Kundalini Yoga - The Yoga of Awareness
Kundalini Yoga is a system of meditative techniques and movements within the yogic tradition that focuses on psycho-spiritual growth and the body's potential for maturation. The practice of Kundalini Yoga consists of a number of bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances, characterological meditations, breathing patterns, and degrees of concentration. The movements and the body-work should not, according to some scholars of religion, be considered mere stretching exercises. The concept of life-energy, pranotthana, is central to the practice and understanding of Kundalini Yoga. It also gives special consideration to the role of the spine and the endocrine system in the understanding of yogic awakening. Recently, there has been a growing interest within the medical community to study the physiological effects of meditation, and some of these studies have applied the discipline of Kundalini Yoga to their clinical settings.
Kundalini Yoga Practice
The practice of kundalini yoga consists of a number of bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances, characterological cultivations, breathing patterns, and degrees of concentration (Sovatsky, 1998). None of these postures and movements should, according to scholars of Yoga (Sovatsky, 1998), be considered mere stretching exercises or gymnastic exercises.
Shannahoff-Khalsa (2004) describes several Kundalini Yoga techniques in his Kundalini Yoga Protocol. Most techniques include the following features: cross-legged positions, the positioning of the spine (usually straight), different methods to control the breath, the use of mantras, closed eyes, and mental focus (often on the sound of the breath). The author emphasizes that the techniques are not meant to be a substitute for medical care and advice (for more information on circumstances where meditation is contra-indicated, see next section).
Kundalini Yoga is relatively new and like other yogas, it links movement with breath. The way it differs is its direct focus on moving energy through the chakra system, stimulating the energy in the lower chakras and moving it to the higher chakras. The chakras are energy centers, seven in total, located beginning at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. An eighth chakra exists in Kundalini Yoga, which is the electromagnetic field, sometimes called "aura." The aura is thought to be strengthened through the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini Yoga awakens the energy that resides in the spine by activating the nerve channels that are intertwined there.
Although it is quite physical, its main benefit is derived from the inner experience. Kundalini Yoga is called "the Yoga of Awareness" because it awakens the "kundalini" which is the unlimited potential that already exists within every human being . When this infinite potential energy is raised in the body it stimulates the higher centers, giving the individual enhanced intuition and mental clarity and creative potential. As such, Kundalini was considered a dangerous practice by ruling powers and so, was historically practiced in secret.
Sovatsky (1998) describes 'kundalini yoga' as an energetically guided yoga. This means that the discipline is informed by the Hindu understanding of pranotthana, or "intensified life-energy". Pranotthana is sometimes thought to lead to spontaneous psycho-motor manifestations which, according to Yogic hermeneutics, might be interpreted as signs of psycho-spiritual growth and bodily maturation.
The word, 'kundalini', literally means "the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved." It is a metaphor, a poetic way of describing the flow of energy and consciousness which already is said to exist within each person. The practices are said to enable the person to merge with or "yoke" the universal Self. This merging of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness is said to create a "divine union" called "yoga."
The practice of kundalini yoga is universal and non-denominational. Though it has been attacked by some spiritual leaders in other religions (notably Christian), this claim can be readily dismissed as a general misunderstanding of yoga's purpose. Yoga is a deep, spiritual tradition that brings stability and peace of mind to the individual. But Kundalini yoga should not be practiced without a credible teacher or guide, as serious mental and physical problems can be a result of improper practice (called Kundalini Syndrome). If you have any questions you would like to ask Yogi Nirmalendu about your Kundalini experiences then please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org he will reply as soon as possible.
The Yoga Centre Glasgow's Longest Running Yoga Class!
The Serpent Power Kundalini
GLASGOW YOGA CENTRE
CLASSES 3 TIMES
Kundalini Yoga Classes
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at 8.00pm - 9.15pm.
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Price £6 per session.
Yogi Nirmalendu Roy The Yoga Centre47 St. Andrews Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow G41 5JH
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