Kundalini Yoga looks back on a long and sometimes even mysterious history, as this ancient and experiential yoga tradition has been passed on over thousands of years to only a few students in Northern India.
However, this has changed in recent years. Today Kundalini Yoga is called the holistic Yoga of consciousness because besides physical and meditation exercises it also opens access to lifestyle teachings that are meant to help you to master the daily demands of everyday life even better. The focus is more on spiritual aspects than on physical fitness, for example.
Kundalini Yoga – History and Background
For many thousands of years, the teachings of the ancient experiential science from Northern India were reserved exclusively for students who were selected explicitly by the gurus of this yoga tradition to learn more about this holistic yoga teaching.
It was not until 1969 that the Sikh Yogi Bhajan decided to reveal the background of Kundalini Yoga, as he believed that in the face of an unbalanced world, people need some support to cope with the external pressures and demands of modern times. Kundalini Yoga was the perfect solution for him, so he headed west to teach interested students in California.
Mostly “hippies” could identify themselves at that time in the US Sunshine State with the extraordinary yoga teachings of the guru, which opened new horizons and therefore is still today regarded as a kind of support in difficult situations in life.
This unique experience succeeds by harmonizing body, mind and soul, combining physical and meditation exercises with healing techniques, yogic massages and nutrition and lifestyle teachings. The martial art Gatka also plays a role in Kundalini Yoga as well as extensive group meditations. The yoga style is, therefore, also called holistic teaching that encompasses all areas of life and is intended to provide omnipresent support.
Yoga of Consciousness: Goals and Benefits
Kundalini Yoga should primarily appeal to people who are in the middle of life and want to approach everyday problems or social pressure more calmly. Body, soul and spirit are brought into harmony through exercises and meditations.
The so-called Kundalini – a resting force at the base of the spine – is gradually brought to life through a holistic self-training to achieve a connection between body and mind.
This is achieved through calm and dynamic holding exercises as well as meditations, which are held to mantra music and bring the life energies to flow. The Kundalini disciple benefits from a kind of everyday awakening and can perceive situations more consciously and to deal with his ego as well as with other people better.
The yoga teaching is, therefore, extraordinarily effect-oriented and perfectly tailored to everyday life. The same applies to the exercises that characterize Kundalini Yoga. These can sometimes be done every day and still show a significant effect.
This makes the North Indian teaching also quite interesting for beginners or students of all ages, as well as for yogis in different health conditions. Especially in cases of mental stress or tensions based on mental problems or even physical ailments, Kundalini Yoga has proven to be a suitable alternative in the last decades to harmonize body and soul.
During Kundalini Yoga, the so-called seven power centres of the body are opened. By opening and balancing the centres with each other, a connection to a creative source of energy is established to be able to recognize one’s ego and to achieve more consciousness.
Typical Aspects of The Kundalini Yoga Teaching
Kundalini Yoga takes up differently firm exercise sequences, which can be sometimes also quite time-consuming and are nevertheless characterized by their everyday life suitability.
A start into the day with breathing exercises and posture exercises in the morning is therefore quite advisable and useful to prepare for the upcoming challenges. Sometimes even rather amusing snoring exercises or breathing exercises are part of the routine, in which the teacher sometimes asks you to pant like a dog during the yoga session.
But also very traditional and classical elements characterize this teaching. For example, it is often customary to hold the yoga class in white clothing. This has a positive effect on the individual energy field. In general, however, you can, of course, also do the Kundalini exercises in ordinary feel-good sportswear because the well-being is always in the foreground.
Also, the turban has a long tradition within the Kundalini teachings and is worn until today while doing the exercises. The same is true for the sheepskin on the floor, which is ideal because of the many activities performed in a sitting position.
Kundalini classes follow versatile approaches and exercises to open the heart, to optimize digestion or to overcome fears or mental conflicts. This succeeds through targeted and practice breathing exercises, as well as through a subsequent meditation and deep relaxation.
Kundalini Yoga is a teaching that should appeal to you primarily if your interest in spiritual experience is more significant than in getting into physical shape through Yoga. Even people who are struggling with mental problems find this yoga variation a very effective method to work on their issues in everyday life and thus expand their consciousness.