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Kundalini Yoga: What is it?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 395 views

It releases blockages and helps to achieve inner balance: Kundalini Yoga activates the energy in the body and gets it flowing with the help of physical exercises, breathing techniques, mantras and meditation. The yoga style is perfect for anyone who wants to face everyday challenges with more serenity. Read more here.

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is one of the oldest types of yoga. The origins lie in the 15th century. The yoga style is closely linked to the tradition of Sikhism. Behind this is a teaching from India, which represents a synthesis of Hinduism and Islamism.

Characteristic of traditional Kundalini Yoga is that everyone is dressed in white and the teacher wears a turban. In the past, it was primarily reserved for the royal family to practice this style. Only in secret did gurus pass the tradition on to selected disciples. Hatha Yoga was intended for the lower classes.

In the 1960s, the yogi Bhajan brought and popularized Kundalini Yoga to the West. Even back then, he foresaw that the world would become increasingly fast-paced and that the flood of information would throw many people off balance. Yogi Bhajan also called Kundalini Yoga “Yoga of Consciousness”.

The special thing about Kundalini Yoga: The exercises address the entire outer body as well as the mind. The yogi directs his attention inwards and thus follows the exercises exactly. He withdraws his senses (pratyahara) and closes his eyes. This makes it easier for him to keep attention to himself.

Through these mechanisms, the yogi also learns to perceive his own experiences accurately and to react sensitively to his environment. The aim of Kundalini Yoga is to bring body, mind and soul into harmony and to perceive yourself holistically. To do this, it uses two energetic models:

  • the chakra system
  • the system of ten energy bodies

The philosophy behind Kundalini Yoga

The word Kundalini comes from Sanskrit and means something like snake power. The assumption: A snake lies coiled and asleep under the so-called root chakra (Muladhara chakra). A chakra is an energy center in the body. It bundles the streams of energy that flow through people at a specific point.

There are seven different chakras in total, running from the bottom of the spine all the way up to the crown of the head. If they are affected by fears or other negative influences, the chakras can contract and blockages can occur.

The root chakra is located at the bottom of the spine. With various Kundalini Yoga techniques, the Kundalini snake should be awakened there so that it can reach the higher chakras. Since past experiences and subconscious feelings reside in the root chakra, this waking up process can be associated with negative sensations. But it is also a chance for the yogi to develop further.

Kundalini Yoga: That’s behind it!

Energy plays an important role in modern societies. Many people feel stressed and find it difficult to cope with everyday life. Performance requirements are constantly growing, and changes are happening at a very rapid pace. Kundalini Yoga aims to increase people’s energy levels. Yoga understands energy as all those forces that are active in the human system and influence physical, emotional and mental processes.

Yogic philosophy distinguishes between two basic energies:

Prana

Behind it is the energy that permeates the universe on all levels. It is the primal resource, so to speak. It is latent energy that needs an impulse to act. Pranayama, i.e. the conscious control of breathing, is intended to increase the proportion of personal energy.

Kundalini

An action boost for prana is kundalini. She has a creative aspect. All that exists is Kundalini. Prana first gets a direction through Kundalini. When something changes shape, Kundalini is active. This applies to cooking, to building a house or to natural disasters. The ultimate goal of every yoga tradition is to awaken the kundalini.

The different chakras in Kundalini Yoga

A central energetic model that Kundalini Yoga refers to is the chakra system. The main flow of energy in our body is a vertical flow of energy that runs along the spinal cord. Surrounding it are the seven main chakras – from the spine up to the crown of the head. Depending on its location, each chakra influences certain body regions or the corresponding organ functions.

Wurzelchakra (Muladhara Chakra)

It is on the human body at the base of the spine and centers around the rectum, spine and bones. This chakra influences basic trust as well as security and stability. If it is open, someone is firmly in life. If it is blocked, anxiety and nervousness dominate.

Sakralchakra (Svadhistana Chakra)

The sacral chakra is located just below the belly button. It affects feelings, sexuality and creativity. When it’s out of balance, self-doubt and pessimism are typical symptoms. Bladder infections, kidney stones and migraines also occur frequently.

