What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is a 5,000-year old authentic system of yoga exercise and meditation that promotes health happiness and awareness. Combining breathing, movement, stretching and sound, Kundalini Yoga is a safe, comprehensive technology that can be practiced by anyone.

Practicing Kundalini Yoga keeps the body in shape, increases vitality, and trains the mind to be strong and flexible in the face of stress and change. It balances the glandular system, strengthens the nervous system, and enhances creative potential. Through yogic breathing techniques and meditation, peace of mind can be obtained, giving an experience of deep inner calm and self-confidence.

Through Kundalini Yoga people have healed themselves of the pain of physical illness, mental pressure, drug and alcohol addictions, and more. Because Kundalini Yoga develops the total person, practitioners also become more intuitive and more sensitive within the shortest possible time.

Kundalini Yoga is much more than a system of physical exercise. The technology of Kundalini Yoga is aimed at the spirit that has no boundaries. Therefore, it is universal and nondenominational. No matter what, if any, religious path a person follows, Kundalini Yoga helps practitioners experience what they believe.

"What is Kundalini? The creative potential of the human." YB

Who is Yogi Bhajan?

Yogi Bhajan is a Master of Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, and a dedicated and inspired teacher. Since arriving in the United States in 1969, he has dedicated himself to bring meaning, dignity and a reconnection of Spirit into the lives of people everywhere.

As he has worked diligently to spread the science and practice of Kundalini Yoga throughout the Western Hemisphere and beyond, Yogi Bhajan has become widely recognized as a world leader and champion of world peace and healing.

Where did Yoga Come From?

There are a multitude of yogic paths, meditations, postures and definitions. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit "yug," to yoke or to unite. In the practice of yoga we join our finite selves to our infinite selves. In popular terms, we unite body, mind and soul to act together as a balanced whole.

The origins of yoga date back as far as 3000 BC. Yoga is also first mentioned in the vast collection of scriptures called the Vedas, portions of which date from as far back as 2500 BC. This science has been studied in the monasteries of India and Tibet for thousands of years. According to Yogi Bhajan, the ancient science of Kundalini Yoga is even much older and has been honed and refined by generations of learned yogis until it is now offered intact with all its esoteric practices adapted for the western mind.

This technology uses the body's natural movements, breath, energy pathways and sounds to purify and strengthen the physical form so that the mental form (mind) may be brought under control and an ongoing connection with the soul is forged.

Why is the image of a snake often associated with Kundalini?

In the East, the snake is a positive and royal image considered auspicious and it is often a mandatory component in the lives of Gods and saints. The word ‘kundal’ with the female ending “ini” means the ‘coil in the hair of the beloved,’ a reference to the long hair of the adepts, coiled on top of the head in a “bun.”

In the classical literature of yoga, Kundalini is described as a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. The image of coiling, like a spring, conveys the sense of untapped potential energy. The goal of Kundalini yoga is to raise one's consciousness and learn to maintain it during all activities, day and night. Experiences of physical sensations of heat or electrical flashes are not necessarily considered to be rising of Kundalini. Kundalini rising can simply be felt as an increase in one's awareness of his/her physical sensations, emotional states, and thought patterns and projections.

Why do Kundalini Yoga Teachers cover their head with a scarf or turban?

This most definitely does not need to be a turban, but can be any type of covering of any natural fiber. There are many teachers who wear scarves, wool caps, cotton woven caps, even baseball type caps have been worn. The practical reason for wearing a head covering can be summed up as follows: your head is a very sensitive part of the body:

  • The skull is made up of tiny bones that are constantly moving even if only by micromillimeters and the degree to which they move impacts levels of calmness or anxiety. Covering the head provides a sense of containment and focus while practicing yoga or while doing work that requires clarity of thought.

  • The forehead consists of porous bone, which allows light to pass through it and stimulate the light sensitive pituitary gland. The pituitary is the master gland which regulates all other glands. If it is not stimulated by enough light, a lack of glandular secretion can result including the "feel-goods" dopamine, seratonin and melatonin. Therefore keeping this area of the forehead clear (having the hair up or not wearing bangs) can help with these hormone levels.

  • The hairs on all parts of our body is an extension of our sensitive field, an antenna. They conduct electricity and wherever they are on the body, they balance the electromagnetic charge at that part of the body. (eyebrows, armpits, sexual area, chest, head, etc.). When the hair is uncut it strengthens the body's electromagnetic field. Also imagine that if your hair is like a coil of electricity, that by coiling it all together at the top of the head -it will draw more electricity/energy towards it like a big electromagnet. This has the effect of pulling up the energy residing at the base of the spine (lower chakras) to the higher centers. If the hair is altered on any part of the body it will have an effect on the electromagnetic field and the physical body as well.

Tell me about the Gong.

The Gong is the only instrument that the mind has no defense against. Allow it to massage you on a molecular level. A Gong Meditation strengthens the electromagnetic field (aura). A truly natural meditation that is as old as time itself. The healing and balancing effects can be felt for days. Some of the effects of the cosmic vibration are:

  • Raises energy
  • Balances and opens the chakras
  • Balances the glands
  • Helps you to experience the infinite with the finite

What are the main differences between KY and other yogas?

