What is Kundalini Yoga?


Taken from the book Open your heart with Kundalini Yoga, by Siri Datta

the ages, in every civilization, there has been a hidden pathway, a
secret technology of discovery, which enables the individual to reach
the ultimate potential. This is a technique that has the ability to
elevate, inspire and awaken the individual to their own greatness. That
greatness is within every one of us, and the technology that can do
this is Kundalini Yoga.

As an enthusiastic teacher of
Kundalini Yoga, I am always asked What is it? Is it like Hatha Yoga,
or Ashtanga Yoga? Is it dynamic or static? Are there meditation or
breathing techniques? My answer is always the same: it is all of those
things, and a multitude more.

Yogi Bhajan, the Master of
Kundalini Yoga, now living in New Mexico, has explained that there are
22 major forms of yoga, each one expressing a facet of the whole. A
good way of understanding this is that each different form of yoga is
like the facet of a diamond. The diamond herself is Kundalini Yoga, the
mother of all yogas.

Kundalini Yoga is the most inclusive of all
yoga practices as it includes all aspects of yoga within its teachings.
In this practice there are over 8.4 million kriyas (completed
sequences, or sets). These kriyas are made up of asanas (postures),
pranayama (breathing exercises), mantra (chanting), mudras (hand
gestures), bandhs (body locks) and meditation.

The kriyas are a
blend of dynamic and static postures that deliver a perfect sequence of
energy, tones and feelings played upon the instrument of the body. In
the ancient scriptures it is said that Kundalini Yoga is the fastest
way to create the transformation that the individual is seeking. There
is a certain depth, completeness and timelessness that is inherent in
Kundalini Yoga.

Kundalini Yoga is a legacy. It has been
practised as an exact science by masters in communication with
Infinity, coming directly from the Soul. It is a practice that has been
experienced and handed down through enlightened souls for many
thousands of years. It is said that Christ, Buddha and Moses practised
Kundalini Yoga.

In ancient times it was often taught and passed
down through the line of kings. These Kundalini Yoga masters did not
specifically or personally pass on the knowledge. Rather it is thought
that the teachings were handed down via an authentic lineage of Raj
(Royal) Yogis. Kundalini Yoga knowledge was transmitted through
meditation and altered states. It was this practice that was kept
within the bloodline of royalty. We understand that the very first
transmission of Kundalini Yoga was passed to the Hindu god Shiva, who
in turn passed the knowledge to his consort Parvarti. From the
Bhagavadgita we can understand that Lord Krishna was a keeper of the
teachings, which were then passed to King Janaka, who was an early Raj
Yogi and master of Kundalini Yoga. This was passed on through that
lineage to Guru Ram Das, a Guru of the Sikhs, via the subtle realms.
Guru Ram Das was bestowed the High Throne of Raj Yoga, known as the
Takhat.  The word takhat literally means high throne and is not
specific to any exclusive form of yoga; there are many other takhats.
This meant that he had to pass the technology on with his blessing to
anyone who came along. It was through Guru Ram Das that the teachings
were passed on to Yogi Bhajan. In 1969 Yogi Bhajan took Kundalini Yoga
to the United States, against the wishes of his peers. Until then, it
had always been highly secret and was never practised in public.

Kundalini Yoga has become so popular in the United States the Kundalini
Research Institute (KRI) has been developed. This was founded to
verify, promote, produce and preserve the teachings of Yogi Bhajan,
exactly as they had been passed down.

There is much confusion
surrounding kundalini and Kundalini Yoga. Some experts say that it is
the most potent and powerful way to change consciousness, while others
warn against practising it, or veil the entire teaching in secrecy. Yet
how can something as essential to consciousness as kundalini be feared?
Some people worry about raising the kundalini energy, but teachings
from Yogi Bhajan have dispelled many misrepresentations and myths
surrounding kundalini and his explicit teachings have given researchers
techniques that can be thoroughly tested out. Kundalini Yoga is also
known as the yoga of awareness. Awareness leads to understanding and
understanding gives way to acceptance. When you can accept yourself,
all your limitations fade away. All your fears, insecurities, and
self-belittlement cease to be. In its place are abundance, hope and the
wisdom of your true worth. Kundalini Yoga is so much more than a set of
physical exercises. If genuinely practised, with respect and reverence,
it will change your life.

There is only one way that you can
practise Kundalini Yoga. It is very specific, clearly laid out and it
is practised as it was given, with no alterations. Its path can take
you to many places, whether you wish to achieve enlightenment or to
release parts of yourself that are out of date and do not reflect the
person you wish to be. Kundalini Yoga can also offer an approach for
those who have only limited time to devote to this practice, but who
also deserve the rewards of this priceless gift. The practice is easily
understood and accessible for complete beginners to yoga who have
decided that they need a tool to help them balance out everyday
pressures. This is the yoga for modern humankind. This practice is for
our present-day dilemma: to feel whole and complete while maintaining
our day-to-day responsibilities. Kundalini Yoga is a sacred technology
that is greatly needed at the present time. It is direct, powerful and

It is important to understand that Kundalini Yoga is
concerned with preparing the body for the kundalini energy to rise up
through the Sushmana (the energetic spinal column). The scientific
aspect of Kundalini Yoga is designed to provide you with the experience
of your highest consciousness through the raising of your kundalini.
Kundalini is your latent spiritual potential. Through the practice of
Kundalini Yoga, this psychic nerve centre is awakened; its revelation
is the release of your true potential. For this energy to awaken
safely, body and mind need to be strong and able to deal with this very
powerful change in consciousness. The practice of Kundalini Yoga is the
powerful cleansing of the whole being. Not only do the body and mind
need to be cleansed but also the energetic aspects of ourselves. The
chakras (energy centres) and meridians (energy pathways) need to be
unblocked and activated to allow this new influx of dynamic energy to
flow freely throughout the whole being.

