By Beth Kiley Kinder (Sat Siri Kaur)
Many people ask, “What is Kundalini Yoga?” Let me start off by saying that the purpose of all yoga is to raise the kundalini. Kundalini is said to be the spiritual energy of a human being.
The word, “kundalini,” is literally translated as “lock of the hair of the beloved,” and kundalini energy is said to reside at the base of the spine. Kundalini Yoga is an ancient technology, thousands of years old – four or five thousand years old. It is not a religion; it is a technology. In Kundalini class we use breath, mantra, posture, asana, and meditation in very specific ways in order to feel the energy and power of our own human being.
In class we work through sets of exercises called “kriyas.” There are thousands of kriyas, and each one focuses on a particular aspect of our human body – for instance, spine, glandular system, solar plexus, detoxificaton of the spleen or liver, etc. Through these kriyas we learn to master our minds and overcome our pre-conceptions of our limitations.
Until very recently, Kundalini Yoga technology was kept secret. Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the West and taught it to anyone who was interested. He trained his students to be teachers because he saw that this culture needed the technology of Kundalini Yoga.
Anyone can come to Kundalini Yoga class. The person who has never done yoga before can come. Kundalini Yoga classes are designed to serve both the first-time student and the Kundalini Yoga adept. Kundalini Yoga will meet you at your own level.
Here’s what happens in a Kundalini Yoga class. First we tune in with the mantra, “Ong namo, Guru Dev namo.” Next we do some warm-up stretches and breath work and exercises suitable to prepare us for the kriya we will be doing. Then we do the kriya. After the kriya, we have a sweet and long relaxation. Following the relaxation, we will do a meditation, and then close up the class with a song, “Long Time Sun.”
Kundalini Yoga class leaves students with a strong sense of themselves, of their dignity, grace, and nobility as a human being. Our immune systems are strengthened, and our consciousness is attuned. Kundalini Yoga also helps us pay attention to our intuition.
Everyone has had the experience of saying to themselves, “I knew that! Why didn’t I listen to myself?” Well, Kundalini Yoga helps us listen to ourselves.
Please come and try a Kundalini Yoga class. Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of experience. Come and experience the beauty of your own soul. Give it a try!