Learn how to unwind –literally. Kundalini translates into ‘coil’ or ‘that which is coiled’, and refers to a spiral lying at the base of our spines. Described by some practitioners as either a snake or lock of hair, it’s claimed that by using movement and positioning yourself in various yoga poses, the coil can be unravelled leaving your body to spring into action.
Surprisingly simple to learn, Kundalini Yoga will help you switch off and relax after a long, hard day (or night). When practised regularly there are also claims it can strengthen the nervous system and balance the glandular system, keeping your body shipshape and your mind sharp.
Also known as the Yoga of Awareness, Kundalini Yoga consists of simple yoga techniques that focus on exercise postures (asanas), chanting (mantra), breathing (pranayam) and meditation. You’ll also be expected to perform a number of positions, expressive movements, respiratory patterns and varying degrees of concentration so there’s no room for mind wandering here.
None of the postures or movements should be considered mere stretching exercises but because they’re not difficult to perform, practitioners encourage you to use them and incorporate them into everyday activities, but remember there’s a time and a place for everything – trying to perform the lotus in the middle of a busy supermarket is taking the unwinding part a little too far.
Most techniques included in Kundalini Yoga involve cross legged positions, the positioning of the spine so its poker straight, breathing control, the use of mantra and chanting, closed eyes and mental focus - often centred on the sound of your breath. Like some other yogas, Kundalini aims to move energy through the chakra system (energy centres) by stimulating the energy in the lower chakras and moving it to the higher chakras. In total there are seven energy centres starting at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head, although an eighth chakra is said to exist in the electromagnetic field, or aura around the body. So if you feel like you’ve been neglecting your aura recently, Kundalini will help to awaken it by activating the nerve channels that reside in your spine.
If you’re looking to de-clutter your mind and build up a healthy body, Kundalini Yoga brings with it the qualities to relax you and the ability to make you focus on your internal energy system. Practised by men and women, old and young, this has no dress code, no age limit and no gender discrimination, it’s a case of anything and everything goes.