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Everything You Need To Know About Kundalini Yoga

Updated on December 27, 2015

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is considered to be one of the most mysterious forms of yoga. It is also the one that is often misinterpreted because of the numerous consistent information about this spiritual practice. This Kundalini yoga 101 article aspires to clarify certain points, information and concepts pertaining to a sect which calls it's yoga practice Kundalini yoga.

What is Kundalini Yoga?

It is considered to be a physical and meditative discipline associated with hatha yoga. Kundalini yoga involves mostly advanced yoga postures and exercises. The exercises performed in Kundalini yoga are quite similar to Kriya yoga.

According to Hindu traditions, Kundalini yoga is a form of pure spiritual science that gives enlightenment and God-given realization under the guidance of a spiritual master. When the kundalini is awakened, it signifies the awakening of one’s knowledge of his inner self and potential.


The word kundalini comes from different words with different meanings.  In Hindu, words ending with the letter “i” indicate a feminine principle and they are known to deal mainly with energy and nature.  “Kunda” describes a hole or well in which debris and rubbish are disposed.  “Kundala” means a circle or a ring.  It symbolizes the infinity of the cosmic energy.

Other words that are part of Kundalini are “kundalin” which means serpent and “kala” meaning time or death.  The snake symbolizes ignorance, temptation, change, energy, unhappiness and time.  Snake can also symbolize poison and danger in ignorance (just like the story of the apple in the garden of Eden).  Kundalini believes that a person knowledge about life and his inner self is like having an antidote ignorance likened to a serpent’s poison.

Needing a Master

Hindu tradition believes that practicing Kundalini without a self-realized, living master may bring psychic disturbances in one’s life.  This is known to be Kundalini’s syndrome in the field of psychiatry and psychology.

Brief History

Kundalini yoga is known as one of the oldest forms of youga.  However, Kundalini yoga was never shared publicly until 1969.  It was first taught in the United States by Yoga Bhajan.

Best Beginner Kundalini Yoga Exercises

Breath of Fire Kundalini Yoga Breathing Exercise

Aims of Kundalini Yoga

The essence of Kundalini yoga is to awaken the latent energy that is present in all human beings.  It aims to open the energy portals and seven chakras of the body.  Kundalini yoga combines fire of breath with Kriya to open the Kundalini energy lying dormant inside all human beings.

The energy of Kundalini yoga is said to be residing at the base of the spine like a coiled snake.  When one begins to become in touch with their Kundalini prana, the energy travels upward through the seven chakras and settling at the Crown Chakra.

Underlying Philosophy

Kundalini is considered to be a concentrated form of prana or life force, simply lying dormant in the chakras of the body.  The life force is pictures as a serpent coiled inside the body.  The serpent is symbolized as a female coiled uo three and a half times.  The mouth of the serpent in pictures is said to be engulfing the base of the Sushumna nadi.

3 Manifestations

In the literature of the Kashmir Shaivism, the kundalini is divided into three manifestations.  The first manifestation or the para-kundalini is known as the universal energy.  The second manifestation or prana-kundalini is the body-mind comples.  The third manifestation is the shakti-kundalini otherwise known as consciousness.  The shakti-kundalini is the one which intermediates between the first two manifestations.  These manifestations are quite similar to each other, but each basks in its own unique characteristics and distinguishing the differences of the three manifestations can help people understand the real essence of Kundalini.

Kundalini Yoga Path

The Muladhara Chakra (find at the lower spinal column) is the beginning of the Kundalini path.  The path ends at the top of the head or Sahasara Chakra.  The awakening is not considered to be a physical occurrence but instead, it involves a more spiritual and mental awakening.  According to Kundalini practitioners, awakening brought about by Kundalini brings pureness of love, joy and knowledge.

The path of Kundalini believes that the energy and consciousness exists inside each human being.  The only thing that needs to be done is to tap into the consciousness to open and awaken the energy.  By doing so, there will be an achieved state of divine union through which the real essence of Kundalini yoga can be understood.

Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond

Yoga Brings Awareness

Kundalini yoga is also described as “yoga of awareness”.  Why?  It is because Kundalini yoga is focused on awakening one’s unlimited potential that is believed to exist in all human beings.  The breathing techniques as well as the exercises featured in Kundalini yoga provide calmness, self-awareness and serenity like no other yoga can give.

When  you attend a Kundalini class, you may notice that it is quite different from other yoga classes, especially those that are categorized as “power yoga”.  It is because Kundalini yoga simply focuses on shifting breathing patterns.  These breathing patterns work with poses that strengthen the muscles of the body.

Kundalini classes also compose of meditation and chanting.  When you decide to enrol in a Kundalini yoga class, avoid wearing tight clothes because it will prevent you from performing the poses properly.  You might also need to bring your own yoga mat and a bottle of water to satisfy you when you feel thirsty after the exercises.

Kundalini Yoga Benefits

Yoga can improve the body’s strength and flexibility.  Other benefits include balancing the glandular system, increasing vitality of the nervous system, enhancing self-awareness and improving circulation.  Studies have also shown that Kundalini can induce muscle relaxation, improve hart rate, and lessen or cure obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Kundalini yoga also involves an intense connection between the mind, body and spirit.  If you are still a beginner, Kundalini yoga instructors can help you with the exercises and meditations.  As mentioned earlier, the concepts of Kundalini consider it improper for a person to practice Kundalini exercises without receiving instructions from a “master”. 

Now that we have already discussed Kundalini yoga 101, you are already aware of its main concepts, principles and benefits.  You can then decide if Kundalini yoga fits your personality, needs and lifestyle.


Submit a Comment
  • Supercellbaebe profile image


    7 years ago from LONDON

    I'm thinking of joining a Kundalini class! I found one near me which is fairly reasonable, its been very interesting to read up on it before deciding to join. Thank you xxx


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