*This article was co-authored by spiritual blogger and yoga practitioner, Anika Gautam.
If you read this article, you know that Kundalini is something that has REALLY intrigued me lately.
Maybe it’s the description of the awakenings, the chanting, or the thought of the Kundalini serpent winding its way up the spine, opening your mind as it opens your chakras.
Regardless, my curiosity is peaked, and if yours is too, here is a primer on the Kundalini meaning and practice.
Hopefully it will shed some light for you on this fascinating tradition!
Kundalini meaning: what is Kundalini in a nutshell?…
Kundalini yoga is an age-old technique that deals with the initiation, and expansion of inner consciousness.
This form of yoga intends to activate and balance the energy in the chakras.
Balance is always good. Am I right???
To sum it up in one sentence, Kundalini yoga tones up the physical body through postures (asana), regulates the breathing (pranas) by using body locks or seals (bandhas), applies several cleansing techniques (Kriyas) and uses gestures (Mudras) or chanting of sacred sounds (Mantras).
Kundalini energy is symbolized as a sleeping serpent coiled up at the base of the spine.
When it awakens, it uncoils itself and gradually winds up through the spinal column until it unites with Crown Chakra, bringing the practitioner spiritual bliss.
Each chakra is part of a larger system.
The first three chakras form the lower triangle that eliminates negative energy from the chakras.
The next three chakras form the upper triangle that concentrates positive energy in the chakra system.
The channels the energy travels through in the body are called Nadis, and the chakras are the places on the center (Sushumna) Nadi where the energy traveling through the right (Pingala) Nadi and left (Ida) Nadi meet and combine.
If the Nadis were the interstate system, the chakras would be the interchanges.
When the awakening of Kundalini takes place, the energy is said to rise up through the center (Sushumna) Nadi, unblocking and balancing the chakras along its journey.
Interested in training to become a yoga teacher online? Check out our post on online yoga teacher training!
What is Kundalini energy?
According to yogic science, an abundance of energy is produced when a child forms in the womb.
This energy gets coiled at the base of the spine and remains there, coiled, until it returns to the source when we die.
BUT, if it is awakened through Kundalini yoga, it uncoils, takes its trip up the spine, and enables the person to recognize their true potential.
So Kundalini energy and the Kundalini snake are one in the same, and historically the energy has been represented by an image of a serpent.
What does Kundalini yoga look like?
It can be hard to wrap your mind around the Kundalini meaning if you are still murky about what the actual practice itself looks like.
Especially with the mystical symbolism and powerful description, it can seem as though Kundalini yoga would be some super-secret practice that looks nothing like anything we have seen before in the West.
However, most of the components of Kundalini yoga are quite familiar and are techniques used in many other types of yoga styles.
Not that mysterious, after all!
Some of the techniques that can be used while doing Kundalini Yoga:
- Visualization Technique
Visualization is quite common in the West, especially in the form of guided meditation. Kundalini can involve visualization of chakras as a lotus with a particular number of petals. Each chakra is imagined with a different number of petals. The Root Chakra with four, the Sacral Chakra with six, the Solar Plexus with ten, the Heart Chakra with twelve, Throat with sixteen, the Third Eye would have two, and the Crown Chakra with one thousand. In the visualization, they hang downward when Kundalini is dormant and turn upward as the energy flows through each chakra.
- Vibration Technique
Each chakra is also believed to have a specific frequency or vibration which activates its energy. One can focus on each chakra by chanting the universal mantra ‘OM’. This is resonated at different pitches to act on different chakras. The Indian musical scale can be used to balance specific chakras. ‘Sa’ relates with the Root, ‘Re’ to the Sacral, ‘Ga’ to the Solar Plexis, ‘Ma’ to the Heart, ‘Pa’ to the Throat, ‘Da’ to the Thir Eye and ‘Ni’ to the Crown. “Om” is definitley not the only chant done in Kundalini yoga, and in fact, there is a wide variety of sounds and pitches chanted in the practice.
- Breathing Technique
Breathing techniques such as long deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing, a breath of fire and segmented breath are some of the popular techniques used in Kundalini Yoga to arouse the Kundalini energy. It is believed that long breathing techniques can activate your Third Eye and Crown chakras, if done properly. Each breathing exercise is intended to relax the energy level in each chakra until Kundalini energy climbs all of the way up the spine.
- Asanas (Postures)
Different postures stimulate and ascend energy through different chakras. Some of which are Crow pose, Frog pose, Boat pose, Camel pose, Cobra pose, Child pose, and Sat Kriya. Again, if you are a yoga practitioner of any style of yoga, these poses would not seem new or strange. Kundalini uses the same tools many yoga styles use, just in a specific way.
- Kundalini Meditation
Like most forms of meditation, Kundalini meditation is best done when you can clear your mind of your to-do list and quiet your mind. Once the mind is quiet, a chant can be done to inspire and uplift Kundalini energy.
