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Kundalini Yoga: A Powerful Tool For Spiritual Development

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India brought to other countries its special spiritual Outlook. We know India as the birthplace and development of amazing practices aimed at achieving harmonious coexistence of physical and mental aspects. Kundalini yoga is one of these practices.

Kundalini yoga is a special kind of yoga with its special breathing techniques, asanas, meditation practices, and mantras. The most important thing in Kundalini yoga is to achieve a uniform circulation of Kundalini energy from the point of its concentration (the base of the spine) to the top through all the main chakras. This allows the yogi to achieve different spiritual and physical goals.

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Kundalini yoga is also known as the yoga of awareness. The founder of this doctrine was Yogi Bhajan (Siri Singh Sahib). Thanks to him, first the United States and then the whole world learned about Kundalini yoga.

What Is Kundalini?

In order to understand the purpose of Kundalini yoga, you should understand what Kundalini is.

Kundalini is energy, which is the basis of birth and spiritual development. From Sanskrit, the word “Kundalini” can be translated approximately as: “like a sleeping snake, rolled into a ball, the force, securely hidden.” Indeed, in Ayurveda and yoga, Kundalini is compared to a snake that sleeps in every person from the moment of birth in the Muladhara chakra region, located at the base of the spine. With the help of particular practices energy can be awakened, to cause to move up through all the chakra straight to Sahasrara (Crown) chakra. This promotes spiritual development of the personality, creative realization, healing from diseases, the cause of which lies in the violation of the circulation of energy in the chakras.

The Goals Of Kundalini Yoga And Its Features

Indian spiritual practice of Kundalini yoga helps to achieve different goals. Since this kind of yoga represents “yoga of awareness”, its main meaning lies in the concentrated self-knowledge, the elevation of the spirit, the disclosure of the higher meaning.

yoga mat

The main goals of Kundalini yoga are :

  • getting rid of the inner duality that prevents one from rising above the material;
  • full awakening of consciousness, its purification, expansion;
  • promoting inner peace, achieving good results in business.

In contrast to some areas of yoga, that require a departure from society and acceptance of celibacy, Kundalini yoga is intended for family and working people, which was noted by Yogi Bhajan himself.

The Kundalini Yoga doctrine has special techniques and exercises, such as:

  • Halasana – for strengthening the spinal muscles, maintaining the flexibility of the spine.
  • Paschimottanasana – for strengthening the digestive fire, reduce fat deposits in the abdominal area.
  • Surya Namaskar – to open the heart chakra and let in divine love.

Kundalini yoga can be quite a dangerous spiritual practice. All because with the awakening of the powerful Kundalini energy the body and energy essence of man is undergoing major changes. Following the change of the physical body, the quality of perception, consciousness, priorities also change. Along with the awakening of Kundalini in the body, there is growing confidence in a person’s abilities, out of fear and anxiety. Only those who sincerely want to understand divine love and give their love to all living beings are able to achieve the highest results in the path of Kundalini yoga.

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To start practicing, you do not need any special physical skills, however, it is better to perform the exercises under the guidance of an experienced yogi. Feedback from those who have embarked on the path of Kundalini yoga suggests that changes are happening very quickly. Therefore, the help of a guide is very important in the initial stages of the practice.

The Importance Of Kriyas In Kundalini Yoga

Before you begin to master the practice of Kundalini yoga, you must pass the preparatory stage, which consists of physical and moral purification. The thing is that the awakened Kundalini energy in a person with negative thoughts and qualities (even if his body is relatively healthy) will “work” against him. Without clearing the mind of traces of the former karma, and without changing the perception of yourself and the world, if you begin to actively engage in the practice of yoga you will quickly begin to develop various violations, especially mental nature.

Kundalini yoga uses various techniques, called “kriyas”, for the purpose of physical and psychological purification. These techniques include water, air, and energy cleansing. These exercises like Trataka, Basti, and others will help to develop endurance, develop flexibility, strengthen the body, give the body strength. Special diet regimens or even fasting can also be used to detox your body.

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To purify the mental body, to establish harmony between self-perception and the perception of the world, to learn to communicate with themselves and others on a spiritual level, in kundalini yoga we use meditation, mantra singing, concentration, and visualization techniques.

What You Need To Know Before Your Start Your Kundalini Yoga Practice

Kundalini yoga is a serious practice, so it requires discipline, responsibly and deep knowledge of this practice. If you’re thinking about taking a kundalini yoga class, it is useful to read the following recommendations.

