What is Kundalina Yoga? Excerpted from the Kundalini Research Institute website. See end of post for the link to the full article.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yog, encompassing the eight limbs of yoga into a singular practice of excellence and ecstasy. “Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” This poetic metaphor alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, and enables us to merge with – or “yoke” – the universal Self. Fusing individual and universal consciousness creates a divine union, called “yoga.” The Upanishads, dating back to the fifth century B.C., describe the kundalini, although the oral tradition reaches back even further into history. For thousands of years, this sacred science and technology was veiled in secrecy, passed along verbally from master to chosen disciple.
How do you describe Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is also known as the Yoga of Awareness; its focus is on self-awareness and delivering an experience of your highest consciousness. The technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is a science of the mind and body, to elevate the spirit, which has no boundaries, no discrimination. Therefore it is for everyone, universal and nondenominational.
In the ancient tradition that is yoga, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is a householder path; that is, it has always been practiced by those with families and jobs as opposed to a renunciate’s path of celibacy and removal from society, which was the usual path of a yogi.
What is the focus of Kundalini Yoga? What is the primary objective of the practice?
The primary objective is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.
The focus of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is on one’s personal experience and awareness through the practice of kriya and naad. We awaken the kundalini in order to be able to call upon the full potential of the nervous and glandular systems and to balance the subtle system of chakras and meridians within the body. “Kriya” is an orchestrated pattern of movements, sound, pranayam, mudras, concentration and meditation that automatically guide the energies of the body and the mind to a specific result or change of consciousness.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® does not rely on any one of these techniques per se, although we use many. Instead, it is the unique and tested syntax, within the structure of each kriya as shared by Yogi Bhajan, which provides steady, predictable progress and which leverages these basic functions of the body and the mind to create rapid, sustainable, personal growth and healing. In this tradition, meditation is not considered separate from asana or yoga; it is integral to the practice. The exercises in the kriya bring the body and mind to a state where deep meditation is easily achieved.
Our fundamental objective is to awaken the power of the individual to excel—to experience their Infinity and fulfill their personal destiny.
Who founded the school? When?
Yogi Bhajan (aka Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji) came to the United States in 1969 and founded the 3HO nonprofit that same year. In 1970 he completed his first teacher’s training and the Kundalini Research Institute was formed in 1971 and went on to formalize the certification and training of teachers internationally.
Who or what were the major influences are apparent in the creation of Kundalini Yoga? Please include a little bit of history about the style’s lineage.
Kundalini Yoga as a practice is a Raj Yoga and combines all the traditional eight limbs of Yoga. Yogi Bhajan was the student of two Masters. Sant Hazare Singh declared Yogi Bhajan a Master of Kundalini Yoga at the age of 16 ½. Guru Ram Das, the Fourth Sikh Master, gave Yogi Bhajan his own Gur Mantra many years later, in the early years of his teaching in the West.
Kundalini Yoga was taught from Master to student for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years and intersects with the lineage of the Sikh Masters such as Guru Nanak, Guru Ram Das and Guru Gobind Singh for the past 500 years. Its sources include many other yoga Masters of the Northern Punjab region of India as well as the unique contributions of the Gurus in the use of naad and Shabd Guru. Guru Nanak started the Udasi line through his son Baba Siri Chand, a Master who served and taught for more than 100 years. He taught to all existing lineages of that time and educated several of the Sikh Gurus in their youth. Yogi Bhajan was the first to openly teach Kundalini Yoga in the East or the West. The lineage is now held in legacy through the technology of the Golden Chain—a connection to the Masters through the subtle body.
For the remainder of the article, go to http://www.kundaliniresearchinstitute.org/What%20is%20KY.htm