Kundalini Yoga

There are many different types of yoga out there, but Kundalini yoga’s rich history and unique theory may make it one of the most unique. The origins of Kundalini yoga come from the form of Hinduism known as Kashmir Shavism. Kundalini yoga was maintained as a secret oral tradition and its teachings were restrictive in India for thousands of years. In 1969 Yogi Bhajan introduced Kundalini yoga to the Western world and founded the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization to spread the teachings of his mind.

Kundalini yoga includes the practices of common Mantra, meditation, changing, breathing and the classic poses, however there is a stronger focus on chanting and breathing than on the poses alone. “Kundalini” literally means coiling, like a snake. It is the common Hindu belief that within each person there is a serpent coiled tightly up at the base of our spines. The coiling of the serpent, like a spring, symbolizes the sense of untapped potential energy and creativity. The practice of Kundalini yoga centers on raising the Kundalini, or dormant energy, through the body’s seven major chakras, or centers of consciousness. When the serpent is ready to unfold, it ascends through the spinal chakras to unite above the crown of the head with Siva, the Pure Consciousness. Each chakra is associated with a different set of psychic powers and spiritual experiences.

The seven chakras are:

  1. Muladhara chakra – base of the spine
  2. Svadhishthana chakra – near the genital organs
  3. Manipura chakra – behind the navel
  4. Anahata chakra – at the heart
  5. Vishuddha chakra – at the throat
  6. Ajna chakra – behind the point between the eyebrows (the “third eye”)
  7. Sahasrara chakra – the cerebral cortex

The series of Kundalini exercises work systematically from the base of the spine to the top. All 26 vertebrae receive stimulation and all the energy centers receive a burst of energy. Kundalini yoga increases the circulation of the spinal fluid, which allows for mental clarity. Regular practice of Kundalini has shown to increase vitality, helps prevent backaches, reduce tension, keeps increases the flexibility of the spine, builds a strong immune system and natures a strong nervous system. It is said that by building up the intuition, one can realize what is real and important.

If you are interested in taking a Kundalini yoga class, check out Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women. All Healthworks facilities offer this class for all levels.  This is one of many unique classes that Healthworks has to offer, join us today and try something new!

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(Image: Flickr, MyYogaOnline)