What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yoga Bhajan

The ancient technology of Kundalini Yoga rejuvenates body, mind and spirit with revitalizing exercise/asanas, breath/pranayam, the science of sound/mantra, uplifting meditation and relaxation that promotes health, happiness, and spiritual awareness. It makes you radiant, peaceful and strong so you can know and achieve your highest potential. When the body and mind are at ease, inspiration flows freely and peace of mind is realized.

Just remember, it is a simple habit to live in balance. Whenever you make a move, find out where the balance is and act accordingly
– Yogi Bhajan

The word “kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” It is a metaphor, a poetic way of describing the flow of energy and consciousness that already exists within each one of us. These practices enable you to merge with, or “yoke” with, the universal Self. This merging of individual consciousness with universal consciousness creates a “divine union” called “yoga.”*

Practicing Kundalini Yoga allows you to build a healthy body, keep it in shape, increase your vitality, train your mind to be strong and flexible in the face of stress and change, and make contact with your infinity, your innate inner wisdom as well as open the door so that you can fulfill your potential. It balances the glandular system, strengthens the nervous system, and enhances creative potential. Through yogic breathing techniques and meditation, peace of mind can be obtained giving an experience of deep inner calm and self-confidence. 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 with grace.

*Excerpts from the book Kundalini Yoga, the Flow of Eternal Power , Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa

A typical Kundalini Yoga class

Each class begins by tuning-in, chanting three time ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
I bow before my highest consciousness

We then do some breathing exercise and/or spinal warm-ups and stretching followed by a special yoga set called a Kriya. A Kriya in yoga is a sequence of exercises, each exercise is made up of a posture(s), breath and sound, which work together to create a particular state or effect. One Kriya might focus on the de-toxing the liver, or working through creative blocks, mastering your moods, or possibly developing will-power.

After doing a yoga set we relax on our backs for deep relaxation. Then we end class with some form of meditation. Whatever the focus, by the end of every class you will feel energized and relaxed, focused and expansive, all at the same time. To close the class we sing THE LONG TIME SUN followed by chanting a long SAT NAM.

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Kriya means action. But a kriya is not just any action; it is action that leads to manifestation.

A Kriya is a series of one or more exercises or postures in combination with pranayama, locks, chanting, visualization, projection, etc., in specific sequence designed to produce specific effects. Kundalini Yoga kriyas are centuries old. The total effect of a kriya is greater than the sum of its parts. ‘Kriya’ literally means ‘work’ or ‘action’.