Kundalini Yoga – What is it?
Kundalini yoga is a powerful yoga that involves sequences of movements that aims to unlock the Kundalini energy of the body. It is an advanced practice of specific yoga postures and deep breathing that targets certain body parts to release energy and let it flow throughout the body. It helps balance the inner chakras or energy centers of the body which can lead to “Kundalini awakening” or spiritual enlightenment. It is different from other forms of yoga as it is more of a spiritual practice than a physical one.
Seven Chakras of the Body
There are seven chakras of energy in the human body, including:
○ Root Chakra
○ Sacral Chakra
○ Navel (Solar Plexus) Chakra
○ Heart Chakra
○ Throat Chakra
○ Third Eye Chakra
○ Crown Chakra
The meaning of the Sanskrit word “Kundalini” is circular, and it is referred to as a coiled snake that sits at the base of our spine. Kundalini yoga aims to assume certain positions rapidly to wake up this sleeping cobra. It combines chanting, singing, movements, and deep breathing to bring optimal spiritual results.
However, special care must be taken to perform this yoga as inaccurate poses can imbalance the energy systems and lead to negative physiological and emotional consequences.
What are the benefits of Kundalini Yoga?
Although the primary goal of Kundalini yoga is to get in touch with our spiritual self, it also has various positive impacts on physical health. The benefits of this yoga include the following:
It helps relieve stress and anxiety immediately
Enhances cognitive function
Sharpens memory and focus
Positive body image
Strengthens and tones up muscles
Brightens the mood
Calms the nervous system
Helps with self-acceptance
Lowers blood pressure
Long-term improvements in executive functions like reasoning and critical thinking
Boosts positive emotions and feeling like empathy, creativity, energy, and inner peace
A faster metabolism
What should I expect from a Kundalini Yoga Session?
A Kundalini yoga session is usually divided into the following three parts:
○ An opening chant or "tuning in," along with a brief warm-up period
○ A sequence of postures combined with Kundalini breathing, also known as kriya
○ A closing chant or meditation
Kundalini breathing is a vital part of Kundalini yoga. The most common breath you will use during this practice is the “breath of fire." Breath of fire involves rapid and equal breaths through your nose and move your stomach in and out during inhalation and exhalation. This will help you feel more energetic by supplying ample oxygen to the blood.
A typical Kundalini session includes the following components:
Chanting and singing continuous mantras is a key component of this yoga. Singing mantras can bring chemical reactions to your body that will make you happy and joyful. Mantras enable your body to vibrate at a higher frequency and elevate energy levels.
Kriya brings vitality and overall well-being by affecting your mind, body, and spirit all at once. A Kriya is a combination of breathing, posture, and sounds. Kriya can help protect your energy chakras and boost your stamina.
Mudras are a way of channeling energy into various parts of the body by using specific hand positions.
The purpose of Kundalini meditation is to bring healing and release negative stresses from the body. Therefore, meditation is performed at different lengths for different results.
Kundalini yoga is a unique kind of yoga due to its spiritual benefits. Combining yogic elements like postures, breathing, chanting, and hand gestures brings you spiritual enlightenment. Kundalini breathing is an integral part of this yoga, and this is what makes this yoga different than other forms, which are more focused on physical alignment.
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