You can either be above the energy of your life, and ride it, or you can be below the energy and it rides you. This is where Kundalini Yoga fits in. It teaches you how to ride the energy. – Yogi Bhajan
KUNDALINI YOGA AS TAUGHT BY YOGI BHAJAN
Kundalini Yoga is the fastest growing style of yoga on the planet right now! This yogic science of awareness and happiness provides clarity of mind, moves energy through the body, making you the most radiant version of yourself! – AND it is a really good workout!
Classes consist of dynamic yoga sets called kriyas, the use of sound and vibration through mantras, and breath control called pranayama, as well as meditation and relaxation, all to awaken more Kundalini energy. Essentially making you feel better and happier.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT KUNDALINI YOGA
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND PURPOSE OF KUNDALINI YOGA?
One of the purposes of Kundalini Yoga is for you to experience your own body’s capacity to create energy. The Kundalini energy is lying at the base of the spine just waiting to be released. When this happen you feel uplifted, happier, and invincible. Ever been in love? When you are in love you feel so energized, you want to do things all the time and nothing can bring you down. This is the sensations that we feel when the Kundalini energy is being released. Kundalini Yoga also works directly with the subconscious mind, helping to release old tensed up emotions, habits and patterns.
WHERE DOES KUNDALINI YOGA COME FROM?
Kundalini Yoga was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in the 1960s, first to California and from there it spread to the rest of the western world. The teachings of Kundalini Yoga had always been hidden, they were never taught publicly before – especially not to women. Yogi Bhajan broke this tradition of silence, taking a great risk in doing so, but as he noted himself “The world is thirsty, and I have water.” He made it his mission in life to deliver as many of the teachings as he possibly could before he passed. We are the first generation that has full and free access to the teachings (many of them accessible online through ‘The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings’).
A lot of the meditations and yoga sets are more than 5000 years old. The yogis of the East have been practicing them for many thousands of years – but always in secrecy. Yogi Bhajan learned them from his teacher, and was declared a master of Kundalini Yoga at the age of 16. He was also taught Hatha Yoga and was a Hatha Yoga master as well, but as he explained himself, it takes 20 years of total dedication to receive from Hatha Yoga, what a healthy person can achieve with a dedicated Kundalini Yoga practice in just 90 days. Kundalini Yoga can help when dealing with many of the problems that we are facing in today’s world. In the 1970s Yogi Bhajan talked about how all the information in the world would be available at just a click of the button, and that we would need these teachings in order to navigate through this age, with its acceleration of technology and the new diseases that are mostly of the mental kinds. He gave us these tools to strengthen ourselves to move towards positivity and light, because the darker magnetic pulls of the planet are increasing. We are so lucky to have access to this technology at a time when the pressure is on us like never before. The demands for what a person should be able to handle is monumental, but with these tools at hands there is no reason why we should not be able to turn this lifetime into a total victory!
WHY IS THE TEACHER WEARING ALL WHITE AND A TURBAN?
Wearing white is said to expand the aura, and the color white contains all the other colors. Yogi Bhajan asked than anyone who teaches Kundalini Yoga wear white in order to better project the teachings to the students without any blocking of the persons magnetic field. The technology of the turban was also requested of Yogi Bhajan, and helps the teacher to stay grounded, as covering the head prevents the energies of the crown chakra from running wild, and it also stimulates these points around the skull called meridians. Maybe you know from your own experience how tying up your hair helps you to concentrate better when you are working on something. The turban works in a similar way, to create concentration and focus.
WHY DOES THE TEACHER NOT DO THE EXERCISES WITH THE CLASS?
If the teacher were to do the exercises with the students who were to look after the students? Kundalini Yoga kriyas are sets that are supposed to be taught accurately. The teacher needs to be focused on keeping time, and keeping the head clear to steer the students safely through the class, and keep the teachings as precise as possible. That is also why the teacher should always bring the manual, or some other write up of the yogasets and meditations, to teach from. It needs to be precise in order to create the effects.
I FEEL DIZZY WHEN I DO THE EXERCISES, WHAT DO I DO? IS IT DANGEROUS?
Dizziness and confusion is not Kundalini energy – it’s not what we are looking for when we practice. In the beginning it is quite unavoidable though to not feel the head spinning when you first learn to do exercises like ‘breath of fire’ or the spinal flexing exercises and twists. Keep a moderate tempo, a steady rhythm and take any breaks necessary when you begin this practice. There is a difference between feeling energy move through the body, which can create tingling and other sensations – and dizziness. If there is an exercise you cannot do, just sit still and focus on the breath and join in again whenever you feel ready. In time you will build up your stamina, and learn the difference between when you feel discomfort that you can push through, and pain. Kundalini Yoga is designed to sometimes make you feel a certain level of discomfort, as it can be necessary in order to push you further into acting from you own full capacity, but you decide when to push through an exercise, and when to sit it out.
WHY CAN’T THE KRIYAS BE ALTERED?
The teachings are what they are, and they work so well as they does, and the outcomes are predictable, because they have not been altered. Altering Kundalini Yoga and you destroy the effects. These methods are tried and tested for thousands of years, and were delivered with this age in mind, so there is no need to alter them in order to “suit our modern needs”. Any attempt in doing so can only come from an egoist point of view, where a person cannot accept them as they are, and feel a need to involve himself in the process, instead of just delivering them as they were intended.
