The Practice of Kundalini Yoga—Holistic Healing and Meditation

By on March 21, 2016

Yoga is an ancient practice performed since time immemorial until today. It has different unique branches that deal with diverse sciences and aspects of life. Among the most commonly practiced form of yoga is the Kundalini Yoga.

Kundalini Yoga—Background and Meaning

Over the years, the word Kundalini has brought up many meanings. It comes from the Sanskrit word ‘kundala’, meaning coiled. Kundalini means awareness; however, when used in meditation practices, the term ‘kundalini’ refers to the spiritual energy located at the base of the spine. It is also known as laya yoga which is influenced by the shakta and tantra philosophies.

Sri Sawami Sivananda is one of the famous writers of some classical Kundalini Yoga compilations published in 1935. But it was only until 1969 when Kundalini Yoga became popular in western countries when Harbhajan Singh (Yogi Bhajan), the founder of 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization), wanted to offer to everyone the great benefits of the yoga philosophy.

Philosophy and Methodology

Apart from the above mentioned meanings, Kundalini also refers to snake or serpent. The philosophy and methodology of Kundalini Yoga lies on energy which is known to be found at the base of the spine as is curled like a snake.

This form of yoga should be strictly performed under the guidance of a bona fide and expert yoga master who will teach the asana, sadhana, mantra, prana, and other meditative practices.

The goal of Kundalini Yoga is to reawaken the conscious energy and not the physical energy of a person. It is said that the conscience energy exists within us manifesting as pure bliss, vision, and power. To awaken the conscious energy, the practitioner needs to open the Muladhara Chakra at the base of the spine rising to the Sahasara Chakra at the crown of the head, passing through the seven chakras. As the life force and the chakras within us are fully reawakened, the energy will unite with the energy of the universe; therefore creating a divine union called Yoga.

Medical and Spiritual Benefits

To better understand how Kundalini Yoga works, it is best to learn about the Kriyas first. Kriyas(also called as Kundalini sequences) is a form of exercise performed in a sequential movement. It uses all of the different mechanisms of Yoga to provide efficient results. It employs pranayam (breathing exercises), asanas (postures), mantras (sound vibration), bandhas (body locks), laya yoga (rhythm and sound), mudras (hand positions), concentration, and meditation. When combined, these different yoga systems create physical and spiritual benefits to the practitioner.

Each form of Kriyas is designed to work on different parts of the human system as well as the person’s traits and characteristics. Kriyas can be done in a repetitive motion incorporated by a particular breathing method or by chanting a mantra or a prayer.

Kundalini Yoga goes beyond the physical aspects of yoga. While it seems that the Kriyas are physically extreme, it is considered as a spiritual practice emphasizing the use of meditation, chanting, and breathing.

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