To heal, uplift & inspire!
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is one of the most powerful and effective forms of yoga. It stimulates optimal health and a radiant sense of well being with simple yogic techniques that can be practiced by anyone. Positive effects can be noticed almost right away.
Kundalini Yoga helps to balance the energy systems and when the body and mind are at ease, inspiration flows freely and peace of mind is realized.
Who is Yogi Bhajan?
“ Your greatest strength is love. Your greatest weakness is fear. ”
– Yogi Bhajan
If you attend a Kundalini Yoga class you will probably hear your teacher quoting the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Yogi Bhajan learned the secrets of Kundalini Yoga in India and in 1968 he came to the West and began to teach this powerful, health-giving science openly. In 1970, he founded the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization (3HO) to spread and to serve these teachings. Nowadays Kundalini Yoga is practiced around the world in 31 countries. The 3HO website is www.3HO.org
You can learn more about the life and teachings of Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga at www.YogiBhajan.com
Getting Started in a Kundalini Yoga Class
As a beginning student, you can participate in the class at a pace that suits your flexibility and endurance. Here are suggestions and recommendations for Kundalini Yoga classes:
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing, preferably made of cotton or other natural, breathable fibre.
- It is recommended that you remove your socks to stimulate the vital nerve endings in the soles of your feet.
- Allow at least two hours between eating and practicing yoga to gain the maximum benefits. It is easier to exercise on an empty stomach. If you must eat, have something light to tide you over.
- If you have any physical limitations or health concerns, please consult your doctor before starting to exercise to be advised of any movements that are prohibited for your condition. Your Kundalini Yoga Teacher can offer modifications and suggestions from the yogic teachings.
- If you are pregnant or menstruating, do not push yourself. Avoid exercises and inverted postures that position the legs over the head or put great stress on the abdomen. Instead of breath of fire, practise long, deep breathing.
- A blanket or shawl can have many useful applications. You can sit on it, cover yourself during deep relaxations, and use it to cover your back and shoulders during meditation.
Since Kundalini Yoga is a powerful, life-altering science, we begin each class with an exercise of attunement, using the mantra “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.” This is similar to chanting OM in other styles of yoga.
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo
I bow to the Creator, I bow to the Guru Within
By chanting “Ong Namo,” we honour the universal energy of change and embrace its role in our life. “Ong” means “Creator” and “Namo” means “I bow”. By chanting “Guru Dev Namo,” we honour our highest spiritual authority, our consciousness. Since change without inner guidance is pointless, with the help of our inner “Guru Dev” we can accomplish a great deal that otherwise might not be possible.
“The Longtime Sun Song”
Each class comes to a close with a song that affirms our connectedness with each other, the Earth and our highest aspirations. It dates from the early days of Kundalini Yoga classes in 1969. There are many musical variations of the Long Time Sun song but the lyrics remain the same:
“May the longtime sun shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you
guide your way on,
guide your way on,
guide your way on.
Sat means Truth and Nam means name. Sat Nam can be translated as “Truth is my Name/ Truth is Your Name.”
Sat Nam is chanted at the end of a Kundalini Yoga class with a long “Sat” and a short “Nam.” This a way to honour the truth that lives in everyone.
The word kriya means action. It is an action that leads to a complete manifestation like a seed leads to a bloom, a thought into actuality, a desire to commitment.
In Kundalini Yoga a kriya is a series of postures, breath, and sound that work toward a specific outcome. Practicing a kriya initiates a sequence of physical and mental changes that affect the body, mind, and spirit simultaneously. There are kriyas that support the liver, balance the glandular system, make you radiant, stimulate the pituitary, increase the flexibility of the spine, and many more. Each kriya has a different effect, but all work on all levels of your being.
Here is an example of a Kundalini Krya from the Kundalini Yoga Aquarian Teacher Training
Kundalini Yoga is called the yoga of angles and triangles. The specific angles that make up each yoga posture put pressure on the glands to secrete. When the body comes out of an asana, the glandular secretions have an opportunity to circulate freely. With practice, the glands, which are the guardians of our health, begin to function better, relieved of needless stress and better attuned to the real needs of body, mind and spirit.
Exercising the breath is a fundamental part of yogic practice. The lungs are our largest organs, but most people only use 30 percent of their lungs. Long, deep breathing helps to build our lung capacity and thus our patience and endurance. Breathing through the nose has a calming effect compared with mouth breathing, which stimulates the secretion of stress-producing chemicals in the body. Breath of fire is a rapid, abdominal breath that releases toxins from the body and expands the capacity of the lungs.
The use of locks, created by tensing certain muscles, serves as a powerful way for you to concentrate and direct the flow of your body’s vital energy to your higher centres. The four locks are root lock (mool bandh), diaphram lock (uddhiyana bandh), neck lock (jalandhar bandh) and the great lock (maha bandh).
Sacred Words (Mantras)
In both the ancient science of the yoga masters and the theory of quantum physics, vibration is central to all existence. In Mantra Yoga, we create certain sounds that have been shown to have natural, healing attributes. When we chant a mantra, it affects us in three ways. One is through the impact of its meaning. Another is through the subtle effect of its sounds on the nervous system. Thirdly, subtle meridians, at the roof of the mouth are stimulated, which in turn affects the hypothalamus and the pituitary, the master gland of the body, for greater efficiency and higher awareness.
Hand Postures (Mudras)
According to traditional yogic science, each area of the hand helps control a specific part of the brain. Western anatomical science also shows that the hands and fingers are widely represented in the brain. Yogic theory says that various discrete neurological effects can be attained by, for example, touching the fingertips to the thumb, or crossing certain fingers.
Mental Focus (Dhyan)
Try to stay mindful for the duration of the class. Keep aware of the magic of the breath. Be mindful of the subtle nuances of the exercises you are doing. Be aware of their effect on your physical and mental state. Be mindful of your mind, and when you find it wandering try to coax it back to the here and now by focusing within.
The strengthening, uplifting effects of Kundalini Yoga are most pronounced when it is practiced on a regular, even a daily, basis. Consider setting aside time to invest in your self first thing, or before you sleep at night. You will be glad you did.
White Tantric Yoga
Every year Toronto Kundalini Yoga hosts a White Tantric Yoga Course with over 250 participants each year in Downtown Toronto.
About White Tantric Yoga: Our minds release 1000 thoughts per wink of an eye. Some of these thoughts get lost in the unconscious, and some get stuck in the subconscious and affect the conscious mind. These thoughts become feelings, emotions, desires, multi-realities or fantasies. Instead of mastering our mind, often our mind and thoughts direct us, which can cause impulsive decisions, poor communication and self-imposed stress.
White Tantric Yoga® enables you to break through these subconscious blocks, so you can have a more enjoyable life. In the shortest time, you can experience release from a lot of the burden you carry in your mind. For More information visit: www.WhiteTantricYoga.com
Next White Tantric Yoga in Toronto: May 6, 2017.