Kundalini yoga is a transformative practice that combines physical movement, breathwork, meditation, and chanting to awaken the dormant spiritual energy within. Derived from ancient Tantric teachings, Kundalini Yoga has become popular for its holistic approach to wellbeing and self-awareness.
This article delves into the essence of kundalini yoga and understands some key poses to unravel its benefits. We will also offer practical tips to include this enlightening practice into your daily routine.
What is kundalini yoga?
Kundalini yoga is an ancient practice of techniques to awaken and channel the dormant spiritual energy, known as kundalini, within each individual. Rooted in the philosophical teachings of Tantra, this yoga form aims to create a profound connection between mind, body, and soul.
Kundalini yoga emphasizes the awakening of the energy centers, or chakras, through dynamic physical postures, controlled breathwork, meditation, and chanting. Unlike other yoga styles, kundalini yoga seeks to tap into the limitless potential of the human spirit and encourages practitioners to explore their inner consciousness. It helps foster self-awareness and spiritual growth. 
What are the poses for kundalini yoga?
In kundalini yoga, the practice focuses on what are known as “kriyas” instead of the traditional yoga poses. A kriya is a specific set of exercises that combine postures, movements, breathwork, and sometimes chanting or meditation to achieve a particular outcome. Let’s look at them in detail.
- Breath of fire
It is a rapid and rhythmic breath that helps invigorate the body and purify the respiratory system. It’s a great technique for generating heat and energy, making it an excellent way to start your session.
- Sat kriya
It is a potent kriya that involves chanting the mantra “Sat Nam” while alternately pulling the navel in and releasing it. This dynamic combination of movement and sound stimulates the flow of kundalini energy and helps balance the chakras.
- Cat-cow stretch
It is common in other styles of yoga. This gentle spinal flexing and extending exercise promotes flexibility and energy flow along the spine.
- Spinal twists
For a more profound twist and detoxification, kundalini yoga includes Spinal Twists. You can practice this in seated or standing positions. These twists massage the spine and internal organs.
- Stretch pose
You lie on your back and lift your legs, shoulders, and head off the ground, engaging the core and abdominal muscles. It helps strengthen the body and stimulate the digestive system.
- Cobra pose
It is a classic backbend also embraced in kundalini yoga. You open your heart center as you arch your back and lift your chest. It’s a pose that can empower and uplift your spirit.
- Archer pose
It is a standing posture that builds focus, strength, and determination. It involves a dynamic stance with one leg forward and the other back, as if ready to draw an arrow from a bow. This pose helps bring balance to the mind and encourages mental clarity.
What are the benefits of kundalini yoga?
Kundalini yoga offers the following benefits that extend beyond the physical aspect of the practice. 
- Awaken and balance the flow of kundalini energy within the body
The awakened power can traverse through the chakras, or energy centers, promoting a harmonious and balanced state of being. As a result, practitioners often report increased levels of vitality and improved mental clarity.
- Positive impact on the nervous system
Combining physical postures, breathwork, and meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety. Besides promoting a calmer state of mind, it can improve sleep patterns and mental wellbeing.
- Strengthen the immune system
The dynamic movements and breathwork stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic flow. It supports the body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Profound effect on psychological health
Various meditative practices and mantra chanting help practitioners gain better control over their emotions and experience a more uplifted mood.
- Sense of connection
Participating in group classes or workshops can create a supportive and uplifting environment where individuals can share their experiences and grow together on their spiritual journey.
- Encourages self-reflection
Practitioners can explore their inner selves and better understand their thoughts and behaviors. The heightened self-awareness can lead to personal growth and the ability to make more conscious choices in daily life.
How to do kundalini yoga?
Here are some essential steps to help you get started with this practice.
- Set up your space
Create a dedicated space for your practice that is free from distractions. Lay out a yoga mat, and consider adding some sacred objects or items that hold personal significance to enhance the ambiance of your practice area.
Before diving into the kriyas, warm up your body for a few moments. You can gently stretch your muscles or do a few rounds of deep breathing to prepare yourself.
- Choose a kriya
Kundalini yoga offers various kriyas, each designed to address specific aspects of your wellbeing. Depending on your needs and intentions, choose a kriya that resonates with you. It could be a kriya for energy, stress relief, or emotional balance.
- Follow the instructions
Once you’ve selected a kriya, follow the instructions provided by your instructor or from a reliable source. Kundalini yoga kriyas often involve a combination of postures, breathwork, chanting, and meditation. Pay attention to the correct alignment and engage fully in each aspect of the practice.
- Breathe consciously
Conscious breathwork is a fundamental aspect of this yoga. Focus on your breath throughout your practice, allowing it to be profound, rhythmic, and synchronized with the movements. The Breath of Fire is a common breath technique used in Kundalini Yoga to invigorate the body and energize the mind.
- Honor your limits
Kundalini yoga can be an intense and powerful practice. It is essential to listen to your body and respect your limits. If a particular posture or exercise feels uncomfortable or painful, modify it to suit your comfort level.
- Practice regularly
Like any yoga practice, consistency is vital to experiencing the full benefits of this yoga. Aim to practice regularly, even if it’s for a short duration. A consistent practice will deepen your connection with the kundalini energy and facilitate your progress on the spiritual path.
- End with relaxation and meditation
After completing your kriya, take a few moments to relax in the corpse pose (shavasana) and allow your body to integrate the effects of the practice. Follow this with meditation or a few minutes of stillness to cultivate inner peace.
1. What is kundalini awakening?
Kundalini awakening is the process where the dormant spiritual energy, called kundalini, rises from the base of the spine and ascends through the energy centers (chakras) along the spine. It leads to heightened spiritual experiences and self-realization.
2. What is kundalini chakra?
The Kundalini chakra is the energy center or focal point along the spine through which the kundalini energy ascends. There are seven main chakras, where each one has specific attributes.
3. What is kundalini shakti?
Kundalini shakti, also known simply as shakti, is the feminine cosmic energy and divine force within every individual. It is often the dormant serpent coiled at the base of the spine.
4. What does kundalini mean?
The term “kundalini” originates from Sanskrit and means “coiled snake” or “coiled energy.” It refers to the primal spiritual energy lying dormant at the base of the spine until awakened.
5. What are kundalini awakening symptoms?
Kundalini awakening symptoms can vary significantly from person to person. Common experiences include intense energy sensations, spontaneous movements, altered states of consciousness, emotional upheavals, and increased sensitivity to energy.
6. What is kundalini meditation?
Kundalini meditation is a practice of specific techniques to awaken and channel the kundalini energy within oneself. It includes breathwork, mantra chanting, visualization, and focused attention on the chakras to facilitate spiritual growth and self-awareness.
7. How to awaken kundalini?
Awakening Kundalini should be approached with caution and under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Kundalini yoga, meditation, pranayama (breathwork), and other spiritual practices can help initiate the awakening process. Cultivating a solid foundation of physical, mental, and emotional balance is essential before attempting to awaken kundalini energy.
Kundalini yoga offers a profound path to self-discovery and spiritual growth. Through its unique combination of physical postures, breathwork, meditation, and mantra chanting, this ancient practice helps awaken the dormant kundalini energy. The approach fosters a deeper connection between mind, body, and spirit.
Regularly practicing kundalini yoga under the guidance of a qualified instructor will help you experience many benefits, including increased vitality and reduced stress. As you delve into kundalini yoga, approach the practice respectfully and patiently. Honor your body’s limits while remaining open to the profound changes that can occur.
The information provided here is not intended to replace professional advice or treatment.
- Awakening of Kundalini through Yoga. January 2007