In the yogic scriptures it is said that Kundalini Yoga is the fastest way to create the transformation to enlightenment that each individual is seeking. It is the fastest way to establish an aligned relationship between the body mind and soul. Yogi Bhajan has said that there are over twenty two major forms of the practice of yoga. Each one emphasizes a facet of the whole. Just like a stone each facet has something to offer.

Kundalini Yoga is like the complete stone in itself. Therefore giving you the greatest transformative power. Anyone can partake in what the technology has to offer. Experience is a much better judge. "Doing is believing" YB

Here are some concrete differences you would notice in class:

Kundalini Yoga classes all begin with tuning in with the Adi Mantra - "Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo" - and finish with an affirmation/personal prayer called the "Long Time Sun."

It emphasizes the awareness and mastery of the breath, pranayama, typically more than in most other yoga classes, especially Breath of Fire.

Breath of Fire is a rapid complete diaphragmatic breath which has many benefits including massaging the heart, cleansing the circulatory and respiratory systems and energizing the body.

There is a definite spiritual and transformational atmosphere.

Kundalini Yoga uses very sophisticated series of movements and exercises, called Kriya's, not often practiced in most other yoga classes to achieve specific body-mind spirit goals.

One can be in any physical shape to get benefits from a Kundalini Yoga Class.

Mantra and the sound current is an important part of every class.

There is no initiation, everyone is "self-initiated."

The relaxation portion of the class is very deep and refreshing.

What is Sadhana?

Sadhana means “daily practice.” With a consistent Sadhana practice your life will not be the same. Sadhana is your personal, individual spiritual effort. Waking in the ambrosial hours (2 hours before the sun rises) connects you with your creator in a way that cannot occur at other parts of the day. Discipline and commitment is required. You will be tested through distractions and self-sabotage. But everyday you rise and have your cold shower and sit down for Sadhana, the benefits will grow obvious. Develop the neutral mind and witness what comes. Keep Up! The meditation and chanting are doing their work and removing the blocks that have prevented you from your true divine being. Sadhana will restore that connection. We need to clear the subconscious on a regular basis. Negativity will continue to accumulate and once the subconscious becomes full it spills over into the unconscious and is more difficult to get rid of.

Any Sadhana you do will include exercise, meditation and prayer. The Aquarian Sadhana that Yogi Bhajan has shared to practice until 2013 (until the shift to the Aquarian Age is complete) is 2.5 hours. Twenty minutes of prayer, one hour of yoga and 62 minutes of chanting. Please join us once a week to do this beautiful practice in community. If time or other limitations prevent this particular structure from working in your life or you need to start more gradually please discuss with your yoga teacher. Any Sadhana is an improvement to none. After completing your daily morning Sadhana you are much better prepared to handle whatever pleasures or challenges the day may bring.

What is the Aqaurian Age?

Also known as the Age of Awareness. The next in a succession of astrological ages each lasting roughly 2,000 yeas. We are in the transition now from the Piscean Age until 2012 when we enter the Aquarian Age fully. In the Aquarian Age we will witness a radical change in consciousness, human sensitivity and technology. The central change of this new age will emphasize an increased sensitivity and evolution of our power of awareness and a new relationship with our mind.

Why serve Yogi Tea after class?

After each yoga class, we serve Yogi Tea for your enjoyment. The tea is caffeine-free, sweetened with organic maple syrup or honey, and topped off with organic soy milk. Many students say it's one of their favorite parts of coming to class. Yogi Tea is a health-promoting beverage and tonic for the whole body. It strengthens the nervous system, energizes the body, and clears the mind. It is both a remedy and preventive measure for colds, allergies and other diseases. The combined spices create a synergistic healing effect. Black pepper is a blood purifier; cardamom aids digestion; cloves strengthen the nervous system; cinnamon aids calcium absorption; ginger heals inflammations and removes physical weakness; the soy milk aids in assimilation; and the black tea activates the ingredients. The spices used to make Yogi Tea may be bought in bulk at health food stores, Indian grocery stores or you can purchase pre mixed 1lb. bags in the bookstore.

Yogi Tea is best when made at least two quarts at a time. The Yogi Tea can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen. When you're ready to drink the tea, simply heat it up and add milk and sweetener.

To make two quarts:
Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in 3-4 quart pot. Add 15 whole cloves and boil for 1 minute. Then add 20 black peppercorns, 3 sticks of cinnamon, 20 green cardamom pods (crush or split pods first,) and 8 or more slices of fresh ginger root (about 1/4" slices; no need to peel.) Cover and boil gently for at least 30 minutes. (For best flavor, cover tightly and boil over low heat for 2 to 3 hours!) When through boiling, turn off and add 1/2 teaspoon of black tea (do not omit; you can use decaf black tea) and let tea cool. Strain the tea. Either use it or store it away. When ready to drink, sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup. Add soy milk or dairy milk. Drink often.