Using yoga to help you get on your way to a strong, flexible physical body is a great way to maintain physical fitness. However, most yoga, in its original form, was not developed for a cut physique, but rather, an open, calm, and harmonious psyche. Kundalini yoga is a form of highly spiritual yoga that requires dedication of both mind and body. If you’re interested in practicing Kundalini yoga, or just wondering what it is, there is a deep history surrounding it, however here is a brief introduction to Kundalini Yoga.
"Kundalini" is known to yoga practitioners as "the power." It takes the form of a coiled serpent and resides in the first of the seven Chakras, the Muladhara Chakra. In simplified terms, the Kundalini is a power that can be awakened within each person and bestow up on him or her liberation. The Kundalini can only be awakened through the guidance of a spiritual advisor in whom the Kundalini has already been awoken.
Kundalini yoga was brought to the United States in the late 1960s by Yogi Bhajan, who opened a Kundalini yoga studio in Los Angeles, CA. Kundalini yoga is sometimes referred to as the “Yoga of Awareness.” It is an ancient technique designed to help us get in touch with our innate creativity, our emotions, and our mental acuities, and, in doing so, help open us to the experiences of the Self. The actual practice of Kundalini yoga aims to break attachments, broaden perception of the world and reality, and give us strength. The practice incorporates techniques to help practitioners be happy, be healthy, and face daily challenges.
Kundalini yoga is a fairly complex form of yoga that involves deep knowledge and understanding of the theory and history of yoga, not just certain poses like Downward Dog or Warrior.
The practice of Kundalini involves intense meditation, recitation of mantras, and is generally difficult to start and sustain on one’s own without previous exposure. Silence is recognized as the key to spiritual practices in order to turn our attention inward, and like other forms of yoga, attention to breathing and correct way of breathing is highly important. This can be a more intense exercise for the mind than any physical exercise is for the body. The spine is thought to be the origin of energy and the place where you will feel energy's flow, so the flexibility of the spine is of the utmost importance. Many physical practices will include exercises to maximize spinal flexibility as well as help you become aware of your spine, activate the energy within it, and allow it to flow.
The purpose of different poses during Kundalini yoga is to allow your body to unlock, thereby unlocking the mind and accessing your awareness and energy. The main goal is to awaken the Kundalini, but in order to do so, it requires dedication to meditation, awareness, and becoming totally desireless, as Kundalini can be awakened only when one rises above impurities.