Review Kundalini Yoga


Verdict: 10

Kundalini Yoga is one of the best things that happened to me! That’s why it gets 10 out of 10. It has changed my life and it reprogrammed my body and mind into this state of happiness and acceptance. I’m not a (total) hippy, I’m not very alternative, I’m interested in spirituality yet not always so keen about talking bout feelings and I’m certainly not very limber or athletic (I love my curves, not gonna change a thing bout those). But Kundalini Yoga is totally awesome and everyone can do it!

The yoga people I take lessons with are Kundalini Yoga Maastricht. I know I wanted to do yoga, but didn’t know what kind of yoga (there are so many kinds, it’s ridiculous) and then I stumbled onto their site. They give lessons five days a week and you can come and go as you please. Sometimes there are lessons with a full class of 12 or more people, but often it’s a small bundle of 3 people, which makes it very private, intimate and fun. I love the fact that I can just buy a ‘ticket’ that gives you 4 or 8 lessons and come whenever I feel like it.

Recently I kinda hurt my foot (I’m a bit of a clumsy person, and that’s an understatement) and I couldn’t go to yoga for about 2 weeks! I totally lost my inner focus and my centre. It was absolutely horrible. I wanted to go to yoga, but I knew it would hurt my foot even more so I stayed home. This is when I noticed that KY (kundalini yoga) has really changed my body and mind. When you practice yoga body and mind become one. You become more tuned into yourself and your own essence, as it were. And above all you enter this state of relaxed happiness and acceptance. People can say they get this from doing what they love, from practicing their hobbies and it’s true, then you reach a state of meditation that is nice. But with yoga it is more than just a state of mind, it’s the combination of body and mind and the connection with yourself and your instincts that is re-established. At the end of last week I found my centre again. And I knew I had really learned something from yoga.

I’ll explain what a session of KY includes and talk you through it. A lot of people think yoga is just about stretching, but KY is a lot more than that and you’re completely exhausted and yet energized after a session. It’s hard work! Your muscles will ache a lot! First we usually start with a warming up. The exercises we do are neck rolls, shoulder rolls, making big circles with your arms and swimming them around. Sometimes we do a cat position, where you bend your back in different positions, which is really nice. I have a bad back (I’ve got a bit of scoliosis) and these exercises really help me out. Usually we end the warming up with a Sun Salutation.

After the warming up we start with out first mantra, the opening mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. You can listen to it on Sikhnet. This mantra opens you up for the experience. I really like mantras, it’s one of the things I love about KY. The vibrations of the mantras make something happen within yourself and the level of concentration you can reach while performing a mantra is liberating. You sit with a straight spine (as with all the exercises) usually with your legged crossed, if that’s comfortable with you. And with your hands in prayer pose.

After this opening mantra the real exercises begin. These usually vary from really intense to relaxed. We do one exercise and then we relax for about a minute or so. Then another exercise follows. Examples of these exercises, called kriyas, you can find at pinklotus.

During these kriyas it’s essential to push yourself. You should never overdo it and force something that shouldn’t be forced, but it’s good to block out that voice in your head that says you can’t do it. Just push through it and stick with the exercise. It can hurt a bit, but the reward is wonderful. After you’ve practiced yoga for a while you’ll find you can do the kriyas with much more ease. The lovely thing about our classes is that you can clearly see that everyone has their own problem areas and certain kriyas they have trouble with. For instance, I couldn’t possibly do one position where we had to lean on our shoulders and put our legs in the air. I was too scared that my neck would snap. That was fine and it doesn’t matter if you can’t do an exercise as good as the teacher can do it. Everyone can do them at their own pace. Kriyas each have their own purpose. Some are for stimulating creativity, other for peace of mind and some are to fuel sexual energy.


Very important during these kriyas is your breathing. We always breath through our noses and with our belly. If you’ve had any theatre experience, like I have, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You can either breath from your chest or from your belly. If you let your belly swell up with air, you’ll feel much more relaxed and much more stable than when you breath only with your chest. Usually during yoga we take deep breaths that also fill up our chests eventually. Some kriyas require a breath of fire, which are very fast deep breaths that you take while pushing you’re the air actively out of your belly with your navel. I find this tricky to control and I’ve still got a lot of learning to do, which is great! See the video below for an explanation of breath of fire.

After the kriyas there’s time for some well earned relaxation, usually for about 10-15 minutes. We lie on our backs with our palms to the air and our back as straight as is possible. After the relaxation there’s the closing mantra which follows a meditation of about 15 minutes. I really love these! They involve chanting a certain mantra in a set position. Each one gives you a different feeling and has their own purpose, just like the kriyas have. After this we close up with 3 times Sat Nam which means: I honor the Truth of your identity, which is the same as mine and makes us one. I really like Sat Nam a lot, it has such a positive ring to it, just like the mantras that involve Har. And the last thing we do is make a deep bow for our higher self.

KY is supposedly very intense and that’s certainly my experience. After my first session I was extremely emotional and during the meditation while chanting the mantra I felt like crying (which of course I didn’t, since I’m tough as hell, hihi). It almost feels like a cleansing of your soul. You lose a lot of those cropped up emotions and stress. A whole session of KY takes about 1,5 hour. It’s important to stop eating about 2 hours before a session and to drink a lot of water before, during and after.

If you’d like to read a bit more bout KY and have some practical tips for what you should do, you should visit this free online KY lessons site.

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  • Comments (2)
    • novaship
    • July 31st, 2008

    Thanks. This is just what I was looking for. In Dr. Oz’s book he gives beginning yoga moves, which it ends up is exactly you sun salutation. I have been looking for something more now that I have been doing the sun salutation everyday for about 3 weeks. And with your explanation and links I hope I can progress a little farther in my flexibilty and now meditation too.

    Thanks.
    Marc
    http://www.my-body-for-life-blog.blogspot.com

  1. Hey Marc, thanks for enjoying the article. Yoga can really change your life and I hope this has motivated or inspired you in some way. Thanks again!

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