16.04.2016

Kundalini yoga yardley

The caduceus symbol of coiling snakes is thought to be an ancient symbolic representation of Kundalini physiology. The concept of Kundalini comes from yogic philosophy of ancient India and refers to the mothering intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual maturation. Within a western frame of understanding it is often associated with the practice of contemplative or religious practices that might induce an altered state of consciousness, either brought about spontaneously, through a type of yoga, through psychedelic drugs, or through a near-death experience.
According to the yogic tradition Kundalini is curled up in the back part of the root chakra in three and one-half turns around the sacrum. The source text for the concept of kundalini is the "Hatha Yoga Pradipika" written by Swami Svatmarama (English translation, 1992) somewhere between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries. The main emphasis is a difficult regime of breathing techniques meant to increase the store of "prana" in the body.
Jung's seminar on Kundalini yoga, presented to the Psychological Club in Zurich in 1932, has been widely regarded as a milestone in the psychological understanding of Eastern thought and of the symbolic transformations of inner peace.
Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the developmental phases of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation. A few western translators interpret the energetic phenomena as a form of psychic or paranormal energy, although the western parapsychological understanding of psychic energy, separated from its cultural-hermeneutic matrix, is probably not the same as the yogic understanding. Kundalini might be said to be a popular concept, since it is widely quoted among various disciplines of yoga and New Age beliefs. This has led to somewhat different interpretations and applications of the concept of Kundalini within the spiritual and contemplative culture in the west.
With the tools of these academic traditions it is possible to give different interpretations to the concept of Kundalini; such as physiological interpretations, psychological interpretations, clinical interpretations, religious interpretations, mythological interpretations and spiritual interpretations.
Kundalini Yoga is a meditative discipline - or a system of meditative techniques and movements - within the yogic tradition that focuses on psycho-spiritual growth and the body's potential for maturation.
The movements and the body-work should not - according to some scholars of religion - be considered mere stretching exercises. According to yogic terminology the force of Kundalini is supposed to be raised through meditative exercises and activated within the concept of a subtle body, a body of energy and finer substance. Kundalini experiences are often understood in terms of the Hindu chakra system, the understanding of psycho-spiritual energy centers along the spine (Scotton, 1996).
According to much contemporary spiritual literature, and the field of Transpersonal Psychology, it is not considered wise to engage in any of these practices without the guidance of a credible teacher or without thorough psychological preparation and education in yoga. Theorists within the schools of Humanistic psychology, Transpersonal psychology and Near-Death Studies describe a complex pattern of motor functions, sensory, affective and cognitive-hermeneutic symptoms called the Kundalini Syndrome. According to these fields of study the Kundalini syndrome is of a different nature than a single Kundalini episode, such as a Kundalini arousal. Interdisciplinary dialogues within the mentioned schools of psychology (see references below) have now established some common criteria in order to describe this condition, of which the most prominent feature is a feeling of energy travelling along the spine, or progressing upwards in the body. Sensory symptoms are said to include subjective changes in body temperature - feelings of heat or cold - a feeling of electricity in the body, persistent sexual arousal syndrome, headache and pressure inside of the head, tingling, vibrations and gastro-intestinal problems.
Transpersonal literature emphasizes that this list of symptoms is not meant to be used as a tool for self-diagnosis. Contemporary spiritual literature often notes that the chakras, as described in the esoteric kundalini documents, bear a strong similarity in location and number to the major endocrine glands, as well as nerve bundles called ganglions.
One speculation is that the traditional practices have formalized a method for stimulating the endocrine glands to work in a different mode which has a more direct effect on consciousness, perhaps ultimately by stimulating the release of DMT by the pineal gland, which may be analogous to the 'pineal chakra'. This current polarizes the brain part through which it flows in a homogenous way, effectively releasing tremendous amounts of stress from the body. This might account for repeated descriptions of heightened senses as a result of rising Kundalini, e.g. According to transpersonal theorists the phenomenon of kundalini is not necessarily pathological in itself, but it might produce serious physiological and psychodynamic symptoms if it is activated outside a proper socio-cultural context, or if it conflicts with already existing and underlying psychopathology or issues connected to overall human development. The coiled and dormant 'feminine' energy, refers to the vast potential of psychic energy contained within us all.
Kundalini can be described as a great reservoir of creative energy at the base of the spine. Kundalini Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness.
Kundalini Yoga consists of active and passive asana-based Kriyas, Pranayama ( breathing exercises), and Meditations  which target the whole body system (nervous system, glands, mental faculties, chakras) to develop awareness, consciousness and spiritual strength. Kundalini Yoga, at its highest form, is practiced for the purpose of attaining bliss, opening the heart center, developing power, serving others and attaining self-realization. According to one author, the word kundalini literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” It is a metaphor, a poetic way of describing the flow of energy and consciousness which already is said to exist within each person.
Borrowing and integrating the highest forms from many different approaches, Kundalini Yoga can be understood as a tri-fold approach of Bhakti Yoga for devotion, Shakti Yoga for power, and Raja Yoga for mental power and control. Jappa Yoga is part of Kundalini Yoga, as are Shakti Yoga, Laya Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Kundalini yoga goes beyond the physical poses and the strong emphasis is on breathing, meditation and chanting.


