I practiced yoga for 15 years before I found Kundalini Yoga. When I did it transformed my life. My yoga practice prior to Kundalini suffered from a lack of depth at best. I found it useful to calm. I found it useful to stretch. But that was about it.
Kundalini took me straight into the center of my soul and I always felt, especially in the early days, that when I sat down I may to practice Kundalini Yoga, I was sitting down with my soul.
The transformations that occurred touched upon every aspect of my life and excluded nothing. Blessings poured in, I lit up energetically, I found myself living in a state of Grace I couldn’t quite explain, my relationships changed, my health improved, I experienced amazing healing with mantra. The list goes on...
And although it’s starting to get more play, it’s still a relatively unknown form of yoga. Some of that might be due to practices many find odd such as wearing head coverings, dressing in white and chanting. While the head coverings and white are totally optional, you can’t escape a Kundalini practice without chanting — and if you really knew what it could do for you, you wouldn’t want to!
As the potency of this practice starts to be better known there are a lot of people interested in practicing, but there are not classes in all areas. While I still think it’s best to practice with a teacher in person when you can, there are definitely other options.
When I first started to practice KY myself there were only a couple of classes a week in the area. That just wasn’t enough for me. I fell hard and I wanted to do it everyday, so almost immediately, I began a home practice elf my own. And you can too.
The next best to getting to a live class is taking one online. At least then you can get some instruction and familiarize with the format of the practice. There are several excellent options for online Kundalini Classes.
Check out the many resources for free (and paid).
Kundalini Yoga classes online:
- Mantras + Miracles!!! Yes, we do Kundalini Yoga classes. You can check for any upcoming courses HERE.
- Jai Dev Singh
- Guru Rattana
- Lastly, you can always check YouTube and Vimeo (just google Kundalini Yoga class and you’re sure to find some)
Kundalini Yoga terms to familiarize yourself with before you start:
- Tune in — A chant done at the beginning of every yoga practice. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.
- Kriya — the set or combination of exercises, meditations and mantras given to us by Yogi Bhajan. The kriyas are written like prescriptive recipes and meant to be done exactly as written.
- Mantra — Sacred sounds used to activate the glandular system and clean the subconscious
- Sat Nam — the most frequently used mantra in the KY practice. It is pronounced Sat (like but) Nam (like mom). It means “truth is my identity”.
- Root lock or mulabhanda or Mul Bhand — an energetic seal at the base of the body created by pulling up and in with the muscles of the sex organs, perineum and rectum. The lower belly pulls straight back towards the spine. Hold, lift and draw the energy from the base of the spine up. It feels similar to a kegel exercise.
The essentials for a home Kundalini Yoga practice:
- You don’t need any equipment for a Kundalini Practice. Just give yourself some quiet space and something comfortable to sit on like a blanket or yoga mat.
- Before you begin, tune in with the Adi Shakti mantra — Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. Read more about that HERE.
- Pick a kriya. There are literally thousands. The Library of Teachings is an excellent source because you can actually set it up to lead you through the practice. You have to have an account, but it’s free.
- When doing a kriya on your own, do NOT change the kriya, other than cutting the times. Do not take out or add anything. Do not skip the parts you don’t like! If you need to cut the times, cut the times only portpotinately for the entire kriya. For example, if you cut one part of the kriya by 1/2, cut all of the other parts by 1/2 as well.
- Modify the postures as needed. Always be mindful, responsible and kind to your body.
- Familiarize yourself with exceptions for certain conditions such as: Do not retain the breath in if you have high blood pressure. Do not retain the breath out if you have low blood pressure If you are pregnant or on your moon cycle (menstural cycle), skip breath of fire and Mul Bhand.
- If you are practicing a mantra, find an audio recording of it so that you can pronounce it correctly. There is a HUGE library of mantras on Spirit Voyage’s Mantrapedia found HERE. A good resources so that you can really hear the pronunciation, and not just the musicality is Mantras of the Master. You can buy that HERE.
- A head covering is optional. The idea behind it is that by wearing one you are protecting the crown of the head. This center is also called the tenth gate or the crown chakra and can open during meditation. The covering gives it a little protection. If you tie a full turban, you are also giving yourself a cranial adjustment. Putting the hair into a rishi knot at the top of the head and then covering it draws the energy of the Kundalini up the spine. If you are curious, try it and see how it feels for you.
- When you are finished, close your practice by bringing your hands together in prayer pose at the heart center and chant 1-3 long Sat Nam’s.
Certainly you’ll run across a lot more than this can cover as you delve into your practice — which is why it’s best to get into a class. But it will get you started!
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Intro to Kundalini video