Nabelchakra (Manipura Chakra)

A little above the belly button is this chakra that revolves around assertiveness. When it is open, there is confidence and courage. Shyness and passivity are the consequences when it is blocked. Typical diseases are pancreas and liver malfunctions.

Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)

This chakra is at heart level. Love, empathy and compassion are strong when it is open. If it is underactive, people fear rejection and are often cold or distant.

Kehlkopfchakra (Vishudda Chakra)

The throat chakra is related to communication. It expresses self-expression or the ability to listen. If the flow of energy is disturbed there, it is difficult to speak openly. Introversion is a common consequence. Conditions such as tinnitus or sore throat can also occur.

Stirnchakra (Ajna Chakra)

Our cognition and visualization are related to the brow chakra. It is also between the eyes. People whose brow chakra is open have good intuition. Their ability to concentrate and their imagination are also very strong. If this chakra is blocked, independent thinking is difficult. Typical symptoms are headaches or problems with the eyes.

Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra)

The highest chakra is located on the crown of the head. It has to do with connecting to the spiritual. If it is in balance, the person feels in harmony with the world. If the flow of energy in this area is disturbed, it can happen that he either becomes too inflexible in thinking or tends to think too intellectually. Blockages can result in metabolic disorders in the brain .

Electromagnetic Field (Aura)

Tasks related to the nervous system such as finding one’s purpose in life or distinguishing oneself from other people and stimuli play a role. If things get mixed up, the affected people feel exposed to constant nervous tension and they often react overly sensitively. Your perception: You are unlucky. Characteristics such as a lack of stress resistance or nerve and skin diseases are associated with this.

The ten energy bodies according to Yogi Bhajan

Kundalini Yoga refers to ten energy bodies that represent the powerful faculty of the psyche . Each individual is connected to different forms of body energy and has specific tasks. If they are out of sync, Kundalini Yoga can bring them back into balance. There is a connection between the chakras and energy bodies.

Yogi Bhajan has used the energy body system to create specific exercise sequences or select meditations that have a balancing effect on the human energy system

soul body

The soul body establishes contact with the soul. The key issue is the balance between heart and mind. Typical signs that something has gotten mixed up are the following points:

  1. Feeling of constant exertion
  2. Difficulty leaving past things behind
  3. Constantly circling thoughts
  4. restlessness
  5. Lack of self care
  6. depressions
  7. Burnout
  8. sexual dysfunction
  9. constipation

negative spirit

It is associated with the ability to perceive and correctly assess risks. The negative mind includes the aspect of saying no and the protective function of an alert consciousness. It is therefore also referred to as the “protective mind”.

If bodily signals and feelings are consciously perceived and actions are derived from them, a separation between the physical and the mental-spiritual level can be overcome. If the negative mind is out of balance, the following signs are typical: persistent negativity, bladder infections, migraines or sexual disorders, feelings of guilt and shame.

positive spirit

He is always active when man is looking for chances and ways to solve his problems. The positive spirit is the source of our confidence and humor, which helps us to relax under pressure and bring lightness into our lives.

If this energy body is weakened, there is often a lack of courage to carry out delimiting actions, and a sense of victimization can arise. Negative ways of thinking are often overemphasized. It is also associated with visual disturbances, lower back pain or autoimmune diseases.

neutral spirit

This energy body controls the (up) capacity and the (development) potential of the human being. It represents the ability to observe and decide. Since it is closely connected to our intuition, it enables us to see true reality beyond false identifications and judgements.

When the neutral mind is out of balance, affected individuals can often only think in black and white categories. They also quickly feel like a victim. Typical characteristics are also stubbornness and bossiness.

physical body

The physical body facilitates sensory experience and helps transform it into sensations or thoughts. Its core task is to ensure the balance between the different polarities of human existence time and time again, including in these areas:

  • body (feeling) and mind (thinking)
  • Above (head) and below (feet)
  • Tension and relaxation, movement and rest, activity and passivity

If the physical body is not doing well, this can result in underweight or overweight. Typical complaints are metabolic problems or neck pain. Those affected tend to go from one extreme to the other. People who have restricted energy flow in the physical body are also often prone to language problems.

