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Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan

FAQs

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Frquently Asked Questions


    What is Kundalini Yoga?

  • The technology of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is a science of the mind and body, to elevate the spirit, which has no boundaries, no discrimination. Therefore it is for everyone, universal and nondenominational.
  • Kundalini Yoga is thus a dynamic form of yoga that awakens our own awareness. It uses sets of physical postures and movements (asana), meditation, breathing exercises (pranayama), and chanting (mantra).
  • As it is a physical practice which encompasses a meditative focus, it not only strengthens the health and well being of our physical body, it is also useful in balancing our emotional state, our mental clarity, and in the relief of stress.
  • It is truly a stepping stone for personal transformation.

  • How does Kundalini Yoga differ from other yoga?

    Kundalini Yoga contains the elements of all forms of Yoga; Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga, Shakti, Tantra, Raj, et cetera.
  • It is the most powerful form of yoga; the exercises and meditations in Kundalini Yoga help purify, stimulate and strengthen all the systems of the body by unlocking your inner, creative energy to get the most out of life.
  • Your Kundalini Yoga teacher does not make up exercises or sets of movements, but uses prescribed sets of exercises (kriyas) which focus upon specific areas of the body. It is taught in its pure and complete form.

  • Can I attend a Kundalini Yoga class if I am new to yoga?

  • Yes! Kundalini Yoga is great for students of all levels of experience. Beginners can attend any of our classes, as can Intermediate students.

  • Who can practise Kundalini Yoga?

  • There is no restriction as to who can or who cannot practise Kundalini Yoga. It is suitable for people of all ages, ethnicity, or religion.
  • However, if you are suffering from any medical problem or have just recovered from an injury or operation, it is advisory to consult a doctor before taking up yoga. It is also necessary to inform the instructor of your health before attending a session.
  • Remember, Kundalini Yoga can always be adapted to your individual needs, whatever your circumstances.

  • I have a back injury - is it OK to do Kundalini Yoga?

  • Almost certainly, but get medical advice first. Doctors and osteopaths often recommend yoga for back problems. The term "bad back" can cover a multitude of problems from a minor muscular spasm to major degenerative damage. If you suffer from serious degenerative problems you may need to modify or omit certain postures.
  • Most importantly, check with your yoga teacher before class to let them know about your injury or illness. They can then modify the practice for you.

  • What do I bring with me?

  • All our classes are equipped yoga mats.
  • You will need to bring a blanket. Some students like to lay or sit on a blanket during the class. They are also used for covering up to maintain warmth during relaxation.
  • You may also wish to bring a pillow or small cushion for support when sitting.
    We suggest that you bring a water bottle as you may become dehydrated during the practice.

  • What can I expect in a Kundalini class?

  • Each Kundalini Yoga class follows a similar structure designed to achieve the best results for you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • All Kundalini classes begin with the Adi Mantra, a short meditation, to focus our awareness and to ‘centre’ ourselves. The teacher leads the mantra: “Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo.” The mantra means, “I call upon my own inner guidance, the teacher within me.” Students may chant or listen, as they like.
  • The teacher then leads the class in a sequence of warm-up exercises, which prepare the body for the yoga set (kriya) that follows.
  • After these warm-ups, a yoga set (kriya) begins. Each yoga set involves physical postures (asana), breath work (pranayama) and meditation.
  • The class continues with a long, deep relaxation that allows time for regeneration, stress release, and peace.
  • Each class ends with a song of blessing, in which students can sing along or listen. The words to this song are “May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you, guide your way on”.
  • When the class is finished the teacher will be available to answer any questions.

  • What is Kundalini energy?

  • Kundalini energy is the energy of awareness. It is taught that this energy of awareness lies dormant within us until, through yoga, meditation, or spiritual practices, we begin to awaken it. Once this energy is awakened, we begin to see reality more clearly, exist more in the present, and be spiritually connected. Awakening our “kundalini” is just awakening our own self-awareness and consciousness.

