Have you ever heard of Kundalini Yoga?
I haven’t. To tell you the truth, I thought Kundalini Yoga was just a name of the yoga studio I was going to. I had no idea it was an entirely different practice of yoga! It was my first time trying this type of yoga and I am so excited to tell you about it.
You are reading this right now, but I am writing it 10 minutes after the practice ended, Thursday at 1pm* (please see note below). The practice was only 45 minutes long and I figured it would be an ideal time frame for a quick yoga session during lunch time. I haven’t done yoga in months and I had been craving it. So I went to a Kundalini Yoga in the Loop lead by Hari Dev.
What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is the original of the twenty-two schools of yoga and it is called the “mother yoga.” It is also called “awareness yoga” or “consciousness yoga.”
This practice works on your entire nervous and glandular system. It is an effective way to both strengthen and stretch the muscles. The increased flexibility gained through Kundalini Yoga will help prevent injury and avoid pain. It also leads to an understanding of the mind/body connection. The meditations will improve your concentration and focus which improve your ability to function at your best. Finally, Kundalini Yoga leaves you feeling refreshed and attentive after each session indicating a stronger and more balanced immune and nervous system.
(Information taken from a sheet I received in the beginning of class, Shakta Kaur)
How does the practice look like?
The Kundalini Yoga practice overall was a completely different set up than what I’m used to with any other yoga. There are five defined stages in the practice, all of which are different from one another – all of which are very effective to feeling more in touch with yourself.
The class begins with chanting of a mantra three times in order to tune in.
“Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” –
I call upon the Divine Creative wisdom of the Infinite
Then begins the main “kriya” (set of Kundalini Yoga exercises). Each exercise lasts about 3-5 minutes. The kriya rejuvenates a component of the mind/body/spiritual system. It could be a particular muscle group, glandular system, nervous system, organs, or mind. I think we did 4 or 5 exercises and although they seem extremely easy to do if you watch someone do it, they are actually quite challenging. Not everything that looks simple is easy. Some of the exercises also involved chanting.
Deep relaxation follows the kriya. This involved laying down with eyes closed and deeply relaxed. That’s when the gong started being… gonged? It was the most unbelievable sound I’ve heard. I could hardly believe it came from a gong. It was peaceful but also intense. It was full of energy but also serene. The vibrations were felt by your body and my mind was actually visualizing some interesting things during this part to go along with the gong waves.
Meditation follows the relaxation. We did a chanting that was more like singing a song that lead to meditation. I am not a meditation pro, I’ve maybe done it once or twice before but I always want to do it more. This did not even feel like meditation but it flooded me with a lot of feelings, emotions, along with a sense of peace and joy. My eyes actually slightly welled up with tears that I fought back – I wasn’t gonna be this weirdo that cries for no reason. We got to sing along to a beautiful that was just a mantra repeated over and over. It was a beautiful sound and I really enjoyed being able to sing along with it.
The closing ends the class. After loosening the muscles and raising the energy, you begin to project that feeling of vitality to others by closing with a blessing. This blessing was also done in a song and we were able to sing along if we knew the words. I didn’t so I didn’t sing but I listened with my eyes closed.
How I feel after Kundalini Yoga practice?
I feel peaceful. I feel serene. I feel cleansed. It’s amazing. 45 minutes of yoga left me feeling like I just did a hot yoga session for an hour and a half but without the profuse sweating or any preparing or changing afterwards. There was no sweat. There was no hassle. I didn’t even have to put my hair up in a ponytail. My makeup is still intact. But I feel like I am a lot more in touch with my soul. I was going to say universe, but that’s not really it – it’s the soul. I feel it tingling around my body still. It’s a feeling you wouldn’t otherwise feel without the practice, I think.
Note: So this post got lost in the depths of my drafts and I just realized I never published this! Well, this was actually written over half a year ago (!), but the thoughts are still relevant so yeah 😉 Just thought I would share.
Questions for you:
- Have you ever heard of / tried Kundalini Yoga?
- What is your favorite type of yoga?
Let me know in the comments!