Last updated on August 7th, 2023.
Yoga has existed for thousands of years, and with its existence, there have been many different variations, practices, and lineages that have developed with its expansion throughout the world. One of the types of yoga that was developed and is still practiced today is Kundalini yoga.
Kundalini Yoga (The Yoga of Awareness) does not have a specific creator but has existed and been practiced for thousands of years. It has important roots in ancient Indian and Hindu beliefs. It was brought to the western world and popularized by Yogi Bhajan.
Many types of yoga that are practiced today utilize aspects of Kundalini yoga in their practices. This varies only slightly by Kundalini Teacher Training program to the different ashrams and studios out there.
Fundamentally, as a practice, Kundalini yoga is known for the mental clarity and spiritual awareness it provides and those elements persist.
Where did Kundalini Yoga Originate?
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago as a meditative practice to reach nirvana and become connected with the gods. With its expansion, different groups created different ways to practice and found different reasons to practice yoga.
Kundalini yoga originated in ancient India. They are tied closely with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which help guide someone practicing Kundalini yoga.
The main idea of Kundalini yoga is to activate your shakti, an energy that’s located at the base of your spine in your sacrum. It is activated through the chakras, and the energy travels up to your mind.
Who Invented Kundalini Yoga?
With such a yoga form having so many benefits, sequences, and chants, there has to be someone who created this form; after all, B.K.S. Iyengar created Iyengar yoga, and Bikram Choudhury created Bikram yoga, so who exactly is Kundalini?
As with most forms and pathways of yoga that have ancient practices, there is no specific creator of Kundalini yoga. You may hear about some yogis who made Kundalini yoga known and introducing it to the world, such as Yogi Bhajan and Gurmukh.
Here is a fantastic video explaining what Kundalini yoga is and how the experience is the most important part of it.
What are the Roots of Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini yoga’s roots run deep into ancient Indian culture and beliefs. As with all yoga terms, Kundalini is from Sanskrit. It means a circular, coiled snake. This snake is the energy that sits at the bottom of your spine. Practicing Kundalini yoga will awaken this snake and send energy through your chakras.
As the energy moves up through the chakras, it will provide balance and awareness through each area. There may be times that the energy will get stuck in a blocked chakra, which will require meditation, practice, and guidance to help.
How is Kundalini Yoga Different From Other Yoga?
Yoga, in general, has many health benefits, including reduced anxiety, stress, heart problems, and improved sleep and body pain. Each type of yoga has different sequences and practices that will give many different benefits to the person practicing it. Kundalini yoga is no exception to having different practices and benefits from other forms.
A session of Kundalini Yoga will have:
- Asana (positions) and kriyas (movement)
- Pranayama (breath practice)
- Chanting and singing at the beginning and end of the session
- Mudras (hand positions)
- Relaxation and restoration
While almost all lineages of yoga have asanas and meditation, Kundalini yoga has the most spiritual aspect of all the types of yoga. Here are some other ways that Kundalini yoga differs from other types of yoga.
Hatha yoga is known for holding asanas and focusing on breath practice. It provides mental clarity and helps with balance and strength. Hatha yoga and Kundalini yoga are very similar, especially in the sense that Hatha is a part of the Kundalini practice.
Hatha yoga is different from Kundalini yoga because the movements are called “kriya” in Kundalini yoga.
Iyengar yoga is a fantastic way for anyone to start learning yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar had the intent to make yoga available to any body, allowing for and providing props to assist with achieving asanas correctly and comfortably.
Iyengar yoga is different from Kundalini yoga because of its intent. Iyengar yoga focuses on the correct alignment in each asana and doesn’t focus as much on the spiritual aspect of yoga.
Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, is a set sequence of twenty-six asanas that is done in a room that’s 105 degrees Fahrenheit and has carpeted flooring. Doing a Bikram yoga class will give you many different benefits. It’s different from Kundalini yoga in many ways, especially in the practice area. There also aren’t any spiritual aspects of Bikram yoga.
Online Resources for Learning Kundalini Yoga
Learning Kundalini Yoga has never been easier and more accessible than today. There are tons of videos you can watch on YouTube, but take caution when doing this. Not everyone who makes a YouTube video is certified to be a yoga instructor. You also won’t have an instructor in person to make any body modifications and corrections to prevent injury.
A better way to learn Kundalini yoga online is to find a school with certified instructors who can provide one-on-one sessions to help guide you through learning Kundalini yoga in the safest way possible. This will help you reap most of the benefits without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Kundalini yoga is a fantastic form of yoga to help your body and mind feel rejuvenated, especially if you’re trying to break away from an everyday rut. It has been around for thousands of years and is still practiced today by many people worldwide. Never has it been easier to learn Kundalini yoga than it is today with the help of yoga gurus online.