What is Kundalini? The question is best answered by experience, of course. In our Speaking of Kundalini column each month, we intend to cultivate a better understanding of the practice so that you will be encouraged to practice Kundalini Yoga and experience the benefits.
Kundalini uses postures (asana), movement, breath (prana), mudra, a hand seal, mantra, the sound current, locks (bandha) and meditation to awaken and ignite your true potential.
“Just as all rivers end up in the ocean, all yoga ends up raising the Kundalini. What is Kundalini? It is the creative potential of the human being.” –Yogi Bhajan, who was the primary teacher of this practice in the West from the 1960’s until his death in 2004
Drawing Energy Up the Spine
This energy is symbolized by a serpent, and is said to lay dormant at the base of the spine. It is stimulated by specific sequences of postures and breath work, called kriyas, and various meditations. These sets balance the glandular and nervous systems and your aura, among other benefits, and are the reason a Kundalini class can look so different from a Hatha class. The goals are much the same, but the emphasis is different.
One of the most common breath practices in Kundalini is called Breath of Fire. It is used alone or in combination with various postures. Breath of Fire is a powerful tool for raising your awareness, and you will want to become familiar with it for the purposes of practice.
The best way to learn this breath is with a qualified Kundalini Yoga teacher.
However, click here for a quick tutorial. Experiment with 1-3 minutes in Breath of Fire if you are new to the practice, or 3-7 minutes if you have some experience. Let us know what your think!