I’ve been meaning to write here for a while about one of my favourite yoga practices “Kundalini”. This practice just makes me light up on all levels, it enables me to connect on a very deep level with my soul. I considerate it to be a very deep spiritual practice. It’s “the yoga of awareness,” it helps to open my heart more, as well as build strength and release the energy blockages within my body.
It’s about time I shared my experience of this wonderful practice with you. I’ll be honest I use to be a little put off by this practice, well a little fearful you could say as I’d heard from many that it was a little out there. But like all things, you have to try it for yourself!
Last year I started attending some classes at the beautiful KM Yoga studio in Bondi Junction and let’s just say I started to get a little hooked. When life got busy and I couldn’t get myself to a class, I was logging on to yogaglo and taking an online kundalini class.
Then I started attending Sadhana practice at KM on a Saturday mornings and in these 2.5hr-3hr weekly morning sessions I was starting to see some big shifts. Sadhana means to practice something as a discipline, in order to learn from it, and make it a regular life habit. During these early hours from 5am-8:00 I was getting in touch with myself and my ego on a very deep level. You could say it was similar to that of a self-evaluation. The “veil” of the ego (limited self) is thinnest at this time of the day and so we can mindfully observe all the negative habits that tend to lead us away from health, balance, strength, wholeness and higher consciousness. During these morning sessions sometimes I would cry uncontrollably not understanding why and where it came from and then other times I would just smile and laugh.
I started to understand and see just how powerful this practice was; from the mantras, powerful breathing exercises, meditations and the postures. On the morning of my wedding I even got up and did a set of kundalini mantras (which I bout to this day helped me to remain relaxed and present). Since arriving back to Sydney after my wedding, I started attending regular weekly classes with the incredible teacher Kathryn McCluskar along with some other amazing teachers at KM.
We then decided to move to Bronte in April and there just happened to be an amazing Kundalini teacher Patty Kikos teaching a Monday evening class not far from my home (this was a sign – I was finding Kundalini and it was finding me) which I’m also attending. When the student is ready, the teacher appears!
This practice has had such a positive impact on my life that I’ve decided to sign up for the Kundalini teacher training in November. I’m getting a very strong calling for this one so I’ve decided to take the leap and go for it.
The Sanskrit word, kundalini, means coiled, like a snake.
Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1968. In 1970 he completed his first teacher’s training and the Kundalini Research Institute was formed in 1971 and went on to formalize the certification and training of teachers internationally. It’s considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yoga, covering the eight limbs of yoga.
What’s Kundalini, you ask?
Kundalini is a type of energy that sits dormant in the first chakra, at the base of the spine. It’s the energy, the life force and also known as the chi, prana, and shakti. The more Kundalini you have, the more alive and awake you are. Kundalini is an energy that exists in everyone’s body, usually in a dormant and inactive state. Meaning most people never feel it and never know it is there.
In the physical world, our bodies run on various fuels such as food, liquids, and oxygen. But we don’t just have our physical body; this is only part of what we really are. There is also a subtle physical body, also known as the aura, which as we learn to meditate we can gain more direct awareness of.
At the subtle level, think of Kundalini as the fuel which keeps our subtle bodies running. Just as we need food and water for our physical body to survive, we also need Kundalini to survive at the subtle level. We all have a certain amount of Kundalini flowing through our subtle bodies.
As I’ve mentioned kundalini energy resides at the base of the spine, in the first chakra, and in the process of living some of it will be brought up to higher level chakras to fuel our lives. When we meditate, we are trying to do this on a conscious level so that instead of getting just a minimal level of Kundalini, we feel its power flowing through us.
How does it feel when the Kundalini is flowing?
When the kundalini is flowing, you just feel better about life. You have more energy; you are happier, you are healthier, get sick less often, and you just tend to see the bright and beautiful side of everything. It like you’re fully awake and seeing and feeling life at a more intense level instead of being largely emotionless to it.
What can you expect from a class?
Kundalini has the power to release and unlock obstacles and barriers within ourselves.
No two classes are the same! You can expect to see some or all of the below from a class.
- Each class begins with an opening chant.
- Each class finishes with a deep meditation and a closing chant.
- Powerful breathing techniques (specifically “breath of fire”, where air is sucked in and out rhythmically).
- Chanting mantras.
- You can expect to move, dance and really let go.
- Set of exercises known as kriyas.
Are you new to Kundalini?
Kundalini is much different than other forms of yoga. You can expect to dance, jump, hold poses for a long length of time, and breathe deeply and repeatedly – no two classes are ever the same! I think it is a great practice for beginners as it has the option to push you out of your comfort zone as well as offering the ability to go at your own pace.
I encourage you to give it a shot if you haven’t already. I cannot recommend enough the beautiful KM Yoga studio (it’s such a divine space with beautiful energy) along with all the amazing teachers such as Kathryn and of course the lovely Patty’s classes which are held at Sukha Muka Studio in Bronte.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on Kundalini if you practice or have tried it out?
Perhaps I’ll see you soon on the mat one day soon.
Be kind, be courageous, be yourself.
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