Kundalini Yoga is a holistic philosophy that brings practical benefits of rejuvenation and healing. Brought to the west by Yogi Bhajan. It is a comprehensive system of exercises, breathing, meditation, chanting and a healthy mental projection. In this way we develop a conscious and dynamic relationship between our personal life energy and the universal flow of Prana. The overall result is the balancing of our chakras and the alignment of our ten spiritual Bodies. This awakens us to who we really are; spiritual beings having a human experience.
The word Kundalini means spiral of hair and later came to be known as the coiled serpent of potential energy and consciousness which is thought to lay at the base of the spine waiting to be awoken by various practices; moving and sounding like a serpent as it arises. In fact before it can be awoken it needs to be gathered, and when gathered in to sufficient intensity it will naturally open out again, giving the sensation of awakening or rebirth. One of the earliest methods used was to wind the hair into a knot at the top of the head. This knot then acts as an amplifier and transformer between the finite/personal life and the infinite/impersonal.
Yoga means union and in addition to the temporary union between the mind, body and soul while in this worldly existence there is also the possibility of an eternal union between the differentiated small soul/self as it expands towards the undifferentiated and the large soul/self as it individualises or diversifies itself. Note: To even contemplate union is already to admit separation. Yoga is a way of healing the separation through various stages.
The structure and processes of the body/mind are our most potent tools for accomplishing this union as well as the most likely hindrances. The stages of the Kundalini journey have been visualised as seven chakras – energy wheels, or gates through which the conscious must pass; individual consciousness rising up while universal consciousness descends.
Most of our states of consciousness could be thought of as postures – some static and some dynamic – each of which effect our breathing and mind patterns. By changing our body posture, breath rhythm and thought vibration we can change our state.
Awakening the Kundalini is no big deal since for life to exist in us it must already be active, though relatively unconscious. Moments of deeper awakening do happen in life but we do not always know either what contributed to this awakening or how to sustain it. Kundalini Yoga developed as a systematic method of expanding consciousness and maintaining the new awareness.
Kundalini is related to primal consciousness and is only dangerous if ignored, when it becomes misguided intent; like truth, weeds, sexuality, bacteria, etc. all cause trouble if ignored. The chanting of mantra is one of the important ways in which the stimulation and raising of the energy from the dreamy subconscious realms can be harmoniously regulated, channeled and appropriately transformed.
Kundalini refers to an impulse and an energy that has both personal and collective dimensions; it is enduring and can offer us guidance from within – it is our inner guru. Ritual is one of the ways that Kundalini has been awoken and with its sacred quality, ritual offers a respect to an energy that is thought to be very powerful and somewhat unknown.