The word Kundalini means coil, or curl (‘kundal’ – a curl of the lock of hair). This represents the energy that is housed in us, coiled at the base of our spine. It is said when we achieve Oneness, a state of Samadhi this coil unfurls itself and rises up our spine filling us with our unlimited essence.
Kundalini Yoga was initialled and taught by Yogi Bhajan. Kundalini can be quite an easy and all-accessible practice for anyone of any age and ability. It consists of simple yogic techniques harnessing breath, movement and occasionally mantra (chanting) together to bring the practitioner into a state of meditation and ultimately raising the Kundalini energy within.
Kundalini movements can be as simple as sipping the breath, cat and cow, or seated circulation of your torso. It can also become as strenuous as repetitive frog squats, swinging your arms for 3-11 mins or intense core activation with the breath of fire. Either way you feel a burst of energy with this practice. Quite surprisingly refreshing!
Having practiced yoga for thirteen years, I have never come across such a fast acting practice. I felt total bliss from my first practice of Kundalini yoga, something that I attained a few times after years of my Ashtanga practice. It was easy, there was no ego at all, and if anything it was extremely primal movements that had the most profound effect, not the body contortions that media project. Perhaps it was the right timing for me or perhaps there is method to this science of yoga. Everyone has a style they prefer and like I have mentioned all styles lead to the same thing – United Oneness.
All yoga targets the nervous system. Kundalini specifically refines this with simple movements and particular breath patterns and then places length of time on each movement. The length of time represents the desired outcome of the exercises or kryias.
Meaning for length of time in Kundalini Yoga:
- 3 minutes, your circulation and blood is affected.
- 11 minutes, the pituitary and nerves begin to change.
- 22 minutes, the three minds (negative, positive and neutral) >> Read more about the three minds <<
- 31 minutes, meditation begins to affect your whole mind, aura, and elements (earth, water, air, and fire)
- 62 minutes, you are integrated with your subconscious
- 2 ½ hrs, the effect of an altered state of consciousness stays with you throughout the cycle of the day.
It may be very difficult to comprehend these times dedicated to one action, but even the simplest exercise done for three minutes will radically alter your state of being. Even eleven minutes is attainable for the busiest of people.
A Kriya is known as a set of postures done is a sequence together to achieve a desired outcome. For example there are Kriyas for physical and mental vitality, for disease resistance, to strengthen the aura, for the liver and anger release.
What impact with Kundalini Yoga have on me?
I have been practicing Kundalini yoga for about a year now and I truly adore it as a practice. I like to mix it up with a good chakra vinyasa sequence too, as sometimes – depending on my mood and the Kriya- I feel I don’t get enough of a physical full body practice. But essentially Kundalini harnesses a vital force within us that doesn’t require a lot of time of physical ability. That is the beauty of the practice.
I think if you have a keen interest in your wellbeing and an awareness of your subtle body or subtle energy, you will become hooked on this practice. Regardless, this practice is worth a try, it will build a healthy body and develop and balanced mind. It can show you your potential and ability to exceed everyday irritations.
Kundalini yoga gives you a quick fix of vitality. You become prepared to face life’s challenges and radiate your peacefulness and strength in a very subtle but confident manner. Known as the yoga of awareness and transformation, it is worth incorporating elements of this practice into your daily life.
Kundalini Inspired: I have often taken inspiration from this wonderful practice for the warm up sequence in my chakra workshops, I also refer to many of its benefits and practices in my online Chakra Wellness Programme. (commencing again n March)
I recommend checking out the Dorling Kindersley book Kundalini Yoga. My Kundalini yoga teacher back in Dublin gifted this to me just before I left Dublin at Christmas. It has become my bible and a daily guide.
Here are a few of my favourite quote: This guy really hits the nail on the head. Yogi Bhajan quotes:
“Kundalini Yoga is uncoiling yourself to find your potential and your vitality and to reach for your virtues. There is nothing from outside. Try to understand that. All is in you. You are the storehouse of your totality.”
“You have a right to be healthy, happy and holy. It is your birth-right.” -Yogi Bhajan
“Creation is ready to serve you, if you just be you.”
“An attitude of gratitude brings great things.”