Kundalini and chakra
work are closely linked. The kundalini energy can be depicted as a
serpent, coiled in three and a half turns, sleeping in the Muladhara
(Base, or Root, Chakra), the densest of all the chakras. But please
note that Yogi Bhajan does not support the concept of kundalini as the
coiled serpent, but rather as the blueprint for the full potential of
humankind. Kundalini is known as the spiritual nerve, seated in the
base of the spine, waiting to be awakened. With the practice of
Kundalini Yoga this nerve can be stimulated and start to become
activated as it breaks through the blockage at the Muladhara,
travelling upwards through the Sushmana and piercing every chakra along
the way, until it reaches the Crown, where full enlightenment is

You do not have to charge in with the intention of
raising the kundalini to full enlightenment, although this is the goal
of all forms of yoga. There is a more acceptable, more gentle, way of
introducing you to the sheer potential that is within you, and showing
you how this potential can be released. This method is to gently rouse
or stir the kundalini energy in the Ida and Pingala channels, which
interweave around the Sushmana, every time you embark on a kundalini
kriya. The general pattern of a kundalini kriya is to awaken and build
up the Pranic energy. This is then guided to the relevant area that you
wish to work on. For example, if your digestive system needs working
on, a set to help with decision-making or an emotional state that is
upsetting you might be helpful. By directing the energy to a particular
chakra, organ, or issue in your life, this blockage will be dissolved
and once again you will be back in balance. The negative effects will
harm you no more.

There are over 8.4 million kriyas, all
designed to deal with the day-to-day challenges we face. There are
kriyas for physical issues, such as the digestion, circulation, immune
system (disease resistance), lower back problems, glandular
malfunctions, menopause and sexuality problems. There are also kriyas
for the mind, to clear confusion, addictions, haunting thoughts and
creative blocks. Additionally, there are kriyas to balance the
emotions, to bring about feelings of ecstasy, to dispel fear and
paranoia, to bring about stillness and to attain the empowering ability
to accept and forgive all aspects of your life.

Meditation is
also a very important part of the practice. This allows the body and
mind to process the journey of the kriya. The energy has travelled
along a certain pathway, awakening, dispelling and moving your
energetic bodies. The meditation process is a lesson in inner
awareness. Sometimes the meditation will have a breathing technique to
enable the mind to quieten as you turn inwards into the realm of
feelings and emotions. When this happens you will be able to observe
your thoughts as they come and go. This is the start of the practice
known as becoming the watcher. It is through this method that you
become master of the mind.

At other times there will be a mantra
to accompany the meditation. A mantra is always equipped with a coded
sonic vibration that cuts through the psyche and starts to balance out
areas within that need attention. When there is a mantra, you may find
yourself immersed in the sound. This is the most powerful part of
Kundalini Yoga. The word mantra breaks down into man, which means
mind and tra, which is to vibrate. Therefore, mantra means to
vibrate the mind. This miraculous technique shifts many character
traits and behavioural patterns that keep us suffering. In the chapter
on Mantra (see page 51), I will explain exactly how this sonic science

I would like to close this section by saying that you can
never predict a kundalini class. It is always full of surprises, since
many changes will be going on in all the various people present. There
have been times in my classes when there have been outbursts of
laughter, which is always good fun and I actively encourage it. Yoga is
usually synonymous with seriousness, quiet and solemnity, but this is
not always the case. Laughter is common in my classes. It is, after
all, an explosion of happiness. This usually happens when a painful
emotion or memory has been released. It is also common to find yourself
so immersed in the kriya and the breathing that you surface to find
tears falling down your cheeks. You may not actually be crying, but
tears are falling silently. This is always a very powerful realization
of the many changes that are taking place within you.

When you
experience this, you will find that harmony and balance are restored to
you, and you will feel within an endless supply of energy and
happiness. When you experience this, even for a few brief moments, your
life will not be the same again. The inner light is now switched on,
shining through you, and others will not fail to be drawn towards you.
You will become a beacon for humankind, a touchstone for the truth, and
the living reality of who we really are.

To everyone who embarks
on the path of kundalini, I wish you the greatest journey. May your
path show you the many examples of Divinity that are around you at any
given moment. May you realize the ultimate truth: that only Love can
set you free. Be free, my friend, as it is your birthright.

Be Grateful, BE GREAT and BE FULL Yogi Bhajan

Read more from Siridatta here

Siri Datta

is an International Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer. Author
of Open Your Heart with Kundalini Yoga and the Raw Food and Yoga BIBLE,
Mini Size Me.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/yoga-articles/what-is-kundalini-yoga-483306.html

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