Wisdom

5 Reasons Why Kundalini Yoga Can Change Your Life


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I was first introduced to this practice when I attended a regularly scheduled Hatha class. A substitute yoga teacher who was standing in for the day informed us that she’d be teaching Kundalini Yoga instead. Her introduction sums up the practice very well: “If you came here expecting to practice Hatha Yoga, you’re in for a pretty wild ride.”

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There are few ancient disciplines and practices that have become as integrated into modern, mainstream culture as yoga. You’ve probably at least dabbled in its magical interweaving of discipline, symmetry, devotion, and beauty.

Despite some scattered naysayers, most people have come to believe in its health-promoting and consciousness-expanding properties, and many have assimilated some form of yoga practice into their lives.

One form that you may not have tried, though, is Kundalini Yoga.

Though it’s quickly gaining popularity, this underrated yoga style is still dwarfed by the myriad derivations of Hatha, Vinyasa, and the like.

Kundalini Yoga is slightly Westernized adaptation of Raj Yoga, the ancient and unbroken lineage of “royal yoga” that was closely guarded by the Brahmins of India and taught only to a select few. Yogi Bhajan broke this long-standing tradition (much to the chagrin of his fellow Masters) by bringing his body of knowledge to the United States in the 1960’s.

I was first introduced to this practice when I attended a regularly scheduled Hatha class. A substitute yoga teacher who was standing in for the day informed us that she’d be teaching Kundalini Yoga instead. Her introduction sums up the practice very well: “If you came here expecting to practice Hatha Yoga, you’re in for a pretty wild ride.”

The transformational potency, depth, and purity of Kundalini Yoga astounded me, and I was hooked. Even if you already practice another form of yoga, I urge you to give it a try.

Here’s just a few reasons why…

You will feel its power immediately

Nearly everyone that tries Kundalini Yoga agrees: this stuff gets you high.

Its effect upon the body-mind system is nearly instantaneous; even after a single class or meditation, you’ll feel the difference.

Spiritual practice is often closely paired with patience. While this virtue is certainly worth cultivating, the interminably long anticipation of results that goes hand-in-hand with many popular modalities can lead to a loss of personal momentum. Building a yoga practice that continually rewards you with undeniable somatic, mental, and psycho-spiritual benefits is extremely empowering.

In the belief system espoused by Yogi Bhajan, we’re moving out of the Piscean Age and into the Aquarian Age. He often told his students that “the Piscean Age was the age of seeing because you believe; the Aquarian Age will be the age of believing because you see.”

It will transform you more quickly than you thought possible

Yogi Bhajan stated that “if Hatha Yoga is akin to walking across the country, Kundalini Yoga is akin to taking a plane.”

This yoga form is able to generate such wildly accelerated momentum for two reasons:

1. It is a comprehensive system of yogic practice that encompasses all eight limbs of Patanjali’s yogic path. Rather than focusing just on physical conditioning (asana), breathwork (pranayam), and occasional meditation (dyana), it aligns the practitioner with the full spectrum of evolutionary work. As such, it also delves into holistic lifestyle design (yamas and niyamas), sacred sound technology (mantra), manifestation and subtle awareness (pratyahar), deep preparatory work for meditation (dharana), and transpersonal immersion (samadhi).

In future articles, I’ll delve deeply into how each of these aspects of self-development can be pragmatically applied to make your life healthier, happier, and more activated.

2. As I mentioned above, the powerful and immediate effects of Kundalini Yoga ensure that you’re motivated to continue your practice. Consistent dedication to one’s practice is the key to achieving massively accelerated results.

All forms of spiritual practice are quantum systems, wherein the modality and the practitioner are creating a continual feedback loop that determines the strength of its results. The better the results, the easier it will be for you to continue practicing; the more you practice, the better the results will be.

It’s solution-oriented

It’s widely accepted that the spiritual path is ideally “goalless”—that to strive for any particular end result is to be distracted from the evolutionary task at hand.

