Kundalini yoga, also known as "the yoga of awareness," is a style of yoga ideal for those who want to experience the ancient Indian practice beyond the physical aspects. Simply put, this style of yoga is not just a fitness workout to help you shed pounds and tone muscles. The alternating passive and aggressive Kundalini yoga poses you will do all aim to awaken the natural but often dormant force of energy within the body.
Who Can Do Kundalini Yoga
As mentioned, the poses performed in Kundalini classes are both passive and aggressive. You will get to learn posture-based breathing and meditation techniques. Beginners and yoga newbies may find some poses quite challenging, but are still doable regardless of your level of practice. If you've tried the more vigorous styles of yoga such as Bikram or Ashtanga, you may want to give Kundalini a try so you can transcend the physical and explore the other dimensions of the yoga tradition.
Benefits of Kundalini Yoga
More than the physical gains and benefits, Kundalini yoga aims to develop intuition and stir your consciousness awake - leading to mental calmness, spiritual awareness, and the fluid flow of energy or your Kundalini Shakti along the spine and the rest of the body. So while you will still get the physical exercise that you need, you will also get to harness self-awareness and develop higher consciousness. This will then lead to the awakening of your Kundalini energy and outwardly manifesting this heightened awareness through Kriyas (actions or movements).
What You Should Know
The easiest way to understand this yogic style is to think of the natural kundalini energy within your body as a coiled snake residing at the base of your spine. When you perform Kundalini yoga poses (and breathing and meditation), you allow this dormant energy within your body to uncoil and flow through your spine and to the seven chakras. Don't know what/where these chakras are? Don't worry, it's one of the many things you will learn when you do Kundalini yoga.