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Kundalini Yoga - Types and Benefits

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22 Dec 2021
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Introduction

There exist a wide range of yoga practices that have varying degrees of popularity. Kundalini yoga happens to be among one of the more popular forms of yoga today. This article seeks to walk you through its forms and benefits.

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that incorporates breath, movement, and sound. Derived from the Sanskrit word “kundal”, its literal meaning is “coiled energy”. This form of yoga seeks to heighten self-awareness. This is achieved by silencing the mind and unblocking the kundalini chakras such that vital energy can course through the body freely.

Types of Kundalini Yoga

The list featured below provides insight on 3 different energising kundalini poses and kriyas.

Breath of Fire or Kapalbhati

This breathing technique helps heat the body and involves the practitioner inhaling and exhaling oxygen through the nose. Kapalbhati helps oxygenate the blood and strengthens the solar plexus chakra which affects our willpower and determination.

Ego Eradicator

This kriya helps strengthen the lungs and cleanses them. It opens up the heart and provides the practitioner with mental clarity.

Spinal Flexes

This kundalini pose helps relax the spine. This is important as spines that are stiff don’t have adequate spinal fluid flowing through them. This adversely impacts the efficiency with which the digestive system functions.

Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga provides practitioners with several health benefits. Some of the more pronounced benefits have been discussed below.

  • Kundalini Yoga Builds Strength

Owing to the fact that Kundalini yoga poses are maintained for extended periods of time, they help strengthen and tone the body’s muscles.

  • It Improves Your Mood

Kundalini yoga helps release serotonin which is a “feel good” endorphin. People who practice Kundalini yoga on a regular basis have found that it helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

  • Brings Down Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

Deep breathing techniques employed under Kundalini yoga have been shown to reduce the risks associated with hypertension. Since these breathing techniques require you to breathe slowly, they help your autonomic nervous system and reduce stress levels. As a result, blood pressure and pulse rate begin to decline.

  • Improves Memory and Focus

Research has shown that people who practice Kundalini yoga on a regular basis have positively benefited from improved cognitive functioning. This holds particularly true for the ability to concentrate and retain information.

  • Improves Metabolism and the Digestive System

Breathing and postures employed under Kundalini yoga help strengthen your core and diaphragm. As a result, your digestion improves, and your rate of metabolism increases.

How to Practice Kundalini Yoga?

The instructions provided below provide insight into how Kundalini yoga is practised.

 

Step 1. Kundalini yoga begins with an opening chant that allows practitioners to tune in.

 

Step 2. The next stage of this form of yoga involves breathing exercises that are called pranayama. Some of these breathing exercises include movements that help stretch the spine. These breathing exercises are designed to control the breath.

 

Step 3. Now, practitioners begin to incorporate kriyas into their routine. Kriya refers to a set of positions, breathing exercises, mudras (or hand positions), sounds and meditation.

 

Step 4. At this stage your body begins to relax and absorbs the results of the kriya that was previously practised.

 

Step 5. Once practitioners are relaxed, they begin to perform Kundalini meditation. During this time the instructor in charge guides practitioners as they meditate such that they cultivate awareness.

 

Step 6. Kundalini yoga ends with a closing chant.

 

Beginner’s Tip for Kundalini Yoga

Beginners who have limited exposure to Kundalini yoga should ensure that their posture is correct for each yoga position. This is important as poor posture can adversely impact the practitioner and leave them with aches and pains.

How Often Should I Do Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini yoga should ideally be practised 3 times a week. Once practitioners gain more experience and are comfortable with all that this practice entails, they can practice it 4 to 5 times a week. The best time to practice this form of yoga is during the early hours of the day as the air is fresh and the mind is relaxed.

Precautions to Take to Perform Kundalini Yoga

Before you sign up for a Kundalini yoga class, it is important that you factor in the following considerations.

 

  • People who have breathing issues should not practice Kundalini yoga.

  • If you have joint pain or are injured in any capacity, you must abstain from practising Kundalini yoga.

  • Pregnant ladies should not attempt to practice Kundalini yoga.

  • People who have issues balancing should approach this form of yoga with caution.

Conclusion

Kundalini yoga has gained popularity over the past two decades owing to the fact that it incorporates a number of breathing techniques, positions and chants. People often practice Kundalini yoga in a bid to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, health crises can arise at any point in time, and we need to be prepared to deal with them. Health insurance plans are useful in this regard as they provide you with a layer of financial protection. 

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FAQs on Kundalini Yoga

  • ✔️ What are three different elements that Kundalini yoga employs?

    Breath, movement, and sound are the three different elements that Kundalini yoga employs.

  • ✔️Who is credited with bringing Kundalini yoga to the western world?

    Yogi Bhajan is credited with bringing Kundalini yoga to the western world.

  • ✔️List two benefits associated with the practice of Kundalini yoga?

    Two benefits associated with the practice of Kundalini yoga are as follows.

    1. Deep breathing techniques employed under Kundalini yoga help your autonomic nervous system and reduce stress levels. As a result, blood pressure and pulse rate begin to decline.

    2. Research has shown that people who practice Kundalini yoga on a regular basis have positively benefited from improved cognitive functioning. 

  • ✔️Can pregnant women practice Kundalini yoga?

    Pregnant women are heavily discouraged from practising Kundalini yoga.

  • ✔️What is the best time of day to practice Kundalini yoga?

    Early morning hours are best suited to the practice of Kundalini yoga as the air is fresh and the mind is relaxed.