WHAT IS KUNDALINI YOGA?
Reclaiming the Ancient Practice
of Kundalini Yoga
Caveat and Important Information
Kundalini Yoga has been a part of my life since 1997 and in 2016 I became certified to teach this modality of Yoga. Like many Yogic lineages and other Guru led exercise and meditation systems, there is a dark side. This is important to be aware of and I urge everyone that chooses to practice this yoga in a way that serves them best.
A book was published in 2019 that unveiled disturbing truths; the man who proclaimed to bring this lineage to the West was a sexual predator and had abused countless women and children as well as committing a list of other atrocities. After learning of this information and the massive cover up that had continued for years by the empire he created, I stopped completely. It was a very difficult period as this yoga was such a huge part of my life. Over time I began to learn that aspects of this yoga were cultish and I had become fully enmeshed in this cult.
It has taken me sometime to come to terms in reclaiming my practice with this yoga and researching where the postures and mantras originated. Kundalini Yoga is an ancient practice from India that blends together Hatha and Rag yoga. It is my intention through my own study of the Ancient lessons that I may eliminate the legacy of the man who claimed to be the "inventor". This has come with a sense of my own empowerment and ackowldgemnet of a victim mentality I had succumb to after learning of this horrific deception. After taking so much from so many, I will not allow him to take a practice that serves me.
I honour everyone's process in how they feel towards practicing this Yoga. If you chose not to engage in the exercises presented, that is completely your choice and right. I have though, thoroughly pulled out pieces that I feel are safe and disconnected to the organization in the west that has promoted this yoga.
There are many that deny that the brave victims that came forward are lying. I do not believe this and trust them fully. If me including this yoga in this program upsets anyone, I am sorry. I mean no ill intent but do feel that me re engaging in parts of Kundalini yoga that can be substantiated as credibly coming from India, are very beneficial to my wellbeing and to those I teach.
What Is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is described as the Yoga of Awareness or Householders’ Yoga, accessible to all. It is a powerful variety of yoga that rewires neurotransmitters in the brain working on not only the physical body but also the nervous, endocrine and glandular systems.
Although various forms of Kundalini Yoga have promoted the worshipping of a guru, the work we will be doing together is meant to allow you to experience that guru within; accessing your own inner power and knowingness to support you on your journey.
A large focus within the practice is the drishti or eye-gaze during meditations and postures (asanas). When the eye gaze is focused behind closed lids between the eyebrows (third eye), a pressure builds in the limbic region of the brain, activating the pituitary and pineal master glands. This works to regulate the whole body and increases serotonin and other neurochemical levels to bring a calming, happy, peace to the mind. Through regulating hormones and the glandular system, Kundalini yoga strengthens, heals and changes the brain, body and the way we respond to stresses in our lives.
Another fascinating component of Kundalini yoga is its ability to remove emotional blocks within the body. As life goes on, traumatic and stressful moments we experience become lodged within our bodies. Without opportunities for safe and healthy release, these memories and ways we develop to cope in the world slowly become a part of our personality. Although we may have needed these coping mechanisms at one or multiple times in our life, often they become a source of pain because they no longer serve the purpose they once did. For instance, maybe you were bullied as a child and now find yourself on guard and ready to attack when provoked, when in reality the threat is no longer with you. Perhaps as a child you were scolded or even physically reprimanded by your parents for being “too loud” or “acting out” and this has created a deep-seated fear within you to speak up for yourself in the world. Maybe this stifling of your voice and spirit has even created a thyroid condition or goitre?
These emotions in the body are real and may eventually manifest into physical ailments. By bringing mindful awareness to the body and facilitating somatic release through postures, mantra and meditation, we are invited to let go of these parts that no longer serve us and hold us back from living life to our fullest potential. In this way, Kundalini Yoga can bring about strong releases of emotion that help to clear the subtle bodies that sustain and support our soul’s path.
Meditations, I invite you to experience the profound healing that all these modalities offer. No artistic expertise is needed and there is never any pressure to fold like a pretzel or push yourself beyond what is safe for your own body. Honoring and listening to your body and allowing space for feelings and messages to arise are all that is required for you to step into a new way of being in the world.
- Kundalini Yoga works on the nervous, glandular and endocrine systems of the body.
- By stressing the body physically when we are in control, we develop the capacity to regulate our responses to stress when situations and life around us appear to be out of control.
- We use various eye gazes, physical movements and mudras or hand postures to stimulate meridians or nadis in the body for a desired effect
- The postures in Kundalini yoga follow specific sequences to create an intentional outcome.
- The idea is that we are raising the energy of the Kundalini which rests in the base of the spine, allowing that energy to move through the spinal column and all 7 chakras for a feeling of deep healing, ecstasy and peace.
- Energy stored in the body often and usually stems from emotional upsets and traumas in life. Because we are moving and healing this energy, Kundalini yoga can often bring up emotions. This is normal, invited and a safe space to release uncomfortable feelings in.