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.
If youa€™re new to it, you probably dona€™t realize how many different types of yoga there are.
Ita€™s good to try different types of yoga to see what you like the most, but here is a basic overview of some of the most common styles people practice. To be clear, yoga is actually much more than physical poses, ita€™s a philosophy of bringing your mind and emotions into harmony with life.
This is still the most common type of yoga class and I think of it as a bridge to the more traditional types of yoga.
Vinyasa means breath to movement and you will learn how to breathe while you move, which is very valuable for your health, muscle and bone strength. This is also one of my most favorite types of yoga and ita€™s quickly becoming popular in the United States.
This is a great yoga style for people that have trouble stretching or arena€™t ready for a really demanding class. Your skin will improve as you get rid of toxins and youa€™ll reduce your risk of injuring yourself in other activities when your joints become flexible and your muscles are less tight.
People will be wearing very little clothing and you will need two towels for class (one for your mat so you dona€™t slip and one to wipe your face).
This type of yoga is often confused with Bikram yoga, but it usually is a variation of the Bikram poses.
This is the name for the yoga that was passed from master to student for generations and this concept is diluted in commercial businesses representation of it. The question is, should it have changed or is it helping our culture more now that is has been adapted for mainstream consumers? Anusara yoga, Mysore, Lorest yoga, Laugh yoga, Dahn yoga, yoga Nidra, Acro yoga and Tantric yoga are all different types of yoga with their own distinct focus. Yoga is not as simple as stretching and as you can see by the many different types listed here, there are thousands of years of discoveries about the mind and human body that have shaped what yoga is today. Once you find your endorphins are really kicking in, youa€™ll feel that yoga high that makes people say really nice things after class. If your brain gets used to that regular release of endorphins and you suddenly quit, it can cause depression and you probably wona€™t realize why youa€™re feeling down. Keep in mind that if you dona€™t like your first yoga class, it could be a mixture of things.

If you are intrigued by this article, share it with anyone you feel would be too, and leave thoughts and opinions below. Shannon is a contortionist and yoga teacher that loves to inspire people to lead empowered and healthy lives. 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.
Learn which different types of yoga help with common issues such as insomnia, depression, digestion, muscle soreness, fatigue and anxiety. Yoga also builds strength and tones muscles, it is not just stretching and this is a common misconception. Now, more than ever, the sedentary lifestyles of smart people need to be paired with movement to stave off depression and health problems. Many times a Vinyasa class will feel a little like a workout class with louder music and a faster pace. If I could summarize the point of this type of yoga I would say it teaches you to remain present and let go of things.
Teachers of vinyasa might not always be the skinniest or the most impressive physically but they will make sure you leave with a smile, which might be more valuable.
It teaches people how to develop flexibility without becoming hypermobile and helps students understand body mechanics.
Ita€™s popular with all age groups because it actually helps to decrease muscle recovery time and because it reduces soreness. Ita€™s great for people that are going through an emotional healing and I have used restorative yoga to get through tough situations in my own life. Hard core ashtangis practice 3 hours each day and I highly recommend it for those looking for a lifestyle change and wanting to add some discipline into their lives. It was developed by a man named Bikram and is a set series of postures done in a very heated room. People often use this type of yoga to drop weight before weddings or vacations or use it to detox after a weekend in Vegas. Hot yoga makes inflexible people feel more flexible because their muscles are warm and hot yoga makes for a great date, seriously.
This is an alignment based yoga that focuses on anatomy and slows down the pace of the class.
Youa€™ll have to read the popular a€?Autobiography of a Yogia€™ to get a proper grasp of the idea of Kriya yoga. Ita€™s an amazing tool to use to keep yourself from getting sick and injured and gives you the ability to tap into the energy available in your body without having to be dependent on stimulants like Adderall, which are addictive. She writes practical advice for health and gives real world insights to empower women emotionally. These towns and villages really do exist, and you really have to visit at least one of them. 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 is one of the best options and ita€™s no secret, yoga is quickly becoming an integral part of our culture. As you get to learn the poses and the anatomy of the body, the focus usually becomes less about moving fast and more about getting your body into alignment to safely build strength and flexibility. These three terms: restorative, gentle and yin yoga are often interchangeable, although there are some slight differences between them.
When the muscles are not flexed but held in gentle stretches for 3-8 minutes, the connective tissue which covers the muscles, called the fascia, release and allow flexibility to increase. This is a very distinct type of yoga and many people will be surprised to find how different it is than the other types.
Although, yoga aims to teach moderation and restraint, not giving you an excuse to party harder. You will find large corporate chains such as CorePower Yoga that have fusion classes which combine different styles into one class. It is great for people interested in practicing long term without injury and learning how the mechanics of the body work.
The yoga community in the United States knows that businesses have shaped yoga into something it wasna€™t originally intended to be. Yogi Bhajan was the founder of Kundalini Yoga in the west which is popular among celebrities and spiritual aspirants. The kriyas (exercises) are very unique and usually repeated in numbers that have spiritual significance. If you are new to yoga and trying to get into it, just like anything else, ita€™s good to know what youa€™re getting yourself into. Ita€™s actually quite fun and the only precaution I can give you is that if you practice regularly, dona€™t stop. Ia€™m not saying that to scare you, but someone told me that, and I didna€™t take them very seriously until I experienced it myself, and they were totally right.
The industrialized world has neglected that humans are not engineered to sit 8 to 10 hours per day. Maybe you just didna€™t connect with the personality of the teacher or found them irritating. 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. If you want to increase your energy and lose weight, vinyasa and hatha would be a great choice. Restorative yoga has been known to help with insomnia, depression, injury recovery, fibromyalgia and stress. Pattabhi Jois was the father of ashtanga yoga, and today, people that studied with him are teaching what they learned from him.
Your digestion will become ultra-regular because of how you wring out your torso and get stuff moving along. You will definitely feel different if you adopt their practice of sadhana which is an early morning practice, usually from 5-7am.
Dona€™t let the 9-5 culture get the best of you; get on your yoga mat, no matter how inflexible or intimidated you may be. It took me years to find some teachers that I actually remembered and wanted to learn from.
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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  1. 24.02.2016 at 22:53:54
    BI_CO writes:
    Course I was meditating and extremely emotional event for her.
  2. 24.02.2016 at 11:36:18
    NEW_GIRL writes:
    You experience the Goenka meditation.
  3. 24.02.2016 at 17:34:15
    Apocalupse writes:
    You are are typically free to all state a number of main steps.
  4. 24.02.2016 at 13:29:10
    TARKAN writes:
    Initially of each session and the emphasis.