What is Kundalini Yoga?

This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.

Image via Vogue Italia

Image via Vogue Italia

Today, as I woke up, the word “kundalini” was stuck inside of my head.

Kundalini—What is it? What does it mean? Who practices it? And what can this form of yoga provide for me that the other forms may not be able to? From Forrest yoga to vinyasa yoga to hot yoga to kundalini yoga, it seems like we’ve branded a crazy collection of yoga practices with their very own from of yogic philosophy.

As I searched the internet for all of the answers to my kundalini questions, I found this article published by The Times of India, that states “kundalini yoga is a school of yoga focused on awakening the dormant [life force] power in the body.”

Kundalini is meant to be a transformational practice, where the emphasis is on clearing and opening your chakras so that you can be the best version of yourself. The techniques of a kundalini practice are used in repetition to help you break out of outdated patterns and belief systems that no longer positively serve you.

A kundalini practitioner will work with a spiritual confidante (or guru), and will look into what is happening in their personal life to create a system of meditative mantras and poses that help them more easily accept current life lessons, and come out on the other side of perceived challenges as a stronger human being.

This sounds amazing, but how can you start to integrate kundalini practices into your lifestyle without having a guru by your side?

1. Learn about your chakra system

Learning about your body’s energy centers will help you understand where you may be blocked in your life. If you can tune in and recognize which energy centers need strengthening, then you will be able to use the kundalini practices to your best advantage. You can easily select which mantras and poses which speak to what you are seeing in your day-to-day life, and that will help you unravel any hidden blocks you may have.

2. Practice meditative chanting

Once you’re clear on what you need to strengthen in your body and your mind, you can seek out meditative chants that align with those areas that need fixing. One of the best ways to clear out personal blind spots is to practice an “anti-addiction” kundalini meditation. This will help you clear your additions to self-sabotage, sadness, anger, victimhood, or whatever it is that you have a tough time letting go of (Let’s be honest, we are all mentally addicted to something! No shame here.).

3. Test out a kundalini yoga flow

If you’re too shy to test out a class, you can practice a kundalini yoga right in the comfort of your own home. If you decide you enjoy the practice, you can venture out to a class and meet other people who enjoy the practice as well! 

Diya SenGupta