Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It is considered to work with human energies through practice of meditation, chanting mantras and breathing exercises. It may be called “the yoga of awareness” and aims to combine breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, improve lung capacity and purify the blood.
Yoga teacher Maria Björnberg teaches kundalini yoga in Brighton, she states this type of yoga focuses on being here and now. She mentions kundalini yoga creates more consciousness and raises the energy levels within every individual practising it. A normal yoga session with Maria lasts for about one hour and tends to mainly involve mantras, breathing exercises and simple yoga positions. “We are able to make the energy flow through us, in kundalinin yoga we work through all our chakras to become more balanced. This may make us go through obstacles easier in life. You may become more grounded and learn how to easier let go off things. I learned more about how to observe and see my thoughts and feelings without identifying myself with them. It is relaxing and gives me courage to live more fully“.
Kundalini yoga came to the west in 1968 by a man named Yogi Bhajan. It used to be an exclusive form of yoga only for the rulers and the sages from India. Yogi Bhajan wanted to make it available for everyone so he started teaching people how to empower the emerging planetary consciousness. He started teaching because he felt the people in the west were in need of a more conciseness lifestyle, Maria states. She explains the main health benefits of kundalini yoga. The practitioner might become more aware of the present and also more aware of body, mind and spirit. This may help a person to connect better with oneself. Maria mentions it is considered to help physically, mainly by improving respiration, flexibility and vitality. She considers its positive affect on the nervous system, which she explains may become more balanced because of the kundalini yoga and states new studies about kundalini are being undertaken regarding this.
“During a certain moment in the class we move our fingers meanwhile we sing a mantra; research is saying this might help the memory“. Maria further explains the structure of kundalini yoga; it starts by a tune in session and finish with a tune off session, created by singing different mantras. The breathing seems to be an important event in the structure of the yoga. Many yoga positions involve a breathing exercise called “breath of fire”, which means short and intense breathing through the nose. The breathing may be important since it is a part of the holistic approach this type of yoga tends to have and may be a good way of feeling more relaxed.
She suggests yoga in general might start to become a more popular activity and explains people may need help to change patterns. Society might focus on ideas about performance, achieving goals and less about showing individual feelings. Maria considers kundalini yoga a way of getting in contact with one’s feelings and discover how to relate to them. Kundalini yoga seems to be practised in most yoga centres around England, Maria holds classes in kundalini yoga at the centre About Balance in Brighton every Monday and Wednesday evening at 19:30.
How might this form of yoga be the new starting trend?