  • What are Chakras?

  • Chakras are energy centres in the body that relate to our body’s systems and organs. Each one corresponds to a different part of the body; starting at the base of the spine and moving up to the crown of the head.
  • Chakras have no physical structure.

  • What is mantra? Why do we chant?

  • Mantra is an integral part of all Kundalini Yoga classes.
  • It is the use of specific words and sounds to change the consciousness of the mind and chemistry of the brain. All mantras have a meaning; most are expressions of oneness and unity with the Infinite.
    However, the effect of the mantra comes from more than just its meaning. Each specific sound causes the tongue to stimulate specific points in the mouth. These points trigger a response in the brain.
  • Use of mantra is a fun and uplifting experience, especially in a group practice. Students who are uncomfortable with the use of mantra are not required to chant and will benefit from just listening.

  • How often should I undertake Kundalini Yoga?

  • Ultimately, a yoga practice is best done daily. This gets you centred for the day and provides maximum benefit. However, any practice, however often, will be beneficial. Two to three times a week will provide noticeable results. Many people find that they feel so good when they do Kundalini Yoga, they want to do more and more!

  • What is Sadhana?

  • Sadhana is a daily personal practice. In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, it is suggested that a personal practice be done early in the morning, ideally before sunrise! This time is the optimal time for spiritual practice and it prepares you for the day ahead. However, a sadhana practice can be done at any time. Sadhana can be a few minutes of meditation when you wake in the morning, it can be a yoga class, or it can be you own personal practice.
  • Morning Sadhana in the Kundalini Yoga tradition


    Morning Sadhana usually starts between 4.00 a.m and 5.00 a.m. and lasts 2 hours 30 minutes.
    It consists of:
    • The reading of Japji Sahib. Composed by Guru Nanak, it simply describes the nature of Ultimate Reality and the way to comprehend it, and is not tied to any particular religious system.
    • A daily practice.
    • Deep relaxation.
    • Meditation: Sadhana Mantras for the Aquarian Age.

  • Why do teachers of Kundalini Yoga often wear white?

  • For the practice of Kundalini Yoga, it is helpful to wear white clothing in a natural fabric.
    The colour white is good for the energising the body and the nervous system. Furthermore, natural fibre, for example cotton, allows the body to breathe and is comfortable during the yoga practice.

  • Why do some teachers have a spiritual name?

  • Many teachers of Kundalini Yoga request a 'spiritual name'. This is a name that is given by Yogi Bhajan, the master teacher of Kundalini Yoga. It represents the highest purpose of the person who is called by that name.
  • A spiritual name is like a personal mantra. Many Kundalini Yoga teachers use both their birth name and their spiritual name; these teachers are happy to be called by either name.

  • Why do teachers of Kundalini Yoga wear head coverings or turbans?

  • A head covering of any kind is useful for a meditative practice. It is useful for holding energy in, and for creating a meditative focus at the third eye point; the brow point.

  • Who is Yogi Bhajan?

  • Yogi Bhajan was the master teacher of Kundalini Yoga. He was the first yogi to begin teaching Kundalini Yoga in the West. He arrived in the United States in 1969 and began teaching Kundalini Yoga to help people live healthy, conscious lives.
  • At that time he also started 3HO (Happy, Healthy, Holy organization), which shares the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and hosts many events all over the world. All Kundalini Yoga classes are taught in the tradition that he has taught.
  • See www.3HO.org for more information about Yogi Bhajan or 3HO.

  • Is Kundalini Yoga a Religion?

  • No. Kundalini Yoga is not a religion, nor is any other form of yoga. It is a technology for health and consciousness and is practised by people of all faiths; Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Sikh, and others.

    Kundalini Yoga is not a religion.
    Religions come out of it.
    Kundalini Yoga is not a fad, and it’s not a cult. It’s a practice of experience of a person’s own excellence which is dormant and which is awakened.


    Yogi Bhajan, PhD. ‘The Master’s Touch’, 1997


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