Known as the Yoga of Awareness
The ancient techniques of Kundalini Yoga, with it's unique combination of breathwork, mantra, mudra, and meditation can help quiet an overstimulated nervous system, improve overall well-being, and lead to a deep sense of inner peace.
The practice of Kundalini Yoga works to enhance our experience of living as human beings by applying some foundational elements of the practice:
kriya (movement), breath, sound, and meditation
The combination of these elements serves to bring us into a balanced and harmonious state of being. They enhance physical health by clearing the energy channels of the body, oxygenating the blood, purifying the organs, activating the glandular system, reestablishing balance, and removing impurities from the body.
This process also has a profound effect on the experience and quality of the mind and emotional well-being. A consistent Kundalini Yoga practice brings us to a state of optimum health and serves as a preventative process to maintain health of mind, body, and spirit through the course of one's lifetime.
The Nervous System
The unique combination of repetitive movements followed by periods of stillness in Kundalini Yoga serves to re-educate the nervous system. At a foundational level, it is believed that much of the physical and mental disease in our lives is rooted in chronic stress. Chronic stress is evidence of an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, which is composed of two parts: the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest).
In our modern world, we are overstimulated and the nervous system is chronically activated in a state of “fight or flight”. This heightened state becomes habituated within the nervous system, glandular system, and the mind itself. We find ourselves unable to relax, stressed, anxious, and exhausted.
When we are unable to relax, the balance of the nervous system is lost and the body becomes addicted to adrenaline, the hormone that facilitates the fight or flight response. Digestion, healing, and sexual functions, which are related to the rest and digest process, are consistently compromised and disabled. Breathing is chronically shallow and disease soon sets in when we are in a habitually activated state. If these issues go unaddressed at their foundational level, the tendency toward mental dysfunction, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, digestive issues, and chronic disease increases.
In addition to the profound benefits brought to the nervous system as a result of a regular Kundalini Yoga practice, the practice has also been reputed by practitioners' to bring relief to symptoms of: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), addiction, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), insomnia, chronic fatigue, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and anxiety. - I can personally attest to it's effectiveness when committed to a regular practice or sadhana.
Reeducating Our Entire Being
Kundalini Yoga serves as a reeducation process for the nervous system and brings relief to the aforementioned issues. The practice of Kundalini Yoga reestablishes a stability and resilience in the nervous system and promotes a balanced expression of glandular secretions in the body, NOT just the ones that support the stress response, BUT also those that support relaxation, connection, digestion, sexual functions, sleep cycles, and overall well-being.
When this level of rebalancing the life force is revitalized, the blood is oxygenated, the organs are refreshed and purified, the muscles and tissues are able to heal and renew at a quicker rate, the mind is more balanced, the emotions are stabilized, harmony is reestablished, and the whole manner of our being is renewed and upgraded. We can then begin to thrive in ways you may have previously thought unimaginable.
About breathing, mantras, kriyas, and mudras
Kundalini yoga consists of six main components, which are done in the following order:
Opening chant. Every class begins with an opening chant, also known as tuning in.
Pranayama or warmup. You’ll do breathing exercises, called pranayama, and sometimes also movements to stretch your spine. The goal of pranayama is to practice breath control.
Kriya. A kriya is a sequence of postures, pranayama, mudras (hand positions), sounds, and meditation. The length and intensity of the kriya depends on your instructor.
Relaxation. This allows your body and mind to absorb the effects of a kriya.
Meditation. Your instructor guides you through meditation to cultivate awareness.
Closing chant. The class ends with a closing chant.
A new Center -presently dormant in the average man or woman -has to be activated and a more powerful stream of psychic energy must rise into the head from the base of the spine to enable the human consciousness to transcend the normal limits.
This is the final phase of the present evolutionary impulse in man. The cerebrospinal system of man has to undergo a radical change, enabling consciousness to transcend the limits of the highest intellect. Here reason yields to intuition and Revelation appears to guide the steps of humankind.
This Mechanism, known as Kundalini, is the real cause of all so-called spiritual and psychic phenomena, the biological basis of evolution and development of personality, the secret origin of all esoteric and occult doctrines, the master Key to the unsolved mystery of creation, the inexhaustible source of philosophy, art and science, and the fountainhead of all religious faiths, past, present and future.
The above quote by Gopi Krishna is from "The Kundalini Experience" By Dr. Lee Sanella.
Why a snake?
The power of this yoga comes from the Kundalini (Sanskrit for “coiled serpent”), an enormous reserve of untapped potential within each of us, located around the sacrum or “sacred bone” at the base of the spine.
By using proven techniques to gradually awaken this benign serpent and safely deploy its amazing beneficial powers, your life will be transformed into one of health, happiness and harmony. You will enjoy an elevation in consciousness, promotion of physical well-being and an expansion of awareness. You will feel more relaxed and at ease with yourself than you have ever felt before.