Kundalini Yoga is a technology of the body, mind, and soul in my own brief definition.
We use Kundalini energy in the body to access certain physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences – “experiencing the self”
Kundalini Yoga is an ancient Indian teaching of LIBERATION and was brought to the United States in the late 1960s. ALL yoga, but especially Kundalini Yoga, is rooted in the intention of releasing ourselves from suffering. Kundalini Yoga is closely tied to Sikhism, but you don't have to be a Sikh Guru to practice Kundalini Yoga. I do believe you have to honor the imprisonment, punishment, and suffering the Sikh Guru endured to bring this knowledge and practice to us during British Colonization of Indian land and cultures though.
While the Kundalini Yoga we know in the US today is widely taught by white presenting individuals like myself, these practices have been sacred for thousands of years to Native India. It was only after you had passed extensive initiation were you allowed to continue your training with a Kundalini Yoga Master. These practices helped people get out of their own heads and experience what it was like to awaken the dormant kundalini energy within them.
…. And those people started having experiences through these specific asana practices.
Eye-opening, soul-enlightening, body-changing experiences!
All through their own actions. Kundalini Yoga had helped a lot of people deal with their traumas in healthier ways - which freed them from a lot of man-made substances.
We honor the Teachers who endured abuse and violence at the hands of oppressors in order to pass down these cosmic downloads to the world. My personal goal for teaching Kundalini Yoga is to pass the liberation to others so they can have their own experiences of freedom.
Widely Used Terms:
There are many aspects to Kundalini Yoga that are sometimes hard to understand, and as a Yoga Instructor, I always try to break it down in the simplest way so even the most novice of yogis can follow along.
There’s the physical aspect of it – the postures that are the “physical technology” part. We call these “Asanas” or “Kriyas” .... or the workout part. This is where we push the body past it’s physical limits to clear the mind, and quiet the soul, causing us to tune in to our higher selves and listen to the messages meant for us. This includes sweating - to balance hormones and clear the toxins from their hiding places. Kundalini Kriyas are usually specific to what is trying to be accomplished - there are literally thousands of kriyas to choose from - focusing on everything from aligning the chakras to cleansing the lymphatic system.
There’s the mental aspect of it – chanting mantras, vibrating the mind, and using the asanas to go into deeper and longer meditations. Mantra meditations not only help send beautiful vibrations to the brain, helping ease anxiety and illness, it also helps to calm the brain waves and bring peace to our whole being. Mantra meditations are traditionally chanted in Sanskrit or Gurumuhki, which is a Sikh script modified and standardized by Guru Angad in the 15th century. It's like a modernized Sanskrit, which can sometimes be a hard tongue twister but even a brand new yogi can catch on with a little practice (and a cheat sheet or two!).
There’s the spiritual aspect of it – When we tune in with our mantras and connect to our higher selves, we are downloading information from ourselves, our ancestors, and all the yogis that came before us. Those yogis who fine-tuned these practices. We are connecting to the great unknown so we can know. We are calling on those who remember everything to help guide us in this life when we tune-in to our practice. We are connecting to the source, and whatever that means for you. You don't have to be a Wiccan or a Hindu to practice Kundalini. Whatever your faith is, the spiritual power of these yoga practices can connect you to your Divine Knowing and deliver the guidance you are seeking.
There’s the breath aspect of it – Kundalini Yoga uses a lot of breath work, what we call "Pranayama", breathing in what some may call “weird” (but powerful) ways in order to cleanse the lungs, release stagnant or stale oxygen, assisting the lungs and heart to re-oxygenate the blood supply. We use different breath techniques to focus on directing that oxygen, blood, and energy to the places in need of refreshing the most. Controlling our breath controls our whole lives.
There’s the energetic aspect of it – We move the energies of the body through every chakra, every layer of the being, and every light body so we can enhance our electromagnetic field and project our intentions out. In yoga we are always setting intentions for our practice, but in Kundalini Yoga we build up the energies as we do the physical work and then we send that energy out into the universe with every action, every footstep, every word spoken once we aren't on the yoga mat.
Yoga doesn’t stop when class is over. Yoga means “unity” and it is the way we live and interact with everything and every being in our lives. Kundalini Yoga has been called the Yoga of Awareness.
When we practice Kundalini Yoga we are bringing awareness to all things.
Awareness to our love, our habits, our passions, our goals, our bodies, our feelings, our families, our traumas, our hopes, our dreams, our illnesses, our relationships, our souls, our wisdom, our selves.