None of us know about the start or development of Yoga. But from the evidence discovered by archaeologists yogi like figures engraved on the stone dating back about 5000 years ago have been found. Some types of yoga are more based on physical development whereas others are based more on the spiritual aspect of human body. It is believed that yoga has developed along with the rise of Eastern spirituality and Kundalini yoga is a combination of physical workout and meditation.
Kundalini means the coil like that of a snake. The untapped energy (prana) situated at the very base of our spine is known as Kundalini which could be drawn upwards through our bodies by awakening of each of seven chakras of our bodies. The full enlightenment is possible only when this energy reaches the crown chakra situated at the top of the head. Kundalini yoga was introduced to western world in the year 1968 in California where Yogi Bhajan started teaching Yoga. The 3 HO (Healthy, Holy and Happy organisation) was founded by Yogi Bhajan who introduced Kundalini Yoga to a greater population. Prior to this the Kundalini yoga was taught in India only which was passed down in the tradition of Guru-Student. Earlier this Kundalini yoga was not available to general public. But it was felt by Yogi Bhajan that the opportunity to learn about its benefits should not be denied to anyone. Kundalini is one of the most spiritual type of yoga. The Kundalini awakening involves movement of Kundalini upwards through the central channel and along the way piercing the chakras to acquire a place within the shahrara chakra situated above the head. The Kundalini movement can be felt as the presence of cool breeze or warm breeze (in case of imbalance) across the palm or sole of feet. When the Kundalini awakening process is achieved and established through meditation, the Kundalini is supposed to purify the body and dispel off the physical, spiritual and mental diseases.
The sequence of asana in Kundalini yoga is called Kriya. The breathing technique of each kriya is specific and is associated with series of poses which are pre-set and to intensify the effect of poses, the band has were engaged. Each kriya is related to specific chakras. The kriyas may consist of repetitive, rapid movements which may be coordinated with a particular recitation of Mantras or a particular breathing method. The poses of other kriyas may be held for several minutes with the inclusion of mantras and pranayama. For each kriya mudras are often an important part.
Usually the Kundalini class starts with a short chanting of mantras which is followed by warming up for stretching the spine and improving the flexibility. The main action of the class is kriyas. The class finishes with meditation accompanied by teacher closing song and large gong. The Kundalini students usually wear white clothing and head wraps but this style of clothing is not enforced to the students. Sheepskins may be replaced with yoga mats. Head wraps are used, keeping in mind to store the awakened Kundalini. Kundalini is such a form of yoga which is gaining more popularity in certain pockets of Los Angeles and New York City more than any other form of yoga. The philosophy of Kundalini yoga is more durable than any other form of yoga, physical or spiritual.
Kundalini yoga is designed specifically to strengthen will power and intuition. This was introduced basically to students desirous of getting rid of unwanted addiction and habits. Kundalini prepares you to summon the mental and physical strength to maintain the repetitive action like using breath of fire, while holding Ardha Navasana or half boat pose through pranayama, mantra, mudra, asana and deep relaxation for as long as up to three minutes.Even while your brain requests you to stop, your nervous system is being trained to follow your commitment to continue. It is similar to training your muscle at the gym. It is not at all a fun but the results are pretty incredibly beneficial.Gradually you gain power and awareness required to resist the temptation of falling back to the bad habits you were trying to resolve to break forever during this year.
The Kundalini technique involves breathing, stretching, running, dancing, jumping, yelling, meditating and chanting. Any particular Kundalini kriya is composed of the variety from some of these activities. The benefits of Kundalini yoga mainly includes improvement of the physical, mental and spiritual health, as each class includes great workout and meditation. One day you may be stretching and the next day you may be screaming. The nature of each class is spontaneous which makes ready to do anything and also light on your feet.
The class takes 60-90 minutes which is structured as 5-10 minutes for warm up, 30-45 minutes for kriya ( the main workout), 5-15 minutes for Shvasana relaxation and 11-31 minutes for meditation (including hand mudras or mantras).