A good number of people wrote this week
to ask about Kundalini Yoga.
For those of you who aren’t
interested, hang in, and I’ll do my best to return to wonderful
thoughts on all things yoga next week, despite my Kundalini delirium,
from which I hope never to recover.
For those of you who do want a bit more
Kundalini Yoga, here we go.
Kundalini is an energy form said to contain the feminine potential (shakti) stored in the first chakra, at the base of the spine. The idea behind Kundalini Yoga–a mental, physical, and spiritual discipline–is to awaken that
energy, help it whoosh up through our spines, and somehow connect us
with the energy of the gods/Love/Grand Poobah/Universal Truth,
whatever your name is for the best of everything in the universe.
Kundalini Yoga uses kriyas, or specific series of exercises,
along with meditations throughout the practice, some chanting, and pranayama, including the intoxicating and detoxifying Breath of Fire.
All yoga will eventually arouse kundalini. But practitioners of Kundalini Yoga believe that this practice shifts that energy directly and quickly.
When you Google Kundalini Yoga, you’ll
read words like mystical, creativity, spirit, as well as power,
aerobic, and gentle. It’s no wonder we’re confused.
Here’s what I’ve noticed after
about two weeks of immersion:
A definite buzz in my third eye
after practice. That’s the sixth chakra. It feels delicious.
A persistent warmth, rather than a
buzz, in my neck and in my chest and upper back. Fifth and fourth
A fluttery thrill just below my
navel. Feel a bit sexy. I like this.
The enormous attention paid to
core work is changing the way I stand and the way I move.
Bizarrely, it is changing the way I feel about myself. I feel
The movements are rhythmic. It
feels like dance, which satisfies a desire for physical creativity.
Some of it is killer hard. I was
ready for that.
That’s it for now. Apologies to the
experienced Kundalini yogis out there who may be cringing at my
introduction. Please feel free to send in corrections and whatever
crucial information I’ve left out.
On the other hand, if any of this
tickles that spot below your navel, give it a try. You might fall in
Thanks to yoga for being varied enough
for all of us. Thanks to you for the conversation,