Kundalini yoga: Poses and benefits


Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that can help reduce stress as well as improve flexibility. Know what Kundalini yoga is and its benefits.

Yoga has different forms that focus on breathing, bending, and stretching. Kundalini yoga is one of the forms of yoga that not only incorporates physical postures and breathing exercises but also chanting and meditation. The focus is on spiritual awakening and self-awareness apart from the physical health of a person. It is a practice that takes care of the needs of your body, mind as well as your soul. Whether you are an experienced yogi or a beginner, Kundalini yoga can help in improving your overall health. Here’s why you should do Kundalini yoga and how to perform some of the poses. You can experiment and decide which Kundalini yoga pose you are most comfortable with.

What is Kundalini yoga?

In yoga, Kundalini means the life force that lies like a coiled serpent at the spine’s base and that can be sent to the head through various postures. This form of yoga is based more on spirituality and the alignment of the body’s energy centres or chakras, says holistic health guru Dr Mickey Mehta. It is combination of movements, breath (pranayama), meditation and chanting. Its goal is to increase the level of self-awareness and consciousness.

Woman meditating
Kundalini yoga is a combination of movements, pranayama, meditation and chanting. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Chants play a pivotal role in Kundalini yoga, serving as powerful tools for transformation. The “Adi Mantra,” “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” initiate the practise, aligning you with higher consciousness and invoking the divine teacher within. The “Sat Nam” mantra, meaning truth is my identity, promotes a connection to one’s authentic self. The rhythmic repetition of these chants facilitates focus, mental clarity, and a heightened spiritual experience. Kundalini yoga and chants offer a holistic approach to well-being, promoting physical health, emotional balance and spiritual growth. As with any spiritual practise, individual experiences may vary, but the integration of Kundalini yoga and chants seeks to harmonise mind, body, and spirit, fostering a profound sense of self-awareness and inner peace.

Kundalini yoga poses

You can the following poses if you would like to try Kundalini yoga.

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1. Sat Kriya

One of the foundational asanas in Kundalini Yoga, Sat Kriya involves sitting in a meditative posture and chanting the mantra “Sat Nam” while performing a powerful contraction of the lower abdomen. This asana is believed to balance the nervous system and stimulate the flow of Kundalini energy, says the expert.

2. Crow Pose (Bakasana)

It is a challenging arm balance that requires focus and strength. In Kundalini Yoga, this pose may be accompanied by chanting the mantra “Wahe Guru,” enhancing concentration and connecting you with a sense of divine ecstasy.

3. Meditative poses

Kundalini Yoga places a strong emphasis on meditative asanas like Easy Pose (Sukhasana) or Lotus Pose (Padmasana), where you may chant mantras such as “Aum” or “Ek Ong Kar” to deepen the meditative experience and align energies.

4. Balasana

Sit in Vajrasana and as you inhale, raise your hands up. Exhale slowly and go down touching your forehead on the ground and hands by your side. Relax there for some time. Inhale and come up with the chant “Wahe Guru”. Balasana is a gentle resting pose that encourages introspection and surrender, allowing you to connect with your inner selves.

Woman doing child's pose
Balasana is one of the poses of Kundalini yoga. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the benefits of Kundalini yoga?

Kundalini yoga offers many health benefits.

1. Balances the nervous system

Kundalini yoga incorporates specific breathing techniques, such as Breath of Fire, which helps to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, says Dr Mehta. This balance can lead to improved focus and enhanced emotional well-being.

2. Increases flexibility and strength

The asanas in Kundalini Yoga contribute to increased flexibility, strength and overall physical fitness. The dynamic movements and poses stimulate various muscle groups, promoting overall body awareness and wellness.

3. Emotional release and healing

Kundalini yoga often involves meditation and specific postures that encourage emotional release. You may experience a cathartic process, allowing you to release and process stored emotions, leading to a greater sense of emotional well-being.

4. Enhances intuition and creativity

As Kundalini energy rises, you report heightened intuition and increased creativity. The practise is believed to activate the Ajna Chakra (Third Eye), fostering clarity, insight and creative inspiration, says Dr Mehta.

5. Stress reduction and relaxation

The combination of breathwork, meditation, and physical postures in Kundalini yoga is effective in reducing stress and promoting relaxation. The focus on mindfulness and presence helps individuals develop coping mechanisms for managing daily stressors.

6. Improved respiratory function

The conscious control of breath in Kundalini yoga enhances respiratory function. Practises such as Long Deep Breathing and Alternate Nostril Breathing contribute to improved lung capacity, oxygenation of the blood and overall respiratory health.

If you are interested in Kundalini yoga, start with simple asanas and work your way up to more intricate ones.

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