09 Jul All You Need To Know About Kundalini Yoga
Ever wanted to try out Kundalini Yoga but not sure what you’re getting yourself into? You might be intrigued by the white turban and flowy outfits. Or you’ve heard about the chanting, the rituals or whispers about awakening kundalini energy.
Kundalini Yoga sounds very mystic and a bit confusing at first, but it is an ancient practice that helps you channel powerful energy and transform your life.
We’ll give you a quick snapshot to de-mystify Kundalini Yoga, so you know what to expect in class and not too overwhelmed during your first Kundalini experience. And therefore can wholeheartedly enjoy it and get the best out of it. The best part, we also have a Kundalini class at the end so that you can dive right in.
Kundalini Yoga powerfully combines the full spectrum of yogic tools – mantra (sacred sound), asana (posture), mudra (hand position), bandha (body lock), meditation (mindful focus), and pranayama (breathing technique).
1. You Will Chant
Mantras are used extensively in Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini classes start with “tuning in,” which means chanting the mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. This ritual is intended to acknowledge the lineage of Kundalini Yoga teachers, and it’s also a meditation in and of itself that establishes a connection to a higher state of consciousness beyond the ego.
In addition to the opening mantra, there’s a mantra used to close the class: Sat Nam, which is intended to awaken the soul.
In between these opening and closing mantras, there may be additional mantras used. These may be chanted out loud or used mentally and will vary from class and teacher.
2. You Will Move
Kundalini Yoga is not your usual go-to vinyasa flow class. After tuning in, there’s pranayama followed by a sequence of postures called a kriya. Each set will have different poses that involve movement, breathing techniques, a specific mindful focus, and a mantra. Between postures, you’ll have a minute or two to relax and focus inward. After the set, there’s a relaxation followed by a meditation. You will then close class with a mantra.
3. You Will Breathe
Kundalini Yoga and meditation practices make a point of using the breath to deepen your experience. According to yogic philosophy, the breath is the bridge that connects the body and the mind. The more you learn to focus on the breath, the more capacity you have to quiet your busy mind. Conscious breathing can help release stress and anxiety, both on your yoga mat as well as in your daily life.
4. You Will Meditate
With all the emphasis on breath and the inward focus between postures, Kundalini Yoga is more meditative in nature than Vinyasa. Additionally, there’s a meditation toward the end of each class. Because Kundalini practices incorporate more elements than some other types of meditation, it can be more accessible and easier to get into a deeper state, even as a beginner.
5. You Will Challenge Your Limits
Kundalini Yoga challenges your body to rise above the self-imposed limits of the mind. While movements are usually simple enough, when you do something repeatedly for even a couple of minutes, it becomes physically challenging, and the mind starts to react. The key here is to be kind to yourself and do your best. Always listen to your body, but at the same time, see if you can push yourself beyond the automatic voice in the mind that tells you things like, “You can’t do that!” or “You need to stop now!”
Kundalini Yoga does sound powerful. There are thousands of different Kundalini Yoga and meditation practices, not one class will be the same, even though there are similar postures. And yes, Kundalini Yoga teachers typically wear white clothing to strengthen the aura and a scarf or turban on their head to contain the energy in the body, as a student you can wear any colour.
The best way to experience Kundalini is by practising yourself. Let’s dive right in, keep an open mind and be astounded. Roll out your mat and try Gina’s Kundalini for beginners flow. The class aims to balance and stimulate the Kundalini energy coiled at the base of your spine. Afterwards, you will be walking on clouds, with your feet firmly on the floor for days.
See you on the mat, yogis!
Written by Aili Kuutan