What is Kundalini Yoga?

I get this question all the time.

So, I’d like to explain to you what I’ve found Kundalini Yoga to be like.

Kundalini is not your typical yoga poses with sun salutations and warrior series. Although these poses can be integrated into a Kundalini fusion set it is not what a typical practice looks like. Kundalini is very focused on spinal health. All the nerves and most important arteries run through the spine so it’s important to keep it healthy. There will be flexing, bending, twisting of the spine so to keep the energy flowing through the whole spinal column for optimal health.

My friend once called it yoga for people who don’t yoga. Others say it is a yoga practice you can do until your 90!

I suggest you try kundalini at least one time. Just come with an open mind on what your practice will be like. I’ll do my best to describe a typical Kundalini yoga set so you do have some idea what to expect.

First, we connect with our breath and “tune in” by singing the Adi mantra at least three times.

‘Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo’

It means, infinite wisdom I call on you. Divine wisdom I call on you.

You are calling in the intention to bring the wisdom of your higher self to your practice. It is said to be connected to the ‘Golden chain of teachers’ you’ve had in this life and others.

Then I also like to chant the Charn mantra of protection four times. The number four refers to pillars of boundaries of the four directions and elements. This chant offers protection on the spiritual level as we open our energy to healing.

Aad Guray Nameh
I bow to (or call upon) the primal Guru (wisdom)
Jugaad Guray Nameh
I bow (or call upon) to the Truth that has existed throughout the ages.
Sat Guray Nameh
I bow to (or call upon) True Wisdom.
Siri Guru Dayvay Nameh
I bow to (or call upon) the Great Divine Wisdom within.

Chanting is an important part of Kundalini practice because it stimulates your vagus nerve which is one of the longest nerve in the body. It connects the digestive system and the brain which is pretty important. Stimulating this nerve activates the energy of the upper Chakras. (p.s. I promise nobody cares if you can’t sing! Just allow yourself to do it.)

I’d like to add that Yoga is not a religion; it is a philosophy and physical science that we use to encourage you to just tap into your own intuition and wisdom of your unique spirit.

Then we go into a Kundalini set which is called a Kriya. These exercises are deeply incorporated with the breath. Most of the exercises we do will be matched with the breath. If we are doing a leg lift, we will inhale up, exhale down. If we are doing cat cow, we inhale cow/exhale cat.

In this way it is sort of like a hatha yoga. Very connected to the breath work. Instead of flowing from one pose to the next we do a moving posture for a specific length of time. If we do leg lifts for 2 minutes we will also do cat/cow for two minutes which continues for the rest of the kriya set for each posture.

It differs from asana yoga because during the kriya I will ask you to speed up the breath and the movements to a rapid pace. This really stirs up the prana and energy in the body.

If you’ve not heard of the breath of fire, it is a rapid pace breath that creates heat and stirs energy/prana/lifeforce in the lower Chakras pulling it up to the upper body. It can be strenuous, but the effects leave you feeling energized and lighter!

Typically, we build heat then rest, build heat then rest, until it is time for savasana. After savasana we have exercised the body which is an important step. Once the body is tired the mind is more able to come into a peaceful state while we continue into a singing meditation like the Kirtan Kriya.

The Kirtan Kriya was brought to the west by Yogi Bhajan and is one of the most popular meditations used in Kundalini.

This simple yet powerful meditation uses, pranayama/breathing, mudras/hand gestures, mantras/powerful words (specifically Sat Nam), locks/root lock, and dristi (3rd eye focus.) giving the body and the mind something to do while you sing the mantra and lift the spirit. Each mantra has a specific meaning, and the singing creates vibrations in the body that promote peace and calming feelings we desire.

The Kirtan Kriya is said to promote internal peace, it is a mantra you can use to help you release habits or behaviors you no longer desire to keep. It is good for improving memory and mental clarity by increasing your ability to focus.

In short Kundalini can be intense but in short bursts. It is also very powerful physically and spiritually lifting practice.  

If you have blockages in the Chakras, a Kundalini practice could help you to heal them. Just like other types of healing physical or mental, this is not always comfortable. You may have an emotional release because you are moving those stuck energies up and out of the body. You can read more about energetic emotional release here.

What you should know about Energetic Emotional Release – Emy Minzel

I hope this clarifies any questions you have about kundalini yoga, and I hope it intrigues you enough to come and try a Kundalini class at Spirit River Yoga and Massage!

Sign up at SpiritRiverYoga.com

Blessings,

Emy Minzel

CMT-200RYT

CEO of Spirit River Yoga and Massage

SpiritRiverYoga@gmail.com

What is Sound Healing anyway?

Have you heard of sound healing? What does it do? And how does it work? The concept may sound a little “woo woo” to you but really… It’s a thing! Sound therapy has been proven to lower anxiety, stress and promote feelings of all over wellness. We talk about feeling vibes from other people all the time, right? Right.

Well sound healing is the same concept. During Sound Healing the body absorbs vibrations of the musical instrument that resonate at a vibration so delicious that feels like these vibes are what your body wants to consume. It’s like the body digesting… Vibe Vitamins. The resonance of the vibes give the body an extra boost!

