KUNDALINI YOGA

 

 

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yog, encompassing the eight limbs of yoga into a singular practice of excellence and ecstasy. “Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” This poetic metaphor alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, and enables us to merge with – or “yoke” – the universal Self. Fusing individual and universal consciousness creates a divine union, called “yoga.” The Upanishads, dating back to the fifth century B.C., describe the kundalini, although the oral tradition reaches back even further into history. For thousands of years, this sacred science and technology was veiled in secrecy, passed along verbally from master to chosen disciple.

What is YOGA?
An adventure in Consciousness
The word “yoga” comes from the word “yoke” to join together or to unite. Yoga is the union of the individual’s unit consciousness with the infinite consciousness.

 What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is also known as the Yoga of Awareness; its focus is on self-awareness and delivering an experience of your highest consciousness. The technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is a science of the mind and body, to elevate the spirit, which has no boundaries, no discrimination. Therefore it is for everyone, universal and nondenominational. 
 
In the ancient tradition that is yoga, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is a householder path; that is, it has always been practiced by those with families and jobs as opposed to a renunciate’s path of celibacy and removal from society, which was the usual path of a yogi.

What is the focus of Kundalini Yoga? What is the primary objective of the practice?
The primary objective is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.
 
The focus of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is on one’s personal experience and awareness through the practice of kriya and naad. We awaken the kundalini in order to be able to call upon the full potential of the nervous and glandular systems and to balance the subtle system of chakras and meridians within the body. “Kriya” is an orchestrated pattern of movements, sound, pranayam, mudras, concentration and meditation that automatically guide the energies of the body and the mind to a specific result or change of consciousness. 
 
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan does not rely on any one of these techniques per se, although we use many. Instead, it is the unique and tested syntax, within the structure of each kriya as shared by Yogi Bhajan, which provides steady, predictable progress and which leverages these basic functions of the body and the mind to create rapid, sustainable, personal growth and healing. In this tradition, meditation is not considered separate from asana or yoga; it is integral to the practice. The exercises in the kriya bring the body and mind to a state where deep meditation is easily achieved.

Our fundamental objective is to awaken the power of the individual to excel—to experience their Infinity and fulfill their personal destiny.

Understand the Power
Two precautions: you must practice Neck Lock. Pull the neck straight in, keeping the spine and neck absolutely straight, with no bend of the neck. If you do not apply this lock in meditation, you do not naturally regulate the shifts in subtle and physical circulation. A sudden flood of energy can overstimulate the nerves and other cells of the brain to expand their activity.

Mulbandh (Root Lock)
Mulbandh is one of the most complex of the three body locks and definitely one of my favorites, it really moves a lot of energy and in Kundalini yoga it is very important to learn how to use these muscles. To activate mulbandha, exhale and engage the pelvic floor, drawing it upwards towards your navel. If you don’t know how to access the pelvic floor, think of it as the space between the pubic bone and the tailbone. Initially you may need to contract and hold the muscles around the anus and genitals, but really what you want is to isolate and draw up the perineum, which is between the anus and genitals. Do not hold your breath. Engaging mulbandha while doing yoga poses can give the postures an extra lift. This is especially useful when jumping.

The key function is the achieving of the prana and apana at the navel center. The mulbandh redirects the apana from its normal course down the first Chakra. There it joins the downward flow of pranic energy at the navel.

Spinal Flex (Posture Description)
To start, come sitting comfortably on the ground, ideally in 'sukhasan' easy pose. If this is not easy for you, put a folded blanket or lift under you hips, or sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, spine straight.

Locate your navel, it is about 1-2 inches below your belly button, this is where you want the movement to start from.  Bring your hands on you shins, or if on a chair, your thighs. Draw your navel back towards the spine as you exhale, rocking back off the sit bones, stretching back.  On the inhale, use your navel to rock up onto the sit bones, anchor your pelvis, and keep your lower back elongated and stable. 
Use the MulBandh to dynamically root your sit bones to the floor so your chest can naturally rise up and expand with the forward flex.  As the chest rises and the breath expands the ribcage, the flex takes you into Jalandar bandh(neck lock), the back of your neck elongates, chin draws back slightly.

Second, when you do yoga, please, remember you are moving energy which is the lifeforce of the atom. You can therefore well understand what you are doing.

Frequently asked Questions

What is Breath of Fire?
Breath of Fire is one of the foundational breath techniques used in the practice of Kundalini yoga. It goes with many postures and it is extremely beneficial. It is important to master this breath and once you learn it, it will become automatic.

Breath of Fire is powered from the navel point and solar plexus. To exhale, the air is expelled powerfully through the nose, by pressing the navel point and solar plexus back towards the spine. This should feel automatic if you contract the diaphragm rapidly. To inhale, the upper abdominal muscles relax, the diaphragm extends down, and the breath seems to come in as part of relaxation rather than through effort. The chest stays relaxed and slightly lifted throughout the breathing cycle. It is important to equalize the inhale and exhale, speed should be equal.

