“The process of self-healing is the privilege of every human being. Self-healing is not a miracle, nor is it a question of being able to do something that most people can’t. Self-healing is a process that occurs through the relationship between the physical and the infinite power of the soul. It is a contract, a union – that is the science of Kundalini Yoga.” – Yogi Bhajan
The ancient practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation makes use of numerous body positions and mind-body techniques.
While Kundalini Yoga and Meditation are much more, these positions and techniques form a foundation of knowledge in the practice. As such, a small selection of basic positions and techniques are presented here as a reference for beginning students and more advanced practitioners alike.
Each yoga session begins with a “tuning in” recitation (mantra) of the phrase Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo. This manta means “I bow to the creator, the divine teacher within”. “Tuning in” sets and calms the mind to be open to guidance and calls on the masters of Kundalini Yoga through the ages for protection and guidance during the yoga practice. This “tuning in” mantra is called the Golden Chain. It links students and teachers and protects you in the etheric realms as you set aside everything else for this period of time to be with your Self.
Before you “tune in”, take note of your state of being. This will heighten your self-awareness for observing effcets you may experience from your Kundalini session. It is possible to notice changes in your thoughts and in the way your body feels with just one Kundalini Yoga exercise.
After “tuning in,” a second mantra is often chanted. This is usually the mantra Aa Guray Nameh, Jugaad Guray Namnh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Gugu Devay Nameh. This mantra means “guidance from the primal core and beginning, through every moment of experience and activity: guided in your heart’s deepest truth and being by the unseen Infinity of your highest Self.”
Prana means life force or breath, Yama is that which controls it. When you control your breath you control your life – like using the phrase “slow down and take a deep breath”, to calm someone. Our lungs are our largest bodily organ, but most people use only 1/10th of their lung capacity.
- Long deep breathing builds endurance and patience.
- Breathing through the nose filters the air, and warms and humidifies it.
- Breath of Fire is a very balanced rapid breath pattern that cleanses the blood and releases old toxins from the the lungs, mucous lining, blood vessels and cells. It is an energizing breathe that creates alertness and expands lung capacity quickly.
Mantras are sounds or words that control the mind. Man means mind. Tra (ng) is the wave or movement of the mind. Mantra is a wave, a repetition of sound and rhythm that directs or controls the mind. When you recite a mantra, you have impact through its, through its meaning, through its pattern of energy, through its rhythm, through its naad – its energetic shape in the mouth. When recited correctly, a mantra will activate areas of the nervous system and brain and allow you to shift your state an the perceptual vision or energetic ability associated with it.
Asanas (Yoga Postures)
Asana means yoga posture. Kundalini Yoga is known as the yoga of angles and triangles. The use of angles in KIundalini Yoga postures, in combination with Pranayama, Mantras, and mudras, is one of the main reasons that Kundalini Yoga words as quickly as it does. The angles put pressure on the glands to secrete. When a posture is released and the body is held still, the glandular secretions that have been stimulated have an opportunity to circulate freely. The result is a balanced glandular system that has a definite effect on your emotional stability through the chemistry of your body.
Mudras (Hand Positions)
Mudra means hand position. The ancient yogies mapped out the areas of the hand and identified the part of the body or brain associated with each area. Each area of the hand also represents different emotions or behaviors. Curling, crossing. stretching or touching the fingers or finger tips in specific configurations is a yogic technique for communicating with the body and mind.
Every Kundalini Yoga class finishes with the song “Long Time Sun.” The song of blessing help to ground you, integrate the benefits of the yoga and prepare you to resume the activities of every day life.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
And all love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.
Yogi Bhajan, the founder of 3HO, introduced Kundalini Yoga to the US in 1968