By Faye Martins
Kundalini Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India. It is a tantric branch of Yogic methodology and is known by its practitioners as the mother of all Yoga practices. Practitioners of all levels are welcome in a typical Kundalini class. A Kundalini class usually begins with a dedication or intention for your practice and the singing of sacred mantras and scriptural verses. A typical class will be comprised of a balanced set of yogic techniques that include physical postures, breathing exercises, chanting and specific meditation practices.
According to the philosophy of Kundalini, there is a dormant energy that lies coiled at the base of the spine called the Kundalini Shakti. When this energy is awakened, the Kundalini Shakti rises up through all seven chakras and ultimately penetrates the seventh chakra in the crown of the head. As the energy rises, each chakra is activated and purified.
The regular practice of Kundalini Yoga strengthens the nervous system, harmonizes the endocrine system, purifies the blood and strengthens the physical body. The breathing exercises also increase lung capacity and may lower blood pressure. Kundalini is an incredible set of practices that work on every level of a yogi’s body and mind. Kundalini is an accessible practice for anyone at any level of physical fitness.
It is best to learn Kundalini techniques from a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor. It is a very specific set of practices, so you should inquire about your teacher’s certification and make sure that he or she is certified in Kundalini Yoga. For your first class, wear comfortable, loose clothing. It is also helpful to dress in layers so that you can take off a layer or two as you warm up during class.
You also may want to buy a mat at a yoga studio, sporting goods or discount store. A quick insider tip is that a pilates mat is actually thicker and more comfortable than a traditional yoga mat, and it is made out of the same material as a yoga mat. A yoga mat and a pilates mat are also about the same price. Make sure to buy a mat that is long enough for you to lie down on.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy your practice! Do not get too worried about doing everything perfectly. In time, you will become very adept at the strengthening and purifying techniques of Kundalini.
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