do one minute of an exercise, then try for one minute and ten seconds.
In a class, feel free to ask for clarification on an exercise or other aspects of the practice.
Drink water as needed between exercises.
Remember the Moon! During the heaviest part (one to three days) of a woman's monthly menstruation, avoid strenuous yoga. In particular, do not do: Bow Pose, Breath of Fire, Stretch Pose, Camel Pose, Locust Pose, Root Lock, Sat Kriya, inversions (e.g., Shoulder Stand), or strenuous leg lifts. Instead, visualize yourself doing the posture or ask the teacher for a modification.
After Your Practice:
Drink lots of water. Pay attention to your physical, emotional, and mental self.
Incorporate what you experienced in class into the rest of your life, particularly the “simple” things like long, deep breathing and a graceful, royal posture.
[From The KRI Aquarian Teacher Training manual and Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha]