Kundalini Yoga – Yoga Of Awareness
Kundalini Yoga is an ancient form of Yoga, which creates a communication between the mind and the body by making use of a set of techniques that involve the mind, senses and body. In Sanskrit, the word ‘kundalini’ literally means ‘something that is coiled’. The life force, lying dormant in the seven chakras in the body, is regarded as a coiled up serpent and Kundalini is the untapped energy (prana), ‘coiled’ at the base of the spine that can be drawn up through the body, by awakening each of the seven chakras.
Kundalini Yoga focuses on the practitioner’s psycho-spiritual growth and the body’s potential for maturation. The enlightenment of the seven chakras of the body occurs, when the untapped energy (Kundalini) reaches the Crown Chakra. The type of Yoga is often represented as a snake, coiled at the base of the spine. Hence, the role of the spine and the endocrine system are given special consideration by this type of Yoga. Kundalini Yoga also pays special attention to the breath and the movement of the person performing it.
Kundalini Yoga consists of Asanas that are performed in conjunction with a specific breath, which intensifies the effects of the particular poses. The purpose of such a control of breath is to free the energy in the lower part of the body and allow it to move freely, in the upward direction within the body. The sequences of Kundalini, known as kriyas, consist of repetitive movements, done by holding a pose while breathing in a specific way. The entire thing is done at a rapid pace so that the person gets the full benefit of Kundalini Yoga.
Apart from the kriyas, Kundalini Yoga also involves the performance of meditation as well as the chanting of mantras. Pranayams and mudras are also done while performing the Kundalini Yoga. All these focus on a specific area of the body. Since all theses are included in it, Kundalini Yoga is considered physically intense. According to the Yoga gurus, the stretching exercises included in Kundalini Yoga are not merely gymnastic exercises. In fact, the bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances are beneficial for the health in a number of ways. Apart from increasing the breath control, it aids in improving the concentration of the practitioner.
Kundalini Yoga is sometimes referred to as ‘the yoga of awareness’. This is because the different methods of breath control, the chanting of mantras, mental focus and various types of Asanas (typically with cross-legged position, with the spine positioned straight) together awaken the Kundalini within the body. By doing Kundalini Yoga, the infinite potential energy in the body is raised, with stimulates the higher centres, thereby giving the practitioner the enhanced intuition and mental clarity.