HOW DOES ONE DESCRIBE KUNDALINI YOGA?
In the past, I would have described kundalini yoga as my most intense ‘love hate’ relationship, but in the last decade, it has been one of the greatest loves of my life.
Kundalini yoga will really help you positively transform your life in the most profound way, but in order to do so, you must be ready to work through those energetic and physical blocks, as well as look at the shadow side of your personality, and when I first embarked on my spiritual journey, I initially found this to be very confronting.
And while I admire the bikini clad yogi who posts pics of themselves contorting into pretzels on Instagram – that’s not really what yoga is for me. I want something that is easily accessible, that I can do from anywhere in the world, and that can provide a holistic upgrade to my body, mind, heart and soul.
HOW IS KUNDALINI YOGA DIFFERENT FROM HATHA VINYASA YOGA?
Breath is always specified and deliberate in a Kundalini yoga class
Postures are designed to stimulate glandular functioning and build nerve strength
Mudras stimulate pressure points affecting the mind and the distribution of energy through the body
Mantras are a sound current which tunes and controls mental vibration
Bandhas are applied to help release blocks.
A drishti (or a focus) is integral in each Kundalini Yoga class as it balances the hemispheres of the brain.
ANGLES AND TRIANGLES
Through kundalini yoga, I have discovered the power of angles and triangles (in the way I hold postures) and the power that they have in balancing my glandular system and strengthening my nervous system.
The Master of kundalini yoga, Yogi Bhajan says: “Kundalini Yoga is a science of angles and triangles’ Every angle we hold our body in has a corresponding effect because the muscles are putting pressure on specific parts of the body.”
Legs & Angles -Lifting the legs:
10 degrees affects sex glands & reproductive organs, 30 degrees affects the kidneys – navel area, 60 degrees affects the heart, lungs stomach, 90 degrees affects the head, memory, pineal and pituitary
Arms & Angles
Sitting – arms Horizontal (parallel to the ground):
Works on Brain – L&R, strengthens the nervous system, Releases crystals in the shoulders
Sitting – arms 60 degrees off the horizontal:
Works on the heart and lungs, strengthens the heart, adjusts and strengthens the aura
HOW FAST IS FAST & WHEN DID TIME BECOME SO IMPORTANT?
In a world where we demand instant gratification as consumers (hello MacDonald’s and more recently the unprecedented long queue at my local coffee shop. If we’re gracious, we want it now, but if we’re feeling ‘hangry’, we want it yesterday and if our internet is down and we can’t access Wi-Fi, well some relationship experts claim that’s when you’re likely gonna see a potential suitor’s true colours..
One of the things I love most about kundalini yoga is that it is jam packed full of goodies + resources that can change my state of mind in as little as 3 minutes.
• In 3 minutes, you affect your circulation and blood chemistry.
• In 11 minutes the pituitary gland and the nerves start to learn and change.
• In 22 minutes your three minds (negative, positive, and neutral) start to work together so your mental integration changes.
• 31 minutes affects your whole mind and your aura, and the 31 tattwas are balanced.
• 37 ½ minutes reflects from the whole aura to Infinity and back, stimulating the perception of Naad—the inner sound.
• In 62 minutes your “shadow mind” and your positive projection are integrated.
• 2 ½ hours completes the cycle of prana and apana so what you gain will hold through the cycle of the day. It holds change in the subconscious.
According to online kundalini yoga hub http://3ho.org , “Every single kriya or meditation in Kundalini Yoga changes us in very specific ways. If you practice a kriya a few times, you receive a wonderful benefit. But if you want to permanently change your habits, and realize the full effects of the kriya, this is what you can do:
40 Days: Practice every day for 40 days straight. This will break any negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the kriya or mantra.
90 Days: Practice every day for 90 days straight. This will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious minds based on the effect of the kriya or mantra. It will change you in a very deep way.
120 Days: Practice every day for 120 days straight. This will confirm the new habit of consciousness created by the kriya or mantra. The positive benefits of the kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.
1000 Days: Practice every day for 1000 days straight. This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.
Remember, a habit is a subconscious chain reaction between the mind, the glandular system and the nervous system. We develop habits at a very young age. Some of them serve our highest destiny. Some of them do not. By doing a 40, 90, 120 or 1000 day special sadhana, you can rewire that chain reaction. You can develop new, deeply ingrained habits that serve your highest good”.
WE PRACTICE WITH OUR EYES CLOSED & AT OUR OWN PACE
The fact that we practice with our eyes closed eliminates any predisposition for competition. I don’t care if you’re a Lululemon clad brand ambassador. Nor do I care that you can effortlessly do the splits or hold you arms above your head without your face contorting in pain and your body shaking involuntarily, because I aint looking at you.
The inner rebel in me doesn’t always want to go as fast as the teachers instructions, neither does my premenstrual body. My own pace is determined by where I’m at in THAT moment. Not what I was doing last week and no where I want to go later that night.
The practice of kundalini yoga teaches me to be present in a way that can initially be confronting, but over time morphs into a comforting, loving embrace. As a teacher, I absolutely LOVE using this technology as a tool to help my students open up to their capacity to heal and transform, primarily because this means that it’s a yoga practice that is open to all levels, ages and personality types.
THE POWER OF YOUR BREATH
HOW did I not know that this was a powerful source of transformation? Who knew that this thing called breathing wasn’t some vague in and out thing-y that happened of it’s own accord?
The rate and rhythm of the breath are intimately connected to our mental & emotional states. Just as the emotions and the mind cause the breath to vary, by consciously controlling the breath, we gain control over our mind and our emotions. Slowing down our breath for instance, calms our mind and cools our emotions.
Your rate of breathing and state of mind are inseparable. Using your full yogic breath and adding mantra reprograms your whole cellular memory which is one of the reasons that Kundalini Yoga is so powerful.
Oh no my friend. It’s much more than that – MUCH more than that. By consciously directing the flow of our breath, not only are we transporting life force, vitamins, minerals and ______ to our vital organs, but we are also transforming the way we think AND the way we feel.
Through the power of kundalini yoga breath or pranayama techniques, we are literally reprogramming our cellular memory, emotions and thoughts. “If there is anything divine in you, it’s your breath” Yogi Bhajan.
And whoever did the PR for yogic meditations and made us all believe that we were supposed to sit in full lotus for hours on end in complete silence did kundalini yoga a huge injustice!
Meditations are vast as they are victorious. Sometimes they’re silent, sometimes, they include a mantra (either vocal or internal). Sometimes they include a transformative breath pattern – sometimes all of the above, and get this, sometimes, we even have our eyes open as we move and dance!
MANTRAS & SOUND CURRENTS – THE POWER IS *IN* YOU!
Mantras change our constitution. In addition to setting vibrations in motion, when chanting Kundalini Yoga mantras, we stimulate the 84 meridian points on the roof of the mouth. By stimulating these pressure points on the upper palate in a particular sequence, we increase the secretion of the hypothalamus gland and bring about a change in the combination of our brain cells.
As we literally affect the chemistry of the brain, its as though we have a computerized system in our mouth – punch in the right code to that upper palate and you gain entry into your brain and the inner chambers of your higher consciousness!
Using basic sounds with rhythm penetrates the mind and redirects the flow of thoughts to allow something new to come in, such as thoughts that break our normal, narrow, confines and fears in order to elevate our consciousness or state of awareness (our kundalini).