What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini yoga is an ancient form of yoga that has been practiced in the United States for only a short time. In 1969, Yogi Bhajan founded 3HO (the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization), which was created to introduce Kundalini to a broader population. At that time Kundalini had not been taught to the public, and Yogi Bhajan felt that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy its benefits.
Kundalini Yoga is an asana series that is done in conjunction with a specific breath that intensifies the effects of the poses with the purpose of freeing energy in the lower body, and allowing it to move upwards. Kundalini sequences may consist of rapid, repetitive movements done with breath or holding a pose while breathing in a particular way.
When I first heard about this type of yoga I was traveling in San Francisco and a lady told me it’s a few poses of yoga with a bunch of chanting. I was curious to the point where I took a class in the San Francisco area and what I found was an amazing result. The Kundalini class began with a short chant followed by a warm-up stretching of the spine that improved flexibility. As we went through the class the main work was a sequence of poses and pranayama that focused on a specific area of the body. The class ended with meditation along with the teacher playing a large gong with a song.
Kundalini is one of the more spiritual types of yoga. I found that it goes beyond the physical performance of poses with its emphasis on breathing, meditation, mudras, and chanting. Kundalini sequences can be very physically intense. This type of yoga appeals to those who are up for both mental and physical challenges. I understand your hesitation on trying this out, but I highly recommend attending one class to see how powerful this type of practice could be for you!
Let’s get out and onto our mats!