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What is Kundalini Yoga?

This Tuesday I launch my app! Yahoo! I have been working on it for the past six months. It’s an app that puts your yoga practice in your pocket. It’s great. It works well, it looks good and it’s simple to use. Fingers and toes crossed the Kundalini yogis I created it for will think so too.

It’s my first app. No one is more amazed than I, that I have created it. The idea came to me in meditation one morning and persisted many other mornings so to cut a long story short it is now real. Truly real. I now realise it’s a perfect blend of my 20 years design and branding communications experience and my passion for this yoga, but who knew:-) Such is the mystery of life.

It seems timely on the verge of it going live to share about Kundalini Yoga and how it came into my life.

I have been practicing for about 5 years now. It started like many things, serendipitously. My first encounter with it had been on a retreat in Bali where I did a few classes and didn’t like it much at all

I had made a New Year’s resolution (we all know how they usually turn out) that I would formalise my yoga practice. I had been doing vinyasa yoga off and on for years from a video with occasional jaunts to class.

About May that year I met a girl in a white turban while queueing for coffee at a market (she being a yogi was queueing for chai) We got chatting, because that’s a thing I do. She taught Kundalini Yoga. It sounded curious and I follow my curiosity I recalled my resolution and took this as a sign.

It took me many months more to turn up at a class: 6:30 one morning. The class had been cancelled. I laughed at myself, went for a dawn walk, but found myself back there another morning.

I have no idea why, but I was hooked. I started going two mornings a week and within a year I was a teacher. I went to France 3 times that year, to train with Karta Singh It was a rigorous and wonderful experience. But more on that later.

What is it about Kundalini Yoga and why am I so passionate about it?

It is known as the yoga of awareness. It is also known as the super fast highway to consciousness because it produces results fast. Within one class you can feel a difference. It’s challenging and it’s good. Have I mentioned I’m an Aries, and I have a lot of energy. Fast works for me. And through this yoga, I have found slow too.

Kundalini in literal terms is a lock of hair, but in this context it is energy that lies dormant at the base of your spine. It lies there awaiting your awakening: so it can rise up your spine through each of your chakras to cultivate your creative spiritual potential. It empowers you to speak your truth, while living your values, with the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and help others heal.

As Yogi Bhajan who brought Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1968 says “Kundalini Yoga is simply uncoiling yourself to find your potential and your vitality and to reach your virtues. There is nothing outside, everything is in you. You are the storehouse of your totality.”

Kundalini is seen as one of the more spiritual and complete yogas. It works with your mind, body and spirit through asana (physical postures), pranayama (breath work), mudra (hand gestures) and mantra (chanting).

Why do I love it?

First it works. You always leave your practice lighter than you arrived.

It helps keeps you centred no matter what is going on. You come to know yourself (your lighter and darker sides, we’ve all got them). You come to accept yourself and accept others. Your way of being changes – for the better And you’re much more fun to have around.

I’m for all of the above, because I’m around me a lot!

Once you begin to raise your Kundalini energy you will find its’ effects in every aspect of your life. Happier, healthier and (w)holier as the organisation that is the custodian of the teachings named declares

Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga has said ‘If you give one tenth of your day to your spirit, it gives back to your for the rest of the day.’

I have found this to be true. much to my chagrin, And that it is best to do an early morning practice. Not being a morning person It really, really annoys me that this is true too

Another thing I love is, If you go to a Kundalini yoga class you do not know what kriya (set of exercises) or meditation you will do that day. I love this aspect of it as it forces me to surrender and just be with it. You do not know if you will be holding a posture for a few seconds or many minutes so it moves you beyond time and space. You enter into and just allow it to do its work, while you do the work or at least that’s the smartest thing to do.

Like life really where you have no idea what’s next.

It doesn’t stop us trying to control things, though does it. This yoga also teaches you that instead of controlling, to enter into life’s flow

If you do a daily practice you will find that some days you can do this as easily as spreading butter. Other days it will feel like banging your head against a wall. You can’t settle but if you allow yourself to let go, you will find yourself feeling calmer, more centred and just plain better.

Where did it come from?

For hundreds of years, Kundalini Yoga was traditionally passed down from master to student in the oral tradition. Yogi Bhajan was the first to teach it openly and brought this technology to the West in 1969. He shared this yoga to prepare humanity for the major changes that this planet is going through as we move from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. The teachings of Kundalini Yoga can give us the awareness and the stamina to meet the challenges we are facing at this time.

What’s so great about it?

It’s efficient and effective—its cuts through stuff fast. Its all about wisdom through experience. I can feel and see the changes in myself but I can also see them in my students. Kriyas are structured to systematically produce an outcome and they do. It is called the householder yoga as it is practised by those who live ‘normal’ lives – families and careers.

The benefits of a daily or regular practice are huge. It balances the glandular system, strengthens the nervous system, and enables you to harness the energy of the mind and the emotions, so you can maintain your zen, when all around you might be losing theirs.  

It’s a safe way to stimulate the body and keep your body, mind and spirit balanced and centre. It’s a proven path to self awareness and the Soul. The scope of techniques and meditations is staggering, so you can create specific programs to support your own growth.

“Kundalini Yoga is a science that works on the seven chakras, the arcline and the aura… you will learn how to ride your energy, to experience it and penetrate any given situation to attain balance. The power of Kundalini Yoga also lies in the actual experience. It goes right into your heart and extends your consciousness.” – Yogi Bhajan.

A typical class is 60 – 90 minutes beginning with tuning in, then a warm up following by a kriya (set of postures), then deep relaxation followed by a meditation with or without chanting and mantra. The practice is then closed with a blessing and a song.

So that’s Kundalini Yoga for you. Can you tell I’m hooked? But like anything you have to make up your own mind. Wisdom through experience, eh!

I’ve even developed an app so you can do it yourself. Check out how it app works here

Or here’s a short meditation here that will relieve stress.

x Eilish

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