Although Kundalini yoga is an ancient form of yoga, it has been introduced and practiced in the west quite recently. It was in 1969 that Yogi Harbhajan Singh founded the Healthy, Happy and Holy organizations 3 HO to introduce Kundalini to the broader population to enable them enjoy the benefits. Asanas in this form of yoga go beyond the stretching and breathing patterns but instead focus on intense concentration so to as promote spiritual growth. It might be regarded by yogis as a sort of deity, hence the occasional capitalization of the term. Yogic phenomenology states that kundalini awakening is associated with the appearance of bio-energetic phenomena that are said to be experienced somatically by the yogi. The well known physical postures are only meant to be an aid to maintain peak physical fitness, so as to support the real work of the breathing practices.
Leadbeater (1847-1934), of the Theosophical Society, and the analytical psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961). Yogic philosophy understands this concept as a maturing energy that expresses the individual's soteriological longings. However, the recent popularization of the term within new religious movements has - according to some scholars of religion - not contributed to promote a mature understanding of the concept (Sovatsky, 1998). The practice of Kundalini Yoga consists of a number bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances, characterological cultivations, breathing patterns, and degrees of concentration. The concept of life-energy - pranotthana - is central to the practice and understanding of Kundalini Yoga. However, Kundalini as a spiritual experience is thought to have parallels in many of the mystical and gnostic traditions of the world's great religions. The early Christians might have referred to the concept as 'pneuma', and there are some recent parallels in contemporary Christian Charismatic 'Holy Ghost' phenomena. According to Hindu tradition the Kundalini raises from the root-chakra up through the spinal channel, called sushumna, and it is believed to activate each chakra it goes through. In raising Kundalini, spiritual powers (siddhis) are also believed to arise, but many spiritual traditions see these phenomena as obstacles on the path, and encourages their students not to get hung up with them (Kason, 2000). Initiation of kundalini activity is usually considered to take place by a practice called shaktipat. Any form of intense contemplative or spiritual practice without the support of a cultural context, or without the support of thorough psychological preparation, is usually considered to be unfortunate, and in some cases even dangerous. This psychosomatic arousal and excitation is believed to occur in connection with prolonged and intensive spiritual or contemplative practice (such as meditation or yoga) or as a result of intense life experience or a near encounter with death (such as a near-death experience).
Motor symptoms are said to include tremors, other spontaneous or involuntary body movements and changes in respiratory function. Cognitive and affective symptoms are said to include psychological upheaval, stress, depression, depersonalization or derealization, intense mood-swings, but also moments of bliss, deep peace and other altered states of consciousness. Any unusual or marked physical or mental symptom needs to be investigated by a qualified medical doctor. According to Bentov (1990), the 7.5 Hz oscillation of the heart muscle rhythm induces mechanical Hz frequencies in the brain, that in turn create a stimulus equivalent of a current loop. The body then becomes an effective antenna for the 7.5 Hz frequency, which is one of the resonant frequencies of the ionosphere. However, examples exist of historical figures suffering from kundalini symptoms, such as zen master Hakuin, Saint Theresa, and Nietzsche. It is normally symbolized as a serpent coiled into three and a half circles, with its tail in its mouth, and spiraling around the central axis (sacrum or sacred bone) at the base of the spine.
It's not useful to sit with our consciousness fixed in our head and think of kundalini as a foreign force running up and down our spine.
Practitioners call Kundalini yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses primarily on practices that expand sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual consciousness. Its purpose through the daily practice of Kriyas and meditation in Sadhana are described a practical technology of human consciousness for humans to achieve their total creative potential. It goes beyond the physical performance of poses with its emphasis on breathing, meditation, mudras and chanting. Kundalini in Sanskrit literally means 'that which is coiled' but is mostly used as a metaphor to describe the powerful energy that exists within the human body.
Records reveal that Kundalini yoga was considered dangerous practice and was historically practiced in secrecy. Harbhajan Singh Yogi traveled widely in the Himalayan Mountains seeking out reclusive yogis to collect first hand knowledge of the kriyas and Pranayama exercises. Specific breath sequences are to be done with poses so as to release energy in the lower body and intensify the effect of the asanas.
Others notice energy rushes, intense heat and cold, involuntary body movements and hyperactivity.
Uplifted, or intensified life-energy is called pranotthana and is supposed to originate from an apparent reservoir of subtle bio-energy at the base of the spine. All of this has, according to tradition, to be accompanied by prolonged and unbroken meditation practice (for which the main text is the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali").