Kundalini Yoga was never intended as a curative system. It is not meant for treating illnesses, so if you do have an injury, and you have already checked with your doctor to see if Kundalini Yoga is okay for you to practice, and you encounter a posture that you cannot do, it is okay for you to modify the posture to fit you OR to wait for the posture to be over, and then join in again when you can.
When pregnant or menstruating there are also certain postures or pranayamas that you should not be doing, breath of fire, stretch pose and sat kriya for example. Always inform your teacher if you are pregnant. The teacher will usually warn about postures not to be done during menstruation. Always listen to your body and do what is right for you.
WHY DO WE NEED TO TUNE IN AND OUT?
We tune in using the Adi Mantra ‘ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO’. This mantra links us to the chain of teachers from who the teachings have been passed down. It also sets a certain frequency within the group, and creates a unified field and group energy. Tuning out we chant a long SAT and a short NAM. SAT means “truth”, NAM means “the form of” and it can be translated to “I am the truth”. We are acknowledging who we really are, as this mantra serves to remind us of. There is also a closing song “May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You” which is a beautiful way of rounding off the practice, and sending our well wishes to all those who needs it – it can also be said as a prayer, it doesn’t have to be sung.
WHAT’S UP WITH THE MANTRAS?
Mantras are sound codes, and works as a map for the placement of the tongue. When the tongue hits the 82 meridian points, behind the teeth on the upper palate, they create a vibratory effect that stimulate the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal gland, which then starts to secrete and affect the other glands in the body, and makes you feel better. To modern science the pituitary gland and the pineal gland are still a mystery, but Yogi Bhajan explained that those glands are responsible for the secretion of all the bodily glands, therefore immensely important for optimal bodily function, and the mantras are affecting them directly. This has not been proven by science no, but scientists are proving new things every day – does that mean that those new things didn’t exist before being discovered by science? – No, and many of the things that Yogi Bhajan talked about has since then been proven right by scientists. For example Yogi Bhajan would always say to do a meditation every day for 40 days, and now scientists have proven that it takes 40 days for your brain to permanently change from meditation. Quite amazing! If you are still not convinced about the mantras, just try them out for yourself. Feeling a little down? Play Chattr Chakkr Vartee – you will instantly feel better! We know how sounds are vibrations, and everything in this world is vibrating at a higher or lower frequency, so the mantras are effecting our own vibrations directly. Plus they give the mind something to focus on, and they help to fill the subconscious mind with something better than your own destructive thoughts. The mantras are so important, both to listen to and recite.
WAS YOGI BHAJAN A GURU AND IS 3HO A CULT?
Yogi Bhajan never used the term Guru about himself, but said that he was solely here to deliver these teachings to us, and future generations. He always clearly stated that he was not the source of these messages but just here to deliver them, thus taking no credit or appraisal for anything that would happen to his students. Yogi Bhajan was a born Sikh and when he came to America he got involved in the American Sikh culture. Sikhism is a religion that is based on equality of all people, regardless of gender, nationality, religious background or cast. The Gurdwaras (churches of Sikhism) are open to everyone, and there are no restrictions or separations. Naturally a lot of his students were drawn to his way of living and did convert to Sikhism, however many did not, and there are absolutely no requirements for anyone practicing Kundalini Yoga to be involved what so ever in Sikhism. The two are connected via the mantras that all comes from the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, which is a book containing poems and texts from the ten Sikh Gurus that lived from 1450-1708. Kundalini Yoga and Sikhism got involved with each other, when Guru Nanek (the first Sikh Guru) ‘s son, who was a yogi, and Guru Ram Das met each other, and learned about the other person’s way of living.
The word Guru means “that which takes you from darkness into the light” and when used in the mantras does not refer to a person.
The organization 3HO (Healthy, Happy and Holy organization), was founded by Yogi Bhajan, when he came to The States, and to this day still constitutes the foundation for all activity regarding Kundalini Yoga, White Tantric Yoga, Solstice events etc. It is a spiritual family that anyone who wishes are welcome to call theirs. There is no initiation or requirements for being part of it, only love for the teachings and for Kundalini Yoga, and a desire to share and celebrate this way of living with others.
HOW CAN I PROGRESS MY PERSONAL PRACTICE?
Kundalini Yoga is centered on the practice of kriyas, meditations, pranayama etc. but as it is a full system that also include lifestyle and general dietary guidelines (vegetarian diet, no alcohol or toxins etc), there is so much information that you can gather about how to progress your practice and essentially your life. Find more information on ‘The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings’ or 3ho.org or ask your Kundalini Yoga teacher.
Kundalini Yoga, for its fullest effect, is intended to be a daily practice. To be repeated. The best time to do so is during ‘The Golden Hour’, ‘Amrit Vela’, some time from 3h-6h30 or the 2 and a half hour before the sun rises. The world is quiet at that time, the suns angle to the earth is at 60 degrees, and it is the time where the subconscious chatter is the most amplified, so sleeping through this time of the day is not a really good idea. Instead you can get up, do some breath of fire, a few yoga exercises or a kriya, and a meditation (going back to sleep after is totally acceptable). Ask you teacher for suggestions for sadhanas or choose your favorite exercises from the class.