Kundalini: the yoga of awareness

by guest blogger Allison Brooks

Yoga has a long history of improving physical and spiritual well-being, and also has a wide range of ways to achieve a desired effect. Artifacts depicting yoga postures date back to 3000 BCE, but the origins of Kundalini yoga only date to about 1400 BCE. Most of the evidence for this form were in the Yajurveda texts and were only practiced in India. It was not until Yogi Bhajan brought the practice to the West and the United States in 1969 that Kundalini yoga gained popularity.

Kundalini yoga is physical, mental and spiritual discipline that is focused on expanding sensory awareness and to raise social consciousness. Many describe it as a merger between yoga and meditation to express the potential of a human to uphold values, truths, and focus within to help others. It aims to release suppressed energy to improve health and well-being. This form of yoga gets its name from the untapped energy in the body called kundalini. This energy
is located at the base of the spine and can be released by a series of movements and breathing exercises which awaken the seven chakras, or energy centers, allowing for the flow to be restored throughout the whole body. Restoring the original flow of energy is the ultimate way to awaken the body and promote healing processes.

Some of these movements may be rapid and repetitive while others consist of maintaining a pose, with a certain breathing pattern for some time. Each breath, pause, and movement is strategically planned to correctly identify the charkas and release the energy. The release of this energy and the intense focus of each movement allows for personal and spiritual awareness.

If one is into the physical rigor of some yoga forms, Kundalini is not the one. Though some of the movements and breathing controls are physically intense, Kundalini is more of a spiritual yoga. The energy release and inner focusing are a great way to release stress and reconnect with the conscious. Many people practice this form of yoga after a long week of work or during difficult situations. It has become popular with people suffering from a chronic illness, unfavorable cancer prognosis, or depression.

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