Viewed in a mythological context it is sometimes believed to be an aspect of Shakti, the goddess and consort of Shiva. As with many eastern contemplative concepts there exist considerable difficulties, and possible semantic confusion, connected to the way these concepts are adapted to a western context. It also gives special consideration to the role of the spine and the endocrine system in the understanding of yogic awakening. Religious studies also note parallels in Quakerism, Shakerism, Judaic Shuckling (torso-rocking prayer), the swaying zikr and whirling dervish of Islam, the quiverings of the Eastern Orthodox hesychast, the flowing movements of tai chi, the ecstatic shamanic dance, the ntum trance dance of the Bushman, Tibetan Buddhist tummo heat as practised by Milarepa, and the Indically-derived Andalusian flamenco (Sovatsky, 1998). Motoyama bases the bulk of the Kundalini raising practices listed in the book on the notable Swami Satyananda Saraswati, as well as on personal experience in helping people in various stages of Kundalini awakening. Although the opening of higher chakras are believed to mark advanced spiritual unfoldment, it is important not to measure spiritual growth solely by the opening of higher potentials. This is a form of 'laying on of hands' where physical contact to the body or the forehead of the subject by the guru, or initiator, is supposed to cause an experience of Kundalini that later may persist or grow with continuing practice, or fade away if practice is stopped. Traditional teachers of kundalini meditation also warn neophytes of the potential dangers of experimenting with kundalini Yoga techniques. Within the mentioned academic traditions this symptomatology is often referred to as the Physio-Kundalini syndrome or Kundalini-experience Awakening.
The nerve endings in that loop correspond to the route through which the Kundalini "rises". The physiological precursors of kundalini also have the potential to diverge into some peculiar types of pathology, as when induced via violence and outside a religious context, where it may be part of a post-traumatic response. The awakening of this serpent and the manifestation of its powers is a primary aim of the practice of Kundalini Yoga. Considered an advanced form of Yoga and meditation, its purpose is to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others. Mantra is the formation of the notes and the scale of the sounds and its applied actions or potency. This type of yoga is therefore only for those who are willing to undergo both mental and physical challenges. The knowledge of yoga was passed on from the Guru to his disciple only after a long initiation process.
Some may experience tingling sensations in the spinal column, palms of the hands or soles of the feet due to energy rising and freely circulating and opening the sleeping chakras. This energy is also interpreted as a vibrational phenomena that initiates a period, or a process of vibrational spiritual development. Hatha Yoga is strictly speaking a forcing technique which has as its primary aim the forcing of the arising of kundalini. Recently, there has been a growing interest within the medical community to study the physiological effects of meditation, and some of these studies have applied the discipline of Kundalini Yoga to their clinical settings.
Kundalini practice is centerfold in Japan's Aum Shinrikyo group and Kundalini-yoga is also one of the stages the practitioner is able to achieve.
Sharp provides a kundalini meditation called The Great Invocation along with detailed guidance on controlling and managing the energy flow and subsequent manifestation.
According to this view chakras might be under- or overdeveloped, and lower chakras are thought to be just as important as higher. Scotton (1996) mentions that kundalini-symptomatology is associated with such practices as shaktipat. The image of coiling, like a spring, conveys the sense of untapped potential energy that will spring into action soon. This type of yoga appeals to those who are up for both mental and physical challenges and invites beginners as well as advanced practitioners. In Yogic practice, the term Kundalini refers to the power residing in 'Muladhara chakra', the primary chakra. Stimulation of energy through the various chakras in the body paves the way for enhanced intuition and mental clarity.
Negative thoughts and a desire to express violent emotions may also develop in some performers. A growing body of clinical and psychological literature notes the growing occurrence of meditation-related problems in Western contemplative life. Jonathan Shay (1994) describes several cases with kundalini-like symptoms in his book Achilles in Vietnam. Among these we find the Kundalini Syndrome (which is presented more closely later in this article) and different forms of "wind illness" described in the Tibetan tradition.



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