Thanks to celebrities like Russell Brand, Kate Hudson and Madonna, Kundalini has gone from being an expert yoga practice to a mainstream phenomenon.
So, what exactly is Kundalini Yoga? Kundalini Yoga is a blend of Bhakti Yoga (the yogic practice of devotion and chanting), Raja Yoga (the practice of mediation/mental and physical control) and Shakti Yoga, (for the expression of power and energy).
A well-taught Kundalini Yoga class leaves people feeling like they’ve gone to therapy, had an awesome workout in the gym and sung their heart out with friends.
The exact origin of Kundalini Yoga is unknown, but the earliest known mention dates to the sacred Vedic collection of writings known as the Upanishads (c. 1,000 B.C. – 500 B.C.). Historical records indicate that Kundalini was a science of energy and spiritual philosophy before the physical practice was developed.
For thousands of years, the science behind Kundalini was kept a secret, passed down by generations of teachers and gurus. Teaching Kundalini outside of the secret Indian society was almost unheard of. However, the practice was brought to the Western World in the 1960s by Yogi Bhajan.
Kundalini is the term for “a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine”, conceptualized as a coiled-up serpent. The practice of Kundalini yoga is supposed to awaken the sleeping Kundalini Shakti from its coiled base through the 6 chakras, and penetrate the 7th chakra, or crown.
The practice of kriyas and meditations in Kundalini Yoga is designed to raise complete body awareness to prepare the body, nervous system, and mind to handle the energy of Kundalini rising.
The majority of the physical postures focus on navel activity, activity of the spine, and selective body pressure points. Breathwork and the application of bandhas (3 yogic locks) help to release, move and control the flow of Kundalini energy throughout the body and various energy centres/ chakras.
The most common breath used in Kundalini Yoga is Long Deep Breathing, where you breathe slow and deep in and out through the nose by expanding the stomach out on the inhale and contracting the stomach in on the exhale.
Every meditation and kriya has a specific breath and posture to help generate or release specific energy. One of the most common and loved breathwork practices in Kundalini Yoga is Breath of Fire.
Breath of fire is performed by breathing quickly through the nose by pumping your stomach to create oxygen in your blood and charge your electromagnetic field.
In Bondi, Soul Flow Yoga in Bondi Junction has daily yoga classes.
This studio offers several forms of yoga, including Kundalini, and is a great way to try out the practice with other like-minded people, without having to think too much.
The practice can also be done from home using videos on Youtube or specialist apps such as Bloom.
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