Kundalini yoga, in its simplest form, is the yoga of awareness. It helps in the activation of your chakras using your conscious self. The word Kundalini roughly translates to ‘coiled snake’. In religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, it was believed that each individual possesses the sacred energy of creation.
However, the person must strive to “uncoil the snake” to access it. Kundalini is accepting of everyone, welcomes everyone to strive to be the best version of themselves by awakening their conscious self.
The Origins of Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga is said to be almost 5000 years old, marking its origin somewhere around 3300 BC. The earliest written mention of it is in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad, which is the eighty-sixth of 108 Muktita Upanishad that dates around 1000-500 BC.
In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, John Woodroffe, an Oxford graduate, wrote a book called, ‘The Serpent Power: The secret of Tantric and Shakti Yoga‘, under the pseudonym, Arthur Avalon. This book was very influential and turned a lot of curious minds towards Indian philosophy and spirituality.
In the 1960s, Yogi Bhajan traveled to California, and witnessed, first hand, the hippie cultural revolution. He saw that these people’s ideologies aligned to his Sikh upbringing.
But he also saw that the way those people were trying to achieve this form of higher self was aided by drugs and shrouded in mysticism. He also knew that he couldn’t teach Kundalini Yoga there due to its strict implication that the disciple had to prove themselves worthy and had to be of Indian lineage.
However, in 1968 during meditation on weekend trip to Los Angeles, he saw a vision of the ancient spirituality combined with modern practicalities. He then set out on his mission to teach the west about Kundalini Yoga. He said that it was everybody’s birthright to be holy, healthy and happy, which is why he established the 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organisation) and the Kundalini Research Institute.
He also wrote books and trained a lot of other yogis to be teachers. He believed that it was everybody’s responsibility to better our society through compassion and mindfulness. Today, Kundalini yoga is practiced all around the world.
What Exactly is Kundalini Yoga?
It is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline which helps one to develop strength, awareness, and consciousness. It focuses on expanding the individual sensory awareness and intuition to raise the individual consciousness and merge with infinite consciousness.
It helps you find your higher self through practice. Unlike, most ancient religious philosophies, it doesn’t hold you against a strict rule of practice and rather helps you find personal meaning in the practice. It is decentralized and selfless and only concerned with helping the practitioner find a higher self. Its true essence is to help find the balance of the 7 Chakras to create a clear path for the energy to rise (from the base of the spine).
How is Kundalini Yoga different?
Kundalini yoga has a lot of similarities to other forms of yoga, but it differs in its core belief. Kundalini means the energy that is coiled like a snake at the base of the spine and the purpose of the practice is to uncoil that snake to create a clear path of energy.
Also, it is not entirely based on physical yoga poses, like its counterparts. It has an even distribution of breathing exercises, meditation and yoga pose.
Benefits of Practicing Kundalini Yoga
It isn’t a coincidence that Kundalini Yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga. Everyone admires Kundalini Yoga as it is very powerful and has lots of benefits. Here are some of its benefits,
- It develops a power of intuition and inner guidance by clearing the negative thoughts from your subconscious.
- It helps you fortify your aura, which in turn keeps you alert of positive and negative influences around you. A weak aura harbors negative thought patterns, which affects your day to day life.
- The kriyas, asanas, and breathing techniques can help you strengthen your nervous system, balances the glands and helps clear out subconscious thought patterns, which gives greater emotional balance.
- Since it helps strengthen your nervous system, you become less likely to be susceptible to everyday stress and perhaps even more resilient.
- It gives you the experience of who you are and helps manifest a sense of security from within yourself.
- It is also called household yoga because it is catered to the people who have busy lives and can’t go to a yoga studio every day, so it is quick and efficient.
Kundalini yoga isn’t a religion, it helps people achieve a form of spiritual enlightenment and is universal, regardless of your religious beliefs. This ancient practice of yoga has been around a long time from once being an esoteric form of knowledge that only took in deserving students to now becoming available to everyone, all over the globe. It can be considered the tool that you needed to be happy and raise your Kundalini energy.