Kundalini is thought to be a form of spiritual energy which resides in the lower back, often visualized as a coiled snake. In Sanskrit Kundalini translates as “that which is coiled” taken from the word Kunda which means “to coil”.
In traditional yoga circles it is described as having three manifestations, firstly as an all encompassing cosmic energy known as “Para-Kundalini”, secondly it is potential energy within the body and mind called “Prana-Kundalini” and lastly it is consciousness or “Shakti-Kundalini”.
The style of Kundalini is similar to others such as Hatha and Ashtanga in that the practise works around breathing to assist body movement but the emphasis is placed heavily on spiritual unfoldment to increase ones’ self-consciousness, intuition and self-awareness. It is also believed to unlock our creative potential.
In practise Kundalini focuses attention on thought, mantra and breathing, allowing for inner reflection and opening the mind to enlightenment, while the postures and movements open the lower body to release the Kunda energy. Kundalini is a highly specialised practise which should always be done with the help of a certified teacher.
In its purest form Kundalini is at the very heart of the philosophy behind yoga, which is to become as one with the universe. Many believe that the body has latent energy stored locked away and by a combination of physical and mental development this can be unlocked to bring joy and well being into our lives through the union of inner and universal consciousness.
Medical research has found that Kundalini has helped people to combat ailments like Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, diabetes as well as breaking addictions and alleviating stress.
Kundalini is probably the most disciplined of all Yoga practises and is one of the less known styles in western society. Due to its intense nature teachers will usually only work with one student (or disciple) at a time.
Read our coverage about other yoga styles: Bikram Yoga and Hatha Yoga , Iyengar Yoga.
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