When we put ourselves in places that feel good to our soul the nervous system feels it. Vibrations of the sound healing music is played with the intention of balancing the energetic centers in the body called the Chakras. The chakras are connected to organs in the body, the nervous system, the physical body and the energetic body.

Yogi Bhajan taught that there are 10 Energetic Light Bodies with different functions radiating from our actual physical bodies. None of them more important than the other yet all connected. Once identified, healed, and harnessed correctly, they can be used as tools in your spiritual growth and development. The ten bodies Yogi Bhajan identifies are:

The Soul Body – The soul of your divine embodied existence that carries with you throughout many lifetimes and reincarnations. The way you express yourself as you grow on the path of awareness and personal growth. Connected to your dharma/purpose and destiny. Personal growth or stagnation. Related to the skeletal system.

Negative Mind – helps you to practice the self with discernment for self-protection. It warns of fears real or invented. The negative mind can be over active which produces feelings of unwarranted fear, anxiety, and stress. Connected to the Urinary System.

The Positive Mind – Leaves room for hope and encouragement while looking and seeing positive possibilities in life. Seeing the silver lining. When overactive can lead to unrealistic expectations or skewed assessments of reality. Rose colored glasses. Also connected to the Urinary system.

The Neutral Mind – Is the outcome of equal balance between the negative and positive minds. Finds the win/win in situations, while keeping open mind to others’ views and feelings. Usually has the outcome of making decisions for the greater good of yourself and others. Acting with integrity. When out of balance we have trouble making decisions or using discernment. Related to Circulatory System.

The Physical Body – The core of the other light bodies. It contains the mind, body, spirit and the shell the colorful fruit of aura projects from. The physical body protects the nut inside the shell of the physical body. It is protected by the arc-line, aura, pranic body and the radiant body. When the physical body is balanced the other nine bodies can blossom. Connected to the musculoskeletal system.

The Light Body – The line of energy that arcs over the head from ear to ear often portrayed as a halo. Women have a second arc-line that crosses the front of the body connected from nipple to nipple. The energy provides a safe, encouraging, and nurturing energy often with the calling to serve humanity. Weak arc lines fail to protect us leading to feelings of vulnerability, misery and overwhelm by the world around you. Arc-line is related to the immune system and reproductive system.  

The Aura – The electromagnetic field of energy around the physical body the projects the vibrations of all the energetic bodies. Holds the “vibes” other people feel when they meet you. When balanced it creates a lovely presence and magnetism. Unbalanced auras tend to pull energy from other auric fields to feel fulfilled with a false sense of security. Addictions live in the aura. Related to the endocrine and digestive system.

The Pranic Body – Prana is the breath of life. The pranic body is entirely fed and nourished with each breath you to take. The breath is able to shift the body and mind into a meditative or stressed state depending on how it is flowing. Unbalanced energies relate to the emotions of greed, panic or not having enough. Connected to the Respiratory System.

The Subtle Body – The nut inside the shell of the physical body. The stillness within that notice’s subtle energies and supplies intuition. This is the other of the 9 energetic bodies that travels with the soul throughout lifetimes. It is said that the Subtle Body carries the soul through time and space into eternal liberation. Must be cultivated with consistent discipline that could lead to self-mastery. The Subtle body energetically connected to the Reproductive System.

The Radiant Body – Contains all the light bodies above. It seals in the energy of the bodies entire energetic system. The other nine bodies are for individual awareness of the world. The Radiant body is a projection of the self to the world. A strong radiant body will produce a well-balanced and authentic life. An unbalance in the Radiant body creates all or nothing and black or white philosophy in life. Connected to the Nervous System.

All of these energetic bodies have a vibration and the tunes played with singing bowl, gongs, rattles, drums or any musical instrument at all help to bring them into balance. Physically helping the energetic body attune to the higher vibrations of the instruments. Essentially tuning the bodies energy like you would piano or guitar strings.

The effect of the tune up results in feeling really, really, good. Like walking on shine kind of good vibes! Once the body is able to intergrade the healing the Chakras and the Ten Energetic Bodies are able to function as they should. Resulting in the feeling of a whole-body wellness. Who doesn’t need more good vibes? HMmmm? That’s what I thought.

There are many ways to experience sound healing. We do it intuitively with our favorite songs that inspire different feelings of emotion. But those don’t always promote healing. The easiest way to try sound healing is by listening to binaural beats with headphones. You could try a session with tuning forks or seek out other sound healing artist in your area.

However, I suggest that join us at Spirit River Yoga and Massage to get your own vibe vitamins at the upcoming sound healing concert! See for yourself how it feels to tune up and nurture your energetic body.

Sound Healing Preformed by Yogi Tanya Rice of Azitala

January 9th at 12:00 (please be a little early so we can start on time!)

$30.00 per person

Register at http://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/SRYJTY7/workshops

Bring a yoga mat, blanket and even a bolster to promote complete comfort and relaxation during the concert. I hope to see you there!

Wishing you an abundance of blessings and love,

Emy Minzel

SpiritRiverYoga.com

Source; Enlightened Bodies Exploring Physical & Subtle Human Anatomy

By Nirmal Lumpkin LMT, Japa Kaur Khalsa, DOM