I’ve been doing yoga for almost two decades. There was never anything about it that excited me. Until I walked into my first kundalini yoga class taught by the charismatic Liya Garber. After class my hands still vibrated, I felt clear, full of energy and on my first kundalini high.
What is kundalini yoga? Here is the kundalini yoga research institutes definition:
“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.”
In a kundalini yoga class you can expect the class to start out with ” tuning in” and chanting ….
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
Translation: I call on infinite creative consciousness, I call on divine wisdom.
After tuning in with the mantra, you begin “warm up”. Warm up consist of a several poses. After warm up, you do a kriya, which is a specific set of postures. Kriya’s usually have a purpose, for example the Nabhi kriya works on your lower triangle & chakras.
After completing your kriya, you usually do a meditation. There are also many meditations to choose from that also generally have a expected outcome. For example the one minute breath tones the nervous system (among many other benefits).
After meditation, you do shavasana, closing stretches and then you “tune out” with a closing “Sat nam” and you sing the long time sun song .
My first teacher was the first yoga teacher that I ever had that gave me a yoga set to do at home once she noticed I was committed. She didn’t just want me to come to class, she truly wanted me to have a yoga practice. For that I am very grateful. The truth is I need yoga everyday, and I’m a better contribution to the world after I have grounded & tuned in with yoga.
Last month I began kundalini yoga teacher training and I look forward to sharing all that I learn with you all! Because I don’t just want you to come to my yoga classes, I want to share all the tools that I learn and help YOU become a better contribution to the world as well!
With much love & gratitude,