1. The first thing you need to know is that there are some contraindications to Kundalini yoga.

This list includes:

  • hypertension;
  • epilepsy;
  • congenital heart prophet;
  • taking potent drugs (antidepressants, tranquilizers);
  • the state of drug or alcohol intoxication;
  • cholelithiasis.

In case of any diseases of the cardiovascular system, cases of dizziness or fainting, hypotension, allergies, depression or after suffering serious injuries, it is better to consult with a specialist, whether the practice of Kundalini yoga will not produce any harm.

2. Classes should be held individually for each person pace.

With each training, the time allotted to perform the exercises can be increased. It is unacceptable to endure pain or severe discomfort that occurs during exercise.

3. It is necessary to drink small amounts of water during training.

man drinking water during yoga class image

4. During your Kundalini Yoga class, it is preferable to wear clothing made from natural fabrics.

5. It is desirable to take off all your jewelry before starting your practice to avoid injury.

6. You need to eat at least 3 hours before the start of your yoga class.

7. Do not drink coffee before your kundalini yoga class.

8. Kundalini Yoga is absolutely incompatible with alcohol, drugs, or smoking.

9. Mantras play a very important role in Kundalini yoga practice.

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Mantras should not be avoided. Even if you do not believe in their power, they still work.

10. During menstruation, women should refrain from performing exercises on the press, upside down poses and breathing stomach.

11. It is not necessary to struggle with your thoughts arising in the process of performing exercises or meditations.

Such a struggle will only disperse attention.

12. Most importantly, you should be prepared for the fact that Kundalini yoga gives incredibly fast results.

If you correctly perform all the techniques, you’ll gain a very powerful tool for your spiritual development.

Have a great Kundalini experience! Namaste!

Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Health

Dosha Quiz: What Is Your Ayurvedic Body Type?

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How would you describe your body type?

This includes your height, body build, muscle development, and size. Are you tall, short, thin, stout, or thick? How would you best describe your body frame?

What effect do your eating habits have on your body weight?

eating habits dosha image Pexels.com

Is it easy for you to gain or lose weight?

What is your skin complexion?

skin complexion ayurveda image

What's your hair type?

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What is your sleep pattern?

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Some people are light sleepers while others are deep sleepers. Do you awaken easily in the morning? Or do you struggle to get out of bed?

How would you describe your dreams?

dreams ayurveda image

How do you react to stress?

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Stress is normal in our day-to-day lives. However, we each cope with stress differently.

How would you describe your temperament?

Are you easy-going and accepting or are you lively and enthusiastic by nature?

How would you describe your decision-making process?

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Your ease at decision-making will vary depending on your dosha type. This may also influence how well you handle stress. Are you usually calm and collected or are you tensed at the slightest provocation?

How would you describe your energy type?

energy type image

Different doshas exhibit different energies around them. You will observe that some people are more lively, talkative, or active than others.

How would you describe your sexuality?

passion and sexuality ayurveda image

What climate do you feel most comfortable in?

How would you describe your memory?

How would you describe your thought process?

thought process image

What do you consider to be your shortcomings?

shortcomings image

Dosha Quiz: What Is Your Ayurvedic Body Type?
Vata Dosha

Vata Dosha Image

Vata dosha consists mostly of two elements: air and ether. You are exceptionally creative, communicative, and brimming with ideas. Generally, Vata is very vibrant and energetic. You have a very inventive and creative mind. You think outside the box but can become easily distracted. What’s more, your mood is highly dependent on the weather, people around you, and the foods you eat. Your mood can actually be quite unpredictable at times. Although you are a quick learner, your long-term memory is not that good. You are easily enthused, but run the risk of spreading yourself too thin and getting distracted by something new after just a short time. You frequently suffer from cold hands and feet. You love the excitement and new experiences. You are quick to anger but also to forgive. You are prone to worry and anxiousness and may often suffer from insomnia. According to Ayurveda, for optimal health, a Vata-dominant person should follow a regular daily routine, manage stress through meditation and other calming practices, and maintain a warm body temperature by avoiding cold weather and consuming warm foods and drinks.
Pitta Dosha

Pitta Dosha

Pitta dosha is based on fire and water elements. You have a powerful intellect, a strong ability to concentrate, and big ambitions. You have a passion for leadership and are not afraid to speak up and take charge. You tend to be quite protective when provoked and are fierce opponents. You can be quite determined and don’t give up easily. Your aim is to win. You have bursts of energy to take on challenges. And you actually love a challenge, whether that's professionally or in sport. You can be a good decision-maker, a teacher, a manager, and a speaker. You have a knack for building connections and make very good friends. You are often honest and straight to the point. Although, sometimes you can be short-tempered, easily irritated, and argumentative. Those with a pitta-dominant dosha should focus on work-life balance and avoid extreme heat (e.g., weather, spicy food).
Kapha Dosha

