"There is a way through all the blocks." -Yogi Bhajan
Kundalini Yoga is known as the yoga of awareness. By combining conscious breath work, mantra, postures and body locks, you are working to balance your body and mind. Kundalini yoga isn't just about the physical, but encompasses mental and emotional transformation.
Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to America from India in 1969 and set about introducing westerners to the practice. By using breath and movement, practitioners were – and still are – able to achieve the ‘high’ feelings often only achieved through the use of narcotics, which were very popular in the late sixties and early seventies.
Kundalini Yoga focuses on the rising of Kundalini energy. This energy lies at the 4th vertebrae and is dormant in most of us – until awakened. The energy is often described as coiled up and sleeping (much like a snake). Through movement, the energy begins to awaken and travels up the spine through the chakras to reach the crown chakra at the top of the head.
Kundalini Yoga is multi-faceted and a class can involve meditations, chants (known as mantras), posture movements and sequences (known as kriyas), allowing the body and mind to be taken to a different state of consciousness and awareness. A Kundalini meditation can be as short as 30 seconds, up to 11 minutes, or even as much as 62 minutes – but each is timed to allow the chemical changes in body, blood and brain to take place.
Kriyas are a set of postures/movements/breath work done in sequence and to specific lengths of time. The sequence never changes. Every posture or movement is timed to bring about a response in the body, which when accompanied by the rest of the kriya, will bring the body and mind to a particular outcome.
Chanting is very powerful and has a direct impact on our brain patterns and thoughts. At the beginning of each Kundalini Yoga class, the chant “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” is recited three times. It is loosely translated as “I bow to the divine teacher within.” This chant connects you to the chain of teachers that have gone before and also connects you to your inner teacher/guide. I love that concept – being taught by the teacher that is already within us.
We are so often told that all the answers to our own happiness lie within. This always reminds me to notice my inner world and the changes that are taking place. At the end of the class, the chant “Sat Nam” is repeated three times. This is translated as “truth is my name.” When we leave our Kundalini practice, we vibrate the truth.
Kim is located in Arizona, and teaches private or group sessions throughout the US. Kim is available to do events/workshops throughout the US.