Bogenlines

The sixth energy body is the balancing field between physical reality and subtle spiritual perception, between rationality and intuition. An imbalance leads to an inner conflict between thinking and feeling. Symptoms of stress or difficulty concentrating can occur. Anxiety or brooding is also a common consequence.

auric body

This energy body corresponds to the electromagnetic field associated with the term aura. The aura serves as a container for the life energy prana. When the energy in the auric body can flow freely, the person has the capacity to rest in their true self and become aware of their spiritual identity. The auric body functions as a protective shield.

If it is weak, we tend to be susceptible to diseases or other negative influences from our environment. A strong auric body keeps stress away and keeps us centered.

pranic body

The flow of life energy is regulated in the pranic body. It transports life energy into the organs and represents the subtle stream of measurable nerve impulses. They transmit pain or well-being. There is an interaction between the respiratory flow and the brain. If the pranic body gets mixed up, it can lead to exaggerated fears – possibly from the feeling of not having enough strength to face the challenges of life.

Victims often resort to stimulants. Also, a common result is shallow breathing, which creates even more tension. When someone is impulsive and hasty, they are not good at retaining energy, which also indicates a weakened pranic balance.

Subtle body

It can be described as the survival bubble of the soul, encompassing it like a shell or atmosphere. All of our spiritual experiences are stored in it, and it is also the bearer of our spiritual hereditary disposition, talents and insights. This energy body represents our ability to bring things to completion. If he is poorly cared for, this has an effect, for example, on naivety or gullibility.

However, it can also lead to rude behavior or aggressive communication. Digestive problems, which are triggered by overly critical, overly analytical thinking, are also common.

emanation body

This energy body traces the extent and outline of our consciousness. It can be assigned to the wisdom body and enables knowledge, wisdom, higher insight and intuition. If there is an imbalance here, it shows, among other things, in a fickle nature, because he is afraid of conflicts or fears of not being recognized. Affected people often wear nondescript clothing and adapt to their surroundings.

How Kundalini Yoga works

There are more than 20 different forms of Kundalini Yoga. Basically, it is about clearing the energy channels (nadis) so that the energy can flow freely in the body. There are different and fixed series of exercises, they are called Kriyas. They strengthen certain bodily functions. Mental processes are also influenced by it. Which sets come into question depends on which blockages are present. For example, there are kriyas specifically for the back or for trouble falling asleep.

Elements that appear again and again in Kundalini Yoga are fire breathing and the expression “Sat Nam”, which means “true I”, which summarizes the goal of Kundalini Yoga. Meditations, asanas (postures) and bandhas are also integral parts of Kundalini Yoga. A bandha is the contraction of certain muscles in the body to hold and control the energy in the body. This allows the energy flow to be optimized.

The Impact of Kundalini Yoga

The exercises in Kundalini Yoga have a massage-like effect. They have a stimulating effect on certain body zones, which in turn act as reflex points for various organs. In addition, the type of yoga has the following effects:

  • Sharper perception and improved concentration and comprehension
  • Greater sensitivity to one’s own well-being and a better body feeling, which requires a more realistic assessment of one’s own capacity and early countermeasures in the event of imminent overload.
  • Activation and strengthening of all body systems (heart, circulatory, nervous, immune, lymphatic and glandular systems) Strength in terms of muscle building, stamina, flexibility and willpower
  • Emotional balance and relaxed handling of everyday challenges

For whom Kundalini Yoga is suitable

Kundalini Yoga is perfect for anyone who wants to face the challenges of everyday life and feel in harmony with themselves. Spirituality, relaxation and concentration play a major role. There is no age limit for Kundalini Yoga. The postures are uncomplicated. Children can also learn to deal with problematic situations in a less stressful way.

Where Kundalini Yoga is offered

Since Kundalini Yoga is very popular, it is offered in many yoga studios throughout Germany. There are also multi-day workshops and retreats around the world.

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