What Is Kundalini Yoga Good For: Your Guide To Poses, Benefits, History, Breathing & Meditation

Did you know that Kundalini yoga is one of the oldest and most spiritual types of yoga? Along with possessing the standard physical and mental benefits of yoga, it has the ability to enhance your spiritual awareness and transform your life. If you're looking to try a new yoga style and are wondering what is Kundalini yoga good for, this article is for you!

When discovering yoga for the first time, most people learn Hatha, Ashtanga, or Vinyasa. While these popular styles are super beneficial for your health and well-being, there is one less common yoga style that is incredibly powerful. Kundalini yoga. And this article is all about Kundalini yoga, explained!

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What is Kundalini yoga?

Kundalini yoga combines deep breathing, kriyas (cleansing techniques), mudras (sacred hand movements), mantras (words or phrases), and physical exercises (asanas).

Thus, it is very different (and much more spiritual) than the popular fast-paced Vinyasa yoga classes you may have attended at a studio. Most Kundalini kriyas target the navel and spine and apply pressure on specific energy centers.

Kudalini yoga is also often prescribed by yoga therapists as a part of a yoga therapy protocol as breathwork is a very integral part of yoga therapist training.

Kundalini yoga originated from the ancient Tantra yoga lineage and was introduced to the western world by the Indian guru Yogi Bhajan.

A Kundalini yoga practice is intended to awaken this energy and bring it up through all the chakras, this is known as a Kundalini awakening. It is believed that yogis who achieve a Kundalini awakening reach enlightenment and gain an enhanced awareness and the ability to move past the ego.

Kundalini is a form of divine feminine energy, also known as Shakti. Traditional tantra teachings define it as a potent life-force energy that lies dormant within the body, usually at the base of the spine by the root chakra. 

Benefits of Kundalini yoga 

So what is Kundalini yoga good for besides achieving enlightenment like they speak about in Kundalini yoga teacher training? There are tons of physical, mental, and emotional benefits you can gain from practicing Kundalini yoga, such as:

  • Reduced feelings of stress and anxiety
  • A calm, clearer mind 
  • Improved cognitive functioning
  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased strength and muscle tone
  • Enhanced gratitude, and joy
  • Improved self-image and self-love
  • Increased creativity and inspiration
  • Heightened self-awareness 

All styles of yoga positively affect the nervous system. However, as Kundalini yoga emphasizes deep breathing techniques, it is incredibly calming to the nervous system and helps bring it back into balance. This leads to various benefits, such as stress reduction and lower blood pressure.

There have been several research studies on Kundalini yoga to prove the benefits listed above. For example, an 8-week long 2018 study showed that Kundalini yoga is effective at reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder as it helps to soothe anxious feelings like restlessness and edginess.

Moreover, a small 2017 study on women with anorexia and bulimia showed that Kundalini yoga can improve body positivity and self-acceptance. Thus, they concluded that it is an effective complementary treatment for eating disorders. 

The 3 Kundalini awakening stages

Kundalini awakening stage 1 – Arambha 

The first stage of the Kundalini awakening process is known as Arambha and is associated with root chakra cleansing. It is the least pleasant of the three phases, as it is when the individual goes through extreme physical and emotional suffering. This is necessary as it’s the soul’s way of preparing for this intense spiritual journey ahead.  

Kundalini awakening stage 2 – Ghata 

The intense suffering will lead you to the second phase, known as Ghata, where you will move beyond physical and psychological experiences and enter deeper into the spiritual realm. 

Kundalini awakening stage 3 – Third-eye awakening

The last stage, the third-eye awakening is the most significant part of the awakening process and the most pleasant. Now that you have let go of everything that was not serving you, you’ll begin to change how you see everything. 

How to practice Kundalini yoga – the 5 parts to a Kundalini class

5 parts of kundalini yoga infographic. how to practice kundalini yoga.

There are five parts to a Kundalini yoga practice:

  1. Chanting/Mantras and singing
  2. Meditation
  3. Kriyas/Yoga pose
  4. Mudras – sacred hand gestures
  5. Breathwork

What is Kundalini meditation?

Kundalini meditation is an active and energizing practice that uses mantra chanting to move energy through the seven chakras. 

