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Definition, Historical past, and Cautions • Yoga Fundamentals


Kundalini yoga was coined, created and popularized in 1968 by Yogi Bhajan. He described the intent of his instructing to be a “wholesome, completely happy, holy” (3HO) lifestyle. He taught his American college students the best way to awaken their interior religious power via mantra chanting, breath work, and yoga poses. This apply and way of life rapidly caught on with many Westerners who had been trying to find a brand new strategy to spirituality, well being, and wellness. Whereas Kundalini yoga flourished in the course of the lifetime of Yogi Bhajan, new accounts have surfaced after his demise that reveal a darkish and disturbing previous.

What’s kundalini?

The Sanskrit time period kundalini means “coiled serpent” and refers back to the divine power that lies dormant contained in the human physique. This vibrant power is contained beneath the foundation chakra, situated between the anus and genitals. It normally stays dormant and nonetheless, however there are particular Tantra Yoga and Hatha Yoga strategies that can be utilized to activate this power. As soon as activated, it then rises from and travels upward. It strikes via the susumna, the central power channel within the middle of the backbone, via the seven chakras, till it reaches the crown chakra, the place it turns into united with the divine consciousness.

Activating kundalini creates an final state of bliss. But with out satisfactory preparation, releasing this coiled-up serpent power can result in catastrophe. The discharge of such a strong supply of pranic power into the physique’s delicate techniques could cause ache and, in uncommon circumstances, result in psychological instability. Earlier than kundalini is activated and launched upwards, the physique and thoughts should be ready via hatha yoga workout routines, accomplished in a particular order.

Throughout an activation, one can expertise adversarial results as kundalini strikes via the physique and the nervous system adjusts to this dramatic enhance of psychic power. Subsequently, it’s not suggested to activate kundalini with out the steering of a professional trainer and help of a religious group.

What’s kundalini yoga?

The Kundalini Yoga apply created by Yogi Bhajan combines respiratory workout routines, yoga postures, repetitive motion, meditation, mantra chanting and different Hatha Yoga and Sikh strategies to awaken the physique’s kundalini power.

Within the Hatha Yoga custom, Kundalini is slowly woke up by the apply of asanas (postures), pranayama (respiratory strategies), meditation, and bandhas (power locks). These practices put together us to securely expertise the facility of kundalini. In addition they assist us to grasp the delicate nature of the chakras (power facilities) inside the physique. They need to be practiced slowly and progressively over time to construct up a yogi’s interior energy and consciousness to handle and comprise these excessive ranges of life pressure power.

How is kundalini totally different from different forms of yoga?

Kundalini yoga lessons embrace most of the similar postures as different types of yoga, however these are principally the seated poses which concentrate on spinal workout routines and repetitive actions. It additionally focuses extra on the esoteric and energizing elements than different forms of yoga. Meditation, mantra, pranayama and visualization are emphasised over alignment and the opposite bodily elements of Hatha Yoga.

You will note devoted practitioners carrying white garments in a kundalini class and utilizing sheepskins as a substitute or on high of yoga mats. They imagine carrying white will develop their aura and challenge optimistic power out into the world. Kundalini yogis may put on turbans or different head coverings as a option to focus their power on the third eye or sixth chakra middle. These will not be required, however are used to represent the devotion to the apply and to strengthen the group.

Historical past of kundalini yoga

Yogi Bhajan promoted his teachings as a secret custom from an historic lineage that he had publicly revealed for the primary time. It’s now understood that he made up this model of yoga from a fusion of two totally different traditions. The asanas and respiratory workout routines had been derived from his research with an Indian hatha yoga trainer named Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari. The chanting and devotional practices have their origins within the teachings of the Sikh saint Maharaj Virsa Singh.

Despite the fact that this was not the “historic yoga apply” he promoted it to be, Yogi Bhajan’s teachings had been an enormous hit in Los Angeles within the early 70s. His instructing group rapidly grew throughout the US and worldwide, and expanded to over 300 facilities in 35 nations. This enlargement included the creation of a number of profitable companies and non-profit organizations that had been estimated to be value billions of {dollars} on the time of his demise. He died of issues of coronary heart failure at his residence in New Mexico, on October 6, 2004, on the age of 75.

Accusations of abuse

Whereas Yogi Bhajan grew to become a revered trainer and had helped enhance the lives of lots of his followers, there have been many accusations of sexual, verbal, emotional and bodily abuse made after his demise. There have been different studies of drug smuggling, cash laundering, and fraud.

To its credit score, the guardian firm, SSSC, commissioned Olive Department, to carry out an impartial investigation into the claims of abuse, and so they collected and assessed accounts from almost 300 witnesses. Olive Department’s report, launched to the general public in August 2020, concluded that these accusations of abuse “extra possible than not occurred.” Upon information of the report, some lecturers and trainers have distanced themselves from the group or have stopped training teachings of Yogi Bhajan.

The SSSC created an impartial therapeutic and reparations program to acknowledge the hurt and assist heal the group. This voluntary program offers emotional sources and monetary help to serving to “people who skilled hurt in our colleges and youth applications, no matter whether or not the hurt was perpetrated by a employees member or a peer, and people who report sexual abuse by any chief or different individual below institutional management in the neighborhood. ”

The hazards of kundalini yoga

Many individuals imagine that awakening the kundalini power inside the physique could be harmful, and that it might trigger you to grow to be mentally unstable. Activating this serpent energy power could be achieved safely with the right method, trainer and intention.

Activating and stirring up this move of power and not using a clear goal or intention can really feel disruptive and result in unfavorable outcomes. Shortly and forcefully stoking the serpent power in a yoga class can create very sturdy and uncomfortable reactions. For those who start to really feel unbalanced, lightheaded, or emotionally disrupted by this apply, decelerate or cease, take a while to breathe deeply, and see what you’re feeling. Taking time throughout and after the apply will likely be necessary to combine any new energies that come up.

It’s best to all the time seek the advice of with an skilled trainer earlier than starting any sort of yoga, particularly kundalini yoga. In case you are involved about its potential results in your psychological well-being, discuss to your physician, counselor, or therapist first.

The advantages of kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga has many bodily and psychological advantages if practiced accurately. The depth of this apply builds resilience, grit, and interior energy. Like different kinds of yoga, it might enhance your flexibility, energy, endurance, stability and coordination.. It reduces stress and anxiousness and improves stability and coordination. The apply of Kundalini yoga can assist launch outdated patterns and habits and deepen your religious apply.

What to anticipate in a kundalini yoga class

A typical Kundalini yoga class is comprised of three elements: a gap chant (referred to as “tuning in”) adopted by a short warm-up in your backbone, a kriya (which is a sequence of postures paired with respiratory strategies), and a closing meditation or music.

A typical Kundalini yoga apply begins with a brief chanting session referred to as tuning in. After the sequence of postures, there’s a closing meditation or music, the place we concentrate on stillness and silence.

Most of the frequent poses are used as kryias. A Kriya combines yoga postures with pranayama, Mudra and bandhas to maneuver power via the physique. A lot of the frequent kundalini poses are seated positions that concentrate on the backbone. Cobra, Bow and Camel poses are all backbends that open the guts and chest. Spinal flexing in a seated cat cow pose and higher physique actions in different seated positions are quite common.

A number of pranayama practices are used, however the most well-liked respiratory strategies in a kundalini class is breath of fireplace. This focuses on expelling the breath as rapidly as doable whereas nonetheless sustaining management over the inhalation via the nostril. This is usually a bit difficult for rookies, however the breath of fireplace has many nice advantages so as to add to a yoga apply.

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