One of the main benefits of breath of fire is to release toxins; it also expands the lung capacity and increases vital strength.

There are restrictions for doing breath of fire which is only while pregnant and menstruating

Kundalini Yoga has three characteristics. It gives us:

  • leverage – the power to change, to make a difference in our lives.
  • legacy – a complete integrity in its own structure, beyond an individual
  • lineage – a history and line of transmission, brought to us from which launch and share with others

 

What is a KRYA?
 Kriyas are a set of Kundalini Yoga exercises which are done in a particular sequence and work on a specific theme (such as the immune system, willpower, particular chakra, abdominals, etc).  In some cases a kriya can be just a single, powerful Kundalini Yoga exercise.

What is a MUDRA?
A gesture or position, usually of the hands, that locks and guides energy flow and reflexes to the brain. By curling, crossing, stretching and touching the fingers and hands, we can talk to the body and mind as each area of the hand reflexes to a certain part of the mind or body. (In each mudra, exert enough pressure to feel the flow of energy through the "nadis" (psychic channels) up the arms but not enough to whiten fingertips). (taken from best-selling book - Transitions to a Heart Centered World - Guru Rattana, Ph.D.)

Some commonly used mudras are:


Guyan Mudra

GUYAN MUDRA: The tip of the thumb touches the tip of the index finger, stimulating knowledge and ability. The index finger is symbolized by Jupiter, and the thumb represents the ego. Guyan Mudra imparts receptivity & calm.

ACTIVE GUYAN MUDRA: The first joint of the index finger is bent under the first joint of the thumb, imparting active knowledge.

Active Guyan Mudra

Shuni Mudra

SHUNI MUDRA: Tip of middle finger (symbolized by Saturn) touches the tip of the thumb, giving patience.

SURYA or RAVI MUDRA: Tip of the ring finger (symbolized by Uranus or the Sun) touches the tip of the thumb, giving energy, health and intuition.

Surya Mudra

Buddhi Mudra

BUDDHI MUDRA: Tip of little finger (Mercury) touches tip of thumb for clear and intuitive communication.

VENUS LOCK: Interlace fingers with left little finger on the bottom, with the right index finger on top for men and the left for women. The Venus mounds at the base of the thumbs are pressed together channeling sensuality and sexuality, and glandular balance, helping to focus and concentrate.
JUPITER MUDRA: (below right). With the two index fingers together, the power of Jupiter, or good luck and expansion is activated. Together they focus your energy to break through barriers.


Venus Lock (M)

Venus Lock (F)

Venus Lock

PRAYER MUDRA: Palms are pressed together, neutralizing and balancing yin & yang, for centering.

Prayer Mudra

Bear Grip

BEAR GRIP: Left palm faces out from body with thumb down, and right palm faces body, thumb up, and fingers are curled and hooked together to stimulate the heart and intensify concentration.

BUDDHA MUDRA: Right hand rests on left for men, left on right for women, palms up, thumbs tips touching each other in a receptive gesture.

 

What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of creating transformation through repetition.  The word “mantra” is derived from two Sanskrit words.  The first is “manas” or “mind,” which provides the “man” syllable.  The second syllable is drawn from the Sanskrit word “trai” meaning to “free from.”  Therefore, the word mantra in its most literal sense means “to free from the mind.”  Mantra is, at its core, a tool used to free you from the wanderings of your mind.
The science of mantra is based on the knowledge that sound is a form of energy having structure, power, and a definite predictable effect on the chakras and the human psyche.  In Kundalini Yoga, mantras elevate or modify consciousness through their meaning and rhythmical repetition.

7 Kundalini Yoga Postures to Clear the

 

Chakras

 

“Men of great knowledge actually found out about the chakras – their workings, their petals, their sounds, their infinity, their co-relationship, their powers.  They found that the life of a human is totally based on these chakras.  They developed into a whole science.  This total science gave birth to Kundalini Yoga.  That is how Kundalini Yoga was born.” – Yogi Bhajan

The human body is a complex system encompassing vast energy systems that are not immediately perceptible with our limited eyes.  The chakras are energy vortices powered by prana, or life force.  By clearing the energy blocks from our chakras, we allow the Kundalini energy to rise up through us, invigorating and uplifting our minds and bodies to new heights.

Asanas, or postures, are positions of the body used to activate and direct energy to open both a physical and an energetic position in the body.  When using Kundalini yoga to clear the chakras, asana are useful to open pranic flow.

Please know that in Kundalini Yoga, we do not compete with each other. We are all in different levels (physically, mentally and spiritually) do the best you can, know your limits and respect and cherish your own process. Some postures take time to learn. 