While sitting in a meditative position, such as the lotus pose, you chant a Sanskrit mantra such as “Sat Nam,” which means “truth is my identity.” You chant to the rhythm of your breath, so as you inhale, you chant Sat, and as you exhale, you chant Nam. This helps to keep your mind focused and directs energy to the chakras. 

Meditation in kundalini practice also involves holding mudras (hand gestures). The most common one is Gyan mudra, where you bring the thumb and index finger to touch while extending the other three fingers. This mudra symbolizes union with the universe and wisdom. Mentally, holding this mudra can increase your concentration and focus.

What is Kundalini yoga breathing? 

The breath of fire is the most commonly used breathing technique in Kundalini yoga. This pranayama is heating, energizing, and detoxifying. It involves natural inhales and quick, forceful exhales through the nostrils. 

This method creates a light and rhythmic pumping of the belly. It can be practiced independently or combined with a yoga pose to create a kriya. For a guided tutorial, check out this video.

As one of the most intense yogic breathing techniques, you may feel dizzy when practicing it for the first time. Thus, to avoid this, practice for only a few minutes initially. Once you get used to it, you can increase the practice duration – most experienced practitioners aim for 5 to 15 minutes. If you do experience dizziness, stop and return to normal breathing. 

Kundalini breath of fire benefits

This style of forced exhalation used in the breath of fire is said to have the following benefits:

  • Improves respiratory health
  • Purifies the blood
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Tones abdominal muscles
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Balances the nervous system
  • Increases concentration
  • Relieves stress

Where you can learn Kundalini yoga

1. Attend a Kundalini yoga session

An in-person Kundalini class will give you an excellent introduction to the practice. A traditional Kundalini yoga class will include all the aspects listed above. It will likely begin with a short chant followed by a gentle warm-up to stretch the spine, as this is where you focus your energy. You will then move into the kriyas (yoga asanas) before meditation and closing chanting or singing. 

2. Practice Kundalini yoga online for free

Although Kundalini yoga has become pretty popular in recent years, most Western yoga studios focus on teaching other styles like Vinyasa, Hatha, and Ashtanga. So you may not find Kundalini yoga classes at studios near you. If this is the case, you can learn Kundalini online instead. 

YouTube has tons of free Kundalini yoga classes suitable for beginners. For example, world-renowned yoga teacher Brett Larkin has a range of guided Kundalini practices from 10 to 30 minutes, ideal for those without prior experience. Her 30-minute Kundalini yoga class is a great one to start with as it introduces the most common poses, pranayama, and meditation techniques. It is also even a great Kundalini yoga class for men.

Why is Kundalini yoga dangerous?

Practicing Kundalini yoga is not said to be dangerous, but there can be a potential consequence if a practitioner experiences a Kundalini awakening before being mentally ready for it.

The term used for this is Kundalini syndrome, and the symptoms can be physical or psychological.

However, don’t worry, as most people who have been practicing Kundalini yoga for a while, consider their awakening to be a positive experience!

This is because they know what to expect and are physically, mentally, and spiritually prepared for the intense rush of Kundalini energy. This is why we recommend seeking the guidance of a qualified and experienced Kundalini yoga instructor when learning this practice.

Takeaway what is Kundalini yoga good for

The ancient practice of Kundalini yoga has many benefits for the body and mind, and it is suggested by both yoga instructors and yoga therapists to facilitate overall health and mental wellness.

Kundalini yoga promotes mental peace and clarity, has a therapeutic effect on many bodily systems and organs, and can deepen your spiritual connection. So now you know the answer to “what is Kundalini yoga good for?” and understand what the practice entails, why not give it a go and experience the benefits yourself?

FAQ about Kundalini yoga

How often should you do Kundalini yoga?

One of the beautiful things about Kundalini yoga is that you can practice it everyday. Kundalini yoga is not as physical as other types of yoga, so practicing Kundalini yoga 20-30 minutes each day, if you have time, can result in tremendous spiritual benefits.

What happens after Kundalini is activated?

After your Kundalini energy has been activated, your spirit will experience an energetic upgrade. You feel lighter, more at peace, more content and compassionate, and in an overall state of bliss.

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Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

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