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Kundalini Yoga: What Is It? Benefits and Kundalini Poses for Beginners

what is kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga is a practice that is beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. Let’s explore what Kundalini yoga is, its benefits, and some poses suitable for beginners.

1 What Is Kundalini Yoga?

Despite its global popularity, the origins of Kundalini yoga remain relatively unknown. The concept of Kundalini energy dates back thousands of years and is mentioned in ancient Vedic texts from over a millennium ago.

Kundalini yoga is often associated with Yogi Bhajan, a yoga teacher from Pakistan, who is credited with introducing this practice to Western countries in the 1960s.

Kundalini yoga

The term “Kundalini” is derived from the Sanskrit word “kundal,” which means “circular” or “coiled serpent.” Kundalini yoga aims to awaken the dormant energy at the base of the spine, often visualized as a coiled serpent, to provide abundant energy and enhance mental comfort.

Kundalini yoga is practiced to activate this energy source, allowing it to move upward through the energy centers along your spine. Kundalini yoga is primarily focused on nurturing the spirit, building self-confidence, and enhancing overall life.

2 Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

Stress Reduction

Similar to other forms of yoga, Kundalini yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety. In a 2017 study, participants reported an immediate reduction in mental stress after practicing Kundalini yoga.

Researchers concluded that Kundalini yoga can be an effective treatment for individuals with general anxiety disorders.

Improves Health

Studies have shown that Kundalini Yoga can help reduce blood sugar levels by decreasing hormones that raise glucose levels in the blood. It also supports weight loss, benefiting individuals with type 2 diabetes, as obesity is a contributing factor to this condition.

Kundalini yoga improves health

Enhances Cognition and Mood

A 2017 study revealed that while cognitive decline is common with aging, Kundalini Yoga helps improve age-related cognitive decline, including memory and motor function.

This study also found that Kundalini Yoga has a positive impact on mood. Participants in this yoga practice reported improvements in feelings of depression, stress, and irritability.

3 Target Audience for Kundalini Yoga

Anyone can practice Kundalini yoga. Specifically, Kundalini yoga is suitable for those facing life pressures, difficulties, and a sense of inner turmoil.

However, if you have respiratory issues, joint pain, injuries, or are pregnant, it’s advisable to consult a doctor before starting the practice.

Target audience for Kundalini yoga

4 What Sets Kundalini Yoga Apart from Other Yoga Styles?

Compared to other yoga forms, Kundalini yoga places a stronger emphasis on the spiritual aspect. While physical exercises are still a part of Kundalini yoga, they are not the central focus.

Kundalini yoga involves more precision and repetition. A typical Kundalini yoga class includes the following:

  • Begin with a Chant: Each class starts with an opening chant, known as “niệm chú.”
  • Pranayama Breathing Exercises: You perform breathing exercises, known as “pranayama,” along with occasional spinal stretches to control your breath.
  • Kriya: Kriya consists of a series of postures, breathing exercises, and chants combined together. The duration and intensity of the Kriya depend on your instructor.
  • Relaxation: This segment allows your body and mind to absorb the effects of the Kriya.
  • Meditation: If you’re practicing with a teacher, you’ll receive guidance on meditation to enhance awareness of the external world.
  • Closure: The class concludes with a closing hymn.
What Sets Kundalini Yoga Apart from Other Yoga Styles

5 Kundalini Yoga Poses for Beginners

Lotus Pose

This is a basic pose for beginners in Kundalini yoga. It helps open the hips, although it may be uncomfortable initially due to tension in this area. Move slowly to avoid injury, especially if you have hip issues.

How to do the Lotus Pose:

Step 1: Sit on the floor with both legs extended and your back straight.

Step 2: Bend your knees outward and bring your feet towards your body as if you are preparing to sit cross-legged.

Step 3: Place your left foot on top of your right thigh and your right foot on top of your left thigh. Then, place both hands on your knees with your right and left fingers touching each other.

Step 4: Close your eyes and take deep breaths.

Lotus Pose

Cobra Pose

This pose is believed to activate Kundalini energy within you, relieving stress, fatigue, and providing a sense of relaxation.

How to do the Cobra Pose:

Step 1: Start by lying face down, with your legs and feet close together and your forehead on the ground. Place the front of your pubic bone on the floor.

Step 2: Next, press your palms into the mat. Ensure your fingers are pointing forward and your elbows are parallel to each other.

Step 3: Inhale deeply, lifting your head and chest, and press your lower body into the ground.

Step 4: Straighten your arms, raise your chest and abdomen, and slide your shoulders down and back.

Step 5: Hold this pose for a maximum of 30 seconds, taking deep breaths, and then exhale and return to the starting position.

Cobra Pose

Archer Pose

This pose will make you feel more confident, like a warrior. It helps you work on your core and improve overall body flexibility while enhancing strength. Additionally, it supports digestive functions.

Steps to do the Archer Pose:

Step 1: Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended and place your hands on your thighs.

Step 2: Slide your right foot forward along the floor while extending your left foot back. Use your left hand to grasp your left toes and slowly pull them back as far as you can while keeping your head and upper body as straight as possible.

Step 3: Next, extend your arms out to the sides, keeping them in line with your shoulders, and slowly raise your right leg while using your right hand to grasp it.

Step 4: Look forward and take deep breaths while holding this pose for 2 to 3 minutes.

Archer Pose

Here, we have provided information about Kundalini yoga. We hope you find this information useful.

Source: Healthline

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