What is a Kundalini awakening?...
As more thoroughly explained in our article here, there is a VERY wide range of experiences reported by people claiming to have had a Kundalini awakening.
For safety reasons, it is highly suggested that Kundalini is learned through an experienced teacher and only after approval is given from a doctor and/or therapist.
Click here to skip to a list of qualified online Kundalini teachers.
Some people feel very energetic, both emotionally and physically.
The awakened Kundalini surges energy through all the chakras and eventually heals the body, mind, and soul.
But, if there is any blockage in the chakra system then symptoms like anxiety, despair or fear could appear (which is why having a qualified teacher and doctor’s approval is so important).
However, it is said that if one continues with their Kundalini practice, this could release that negative energy from the chakras and open up all the channels for the smooth flow of the energy, bringing peace with it.
Sometimes people experience immense changes to how they view their life.
They leave behind old habits, lifestyle choices, and sometimes jobs, opting for a life they feel will lead them to the path of progress and prosperity.
As a result, they encounter like-minded people that help them fulfill their plans and grow deeper in their spirituality.
Practitioners with awakened Kundalini must avoid negative people, thoughts, or influences as they become so sensitive to the negativity that it becomes difficult to accept it.
At that point, they are drawn towards positivity, love, and peace.
People with awakened Kundalini follow their instincts while making any decisions as their intuition about people and situations becomes more reliable and clear.
A person with the signs of awakened Kundalini feels compassion for others and extends a helping hand to those who are in pain or misery.
They feel connected to the beings around them and renders service to them and can identify unjustness in society, taking on the arduous task to improve it.
Their positive energy spreads the vibes of harmony in every being around them and uses the cosmic energy to bring more peace to humanity.
Listen to the explanation of Kundalini awakening as described by spiritual leader, Sadhguru.
Read much more in our in-depth article on Kundalini here.
What are the benefits of Kundalini Yoga?…
Now that you have a better sense of the Kundalini meaning and mystery, you may be wondering why a person would want to practice it, and what they get from it.
Kundalini Yoga strengthens the body, mind, and spirit.
It increases flexibility, expands the lung capacity, alleviates stress, and can bring relief for problems like insomnia, obesity, and hyperactivity.
It enables the mind to enter into a state of deep relaxation that eliminates negativity, brings clarity to our subconscious, and balances the nervous system.
Kundalini yoga gives a cathartic release to certain emotions or feelings suppressed deep down that hamper personal growth.
It can be a good remedy for the anxiety that builds up due to fast-paced world.
The practice can spark a much-needed overhaul to relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
It can enhance the ability to concentrate and improve the retaining capacity of the memory.
Kundalini can evolve the creative mind which tends to make you more productive and effective in whatever you do.
Kundalini Yoga has the capacity to provide immense peace within oneself and in their surroundings.
Read much more, including scientific research on the benefits and more in-depth Kundalini meaning, here.
Where can I find a Kundalini teacher?…
Now that you know the Kundalini meaning and benefits, you may be interested in getting started with the practice.
Be sure that you follow instruction from an experienced teacher.
In-person instruction is ideal.
No teachers in your area?
There are some highly educated gurus available online.
One place to find Kundalini yoga teachers is through YogaDownload. It gives you access to a ton of highly-qualified teachers covering every style of yoga you can think of and offers single classes or super-affordable monthly subscriptions.
Find greater Kundalini meaning from one of the teachers below:
According to Guru Jagat’s biography on YogaDownload:
“Deemed the modern face of Kundalini Yoga, Guru Jagat brings a fresh perspective to this ancient practice. A senior teacher with over a dozen years of experience, Guru Jagat studied under Yogi Bhajan, the Kundalini Master responsible for bringing the practice to the US.
Her profound classes that teach Kundalini as a technology that can be used as a tool to achieve and sustain long-lasting happiness have earned her devout fans amongst Hollywood and LA tastemakers alike.”
According to Shapadpreet’s biography on YogaDownload:
“Shabadpreet is a teacher trained in Yogi Bhajan’s healing technologies and various other subtle and physical healing modalities. Since her first encounter with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation in 2008, Shabadpreet has since studied with Master Teacher’s Harijiwan, Tej, and Guru Jagat. Shabadpreet currently teaches and studies at the RAMA Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology.”
According to Tana Pittman’s biography on YogaDownload:
“Tana has acquired three 200-hour yoga teaching certifications in Bikram, Anusara/Hatha and Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It is this great mix of yoga styles that creates an informative, therapeutic and spiritual experience in each of Tana’s classes.”
Check out these teachers, as well as many others across the entire yoga spectrum, at YogaDownload!
Hopefully, the Kundalini meaning has been made a little more clear for you. The thought of the Kundalini snake winding up your spine may intrigue you and it may turn you off, but either way, it is definitely an interesting philosophy!
Thank you for reading, and take care!
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