At Gaia Health Store we regularly practice Kundalini Yoga with our Teacher Jasdeep who has shared some wisdom below on Kundalini Yoga in terms of what it is and what to expect from a class! We run weekly classes from 6:30pm to 8pm with Jasdeep on Thursday evenings and also once a month a deeper 2 hour meditation one Sunday per month from 11am to 1pm. Check out our events page to find out when the next one is!
We are also really lucky to have Chakra Creams from Soul Harmony, developed by founder Sarah Williams 28 years ago! These channelled with love, beautiful creams, contain a blend of essential oils on a vegan cream base to help balance your chakras through the skin. Sarah has also written a fabulous blog on her Soma Chakra Cream which works wonderfully when practicing Kundalini Yoga which you can read more about here:
There are so many different styles of Yoga being taught it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately Kundalini Yoga which Yogi Bhajan introduced to the West in one of his first public appearances on the 5th January 1969, is accessible, regardless of age, gender and physical or mental condition, there is something for everyone.
Kundalini Yoga gives us a comprehensive array of breathing techniques, dynamic and static physical exercises or postures (asana), meditation techniques and mantra. A Kundalini Yoga practice can be relaxing, physically demanding and deeply spiritual – all at the same time. It is an ancient practice which has survived for many thousands of years. Despite these deep roots Kundalini Yoga remains highly relevant in the demanding modern world, giving us the tools to survive and thrive, keeping us supple and fit and empowering us to fight the many psychological illness that currently prevail. If we choose to embrace the teaching fully, Kundalini Yoga gives us an entire lifestyle, encompassing what and how we eat, how we manage our relationships with others and even how and when we sleep.
This powerful tradition enables us to discover our inner light or true potential, the meaning of our lives and to connect our individual Consciousness with the Universal Consciousness: The real purpose of practicing Yoga. “The difference between Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga is only a matter of time and rate of progress. The purpose of the two approaches is the same; only Kundalini Yoga is direct, quick and a perfect practice for the modern household.” Yogi Bhajan. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Kundalini Yoga is a process that takes us beyond the mind to where we can follow our hearts.
Angles & triangles – YB says, “Kundalini Yoga is the science of angles and triangles.” Every angle we hold our body in has a corresponding energetic effect because the muscles are putting pressure on specific parts of the body eg lifting legs 30 degrees works on the Navel Point, lifting the arms 60 degrees works on the heart and lungs.
Strengthening the nervous systems: Yoga engages the nerves and makes them function better. Stretching and building muscles: Any muscle that is not used regularly, even if it is only over a period of a few days, starts to atrophy. This is evident in elderly people with stooped and narrow shoulders. Kundalini Yoga is an incredibly complete form of exercise for the muscles to maintain the strength and flexibility of the body.
Stimulating circulation: Due to increased heart rate and the internal massage of tissues and organs, Kundalini Yoga increases the circulation of blood, lymph and other body fluids. Endocrine glands, the guardians of your health, have no muscles to get their products into the blood. Yoga massages them, empties them, keeps them vital and helps them to communicate with each other. Many of the yoga exercises adjust the functioning of the endocrine glands by stimulating the primary base of the brain (the hypothalamus), through rhythmical breathing and through the effect of sound and mantra.
Kundalini Yoga as biofeedback: Kundalini Yoga gives increased awareness of the body’s internal processes. Muscles as energy catalysts: There is a connection between the muscles and the meridians or nadis. If a muscle is strong, the meridian connected to it will be healthy energetically and vice versa. That’s why specific meridians and organs are influenced by training specific muscles.
Cleansing the tissues: No matter how good the diet is, we tend to exceed the self cleansing capacity of our bodies. Uric acid, calcium crystals and many other wastes and poisons get stored in tissues and joints. They make us stiff and may cause many diseases. In Kundalini Yoga muscle stretching and internal massage bring wastes back into circulation so that the lungs, intestines, kidneys and skin are able to remove them.
Kundalini Yoga as lifestyle: Yoga is not just exercise. We can find opportunities to recommend daily healthy practices – rising early, taking a cold shower, wearing light coloured clothing and trying other aspects of yogic lifestyle. A vegetarian diet alone reduces the risk of chronic diseases. A yogic lifestyle offers support to refrain from toxic habits such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs. It also supports withdrawal from caffeine and non-prescription drugs.
The Chakras: An understanding of the eight chakras of the body and how the practice of Kriyas, Pranayama and meditation affects them, is perhaps the most encompassing explanation of the effects of Kundalini Yoga.
The Ten Bodies: Kundalini Yoga directly activates and balances each of our Ten Bodies. These changes echo and reverberate throughout the dimensions of our being and have a powerful effect on our spiritual growth. What to expect in a Kundalini Yoga Class All Kundalini Yoga classes have a class structure, which are as follows:
Tuning In: We tune in by chanting the Adi Mantra, which is “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”, which means “I bow to the subtle divine wisdom, the divine teacher within”. This connects us to the purity of the Infinite teacher living within each of us. This connects us through the golden chain to Yogi Bhajan and the golden chain of teachers. It is chanted three times. This is then followed by the Mangala Charan Mantra, which is “Aad guray nameh, jugaad guray nameh. Sat guray nameh, siree guroo dayv-ay nameh”, which means “I bow to the primal wisdom. I bow to the wisdom true through the ages. I bow to the true wisdom. I bow to the great unseen wisdom”. This is a mantra which clears the clouds of doubt and opens us to guidance and protection. It surrounds the magnetic field with protective light.
Pranayam (Breath) and or Warm Up exercises: Breath is (prana) life energy itself. When we learn how to breathe consciously, we can calm our minds and master all aspects of our lives. Some form of breathing exercise/ techniques.
Kriya: Kriya means action. It is an action that leads to a complete manifestation; that lets a seed come to bloom, a thought come into actuality, a desire become a commitment. A kriya in yoga is a sequence of postures, breath and sound that are integrated together to balance the body, mind and soul and increase mental awareness and physical vitality.
Relaxation: This allows time for the energies that have been released in the body and mind to circulate and come to equilibrium. The body knows how to naturally balance itself. Meditation: Meditation brings awareness and control of our thoughts. Using mantra (sacred sound currents repeated aloud or silently) and mudra (sacred gestures) we can clear negative patterns and connect with our higher consciousness.
Closing Class: We finish a class by chanting 3 x Long time Sun May the long time sun shine upon you All love surround you And the pure light within you Guide your way on Chanting 3 x Sat Nam True Name/Identity I identify with truth and my true identity
What to bring to a class: Bring a natural yoga mat and or a sheep skin A blanket (to cover yourself whilst relaxing) A water bottle Wear loose fitting natural fibre clothing (ideally white) Yogi Bhajan taught his students that wearing all white clothing expands one's auric radiance by at least one foot. This is believed to strengthen one's identity and serve as a filter for negative influences from the surrounding world. Something to cover your head, like a scarf/chuni/turban Covering the head is a hallmark of Kundalini Yoga. Yogi Bhajan taught his students that tying hair on top of the head and covering it allows one to harness the inflow of energy, clear thoughts from the mind, and focus during yoga and meditation. Long hair should be tied up and out of the way Ideally avoid food for 2 -3 hours before a class Never practice Kundalini Yoga while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Students must obtain and follow the advice of their GP concerning of practice of yoga while taking prescription drugs.
We hope you can join us at one of our next classes!