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Definition, Historical past, and Cautions • Yoga Fundamentals

Kundalini yoga was coined, created and popularized in 1968 by Yogi Bhajan. He described the intent of his educating to be a “wholesome, completely happy, holy” (3HO) lifestyle. He taught his American college students easy methods to awaken their internal religious power by means of mantra chanting, breath work, and yoga poses. This apply and life-style shortly caught on with many Westerners who had been looking for a brand new method to spirituality, well being, and wellness. Whereas Kundalini yoga flourished in the course of the lifetime of Yogi Bhajan, new accounts have surfaced after his demise that reveal a darkish and disturbing previous.

What’s kundalini?

The Sanskrit time period kundalini means “coiled serpent” and refers back to the divine power that lies dormant contained in the human physique. This vibrant power is contained under the foundation chakra, situated between the anus and genitals. It normally stays dormant and nonetheless, however there are particular Tantra Yoga and Hatha Yoga methods that can be utilized to activate this power. As soon as activated, it then rises from and travels upward. It strikes by means of the susumna, the central power channel within the middle of the backbone, by means of the seven chakras, till it reaches the crown chakra, the place it turns into united with the divine consciousness.

Activating kundalini creates an final state of bliss. But with out satisfactory preparation, releasing this coiled-up serpent power can result in catastrophe. The discharge of such a robust supply of pranic power into the physique’s delicate techniques may cause ache and, in uncommon circumstances, result in psychological instability. Earlier than kundalini is activated and launched upwards, the physique and thoughts should be ready by means of hatha yoga workout routines, accomplished in a particular order.

Throughout an activation, one can expertise antagonistic results as kundalini strikes by means of the physique and the nervous system adjusts to this dramatic enhance of psychic power. Subsequently, it’s not suggested to activate kundalini with out the steering of a certified trainer and help of a religious group.

What’s kundalini yoga?

The Kundalini Yoga apply created by Yogi Bhajan combines respiratory workout routines, yoga postures, repetitive motion, meditation, mantra chanting and different Hatha Yoga and Sikh methods to awaken the physique’s kundalini power.

Within the Hatha Yoga custom, Kundalini is slowly woke up by the apply of asanas (postures), pranayama (respiratory methods), meditation, and bandhas (power locks). These practices put together us to soundly expertise the ability of kundalini. Additionally they assist us to know the delicate nature of the chakras (power facilities) throughout the physique. They need to be practiced slowly and progressively over time to construct up a yogi’s internal power and consciousness to handle and include these excessive ranges of life pressure power.

How is kundalini completely different from different kinds of yoga?

Kundalini yoga lessons embrace most of the similar postures as different types of yoga, however these are principally the seated poses which deal with spinal workout routines and repetitive actions. It additionally focuses extra on the esoteric and energizing features than different kinds of yoga. Meditation, mantra, pranayama and visualization are emphasised over alignment and the opposite bodily features of Hatha Yoga.

You will notice devoted practitioners carrying white garments in a kundalini class and utilizing sheepskins as an alternative or on high of yoga mats. They imagine carrying white will broaden their aura and venture optimistic power out into the world. Kundalini yogis may additionally put on turbans or different head coverings as a solution to focus their power on the third eye or sixth chakra middle. These should not required, however are used to represent the devotion to the apply and to strengthen the group.

Historical past of kundalini yoga

Yogi Bhajan promoted his teachings as a secret custom from an historical lineage that he had publicly revealed for the primary time. It’s now understood that he made up this fashion of yoga from a fusion of two completely different traditions. The asanas and respiratory workout routines had been derived from his research with an Indian hatha yoga trainer named Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari. The chanting and devotional practices have their origins within the teachings of the Sikh saint Maharaj Virsa Singh.

Regardless that this was not the “historical yoga apply” he promoted it to be, Yogi Bhajan’s teachings had been an enormous hit in Los Angeles within the early 70s. His educating group shortly grew throughout the US and worldwide, and expanded to over 300 facilities in 35 international locations. This enlargement included the creation of a number of profitable companies and non-profit organizations that had been estimated to be price billions of {dollars} on the time of his demise. He died of issues of coronary heart failure at his house in New Mexico, on October 6, 2004, on the age of 75.

Accusations of abuse

Whereas Yogi Bhajan grew to become a revered trainer and had helped enhance the lives of lots of his followers, there have been many accusations of sexual, verbal, emotional and bodily abuse made after his demise. There have been different stories of drug smuggling, cash laundering, and fraud.

To its credit score, the mum or dad firm, SSSC, commissioned Olive Department, to carry out an unbiased investigation into the claims of abuse, and so they collected and assessed accounts from practically 300 witnesses. Olive Department’s report, launched to the general public in August 2020, concluded that these accusations of abuse “extra probably than not occurred.” Upon information of the report, some academics and trainers have distanced themselves from the group or have stopped training teachings of Yogi Bhajan.

The SSSC created an unbiased therapeutic and reparations program to acknowledge the hurt and assist heal the group. This voluntary program supplies emotional assets and monetary help to serving to “people who skilled hurt in our colleges and youth applications, no matter whether or not the hurt was perpetrated by a employees member or a peer, and those that report sexual abuse by any chief or different individual below institutional management locally. ”

The hazards of kundalini yoga

Many individuals imagine that awakening the kundalini power throughout the physique might be harmful, and that it could possibly trigger you to develop into mentally unstable. Activating this serpent energy power might be achieved safely with the correct approach, trainer and intention.

Activating and stirring up this circulate of power and not using a clear goal or intention can really feel disruptive and result in destructive outcomes. Shortly and forcefully stoking the serpent power in a yoga class can create very robust and uncomfortable reactions. When you start to really feel unbalanced, lightheaded, or emotionally disrupted by this apply, decelerate or cease, take a while to breathe deeply, and see what you’re feeling. Taking time throughout and after the apply shall be essential to combine any new energies that come up.

You need to at all times seek the advice of with an skilled trainer earlier than starting any sort of yoga, particularly kundalini yoga. If you’re involved about its potential results in your psychological well-being, discuss to your physician, counselor, or therapist first.

The advantages of kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga has many bodily and psychological advantages if practiced accurately. The depth of this apply builds resilience, grit, and internal power. Like different kinds of yoga, it could possibly enhance your flexibility, power, endurance, steadiness and coordination.. It reduces stress and anxiousness and improves steadiness and coordination. The apply of Kundalini yoga may also help launch previous patterns and habits and deepen your religious apply.

What to anticipate in a kundalini yoga class

A typical Kundalini yoga class is comprised of three elements: a gap chant (often known as “tuning in”) adopted by a short warm-up to your backbone, a kriya (which is a sequence of postures paired with respiratory methods), and a closing meditation or music.

A typical Kundalini yoga apply begins with a brief chanting session often known as tuning in. After the sequence of postures, there’s a closing meditation or music, the place we deal with stillness and silence.

Lots of the widespread poses are used as kryias. A Kriya combines yoga postures with pranayama, Mudra and bandhas to maneuver power by means of the physique. Many of the widespread kundalini poses are seated positions that concentrate on the backbone. Cobra, Bow and Camel poses are all backbends that open the guts and chest. Spinal flexing in a seated cat cow pose and higher physique actions in different seated positions are quite common.

A number of pranayama practices are used, however the preferred respiratory methods in a kundalini class is breath of fireplace. This focuses on expelling the breath as shortly as attainable whereas nonetheless sustaining management over the inhalation by means of the nostril. This could be a bit difficult for newbies, however the breath of fireplace has many nice advantages so as to add to a yoga apply.



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