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Kundalini Yoga – Rishikesh, India

December 21, 2017

All these types of Yoga, it’s just always a little confusing even overwhelming at times, isn’t it? And now, we even add the Kundalini, that renown but not always well understood powerful energy.

So first things first… Let’s start with what Kundalini is.

From the discussions I had on that subject, it is the exact same energy as prana, chi, ki, etc.

It is the universal energy

It lays in the first chakra and we talk about kundalini awakening when the energy awakens by rising from the root chakra to the crown chakra, up the spine, and activating the chakras’ higher vibrations creating a unique spiritual experience reaching Sushumna, a state of bliss.

Practicing Kundalini Yoga is not necessarily focusing on reaching that Kundalini awakening, although it is about reaching a certain state of bliss throughout your journey by being happy and fulfilled. Kundalini Yoga is a practice that focuses on the chakras and ultimately self-healing by the activation of these chakras so they vibrate at their higher potential for your highest good.

I attended that 7 day workshop with Alexey Nechaev in Rishikesh, India. Alexey has been teaching Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, that focuses on self awareness and delivering an experience of your highest consciousness. That 7 day workshop was focusing each day on a specific chakra.

Alexey would start the class by a short meditation for us to be fully present for the class. Then, he would tell us about the chakra we are going to work on and it characteristics, how we feel when it vibrates optimally and when it does not and how to help heal that chakra. You can find more info about chakras here.

Then we would start practicing the asanas that benefit the chakra we are focusing on and continue with the practice of Kriyas.

The kriyas are specific to Kundalini Yoga

It consists in a series of actions and postures (asanas, breathing, bandhas etc.) that is energizing the particular chakra we are focusing on. It is executed within a certain flow and routine since we repeat the same kriya for the particular chakra we work on.

We will then finish the class by a meditation and some mantra chanting, specific for the chakra.

Each class lasted 2 hours, so we really had time to:

  • understand the purpose of the class and of the chakras
  • enjoy a nice physical practice with the asanas practice and the Kriyas
  • benefit from a good integrative shavasana (relaxation posture)
  • appreciate a meditation of at least 10 minutes up to about 30 minutes
  • do some breathing work and mantra chanting

I am happy to share with you a few postures (asanas) that will help you work on a specific chakra if you feel the need.

Day 1 – MULADHARA (Root chakra)

  • Standing bend (Uttanasana)
  • Crow pose (Malasana)
  • Chair pose (Utkatasana)
  • Front stretch (Paschimottanasana)
  • Root Lock (Moola Bandha)

Day 2 – SWADISTANA (Sacral chakra)

  • Wide angle life nerve stretch (Upavistha Konasana)
  • Butterfly pose (Buddha Konasana)
  • Pelvic lifts (Kandharasana)
  • Frog pose (Mandukasana)

Day 3 – MANIPURA (Solar plexus chakra)

  • Archer pose (Virabhadrasana)
  • Extended triangle pose (Trikonasana)
  • Stretch pose (Parsvottanasana)
  • Bow pose (Dhanurasana)

Day 4 – ANAHATA (Heart chakra)

  • Ego eradicator
  • Cow face pose (Gomukhasana)
  • Camel pose (Ustrasana)
  • Lion pose (Simhasana)

Day 5 – VISHUDDHA (Throat chakra)

  • Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana)
  • Plow pose (Halasana)
  • Camel pose (Ustrasana)
  • Lion pose (Simhasana)
  • Cat cow pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Day 6 – AJNA (Third eye chakra)

  • Downward facing dog (Ardho Mukta Svasana)
  • Yoga mudra (Yoga mudrasana)

Day 7 – SAHASRARA (Crown chakra)

  • Tree pose (Vrikshasana)
  • Mahabandha (applying all 3 locks: Moola, Jalandhar and Uddiyana, while holding the breath on exhale)

It is advised to work one specific kriya for at least 40 days to create a habit and 90 days to ciment it. And then move to a new chakra practice and kriya.

I have enjoyed some practices more than others in terms of asanas or kriyas… I haven’t made Kundalini Yoga my practice yet, because I still feel I need a gentler yin yoga approach, but it did seduce me though and I will certainly go back to it later on, when I feel ready.

Namaste

PS: I made the choice not to share the kriyas out of respect for my teacher and also because it is better and essential given the intensity of this practice to be accompanied in its execution.

PS2: If you want to learn more about Kundalini Yoga, you can visit Yogi Bhajan foundation 3HO Foundation

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1 Comment

  • Reply Tatiana Margan February 25, 2018 at 3:35 am

    Thank you Anne for this interesting information.
    I think I will follow your advice and join the work shop.

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