Hatha Yoga vs. Kundalini Yoga

Recently, I’ve started Hatha yoga and it’s been great! I’m still doing Kundalini too, but I’ve found that if I want peace of mind, I have to go to a lesson by my wonderful teacher Edith Schrijver to get my head cleared. I’ll explain what’s the difference between the two kinds of yoga in this post.

I’ve described Kundalini Yoga in depth in a previous post: it’s a very active form of yoga. Now, every yoga is active, it’s not just stretching and humming and vague stuff like that, it’s truly hard work. Kundalini yoga is probably one of the most intense forms. The combination of breathing, movements and mantra’s really creates such a focus on your body that your body and mind become one.

I started yoga for the obvious health benefits, but most of all to clear my mind. I needed to find my own little space where I could be free of worries, thoughts or plans. Kundalini yoga offered the first step towards this. It helped me get more in touch with my body. Yet due to the rapid movements and the heavy breading, it often intensified my thinking instead of shutting it down.

Since I’ve started Hatha yoga this has changed completely. Hatha yoga is also very intense, it involves the same movements and breathing exercises as Kundalini yoga does, yet it requires you to do these with utter commitment, precision and your full attention. The pace is a lot slower than Kundalini yoga, which doesn’t make it easier. Instead when I’m finally comfortable in one position, my teacher Edith tells me to tighten my muscles in certain places and I’m again challenging my body to deepen my concentration and to really get into the position. The pace and the intensity of the whole makes me clear my mind completely. I feel fully grounded, centred and peaceful when I’m doing Hatha yoga and when I’m done.

My recent trip to India seemed to empower the teachings of Hatha yoga. India was so chaotic and utterly different from everything I knew that I had to create my own little island. With island I mean I had to do what I wanted to do and not take notice of everyone around me and what they wanted from me. It’s very difficult to shut yourself out of the world like that and it took me a long while to find some peace and rest in the heavy populated beautiful country of India. Eventually I got into a state of relaxation and acceptance, which was absolutely amazing and I’ve kept it up to now. Going to the lessons of Hatha yoga reinforces this state and helps me keep up the good work.

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  • Comments (2)
    • LeraJenkins
    • June 22nd, 2009

    Fantastic :)

    • Extendz
    • August 5th, 2009

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this entry is a really nice one.

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