Kundalini yoga, also known as Laya yoga, is the yoga of awareness. There is unutilized energy at the base of the spine, which can be drawn to awaken all the seven chakras. This untapped energy is called Kundalini, usually depicted as a coiled serpent. By slowly awakening this snake and using its power one experiences expansion of awareness and consciousness, physical and mental well-being transforming life to be healthy and happy. One reaches full enlightenment when this energy reaches the “crown chakra” which is at the top of the head.
Breath control is the essence of Kundalini yoga, where the asanas are done with a breathing technique which amplifies the effects of the postures with the purpose of freeing the unused energy at the base of the spine, channelizing it to move upwards through all the chakras. These Kriyas (Kundalini sequences) maybe done either by vigorous repetitive movements or a steady pose in conjunction with a particular way of breathing.
The meditations in Kundalini yoga are designed in a manner as to invoke complete body alertness and to make the body and mind ready to handle the power or energy of the rising kundalini. All the poses and postures are focused mainly on activities of the naval, spine and selected pressure points in the body. The main motive of relieving Kundalini energy from the base of the spine to higher centres of the body is achieved by breath control and the application of the three yogic locks, Bhandas. With the help of channelized and controlled nostril breathing one can cleanse the paths internally so as to help awaken the kundalini energy.
As compared to other forms of yoga, Kundalini yoga gives faster results. Although Kundalini yoga and Hatha yoga share the same goal, the former consumes less time and is relatively easier to perform. A normal Kundalini session starts with chants ending with meditation. The Kriya is the main part of the session involving pranayama and asanas stressing on particular areas of the body. Kundalini yoga can prove to be risky and dangerous only when you perform it wrong and without proper guidance. It could lead to sudden and unexpected awakening of energies for which the person might not be ready.
Kundalini Yoga has a number of benefits. Some of them are listed below:
• Increased circulation of blood and lymph in the body.
• Improved functioning of the lungs.
• Once performed regularly, it helps get rid of negative energies and brings about happiness and joy to your life.
• It helps you get rid of addictions.
• Helps make the nervous system and immune strong.
• Kundalini yoga is also a good way to burn those extra calories and lose weight.
• It nurtures within you a sense of calm and inner peace which helps you perform better in all walks of life.
• Kundalini yoga inculcates positivity and helps get rid of negative feelings.
Kundalini yoga is more spiritual in nature and has a deeper meaning, beyond the postures and poses, it lays emphasis on chanting, breathing and meditation and mudras. Kundalini yoga sequences, due to its mental and physical challenges, are quite intense. This Tantric form of yoga discipline is very dynamic in nature which results in spiritual transformation and unity of consciousness.