Kundalini Yoga

Although its roots go back to ancient India, once again yoga has become the lastest rage. If you are not already practicing yoga yourself, chances are you know someone who is. It is not very difficult to explain yoga's growing popularity. It makes you feel great and dramatically improves the quality of your life.

Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is the style of yoga we exclusively practice and teach at Yoga Heaven. You will be able to do almost anything thrown at you right from the first class; sincere effort being the only thing asked of you. You should experience the powerful benefits of the practice very quickly, including physical strength and flexbility, vibrant energy, mental clarity, emotional balance, positive attitude and spiritual consciousness. And should you connect with the practice from a place in your heart, you will surely experience the depth of your soul.

There is an important distinction between Kundalini Yoga and the more widely known forms of Hatha Yoga. Basically, Hatha Yoga was a spiritual practice developed by ascetics to escape the trappings and suffering of the the material world. Unfortunately, those original Hatha Yoga teachings are now often presented merely as a means of physical exercise and health promotion, with the spiritual aspects of the practice devalued or removed altogether.

Kundalini Yoga on the other hand, was specifically designed for householders, that is, for people with families, working in the community and very much involved in the hustle-bustle of everyday life. It was also practiced by warriors, preparing themselves physically and mentally before entering the field of battle. The ideal was not to escape the world, but rather to train oneself into being a happy, healthy and holy person, bringing one's radiance and wisdom into the flow of the world in which he or she lived. It is this spiritual technology that Yogi Bhajan first brought to the West from India in 1968.

As with any other form of yoga, Kundalini Yoga will definitely bring to the dedicated student improved health, along with a sense of welll-being and inner peace. However, from the practice of Kundalini Yoga, we can also expect to become more dynamic, magnetic, emotionally strong and intelligently sharp. Since the foundation of Kundalini Yoga is built upon commitment and character development, it is no surprise that its most dedicated teachers and practitioners are always striving to demonstrate the highest form of excellence in every aspect of life.

Any Kundalini Yoga class that you attend, will to one extent or other, contain three aspects. First, There is breath control exercises, or "pranayam." We practice long, deep breathing which calms the mind and relaxes the body. We also practice rapid, powerful breathing (breath of fire) which cleans out toxins and energizes.

Secondly, there are any number of exercise sets, or "kriyas," each specifically working on a particular aspect of our being (physical, emotional or spiritual). Like in traditional Hatha Yoga, there are poses we stretch into and hold for prolonged periods of time. However, in general, we integrate a lot of movement and breathing into our yogic postures. All these sets, which improve both flexibility and strength, are designed to be within the ability level of any person, regardless of age or physical condition.

Lastly, we integrate meditation, or "simran," into our classes. We don't attempt to empty the mind, as is the tradition in many other disciplines. As long as we have a brain, we are going to have thoughts. Rather, we harness the power of the mind and the spirit of the soul to achieve a clear, focused one-pointedness. Mastering this technique, we break through to "the other side," experiencing the ecstacy and ultimate truth described by the great masters throughout the ages.

You might be asking what in the world is "Kundalini" (koon-da-lee-nee)? Through their study of the human being and their own spiritual practice, the ancient seers discovered a source of largely untapped, yet infinite energy that sat at the base of the spine. They called this Kundalini energy. Any kind of creativity, be it expressed in the arts, in the world of business, in human sexuality, is a manifestation of Kundalini energy.

These same seers developed a technology to raise this largely dormant energy up the spine and through the higher vortexes (chakras) found in the regions of the heart, throat and skull, upon which a person would experience a profound sense of love, truth and wisdom. Ultimately, this energy is brought to the very top of the head (the crown chakra), at which time there is a feeling of oneness with all Creation. This energy (nectar) then drips down and is absorbed by every atom of our being. It is at this moment that Supreme Consciousness is experienced and one's mere presence uplifts all of humanity. This technology is known as Kundalini Yoga.

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