About kundalini yoga
Brought to the west by Yogi Bhajan in 1969 (the photo shows him teaching a class in New Mexico that year), kundalini yoga employs simple techniques that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age or physical ability. An ancient practice which was previously reserved for a privileged elite, it is a complete science, combining posture, breath, mantra and meditation in a potent and effective system of self-transformation and personal development.
The primary goal of kundalini yoga is to allow us to reach our full potential and to expand our awareness of our unlimited self. One of the ways it achieves this is by breaking through blocks in the energetic pathways that result from our postural and emotional habits and history. When our energy flows freely and easily we feel balanced, grounded and connected to ourselves and the universe.
A regular kundalini yoga practice also strengthens the nervous system and balances the glandular system, leading to increased emotional stability and physical vitality. Negative patterns and habits drop away, and creativity flourishes.
Kundalini yoga classes
The standard format of a class is a series of warm-ups followed by a kriya, a period of relaxation and a meditation. Each class features a different kriya and a different meditation.
A kundalini yoga kriya is a predetermined sequence of movements, mantras, mudras and breath work that influences the nervous and glandular systems and promotes the flow of energy through the chakras and meridians to guide the body and mind to a specific result or change of consciousness. There are thousands of different kriyas, each with its own particular focus and unique syntax.
FIND A YOGA CLASS NEAR YOU
The Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association has a class locator to help you find a class near where you live or work. You can find it here.
Developing a personal practice
A habit is a subconscious chain reaction between the mind, the glandular system and the nervous system. Our habits define us to ourselves and to other people – and through our habits we live in peace and happiness or create misery and pain. When we change our habits, everything around us can change. By repeating a kriya or meditation every day for 40 days, 90 days, 120 days or 1,000 days we can rewire these chain reactions and develop new, deeply ingrained habits that serve our highest destiny.
40 DAYS TO BREAK A HABIT
Practicing a kriya or meditation every day for a continuous span of 40 days will break any negative habits that block the expansion the kriya or meditation is designed to promote.
90 DAYS TO MAKE A NEW HABIT
Practicing every day for 90 days will establish a new habit in the conscious and subconscious minds based on the effect of the kriya or meditation. It will bring very deep change.
120 DAYS TO INTEGRATE A NEW HABIT
Practicing every day for 120 days will confirm the new habit of consciousness the kriya or meditation creates. The positive benefits will become integrated permanently into the psyche.
1,000 DAYS TO MASTER A NEW HABIT
Practicing every day for 1,000 days will bring mastery of the new habit of consciousness. No matter what the challenge, you will be able to call on this new habit to serve you.
TOOLS FOR A DAILY PRACTICE
Anyone doing a 40-day, 90-day, 120-day or 1,000-day kundalini yoga kriya and/or meditation practice needs a way of timing themselves during the practice and keeping count of how many days they’ve completed.
For iPod/iPhone/iPad users there are some great free apps for these purposes. For counting the minutes Simplest Timer is an easy-to-use timer with supersized numbers and three modes: watch, stopwatch and timer. And for keeping track of how many days you’ve completed there’s Tallywag, a multipurpose tally counter.