We don’t currently hold Kundalini Yoga at Blooming Bamboo. If you’re a Kundalini teacher looking for more classes, please do get in touch.
The Basics of Kundalini Yoga
If you’ve been wanting to try Kundalini for a while but haven’t got a clue what to expect, here’s an introduction from our lovely teacher Hayley.
During a Kundalini Yoga lesson you will frequently hear your teacher using terms such as Kriya, Suspend the breath, Pull Mulbhand, Breath of Fire, Gyan Mudra, Focus on the third eye.
Here’s an explanation of how to use these techniques;
A set of postures, Pranayama (Prana meaning vital life force (breath of life) – yama meaning to control and sound that work toward a specific outcome. Most exercises within a Kriya are done with the eyes closed (unless stated otherwise by your teacher).
Closing the eyes gives us the ability to go within, blocking all of the external distractions – it also directs our energy within ourselves, ‘wherever attention goes, energy flows’.
Suspend the breath
You may often be instructed to suspend your breath, particularly at the end of an ‘exercise’. Suspending the breath is not the same as taking a deep breath before going swimming under water, where you lock the breath in, it is more relaxed, just a simple pause of the breath.
To suspend the breath on the inhale:
* Inhale deeply
* Suspend/pause the breath, bringing focus to the collarbone & upper ribs (slightly lifting the upper ribs)
* Relax the shoulders, throat and face
* Pull the chin in slightly
* Become still and calm
* Focus on the brow point (3rd eye)
If you feel the urge to exhale, try inhaling a tiny bit more instead.
CAUTION: if you have glaucoma or high blood pressure then suspension of the breath is not recommended.
Benefits of suspending the breath:
Suspension of the inhaled breath affects the sympathetic nervous system (our fight or flight response system), this puts the body in mode of alertness and is also energising.
Suspension of the breath on the exhale affects the parasympathetic nervous system which induces calmness and relaxation – it helps us to ‘let go’
Pull Mulbhand or Pull Rootlock
Rootlock or Mulbhand is the most frequently applied lock. It closes the lower three chakras so that the energy cannot escape through the base of the spine, therefore encouraging the energy to travel up the spine. Rootlock is done while either holding the breath in or holding the breath out.
To apply rootlock;
* Inhale (or exhale) fully
* suspend the breath
* squeeze the sex organs, pelvic floor muscles (imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine while also nipping your buttocks in and up)
* pull the navel point in and back towards the spine
* imagine the energy flowing from the base of the spine up and out of the crown of the head. Squeeze, squeeze and release (normally 10-15 seconds but sometimes more – or less).
Breath of Fire
Breath of fire is a very rapid breathing technique and is done powerfully through the nose. Initially focus only on the exhale, imagine you are blowing some dust out of your nostrils. As you expel the air, pull your nave point back towards the spine then allow the air to automatically inhale by itself, once you have the hang of it try to inhale and exhale in equal measures (approx. 2-3 cycles per second.
CAUTION: Breath of fire should not be done during the first 3 days of your period or if you are pregnant. Instead do long and deep breathing.
Connect the tip of the index finger with the tip of the thumb, apply a small amount of pressure, the other fingers are straight (but relaxed) and generally resting on the knees. To induce a feeling of groundedness have the palms side of the hands facing the ground (connection to the Earth). For a more elevated feeling have the palms facing upwards (connection to the ethers)
Focus on the Third Eye (6th Chakra)
Almost every Kriya uses the Third Eye as a place of focus, this activates the pituitary gland and the central nerve channel of the spine – it also increases our intuition abilities.
To focus on the 3rd eye do the following
* With the eyes shut, roll the eyeballs up as if looking out at the point between the eyebrows, this strengthens our intuition and helps create a meditative state while doing each exercise
5 benefits of Kundalini Yoga
- It’s accessible to people of any ability, flexibility, body shape or size
- Not only physical movement but also spiritual aspect with meditation and chanting
- Goes deeper, quicker with emotional release and chakra blockages than other types of yoga
- You only need to take one class to feel benefits, unlike some other types of yoga where you build up your practice
- It’s tailored specifically for the challenges of the modern age
“Kundalini Yoga is the crack cocaine of yoga. If hatha is a mild weed high, iyengar is a deep hash glow, and ashtanga is amphetamine, Kundalini blows the *ucking doors off.”
Russell Brand on his experience with Kundalini Yoga
How our Kundalini classes are structured…
We begin each Kundalini Yoga class by tuning in with Adi Mantra. Tuning in with Adi Mantra connects us to our own inner teacher (which knows more than we’ll ever realise 😊). Adi mantra also connects us to the Golden Chain of Masters, Sages and Saints who have gone before us.
Tune in with ADI MANTRA: “ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO”
“I bow to the subtle divine wisdom, the divine teacher within.”
This is followed by the protection mantra MANGALA CHARN
“AD GURAY NAMEH,
JUGAD GURAY NAMEH,
SAT GURAY NAMEH,
SIRI GURU DEVAY NAMEH!”
“I bow to the primal wisdom.
I bow to the wisdom true through the ages.
I bow to the true wisdom.
I bow to the great unseen wisdom.”
We close with the beautiful chant “LONG TIME SUN” song
The sun is the primal force of light, it is the essence of all life.
“May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You
All Love Surround You
And the Pure Light Within You
Guide your way on”
Followed by BIJ MANTRA “SAT NAM”
SAT – Truth/the reality of one’s existence
NAM – the identity
Sat Nam is about recognising our true nature, our authentic self underneath all the layers of our physical being.