Kapha Dosha Image

Kapha dosha is based on earth and water elements. You are usually calm, collected, and slow to anger, and therefore, not easily provoked. You are strong, loyal, patient, steady, and supportive. You are loving and caring, and this makes you a good acquaintance. You have an inherent ability to enjoy life and are comfortable with a routine. Private joy in a stable partnership, healthy kids, and loyal friendships are the things you prioritize and that give you inner satisfaction, security, and personal happiness. You learn slowly with a high level of retention. Although you move slowly, you are very purposeful and enterprising. Most of all, you value inner tranquillity, peace, and harmony. You may tend to hold on to things, jobs, and relationships long after they are no longer nourishing or necessary. You may also resist change and be stubborn sometimes. For good health, a Kapha-dominant person should focus on regular exercise, a healthy diet, maintain a warm body temperature (e.g., by eating warm food), and establish a regular sleep routine.

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Yoga

Jnana Mudra: a Powerful Technique For Activating Your Crown Chakra

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Jnana mudra is one of the most widely used mudras in meditation practices, in Buddhism, yoga, and even in the martial arts of the East. The Buddha’s hand performing the Jnana mudra at the heart level is a symbol of openness to the whole universe. Being a gesture of openness to new things, this mudra also symbolizes the true knowledge of existence.

In this article, we will share with you what Jnana mudra is, what its benefits are, and how to practice it.

What Is Mudra?

Mudra‘ can be translated as ‘gesture’. Hence mudras are symbolic gestures practiced with the hands and fingers.

Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the meridians and direct energy throughout the body. Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing this or that mudra, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.

Mudras help us to correct the direction of energy in the body, to control prana, and to improve the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, we can eliminate problems in the body and in the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.

What Is Jnana Mudra?

Jnana Mudra Practice Image

Jnana mudra is a yogic hand gesture that represents wisdom and knowledge. In Sanskrit, jnana means “wisdom” or “knowledge” and mudra means “gesture.” It is a hasta mudra, which means it is performed using the hands.

Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the energy meridians and direct energy throughout the body, restore the flow of energy and eliminate “breakdowns” in diseased organs thus improve our health.

Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing mudras, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.

When practicing Jnana mudra, we connect the thumb and index finger. The thumb symbolizes Brahman, or universal consciousness, whereas the index finger symbolizes Jivatma or the individual self. Therefore, the connection of the thumb and index finger represents the union of the supreme and inner realities. And the three extended fingers represent the three gunas that must be overcome: sattva (middle finger), rajas (ring finger), and tamas (little finger).

Each of the fingers has symbolic significance:

The index finger is associated with knowledge, wisdom, and self-confidence. It is connected to our life force.

The thumb is responsible for our ego, will, and logic. Also, this finger is associated with wisdom, mind, and awareness.

Also, it is important to know that each finger is associated with one of the 5 elements. Thumb represents the Fire element (Agni). The index finger is associated with the energy of the Air element (Vayu). Thus, Jnana mudra can be used to balance the elements of Fire and Air within the body. When we reach the balance between the Fire and Air elements within our bodies, we are able to still our mind, concentrate, and practice deep meditation.

Fingers Corresponding to the 5 Elements image

Also, the connection of the index finger and thumb allows prana to circulate freely inward, rather than dissipating outwards. By directing prana inward, we can sit in meditation for longer periods of time.

Jnana Mudra Benefits

On the subtle plane, the practice of Jnana mudra activates the Crown chakra (Sahasrara), whereas on the physical plan it helps you to harmonize biological rhythm, normalize blood pressure; eliminates anxiety and anxiety. Moreover, the regular practice of this mudra provides the following benefits:

  • helps to cope with depression and fatigue;
  • improves memory;
  • stimulates mental function;
  • helps to relieve insomnia;
  • boosts creativity;
  • develops intuition;
  • restores peace of mind;
  • enhances the connection with the Higher self;
  • lifts dull energy;
  • brightens mood.

How to Perform?

Although this mudra can be practiced in any yoga asana, it is most commonly used in a stable seated position such as easy pose or lotus pose. In Kundalini Yoga, this mudra is usually practiced with the hands resting on the knees and the elbows straight.

what is jnana mudra image
To practice Jnana mudra, follow these simple steps:
  1. Tuck your index finger under the tip of the thumb to form a circle.
  2. Extend the remaining three fingers.
  3. Rest the back of the hands on the thighs or knees, with palms facing upward.