1)  First Chakra, the Root Chakra (Muladhara):  Foundations, fear, survival.

Asana:  Crow Pose- Begin in a standing position. Squat down. Knees and feet are wide apart, with heels flat on the ground.

2) Second Chakra, the Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana):  Creation, desire, relationships

Asana:  Frog Pose- Keep the heels together and the fingers on the ground.  Inhale through the nose as you straighten your knees; exhale through the nose as you squat down.

3) Third Chakra, the Solar Plexus (Manipura):   Will, action

Asana: Stretch Pose- Lift the head and the feet six inches off the ground.  Bring the arms up, palms facing.  Stare at the toes.  Do breath of fire.

4) Fourth Chakra, the Heart Chakra (Anahata):  Love

Asana:  Camel Pose- If full camel pose is too much of a stretch for you, place your hands in the small of your back for support and arch backwards with your head.

5) Fifth Chakra, the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha):   Communication

Asana:  Cobra Pose- Lie on the ground, hands under the shoulders, palms flat on ground.  Push up, lifting the heart and letting the head follow, keeping the pelvis on the ground.  If this is too much of a stretch, try Sphinx pose, keeping your elbows on the ground as you arch your head back.

6) Sixth Chakra, the Third Eye (Ajna):   Intuition, Wisdom

Asana: Guru Pranam- Sit on the heels.  Bring the torso over the thighs and place the forehead on the ground.  Extend the hands in front of you on the ground in prayer.

7) Seventh Chakra, the Crown Chakra (Sahasrara):   Transcendence, The Seat of the Soul

Asana: Sat Kriya- Sit on the heels.  Stretch the arms over the head with elbows straight, hugging the ears.  Interlace all fingers except the index finger, which you extend.  Men cross the right thumb over the left; women cross the left thumb over the right.  Chant “Sat nam” at a constant rhythm.  As you chant “Sat” pull in the navel; as you chant “nam” release the navel.  Draw the energy up the spine. Eyes closed.  (3-31 minutes)

Sat Kriya is a complete Kundalini yoga workout for all of the chakras.  It is an amazing and powerful practice, complete and entire in one asana and mudra.  Doing Sat Kriya everyday for 40 days will have a profound effect on the function of your chakras.  It specifically works on waking up the Kundalini energy and helping it move up your spine through your chakra system.

No chakra stands alone; the chakra system is holistic and interrelated.  You cannot work on one chakra with Kundalini Yoga without addressing the needs of the rest.  The Lower Triangle (the first, second and third chakras) deals with elimination, while the Upper Triangle (fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras) focuses on accumulation.  They meet at the fourth chakra, the heart chakra, an essential point of balance between these forces.

There is another kriya that uses Sat Kriya to work specifically on each chakra called Sat Kriya for the Chakras. This wonderful kriya lets you do variations of Sat Kriya in asanas specifically affecting each chakra.  It helps to clear the body for the rise of Kundalini energy.

Kundalini Yoga – The Choice is Yours

Kundalini Yoga presents us with an image of the human being; an individual who has a core a shining soul, with consciousness that is luminous and which carries experiences of God. That soul is shrouded in our personal karmas. The karmas are a result of our choices and attachments and come from actions that are not done in the carefree service and rhythm of the totality of consciousness. The karmas have come from fear and from identifying with the finite self and ego.

Because you have a will which has freedom, you make choices and are allowed to get as shrouded and dirty as you like. Out of compassion you always have some opportunity to be shaken and awaken by a teacher or teaching. You may stay for the shaking or you may choose to run and create more commotion for yourself. All teachings lead to the same realization and awakening of your potential. But some shaking is efficient and fast, and others are very slow.

Kundalini Yoga, and the psyche that teaches it, is direct and royal. Those who have the blessing to practice it and teach it choose to stand before the crystal if their consciousness, under a great pressure washer-to remove the clouds of the past acts-in order to reside now in the timeless beauty of the soul.

EVERYONE has the core potential. So, everyone is capable of Kundalini Yoga. But their own past choices may limit them and make such transformations of the self inappropriate for them.

Those who choose to learn about this science, already have the momentum with in them to be given a choice to move toward higher consciousness.

Sat Nam

 

 

 

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For more information please contact us at info@ybcreations.com

 

 

We invite you to enthusiastically approach your yoga practice. However, we encourage you to use care when determining your own ability to do the exercises offered in these classes. Do not aggravate an existing injury. If you are in doubt as to whether yoga would be recommended if you have a particular injury or condition, please consult your health care professional.

The instruction and advice presented at this Kundalini class is not meant to be used lieu of professional medical or psychological care for the treatment of any condition.

There are certain limitations to the practice of yoga for pregnant and menstruating women. Please ask the instructor.