For those who are just beginning to explore the various types of options for a traditional fitness art like yoga, knowing about specific types of meditative styles, including Kundalini yoga, can be a good idea. Within the greater collection of established yoga practices, Kundalini yoga is a style that has been called one of the most spiritual types of yoga.
What Is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini yoga involves some very specific archetypes or ideas that are part of a traditional Hindi belief system. In Kundalini yoga, poses and activities are not just technical items to help promote bodily health. Instead, they are part of a process that some might call "unlocking" where, according to ancient belief, Kundalini yoga opens up an energy at the base of the spine that slowly moves up in the body to eventually become a kind of "third eye," which helps individuals to see elements of their true self and the world around them. This spiritual alignment forms a basis for a lot of the practices of Kundalini yoga. As a very spiritual yoga practice, Kundalini is not for beginners, and some of its secrets have been carefully guarded over the centuries.
Practicing Kundalini Yoga
In past eras, Kundalini yoga was something reserved for a select group of participants. Scholars might compare Kundalini yoga to more Western practices like the pursuit of Qabbalah, also an "esoteric" or mystical practice. In general, those who study these kinds of intense spiritual ideas believe that they should be reserved for a specific audience who has been proven able to handle some inherent mental and emotional challenges.
Eventually, some of the key knowledge involved in Kundalini yoga practice made its way westward. Some proponents attribute the dissemination of Kundalini yoga knowledge to a Yogi Bhajan who taught these elements to American audiences in the 1960s. Elements of Kundalini yoga that were meant to be placed in the hands of experienced practitioners became, in some senses, common knowledge.
The Kundalini Syndrome
Experts have developed a specific term for the potentially negative effects of Kundalini yoga on a mind unable to accept it. The "Kundalini syndrome" refers to behavior or mental problems associated with the inappropriate adoption of Kundalini yoga techniques. Some experts explain that this way: when an untrained participant channels the power of Kundalini the wrong way, the mind becomes confused, with unintended consequences. While some think of this as an invented kind of problem, others see it as a very real possibility for those who go too deep into the eastern practices without a broad knowledge of what they represent.
Scholarly Pursuit of Kundalini Yoga
More about Kundalini yoga and its classical practices can be found in ancient Hindi texts. A volume of the Upanishads, the Yogatattva Upanishad, contains some explanation of Kundalini yoga practices. Although some other kinds of "Kundalini yoga" might be found in your local group yoga sessions or available translated yoga handbooks, always think critically about how to use this relatively intense type of yoga in your group or personal sessions. For those who are looking for fitness and health yoga, there are many other kinds of yoga practices that may be more useful and less weighted with profound theory.