Kundalini Yoga is quite simply, very different from Hatha Vinyasa Yoga. After my first class I felt weird being in my spandex, because Kundalini can be done in a dress, and quite often is.
At first, it can seem a little intimidating. As if ‘regular’ yoga wasn’t intimidating enough, skinny women in impossible positions? Now you find people all dressed in white, wearing, turbans, sitting on sheep skins. Yep.
This yoga was first introduced to the US by Yogi Bhajan back in the 60’s. He felt the call to travel over seas to prepare us for the coming Aquarian age. He landed in LA to find a lot of young people experimenting with drugs, he gave them Kundalini Yoga, a natural high.
Yogi Bhajan wanted to create teachers with an urgency, so that he would leave a legacy of healers to help the planet transition into the Aquarian age (which we have recently moved into and I will post about this, because it is fascinating to me.)
The great thing about Kundalini is that its fast acting. In a time that loves a quick fix, this is very fitting. The benefits can be felt more rapidly than Hatha yoga. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘house holders’ Yoga because it allows an ordinary person to live in the world and be in the world. You don’t need an extreme practice to feel positive changes. There are also less inversions (head stands, crow pose) making it is accessible to people of all shapes and sizes. Sigh of relief.
You might worry that you are entering some kind of cult, because of the way people dress, the chanting and the sometimes weird and wacky movements asked of you. I can guarantee this is certainly not a cult and no one will proselytize.
Kundalini is open to all and to serve everyone. I encourage you to approach it with an open mind. You either like it or you don’t. It’s the Marmite effect (a British joke.)
A key difference to the Hatha Vinyasa teacher training I did back in 2017, was the aspect of service as a key component. To graduate as a Kundalini teacher, it is a pre-requisite to do 10 hours of selfless service. I thought this was a worthy addition to the training. Being of service is a great discipline, it helps you get out of your own mind, it can be very rewarding. I think if every person on the planet practiced selfless service the consciousness would shift dramatically.
Yogi Bhajan predicted that during the times we are now in, humans would be over stimulated and highly stressed. Depression and fatigue related illnesses would be at epidemic proportions and rising at accelerated rates. An inability to concentrate, to make decisions, sleep difficulty and alienation from normal social and sexual relationships are all results of the technological age we are in now.
We are flooded with information, but we are increasingly disconnected from our inner wisdom.
Which is why we need yoga so desperately and why I feel so called to share this gift that Yogi Bhajan brought to us.
Yoga (all types) helps us to calm our minds and strengthen our central nervous system. Kundalini is often referred to as ‘a technology of human consciousness’ it is the Yoga of Awareness. Through your practice of Kundalini, you will find the natural unfolding of your own nature. We all carry blocks to growth, the old programming from previous generations that often needs re-programming, fears need to be examined and released. Yoga and meditation will bring these things to the surface for you to heal and let go of, it will help you gain new perspectives. It’s kind of like a deep clean for your soul.
Life will always happen. Challenges will happen, but Yoga increases flexibility in your mind, just as much as in your body. Your mind will be able to surrender more easily.
On a physical level, it will strengthen your immune system, vital glands, strengthen your nervous system and will be good for your circulation.
What can you expect from a Kundalini Class? There will be chanting, mantra’s, beautiful soothing music, repetitive movements for a set amount of time, breath work – you will become very familiar with Breath of Fire, there will be meditations and deep relaxation often with a gong bath. And, sometimes, you will dance 💃!
For me personally, I love the ceremony and devotion of Kundalini. So often yoga studios have stripped classes of the spiritual aspects in fear of offending people. A Kundalini class is a sacred date with yourself, it is deeply relaxing and will touch your soul.
Lastly, but not least, Kundalini Yoga is a community. One thing I love about the new studio I am no teaching in, it is a private home, so it feels like you are doing yoga with friends and secondly, after each class we serve delicious home brewed chai tea and cookies. We chat drinking our tea and dipping our cookies. That’s where the community is made.
So if you feel like being a bit ‘more spiritual’ this year, or you need something to calm your nerves or lift your depression, find a Kundalini Yoga class near you and you can leave your Lulu Lemons and boulder holders in your drawers and let it all hang loose!
Side note: Please don’t get hung up what to wear, just go in your regular work out clothes. You do not have to wear white or a head covering. Getting to class is the most important thing!
I am now teaching at Soul Center Yoga – Every Wednesday 7-8.15pm
22824 Roscoe Blvd, West Hills, LA 91304