Kundalini yoga is an ancient practice that combines physical poses, deep meditation, pranayama breathing exercises and chanting to awaken the energy of the Kundalini, which is said to be wound, like a snake, at the base of the spine. This style of yoga was first introduced to the Western world in the late 70s by Yogi Bhajan and is composed of three main aspects: bhakti yoga (the practice of devotion), Raja yoga (the practice of meditation, mental power and control) and Shakti yoga (the ultimate expression of power). A typical Kundalini yoga class includes a series of poses that involve movement, breathing techniques, mindfulness and a mantra. In between poses, you'll have a minute or two to relax and focus on your inner self.
After the whole series, there is relaxation followed by meditation and then a mantra before the class ends. The meditations in Kundalini Yoga have liberating and healing results. During meditation, you may feel fully awake, uplifted and moved by the energy you are releasing or creating. Kundalini yoga meditations are practiced at specific lengths to achieve different results.
A 3-minute meditation affects the electromagnetic field and blood circulation in the body, while an 11-minute meditation begins to alter the body's nervous and glandular systems. A 31-minute meditation affects all the cells, the rhythms of the body and clears the subconscious mind. Kundalini Yoga draws energy from the base of the spine upwards, to the ceiling of the crown and out so that energy can flow and create balance in the energy centers and chakras. Practicing Kundalini yoga regularly increases the production of serotonin (the happiness hormone) in the brain, resulting in faster metabolism, better mood, and reduced stress levels.
If Kundalini is something that has aroused your interest, but you have no idea where to start, here are some of the basic concepts of popular practice. I also talk a little bit about how to get this ancient practice of tantric yoga out of the yoga mat so that you can experience its benefits in your daily life. However, some authorities in the Kundalini yoga community still encourage interested people to continue with this style of yoga even if they reject its guru.