“The subtle thread of the spirit can expand and contract within the body. When it expands, it passes through the brain, heart and body to experience life, and when the same subtle thread of the spirit, is taken inward, it contracts itself into the soul, to experience the bliss from within.”
― Roshan Sharma
According to the article “What is Kundalini Yoga?” written on Gaia, one of the top streaming services for spirituality, Lisa Fierer states, “The purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to provide a modality by which people can achieve their maximum creative potential, free themselves from Karma (the lasting effects of past actions) and realize their life purpose.” If Hatha Yoga strengthens major muscles and Yin Yoga strengthens connective tissue, Kundalini Yoga strengthens the energetic and spiritual body.
Brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga is meant to stimulate the serpent at the base of our spine, or in laymen’s terms, stir up the energy within us. This energy is said to be our “Shakti”- our life force. By awakening the snake, it removes any stagnant or blocked energy allowing it to move through each of our 7 chakras with ease. Kundalini is a combination of:
- Bhakti Yoga (the yogic practice of devotion and chanting)
- Raja Yoga (the practice of mediation/mental and physical control)
- Shakti Yoga (for the expression of power and energy).
What happens during a Kundalini practice?
You begin by tuning in. You first rub the palms together to stimulate the thousands of nerve endings, balancing the two brain hemispheres. Then, you bring your palms together in prayer position, breathe in, and chant “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”. This helps you to attune into the divine energy. Some practices may or may not rub the palms together, but the chant is always a must.
After that, there will be a series of poses done sequentially that form a kriya– meaning “completed action”. Yogapedia describes kriya as a “set of practices, mainly breath control techniques and exercises, that are practiced to achieve a specific outcome.” Some examples of these specific outcomes are relieving a heartbreak, becoming radiant, and invoking prosperity. These poses will also incorporate specific mudras to stimulate different areas and functions within the body. To conclude the practice, you will bring yourself into a cross-legged pose and your hands into prayer. With a final breath in, on the exhale you’ll chant a long “Sat” and short “Nam”. I am truth.
Sounds simple, right? Nope. Kundalini Yoga is one of the most physically challenging yoga practices I’ve ever taken. It requires a lot of muscular strength to hold the poses on average from 3 to 5 minutes. Why do it then? Because it is one of the most rewarding yoga practices there can be.
Kundalini Yoga has become one of my favorite styles of yoga. Admittingly, I enjoy it a lot more now that my strength has improved and I’m able to actually hold the poses. Don’t let your fitness level deter you though! It helps move through energy blocks fast and the results are almost instantaneous. I have definitely cried in several practices. When I’m down about living as a human, I turn to Kundalini. It has its own way of putting life into perspective.
Kundalini Yoga seems to be a lesser known form of yoga which means there is limited access to it. You can, however, like everything, find it on YouTube. Kimilla Grace and Brett Larkin each have numerous free Kundalini classes. There is a larger library on Gaia, but you need a subscription to view it. Below are two videos, one a beginner practice and the other a more intermediate practice to show you how involved it can get.
I highly recommend Kundalini Yoga to all of my fellow metaphysical, esoteric and occult lovers out there. Having this tool in your arsenal on the path to spiritual and personal growth is a must. It’ll leave you feeling more connected, rejuvenated, and divine.
“Awakening into the God state makes all the perceptual limitations of the mind disappear, just like a bucket of muddy water turns crystal-clear once poured into the ocean.”
― Abhijit Naskar
Love and Light,
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