Twelve years ago, I randomly ordered a Kundalini Yoga DVD while browsing on Amazon. I liked the picture on the front – the instructor was beaming, looking genuinely relaxed and happy. I started using the DVD, and was quickly dug out of a hole of sleep-deprived despair and post-partum depression. It was a helping hand, pulling me back up so that I could carry on (like Lady Galadriel’s light, or Harry’s golden snitch in Deathly Hallows: “I open at the close”).
My husband Derek watched me do this yoga for about 1.5 years before he joined in. He had a back injury from high school (water skiing within an inch of his life). He was in a back brace at our wedding (adorable) and lived with chronic pain for years (crappy). When he started doing kundalini, his back pain was gone, as in, poof. I haven’t seen that back brace in so long that I think it may have been eaten by our house.
With this extra fancy yoga, you see results, fast.
They Had Their Best People On It
Kundalini yoga is known as a “technology” that was developed over centuries by yogis who devoted their lives to both furthering this knowledge and to passing it on. The exercises are very precise, and may look silly at times. But they are super powerful, because each exercise has three components: breath-work, chanting, and physical movement. Incredible synergy, dude.
Kundalini exercises work to stimulate and energize our glands so that our glands (thyroid, pituitary, etc.) can secrete the necessary hormones to keep us healthy (insulin, for example, is a hormone secreted by the pancreas). The exercises also work with our meridians (energy channels) to free up energy blocks, and to move energy in positive and productive directions. Kundalini will also strengthen, tone and provide a certain “glow”.
I’m telling you.
Yoga for Kings
This type of yoga was traditionally only taught to those who had mastered a whole slew of other kinds of yoga first (and also to royalty). Despite that, kundalini is not hard to do. There is always a way to modify, and there is always a way to take it further. It’s not like those “Insanity“-type workout programs where you can’t walk the next day!
We can adapt this incredible yoga so that it challenges everyone from the 40 BPM triathlete right on over to the chubby middle-ager who gets winded on the stairs.
Kundalini is the Master
Kundalini Yoga provides remedies for addiction, depression, anxiety, and countless physical ailments, on and on up to cancer; even paralysis (book, below). There is a kundalini exercise for anything that makes you suffer. And regular practice of kundalini will certainly extend one’s natural life.
I recommend Khalsa Dharma Singh’s book Meditation As Medicine: Activate the Power of your Natural Healing Force. Singh is a western-trained MD who studied kundalini with Yogi Bhajan (Bhajan brought it to the USA around 1970). Yogi Bhajan was a bit of a wild card (that’s another story), but he knew this very special yoga, and his goal was to train teachers who would surpass him in skill and spread the word.
In his book, Singh includes a PAGES LONG chart of ailments and which exercise to use that will cure whatever particular issue causes you grief.
It works. I’m telling you.
What Does Kundalini Yoga Look Like?
Ironically, this super-advanced yoga is easy to do. As one progresses, there are more and more challenging kriyas (sets of exercises), but kundalini is perfectly accessible to the beginner, as well. There is plenty of classes on YouTube; I have listed my very favorite DVDs below (because I’m old school and Ana and Ravi are pros).
There are a lot of seated poses, so I highly recommend a yoga bolster if you are not a pretzel. It’s important that the hips aren’t tense so that the poses can be done with ease. I never go without mine.
As mentioned above, there are breathing techniques with the exercises, and there is chanting.
Can I tell you that I now LOVE to chant? We all do, the whole family, right down to, and especially, Rayme. Sometimes we do it silly. But it really puts you in alignment with Who You Are. Besides the basic, overall bliss, chanting purports to hit specific areas of the palate. These areas stimulate meridians in the body and assist with energy flow. Healing is activated to different areas of the body. When I chant, I feel amazing and powerful. It’s the BEST.
Breath work is key, as well. Supposedly, three minutes of the breath of fire, (a breathing technique practiced routinely in Kundalini), is a better workout for your body than an HOUR of aerobic exercise. AND you are doing a pose or movement during breath of fire, so you are basically a multi-tasking fitness machine. Just stop it!
I’m telling you!
“The moment you value yourself, the whole world values you.”
Consistency is Key
The exercises are specific and can get to the root of a problem and eliminate it. But the practice has to happen daily in order for it to work. It’s a commitment. The things is, the ONE specific exercise you may need to do only takes about 3-7 minutes, and then you are DONE (though people find it so incredibly helpful that they become involved in a regular kundalini practice before they know it).
Pick one thing that needs immediate attention in your life and find the kundalini exercise for it (help with that below), and just commit to doing that ONE exercise EVERY DAY for 40 DAYS. The forty days thing is not a religious reference, but rather, the amount of time it takes our brain to change. It may be why it is included in religious stories, but that’s another story. We have these excellent, mold-able brains, if only we tap in.
Kundalini practice (esp. the chanting) becomes addictive, thankfully, because I need something to be addicted to.
I have heard a paradox about kundalini yoga. It is said to be unknown to the masses, only taught to the elite or the enlightened ones, but it has also been said that kundalini is for the “householder,” the people that maintain a household, whatever that may look like: it essentially means a person who is out and about in our world. With this yoga, a lot of ground can be covered in a short amount of time. And then a person can move on to their day.
Yes, results show up in the body, but also, results will show up quickly in your life. Life begins to move forward in positive ways.
“The greatest progress in life is when you know your limitations, and then you have the courage to drop them.”
– Yogi Bhajan.
- If you have a specific issue that needs attention, consider ordering Medical Meditation or I am happy find what you would need – I have the book. Comment or email me.
- Check out Ana Bret and Ravi Singh (Singh was also taught by Yogi Bhajan). They are my very fav and the only people I work with. They are the Pros. Best DVDs by Ana and Ravi: Yoga for Beginners and Beyond; AM/PM Yoga; Fat Free Yoga, Yoga Beauty Body and Yoga for Beautiful Breakthroughs. All are on Amazon. They all do slightly different things, so I’d be happy to consult there, too.
Kundalini and the Law of Attraction
Kundalini works with the energy within and around the body to get it going, to protect your space and energy, and to give you the strength to engage in the occasional battle. Kundalini raises one’s energetic vibration, just like thoughts do. Recall that the Law of Attraction says that like thoughts attract like thoughts, and thoughts manifest into your daily experience, making up your reality.
Guiding thoughts in a positive direction can take practice – I need a lot of practice. My brain goes to serial killers immediately. The yoga is easy to do though, because someone just tells you what to do, you do it, and you find your energy gets significantly raised.
Combine meditation, the practice of reaching for a better (happier) thought, and daily Kundalini yoga, and look OUT! You are in the vortex before you know it.