While becoming attached to end goals is indeed antithetical to helpful spiritual practice, we shouldn’t lose sight of the potential that spirituality has as an applicable toolbox for self-development.

Kundalini kriyas and meditations are designed to facilitate work on a targeted aspect of the body, mind, and emotions. There are sets for calming the heart, becoming more positively extroverted, clarifying one’s life intentions, strengthening the core (one’s center of personal will and purpose, but yes, also your abs), and nearly any other life change you’re interested in making.

The pragmatic nature of a Kundalini Yoga practice ensures that your search after divinity and transpersonal awareness remains grounded in the manifest present.

It will connect you to your core frequency

In order to uphold its deeply practical orientation, Kundalini Yoga is always taught in accordance with a meticulously curated system. Of all the existing forms of yoga, Kundalini Yoga is perhaps the most rigid in its structure and protocol.

Every kriya (a collection of asanas, pranayamas, and meditations) is calibrated to catalyze an astoundingly specific effect upon the body, mind, and psyche. The duration and orientation of each pose and movement is to be practiced precisely as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

And yet, there’s something paradoxical and magical that arises from this discipline (called shakti in yogic teachings).

Through the ordered mastery of such meticulous practice, you are able to transcend the constructed boundaries of your own egoic identity. You emerge into the pure and unmediated space of your core frequency, where you are free to live and create as your Highest Self.

Through the application of logic, you allow yourself to discover flow.

It will teach you the profundity of daily practice

As I discussed in my article series on flow, true emergence into flow and higher identity requires monumental discipline and repetitive action.

Sadhana (the Sanskrit word for “daily practice”) is a core concept in Kundalini Yoga, which stresses constant psycho-spiritual integrity, vigilance, and consistency.

In yogic doctrine, it is believed that it takes forty days to break a negative pattern, one hundred days to create a new pattern, and 1,000 days to master it. Thus, Kundalini Yoga teachers encourage students to practice kriyas for a minimum of forty consecutive days.

This process of lifestyle ritual design is central to the task of personal and planetary activation. Our lives are transformed one positive resonance pattern at a time.

This is the simple but far-reaching foundation of all personal and spiritual development: choose and design positive rituals that work for you, and practice them every single day.

If Kundalini Yoga sounds enticing to you, I hope that you’ll give it to a try. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine too. What’s important is that you simply dedicate yourself to a practice that enriches your life and uplifts the world.

If you have any questions about Kundalini Yoga or any stories about your own practice, please share them in the comments section below.

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Author

Ryan Greendyk

Ryan Greendyk is a conscious internet entrepreneur, writer, kundalini yoga teacher, psychonaut, and sacred space creator. He's pretty fond of tea ceremonies, entheogens, bass-beat wizardry and techno-shamanism, superfoods, gifting, fire spinning, alternative healing modalities, spontaneous outbursts of love, and spending quality time with God and friends. In a nutshell, he's dedicated to delivering others to their highest selves through the creation and promotion of communities, cultures, products, and programs built upon creativity, intentional play, and spiritual self-mastery. He is the Founder of Lightlab and the Producer of Lightlab Events.

  • Annebonnie

    I came to any type of yoga accidentally as well in 1987. I was taking a meditation course and the instructor was called away on business. He put is in the hands of another wonderful meditation teacher but gave us the wrong time. We all showed up one hour early and a hatha yoga class was happening. The instructor invited us to join in & that meditation was immediately after – we all took the class and loved it. The teacher was a sub for someone else and we asked if he taught somewhere. He said no, not at this time but encouraged us to come to the studio where we were when the regular teacher returned in a week. It took almost a year, but one evening I timidly approached the building and took the class – that one was a Hatha Yoga class, but the instructor also taught Kundalini which made me curious. I stayed with her for years, took every Kundalini & Hatha class offered and went to Masters Touch in 1999 the first year it was offered and received my teacher training. Been practicing Kundalini Yoga ever since & teaching of and on – it is just the best!

