What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, consists of simple yogic techniques that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or physical ability. It is a complete science that includes breath (pranayama), yoga postures (asanas), sound, chanting (mantra), relaxation and meditation. It is designed to provide you with the experience of your highest consciousness through the raising of your Kundalini energy (latent energy coiled at the base of the spine). This yoga works rapidly to positively transform the dedicated practitioner. It is said that one year of serious Kundalini Yoga practice is equivalent to 22 years of a combination of other yogas, including 12 years of Hatha yoga.
Kundalini Yoga, the oldest yoga known to mankind, is thousands of years old. Some components of this technology are even more than 26,000 years old. For hundreds of years and until 1969, Kundalini Yoga was kept secret because of its transformational power and was taught only to elite yogis in India. A man from India named Yogi Bhajan is credited with bringing the technology to North America in 1969. It is geared to strengthen not only the muscles and lungs, but the glandular and nervous systems as well, thereby helping individuals grow into the healthiest and most successful human beings possible. Kundalini Yoga is now taught world-wide.
Q: What can I accomplish with Kundalini Yoga?
A: With Kundalini Yoga you can build a healthy body, develop a balanced mind, make contact with your infinity, your innate inner wisdom (intuition) as well as open the door so that you can exceed your full potential. It gives you the vitality and health that is your birthright. It makes you radiant, peaceful and strong so that you can meet life's challenges and win.
Q: What pace should I start out with as a beginner student in Kundalini Yoga?
A: As a beginner, participate at a pace that suits your flexibility and endurance. The teacher may propose modifications to assist you.
Q: What should I wear to a Kundalini Yoga class?
A: You should wear loose, comfortable clothing, preferably made of cotton or other natural, breathable fiber. Socks are removed to help stimulate the approximately 72,000 nerve endings in your feet and to prevent slipping.
Q: How long should I wait after I have eaten to practice Kundalini Yoga?
A: It is good to wait two to three hours after eating before you practice yoga and meditation. This will help you gain the maximum benefits, plus it is easier to exercise on an empty stomach. If you must eat, have something light, like fruit.
Q: What does it mean to tune in?
A: Each Kundalini Yoga class begins with a tuning in using the mantra Ong Nam Guru Dev Namo. This sets and calms the mind to be open to inner guidance during the yoga practice.
Q: Why do we use mudras (hand positions) in Kundalini Yoga?
A: The ancient yogis mapped out the areas of the hand and identified the parts of the body or brain associated with each area. Each area of the hand also represents different emotions or behaviours; curling, crossing, stretching or touching the fingers or fingertips in specific configurations is a yogic technique for communicating with the body and mind. Clinical research has shown that use of mudras increases the plasticity of brain function leading to increased physical coordination and greater mental alertness.
Q: What are mantras?
A: Mantras are sounds or words that help you to gain greater control of your own mind. Man means mind and Tra is the wave or movement of the mind.
Q: Why do we recite mantras in Kundalini Yoga?
A: When you pronounce mantras in the vibratory language of Sanskrit, you are pressing meridian points on the roof of the mouth with the tongue (like sending keyboard code into a computer). This code is sent to the hypothalumus which in turn sends it to your pineal and pituitary glands. Your glands chemically interpret these messages to bring about certain changes: breaking bad habits, cleansing the garbage stored in the subconscious mind, creating new more positive life habits and attitudes.
Q: What makes Kundalini Yoga so effective?
A: Kundalini Yoga is known as the yoga of angles and triangles. The use of angles in Kundalini Yoga postures, in combination with pranayama (breath work), mantras and mudras, is one of the main reasons that Kundalini Yoga works as quickly and effectively as it does. The angles put pressure on the glands to secrete. When a posture is released and the body is still (relaxation), the glandular secretions that have been stimulated have an opportunity to circulate freely. The result is a balanced glandular system that has a definitive effect on your emotional stability through the chemistry of your body.