I am a yoga teacher. I teach Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I consider Kundalini Yoga to be the most profound and transformational school of yoga on the planet today. In every class I teach, I see my students transformed before my eyes. They arrive after a full day of work; stressed, tired, and cranky; and they leave class vitalized, balanced, and fully connect with Spirit.
Let me tell you how a Kundalini Yoga class works. One of the nice things about this style is that there is so much to choose from in the way of building a class. Though the class format is basically the same from class to class, in Kundalini, we warm up, do a series of yoga postures in the form of a Kriya to invigorate the body, relax with a Gong Layout, and finish with a Meditation.
The word “Kriya” literally means “completed action”. The transforming qualities of this Yoga come from the specific sequence of exercises. Each Kriya has its own sequence of exercises which pertain to a specific outcome. Some Kriyas build the immune system, or work specifically on the nervous system, or balancing the mental body. This diversity allows me to craft a class that unique unto itself and there are literally hundreds of Kundalini Kriyas to choose from. Yogi Bhajan left a vast library of teachings.
In Kundalini Yoga, the yoga exercises are invigorating as well as relaxing and calming. We use breath in Kundalini Yoga to deepen and expand the effects of each of the exercises. After our workout, we move into deep relaxation. Students lay down on their mats and cover themselves with their blankets and go to sleep. I take them through a short relaxation body scan to help them easily move into their relaxation, though after having exerted themselves during the class, it’s usually quite easy for them to nod off.
Now it’s time for the Gong. When the Gong is played, the Gong rules supreme. The mind has 90 seconds to surrender to vibrations and overtones of the Gong. The Gong in a Kundalini Yoga class is an exceptional experience. A fellow Kundalini Teacher, Devinder Kaur, from Ottawa Canada, describes it this way:
“The Gong playing begins. At first you hear the soft throaty Gong sounds and as you listen carefully, you become aware of the many tones within one sound. The sounds develop and wash over and around you to vibrate all of the body’s cells. The waves of sound carry your body and mind to a feeling of peace and connectedness. The entire body vibrates and changes as the gong is played.” It literally takes one into a deeper state of relaxation than they could otherwise take themselves. It’s a most beautiful experience.
After layout, we come sitting up and prepare for meditation. Most meditations that teach in a Kundalini Yoga class are in the form of chanting Mantra. Mantra chanting has powerful transformational qualities. Chanting Mantra is one the fastest ways I know to clear the mind. In Kundalini Yoga class we draw from many different traditions. Every spiritual tradition has a unique sound quality to it. Many of the Kundalini Mantras come from the Sikh tradition, others come from the Hindu, Christian, and Sufi traditions. Yogi Bhajan drew even drew from before the written word. We asked him once how he chose the Mantras to include in Kundalini Yoga, he said, “I use what works”.
Mantra….”Man” means mind…..”Tra” means frequency. By chanting Mantra we can direct the frequency of the mind to connect with spirit. Mantras have harmonizing qualities that are in relationship to Spirit. As we repeat a Mantra, it’s as though Spirit comes closer, the mind clears, and we feel a deep sense of connection to the deepest part of ourselves. It completes the evening’s Kundalini experience. I’m convinced that of all the tools we use in a Kundalini Yoga class i.e., movement, postures, breath, Gong, and deep relaxation; it the chanting of these sacred sounds that attracts students to return to class time and time again. Chanting the Holy Nam, the Name of the Lord.
See You in class,