While in Rishikesh, India this past month, I took the time to dive a bit deeper into my yoga practice by taking a 7-day training in the ancient practice of Kundalini Yoga. We focused on a different chakra each day and wow wow wow, the transformation was seriously intense yet so transformative! I’ll be incorporating many aspects of Kundalini yoga during my Spring Cleanse program this month.
Let me explain a bit about this type of yoga, a yoga that was once forbidden to be taught outside the secret society of Indian yoga elite. It was believed that the public was not prepared to learn Kundalini because then we would have access to such powerful knowledge!
Out of the many yogas, Kundalini has been considered the most sacred. “Kundalini” is an ancient Sanskrit word that literally means “coiled snake.” It has been believed that each individual possesses a divine energy at the base of the spine…..an energy thought to be the sacred energy of creation. Although we are born with this energy, we must make an effort to “uncoil the snake,” and through this we will be putting ourselves in direct contact with the divine.
In other words, Kundalini Yoga is the science and practice of awakening our Higher Self and turning potential energy into kinetic energy.
Get this…our bodies are supported by seven energy centers, called chakras, that fuel our vitality. When one of these energy centers is blocked (emotional, mental, spiritual or physical blocks), it causes the entire system to fail. One of the main purposes of Kundalini Yoga is to clear blocks from the chakras to allow energy to flow freely and thus attain more access to our own intelligence and to the wisdom of the divine!
The 7 Chakras:
1) Crown (top of the head)
2) Third Eye (between eyes)
3) Throat (at the throat)
4) Heart (center of the chest)
5) Solar Plexus (upper ab)
6) Sacral (lower abdomen)
7) Root (base of the spine)
So how is it that NOW we are able to learn Kundalini outside of the constraints of the India elite?!?! Well, for thousands of years, the science of Kundalini was kept hidden, passed on in secret from master to disciple, until one morning when a holy Sikh rebel named Yogi Bhajan travelled to the west in the late 1960’s and witnessed the confusion of many folks looking for expanded consciousness . He then had a vision of a new spirituality that combined ancient knowledge with modern practicality, something us Westerners could swallow. Hence, the introduction to Kundalini yoga to the modern world!