What is Kundalini Yoga ?
Kundalini Yoga is a powerful yogic tradition that is thousands of years old yet suited for today’s world, it’s challenges and it’s victories. It combines asana (postures) with pranayam (breath) and mantra (sacred sound). The word yoga means “to yoke, to unite.” Kundalini yoga balances the glandular system, strengthens the nervous system, and brings the mind, body and spirit into balance. Kundalini Yoga is also called the Yoga of Awareness. With regular practice, you become more aware of and live more from your authentic self.
At Yoga West we teach Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. For centuries, Kundalini Yoga was carefully handed down by oral tradition from master to disciple and was always kept secret. It was never taught openly until 1969 when Yogi Bhajan challenged this secrecy and brought it to the West and began teaching publicly. Yoga West is strongly connected with the international Kundalini Yoga community and the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) to serve and share the legacy of Yogi Bhajan. We are dedicated to delivering the Teachings in their pure form, with the integrity befitting sacred Teachings.
A Kundalini Yoga Class
A yoga class is 90 or 75 or 120 minutes and follows this structure:
• Opening chant to tune in
• Breathing exercises / warm-up exercises • Kriya (dynamic yoga set)
We invite you to experience the class with bare feet. Closing your eyes during class will help you stay within and experience the class more intensely.
• It is a good idea to come to class with an empty stomach. Try not to eat approximately 2 hours before class, to give enough time to digest.
• Good idea to drink water before you come to class and bring a bottle of water with you.
• Wear what you are going to be comfortable in. Light clothing that can breathe and is made of natural fabric such as cotton is best, with no constriction around the waist.
• Do not do Kundalini Yoga while under the influence of alcohol, recreational drugs like cannabis or psychedelics.
quick Facts about kundalini yoga
The earliest known origin of Kundalini Yoga mention dates to the sacred Vedic collection of writings known as the Upanishads (c. 1,000 B.C. - 500 B.C.).
Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini to the West in 1969.
It was never taught openly until 1969 when Yogi Bhajan challenged this secrecy and brought it to the West.
Yoga West is strongly connected with the international Kundalini Yoga community and the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) to serve and share the legacy of Yogi Bhajan.
Kundalini literally means "coiled" and is represented by a metaphorical coiled snake at the base of your spine. The purpose of Kundalini practice is to uncoil your snake and release that energy within.
Your teacher will wear (mostly) white clothes and a head covering. White contains all colors; it is all-inclusive and radiant. White clothing and a head covering are a sign of respect for and help to contain and manage the powerful kundalini energy.
Introduction to Kundalini: The Yoga of Awareness by James McCrae