Another variation of this mudra is to touch the tip of the index finger and thumb together, thereby forming a full circle.

When practicing this mudra, make sure your body is alert but relaxed, with little to no strain in the arms or extended fingers.

For maximum benefits, practice this mudra during your meditations for at least 15 minutes, 2-3 times per day.

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Yoga

Shanmukhi Mudra: a Simple Stress Relief Technique

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Shanmukhi Mudra is a simple and effective way to calm your mind, relieve stress, and restore your nervous system.

With regular practice of this beautiful mudra, it is possible even to improve vision and hearing. It also promotes the development of internal concentration and the ability to detach from external stimuli and objects of the surrounding world.

In this article, we will share with you what Shanmukhi mudra is, what its benefits are, and how to properly practice it.

What Is Mudra?

Mudra‘ can be translated as ‘gesture’. Hence mudras are symbolic gestures practiced with the hands and fingers.

Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the meridians and direct energy throughout the body. Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing this or that mudra, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.

Mudras help us to correct the direction of energy in the body, to control prana, and to improve the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, we can eliminate problems in the body and in the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.

What Is Shanmukhi Mudra?

Shanmukhi mudra is a yogic hand gesture that represents closing the six gates of perception – the two eyes, two ears, nose, and mouth. In Sanskrit, Shan means “six”; Mukhi means “face” or “gate”; and mudra, means “gesture”. Thus, Shanmukhi mudra means the ‘six-gated mudra’.

The purpose of the Shanmukhi Mudra is to symbolically shut the mind from the five senses so the mind can maintain an inward focus and get ready for meditation.

The Shanmukhi mudra practice helps the practitioner look within himself to find the very source of his being.

When all the senses turn inward and the breathing becomes harmonious, the mind calms down. As a result, you feel inner peace and now you are able to hear the voice of the Divine Self within you.

The Shanmukhi mudra practice helps you to free yourself from the domination of the senses and find the strength to take your desires, instincts, and emotions under control.

Shanmukhi Mudra Benefits

There are lots of amazing benefits the practice of Shanmukhi mudra can provide. Here are some of them:

  • Balances internal and external awareness;
  • Enhances focus and introspection;
  • Calms the mind and nervous system;
  • Clears energy blocks, giving room for easy flow of prana;
  • Relaxes and rejuvenates the eyes and facial muscles;
  • Creates a state of pratyahara;
  • Ensures the smooth functioning of the facial nerves;
  • Reduces anxiety;
  • Helps to deepen the meditation practice;
  • Alleviates vertigo problems and brings a calming effect to the head;
  • Helps to remove negative thoughts and worries;
  • Promotes clear thinking;
  • Helps Kundalini awakening.

For maximum benefit, this mudra should be accompanied by pranayama or bandhas (energetic locks). Shanmukhi mudra is commonly practiced with brahmari pranayama, also known as Humming Bee Breath. In this pranayama, the mudra enables the practitioner to focus on the inner vibration created by the humming breath.

How to Perform?

Shanmukhi mudra is usually performed in a stable, seated meditation posture such as padmasana (Lotus Pose) or sukhasana (Easy Pose).

To practice Shanmukhi mudra, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sit in the Lotus Pose or Easy Pose. Straighten the spine and align the position of the head.
  2. Bring your palms up to your face. Raise your elbows to shoulder level and place your thumbs in the ear canal, muffling external sounds.
    If you feel pain, place your fingers on the tragus of the auricle (small protrusions at the base of the auricle) and press them against the ear canal.
  3. Close your eyelids and rise your eyeballs up. Place your index and middle fingers on your eyelids so that the first two phalanges completely cover the eyeball area. Do not press on the cornea. Use your middle fingers to point your eyelids down, and use your index fingers to lift the upper parts of your eyelids up. Gently press on the outer and inner corners of the eyes.
  4. The pressure on the ears and eyes should be equal.
  5. Use your ring fingers to apply pressure evenly to your right and left nostrils. This will narrow the nasal passages, which will promote slow, deep, even, rhythmic, subtle breathing.

Practice the mudra for five to ten minutes.

The Bottom Line

As a result of turning all the senses inwards and concentrating on deep and slow breathing, the mind becomes calm. When performing this mudra, it’s common to experience:

  • a distinct sound in the ears;
  • the appearance of flashes of light and various images on the internal “screen”;
  • vibrations, thrusts, tingling, heat, or other sensations inside the body.

All these feelings are quite normal.

 

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