Updated: Mar 3
What is Kundalini all about?
Sat Nam and and welcome in!
So why call this form of yoga Kundalini Yoga? Because this form of yoga is designed specifically to encourage self-knowledge, self-awareness, and self-inquiry, and this intimacy leads to the realization that your real self is ALL THERE IS to know. It's why all Yoga exists, and all forms of yoga do this, but this form of Yoga does it the FASTEST.
Kundalini is the energy we are all born with that defines who we are. To “awaken” the kundalini is to have a complete and total realization that the self does not exist; that All Is One. That what appears to be reality is really Maya--an illusion--and that you are truly a co-creator of all that is.
The idea of a feminine energy, in the form of a serpent (knowledge), coiled tightly at the base of the spine and activated when you are born, which waits to move up the spine (through energy centers called chakras) and re-connect with its Source (GOD-generator, organizer, destroyer) is an ancient one. The ideas are in almost every creation story you can think of, and it pops up in literature, culture, symbology, philosophy and psychology as well.
This paradigm can be described in many ways; my description here is mine and you may agree or disagree with it, it’s all good.
The Kundalini energy is YOU. Your real self who knows why you are here, what you came to do, what makes you shine, what challenges you, and the work you want to do while you are here in this body at this time and in this place. As opposed to the Self you created growing up, the Egoic self.
The Kundalini Energy that is you opens the story, so to speak, of You, at the Root Chakra; this is the energy space where our basic needs and feelings of trust, safety, elimination, attachment to the earth, attachment to the caregiver, of letting go of what no longer serves, of holding on to comfort, of fear, anger and true peace and contentment lie. When the world appears to be safe and predictable, the chakra is balanced or unblocked.
We, almost all of us, have root chakra issues.
If this energy space is able to be negotiated so that you live through the first few days and weeks and months of life, your life force moves into the second Chakra.
The second chakra is located in the hips; the sacral chakra. Here is where personality develops—all the creative juices are forged here to allow the self to become unique. Its creative force comes from sexuality and sensuality. Our basic reactions, which when combined are unique to us, around taste, smell, sight, touch and sound, are formed here. If we learn that our abilities to form opinions and act on them are all right with our caregivers, we learn autonomy, or freedom, is a birthright. If we learn that our personal choices are not ok, or if our personal choices are stolen from us, then we learn that we have to earn autonomy. And we are certainly not taught how to earn that which we should have as a matter of course.
As the spirit matures, it moves into the area around the navel, or the Solar Plexus area, the third Chakra, Manipura. Here is where the young spirit develops willpower, stubbornness, a distinct concept of I vs the world; where fire transforms thoughts of sovereignty into ACTION. Some actions are healthier than others, right? Why do we not always take right action? Why do we veer off into addiction, for instance? This is the work we do with the aid of psychologists. But we can heal ourselves with self-awareness.
These three energy centers together form the Lower Triangle…the foundation for the work of the higher energy areas, the Heart, and the higher chakras.
Kundalini Yoga works on the chakras…all of them. The root is the most difficult to soothe and heal, followed, I believe, by the sacral chakra. Wounds in these two areas have been there for a long time, and take time and effort to bring awareness to and heal. Kundalini Yoga does that. The self-talk around the exercises we do is awakening you to your patterns of behavior, opinions, attitudes and thoughts surrounding your own energy signature, your own Kundalini energy.
Do you whine when confronted with challenge? Do you immediately quit? Do you do more than you probably should do, not listening to your body? Do you dwell in negativity about others, about yourself, about the practice? Do you have an inner cheerleader? Do you know what you have to say to yourself to KEEP UP? Do you feel angry when you cannot do something the first time? Do you constantly leave the room mentally? When you compare yourself to others, do you feel inferior? Superior? Do you have a relationship with your self or selves? When you say the following sentence: “I’m so sick of myself sometimes,” have you contemplated who is the "I" and who is the "myself?"
We work a lot on the navel point, because, well, once you’ve got your stuff together, what are you going to do? The ability to move forward with deliberate action is dependent upon a strong navel center. A powerful navel also can support the gateway to the upper chakras, the Heart.
Once a being has been driven to act according to her root and sacral chakra stories, so to speak, she can begin the lifelong work of the heart chakra. This deserves a blog of its own, so I will stop the chakra lesson here, and close with the original question posed in the last blog post…
What can a person expect from taking Kundalini Yoga classes as opposed to a “regular” yoga classes?
What I don’t want to do is distance our classes from other worthwhile classes in the area by saying Kundalini Yoga is better than the rest. It is not. It is just meant to be faster. It is meant to make you aware of your stuck points. Places in the physical body, and in the mind, where your personal energy (kundalini) cannot flow past to allow for the full expression of You. This is the real work of yoga. It is not for those who are not ready to learn these lessons.
If you have read or heard that this work might be dangerous, I assure you, it is not. We do encourage you to begin a practice with a certified instructor, and not alone with your YouTube, however. We are moving a lot of energy, and if you are not feeling safe to begin with, you may experience frightening feelings.
We all have stories—these events in our lives which have come to define us. Some have to do with Trust/Mistrust. Some to do with feelings of inferiority, shame, and self-doubt, which are stifling our feelings of autonomy and personal freedom. Some to do with guilt surrounding being autonomous, free and independent. Some to do with the conflicting desires to pair and to isolate ourselves; to reach out and to withdraw. Some to do with striving to attain, and some to do with being content with what is, and resisting attainment. Some to do with hope, with faith, with despair and loneliness. Some to do with knowledge of purpose, versus the emotional pain of the surrendering that goes along with that knowledge. All of this is Human Being.
It can be difficult to do human being. Doing being human is work…kundalini yoga makes you aware of the stories in each area of your energy body, and encourages you to practice strengthening the muscular, circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems, balancing the glandular system, building awareness of the chakras, dealing with stressors in mindful ways, and all the while, breathing in and breathing out, consciously, and with love.
That is what one can expect from Kundalini Yoga classes. If you're in, book a class.
Sat Nam and thanks for watching