Ravi Singh & Ana Brett
is an energy which is in everyone. It exists as a catalyst for the natural
state of grace we were born to embody. Kundalini Yoga is a technology
whereby this energy can be gracefully accessed. This system helps us compensate
for the stresses of life so we can be healthy, happy, and fulfilled.
Kundalini Yoga is a dynamic system combining breathing, movement, stretching
meditation, the use of sound and rhythm, relaxation and meditation. Each
class usually entails spine and flexibility warm-ups, a specific sequence
for the energy or day at hand, and a relaxation and meditation. There
are literally thousands of exercise sets and meditations in this system.
Kundalini, from the Sanskrit, meaning coiled-up, refers to a latent force
in us which is the catalyst for all forms of self-healing, higher cognition,
and creative genius. Although labels differ, spiritual methodologies from
many cultures recognize and revere this same energy of Spirit.
In Kundalini Yoga we want to proceed with the realization that our true
strength comes from within. We want to go beyond muscular strength alone,
to faith in the flow of spirit. In light of this, breakthroughs become
a way of life. Kundalini Yoga recognizes that a strong nervous system,
and healthy glandular system, are pre-requisites to live a life of celebration
discipline and radiance.
The whole philosophic underpinning of Kundalini Yoga can be expressed
in two little words: "Keep Up!" In the context of any exercise,
when the going gets tough, and we make a conscious decision to keep up,
we become more than we were and turn our life around.
In fact, each exercise in Kundalini Yoga is our life in microcosm. As
a Teacher, I've seen a direct correlation between how a person relates
to each exercise and how they live their lives. If we can make keeping
up a habit, then the next time we have a deadline to meet at work, or
our softball team is playing for the championship, we'll have the confidence
of knowing we have the resources to excel.
Kundalini Yoga saw its most complete fruition in India. The great river
of these teachings is the confluence of three streams:
Nath tradition stressed the technology of the sacred (yoga).
*The Sant tradition -focused on reverence
for the guru or Teacher. (in the Kundalini Yoga tradition, the Guru is
considered to be a vibratory effect, the flow of the Teachings themselves,
not the transmitter.)
*The Bhakti tradition celebrated an ecstatic
and fiery devotion to the Beloved, in this tradition, reverence for the
Name (i.e. mantras expressing the qualities and virtues of God. "God
and God's Name are the same.")
To increase one's understanding of the historic precedents of Kundalini
Yoga it is important to research the tenets of Sikhism and the lives and
writings of the 10 Sikh Gurus.
As mirrored by that lineage, Kundalini Yoga blends the life of the householder
with the ascetic sensibility of the exclusive yogi, the discipline of
the soldier with the compassion and vision of the Saint. Enlightenment
is to have the humility to serve, the majesty to inspire and courage and
consciousness to put one's body on the line to be Divine.
Kundalini Yoga was first taught in the West by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., who
in 1969, recognized that the young people in America, who were experimenting
with drugs and alternative lifestyles, needed something tangible to quench
their inner thirst. His decision to teach Kundalini Yoga was somewhat
momentous, because it had never been taught openly before.
Yogi Bhajan contends that in this time of great transition and transformation
(which many are calling the onset of the Aquarian age) every person has
an inherent birthright to be healthy and happy, and the means towards
the realization of this is within each of us.BASIC COMPONENTS OF KUNDALINI
In Kundalini Yoga breathing is considered to be an energy delivery system,
a conveyance for prana or life force. Yogi Bhajan calls breathing the "Tender charge of the Divine." Kundalini Yoga utilizes the science
of breath in an incredibly sophisticated way.
Each Kundalini Yoga exercise has a specific breath associated with it.
The most commonly used breaths in this system are Long Deep Breathing,
Breath of Fire , Segmented Breathing and Rhythmic Breathing in conjunction
Each of these breaths has specific benefits which deepen and accelerate
the effects of each exercise. For instance some of the claims for Breath
of Fire (also know as Maha Agni Pranayam) a somewhat rapid, rhythmic breath
through the nose are:
* Its rhythmic aspect creates a harmonic resonance among all systems and
organs which synchronizes the internal workings of the body and mind.
* It oxygenates the blood and purifies the lungs
* It remagnetizes the cells thus insulating the practitioner from the
effects of electro-magnetic pollution
* It creates an optimum brain wave balance
* On the energy level it engenders benefits in one minute which would've
taken up to an hour with normal breathing.
In Kundalini Yoga breathing is also used to work through holding patterns
in the musculature as well as blocks in the psyche.
Breath and Movement
Kundalini Yoga often uses movement in conjunction with breathing to create
a very powerful dynamic. Most exercises are done for 1 - 3 minutes but
can last up to 11 minutes.
The word mudra means position or attitude .and relates to hand or body
poses held during exercises or meditations. It should be understood that
these particular configurations are more than symbolic. They create specific
circuits in the nervous system, increase blood flow to, and stimulate
certain areas of the brain, and activate energy flows.
In Kundalini Yoga we want to raise the frequency of the energy we garner,
so that the self-healing process can be enhanced. We also seek to clear
our minds of deep-seated stress, which lessens our effectiveness and ability
to seek and find fulfillment in life. To accomplish these tasks we use
what's called a mantra. Mantras are sounds or groupings of sounds with
a pre-determined vibratory effect.
The Science of Sequence
In Kundalini Yoga we garner an effect greater than the sum of the parts.
Any exercise or set which fulfills this requirement is called a kriya.
The literal meaning of the word kriya is completed action.
Each set in Kundalini Yoga works on many levels simultaneously, and has
been formulated with the recognition of the working relationship between
the various energy systems that comprise us. Kundalini Yoga sees the body/mind
as a holographic construct, meaning that each part contains the whole.
These are focuses of energy which correspond to nerve plexi or glands.
Each chakra has a specific quality or frequency which relates to aspects
of our personality and predilections. Kundalini Yoga transforms us by
insuring free flow of energy through the chakras. The ideal is to match
any circumstance with the most appropriate and effective action. In one
sense, Kundalini Yoga equates enlightenment with a consistent standard
THE PROCESS OF KUNDALINI
Kundalini is the energy which delivers us to our higher potential. This
process is gradual and graceful. There are checks and balances built into
this system. Accordingly, we never gain access to more energy than we
can accommodate and integrate at any given time in our development.
Beginners may experience mild phenomena such as light-headedness, or a
slight trembling in some of the postures we do. These are part of an initial
cleansing and balancing, as the mental and physical toxins of the past
Sometimes people mistake this initial clearing for the experience of Kundalini
itself. The true experience of Spirit needs no interpretation. One awakens
to the true implications of his/her existence and life becomes a smorgasbord
of beautiful and powerful options.
So, the ultimate purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to attain and maintain higher
consciousness. This is not something you go after once and then rest easy.
It's an exercise that lasts a lifetime. Accordingly we place a lot of
emphasis on the importance of Sadhana which means daily discipline.
In Kundalini Yoga we encourage students to tune in to their bodies and
not do more than they're ready for. By the same token, we encourage people
to do more than they thought they could. Thus the whole philosophic underpinning
of this system can be expressed in 2 words: Keep Up!