    • http://www.lightlabcreations.com/ Ryan Greendyk

      Great to hear that Kundalini Yoga has positively impacted your life, as well. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Gursant Singh

    You should know there is another side to Yogi Bhajan and his kundalini yoga: “My 30 years of experience in the Yogi Bhajan 3HO kundalini yoga…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i_gGXDDCGE&list=UUQDV5etGNZ9AnZ-3PnLklzw

    Be sure to watch the next video in this series at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RtTP3dJf54

    Did Yogi Bhajan design his Kundalini Yoga for mind control cult induction? In this video I discuss how Yogi Bhajan designed his kundalini yoga to create hypnotic states in order to control minds and make his students more susceptible to induction into his cult. In my experience, the Yogi Bhajan way of smashing everyone into altered states by piling on more and more exercises, meditations and perhaps a gong meditation leaves people spacey and prone to induction into his cult. That’s probably why he (Yogi Bhajan) did it and why Kundalini Yoga teachers keep on doing it. The heavy breathing (breath of fire as Yogi Bhajan called it) techniques, loud gong sounds ringing in your ears and hours of Yogi Bhajan mantra chanting, sometimes in front of his picture, put unsuspecting people into an almost trance like state, making students more susceptible to induction into the Yogi Bhajan cult. Yogi Bhajan would have us hold our arms up for hours in some “kriya” he made up. We were so exhausted after several hours that we’d believe or accept anything Yogi Bhajan said. So it is today with 3HO kundalini yoga trainers. http://www.gurmukhyoga.com/forum/index.php?id=343

    Be sure to watch the next video in this series at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RtTP3dJf54

    Shame on 3HO for NOT acknowledging innocent kundalini yoga students raped & abused by Yogi Bhajan! http://forums.delphiforums.com/kamallarose/messages/?msg=2534.1 If you’re having a problem signing into the website be sure to click on as a guest using the red button in the far bottom right of the screen

    Read testimonies of Yogi Bhajan abusing & cursing his kundalini yoga students “I would lose my soul” if I left him, Bhajan would say! http://forums.delphiforums.com/kamallarose/messages/?msg=2534.1

    Is this legacy of Yogi Bhajan’s poison what today’s Kundalini Yoga students want to be known by and associated with? The evidence points clearly that Yogi Bhajan, founder of kundalini yoga, was a fraud and routinely abused his students for power, money and sex! Bad seed produces poisonous fruit.

    “Yogi’s legacy in question. Former followers say he abused his position for power, money and sex”
    By Sherri Buri McDonald The Register-Guard
    http://special.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/24671927-57/yogi-khalsa-bhajan-leaders-members.csp

    How can anyone follow the teachings of a beast like Bhajan who raped & abused his followers. Anyone who follows Bhajan’s kundalini yoga is as bad as Bhajan when they honor his corrupted legacy by practicing Bhajan’s self-styled kundalini yoga! Shame on everyone who refuses to even read or acknowledge these testimonies of innocent young people who had the unfortunate fate to be abused & even raped in some cases by Bhajan! http://forums.delphiforums.com/kamallarose/messages/?msg=2534.8

    Academic study shows Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga is a fraud!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOp0O05dLrY

    A recent academic paper has thrown new light on the origins of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga, casting serious doubts on its supposed origins.

    Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory

    Volume 8, Issue 3, 2012

    Special Issue:The 3HO Sikh Community

    FROM MAHARAJ TO MAHAN TANTRIC
    The construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/140983448/Maharaj-to-Mahan-Tantric

    “As opposed to the official history of Kundalini Yoga that claims it as an ancient and secret tradition prior to Yogi Bhajan’s open teaching of it, this article argues that it was a bricolage created by Yogi Bhajan himself….”

