Sikh Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D, brought kundalini yoga to the West in 1969. For thousands of years this practice has been carefully handed down from master to disciple by oral tradition. Kundalini yoga has always been somewhat of an obscure, guarded secret in India. It was never taught publicly until Yogi Bhajan challenged tradition and began teaching kundalini yoga in the West.
Kundalini is the ancient practice designed to awaken the kundalini, or coiled energy, stored at the base of the spine. In yoga, the kundalini energy is represented by a coiled snake. The prana (another word for vital force or energy) cannot flow until the snake begins to uncoil. Unfortunately, this area of the body holds much tension and blocks the path of prana.
Kundalini mixes chanting, breathing practices, and yoga exercises that involve the physical body, the auric body, and magnetic fields to move this energy up the spine. The emphasis is not on asana but rather on chanting and breathing. Chanting is done in large groups with a partner. The chanting creates an invigorating and calming experience. Kundalini’s primary focus is the power of the breath. Kundalini has been defined as an evolutionary force within us.
Yogi Bhajan encourages followers to focus on an integrated lifestyle of health and well-being, practicing everything from a good diet to community service. Yogi Bhajan’s Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization is headquartered in Los Angeles and New Mexico. There are fifteen hundred kundalini teachers worldwide. Kundalini should always be taught with a teacher who practices and understands kundalini. This is not a hatha yoga style to learn on your own.
For more information on sivananda yoga contact:
Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center 1200 Arguello Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94122 (415) 681-2731
Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center 243 West 24th Street New York, NY. 10011 (212) 255-4560