What is Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is the powerful practice in yoga philosophy, used to tame the “kundalini shakti” – the serpent power lying dormant in the human being.  This is the highest form of energy in every human being that reveals the ultimate consciousness in man. Focusing more on the breathing techniques like pranayama and at its various stages, this style of yoga focuses on exploring various breathing techniques, regulating and controlling of the breath. Inhalation, Retention and Exhalation is practiced regularly and thus the mind and flow of prana within the body is controlled.

One of the important processes in Kundalini Yoga is the awakening of chakras thus reaching and experiencing the higher levels of consciousness. Chakras are subtle energy centers that are present in every human being. It is said that the power of the serpent lies at the bottom of the spinal cord. The chakra is called as the Mooladhara Chakra.  Through “kumbhaka” – the retention of the breath and other breathing techniques, the nadis (ida and pingala) are purified so that the balance of both the energies are attained through a third nadi – sushumna nadi.

This process awakens the upper chakras to Mooladhara, like – Manipuraka, Swadhishtana, Anahata, Visudhi, Ajna by bringing the power of consciousness to the Sahasrara Chakra (upper cerebrum). After reaching this state of consciousness, one enjoys the bliss – similar to Samadhi in Ashtanga Yoga.

kundalini awakening

Photo By Hartwig HKD

Precisely, Kundalini yoga is that which comprises of the control of prana – the subtle energy by regular and intensive practice of various breathing techniques, thus controlling the flow of prana through the nadis and thus awakening the chakras and finally making the pathway for the Kundalini Shakti to reach Sahasrara.

Kundalini Yoga is that part of yoga which explains the taming of Kundalini Shakthi, which is dormant in all the human beings. It awakens the six centers of spiritual energy. Yogic philosophy has the systematic and gradual way of awakening the highest potential in man – the Kundalini shakti.  These yogic practices have been used throughout the ages to awaken this energy. Hatha yoga plays the primary step in this context of awakening this highest spiritual energy.

Hatha yoga basically means the balancing the two important forms of energy in the physical body.  These energies are called as “Ha” – lunar and “tha” – solar. Awakening of Kundalini is basically the awakening of one’s Prana shakti, included in the breath. Once it is awakened, one is united with the cosmic prana (universal consciousness).  Symbolically it is seen as a serpent lying under the spinal cord. Prana is infinite and it is the Existence. By awakening the prana, it is like increasing the voltage from low to high.

Man as the microcosm is the all-pervading consciousness carried by Shakti in the form of mind, body, centered with six chakras (shad Chakras).  Chakras start from the sacrococcygeal plexus and ends at the sahasrara, the upper cerebrum. Kundalini yoga is again the awakening of these chakras.

The practice ends with the Samadhi gained by the shakti reaching Sahasrara – the upper cerebrum by invoking the power of each Chakras in between.  Breathing practices including a deep insight on several stages of Pranayam are important in Kundalini Yoga.