    • http://www.lightlabcreations.com/ Ryan Greendyk

      Thank you for posting this comment, Gursant.

      I’m well aware of the controversy surrounding Yogi Bhajan and his teachings, and I’m always happy to see all sides of a story presented (which is why I’m letting this comment stand, despite the fact that it’s a bit of a hijacking). That being said, I’d like to firmly request that the focus of this website remain on positive transformational practice, rather than law suits, debates over political/religious freedom, and character judgments.

      Since I began practicing Kundalini Yoga, I have felt that maintaining an attitude of vigilant presence has been primarily important. I’ve felt that it holds a power that can very easily be misdirected for ill intents. And thus, I’ve felt the necessity for personal integrity, self-directed will, and crystal-clear intentionality. But I also happen to think that this ability to self-assess, intuitively and comprehensively, should be a hallmark of any spiritual path. So, directly or indirectly, Kundalini Yoga has taught me to be a more discerning, vigilant seeker. I just wish that more Kundalini Yoga teachers stressed the potential dangers that accompany any powerful spiritual practice (I always discuss this idea in my classes and workshops).

      Furthermore, I think that ANY practice, technology, of modality that holds great power has the same potential for misdirection; Kundalini Yoga is not alone in this characterization. Thus, the fact that I don’t ascribe in any way to the “cult of Yogi Bhajan” does not negate the positive impact that yogic technologies have had upon my life. The world of shamanism is overrun by black magic, dark sorcery, and ego-driven behavior. Nevertheless, all shamanic practices (or shamans) should not be condemned. With great power comes great responsibility; some are its abusers, and some are its protectors.

      Do you truly believe that Kundalini Yoga, as a technology separate from the personality of Yogi Bhajan, does not hold any positive potential? If so, I’d love to hear what transformational practices you prefer. I’m in no way attached to Kundalini Yoga, and I’m always interested to hear what’s working for others. I’m very weary of any outright condemnations that are hurled at any practice, though. While the morphogenetic field of an overall practice should be considered, the individual practitioner’s relationship with their practice is always most important. It’s only when this relationship is co-opted by a misdirected community or force that things get ugly. Otherwise, it’s each person’s each responsibility to determine what serves him or her, and what does not.

      I hope that you see where I’m coming from. I’m fully in support of presenting all sides of a story, so that readers can make their own choices. However, I firmly believe that “here’s some positive practices for you to try” is far preferable to “you should fear and revile this practice for the following reasons.” I’m not saying that you shouldn’t share your negative opinions about something (I really do appreciate your input); rather, I’m saying that I’d like the focus to be on offering positive alternatives. If we’re going to state the problem, let’s offer solutions too. Does that make sense?

      Love and light!

      • Dustin Russell

        ek ong kar sat nam siri wha hey guru. The earthquake destroys the buildings and even lives, but the rejoicing of the town is stronger than before. I’m not sure what to think of yogi b but I do know what I think of guru Singh, ram das bir Singh and countless teacher in the practice today. It’s never in black and white but of course it is at the same time. An infinite amount of this and that. Best said in Ryan’s post; If it serves you.

      • Debbie

        Well said Ryan Greendyk. I am a practitioner of Kundalini Yoga and have been for over 4 years. I Love It and all that it has taught me. I live my life consciously now and I continue to encourage others to try Kundalini Yoga. The benefits and rewards are Amazing! Wahe Guru ~

    • Debbie

      Dear Gursant, 30 years is a very very long time to stay with someone who was such an awful person. If Yogiji was so disgusting, why did you stay for 30 long years with him??

  • Fiona Smith

    Maybe Yogi Bhajan is a bit dodgy.. but Kundalini Yoga as he taught it has been wonderful for me in my life!.. Even the Catholic Church has its culty side ie Opus Dei.. you have to have a good head on your shoulders and know what is truely good for, and works for you, and not get sucked in by egos and extremists..

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