How does Kundalini Yoga work

Kundalini Yoga

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is one of the oldest types of yoga. The origins are in the 15th century. The yoga style is closely related to the tradition of Sikhism. Behind this is a teaching from India that represents a synthesis of Hinduism and Islamism.

It is characteristic of traditional Kundalini Yoga that everyone is dressed in white and the teacher wears a turban. In the past it was primarily reserved for the royal family to practice this style. Gurus only secretly passed the tradition on to selected students. Hatha Yoga was intended for the lower classes of the population.

In the 1960s, Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the West and made it popular there. Even then, he foresaw that the world would become more and more fast-paced and that the flood of information would throw many people off balance. Yogi Bhajan also called Kundalini Yoga "Yoga of Consciousness".

What is special about Kundalini Yoga: The exercises address the entire outer body and mind. The yogi directs his attention inwards and thereby feels the exercises exactly. He withdraws his senses (Pratyahara) and closes his eyes. This makes it easier for him to keep the attention to himself.

Through these mechanisms the yogi also learns to perceive his own experiences precisely and to react sensitively to his environment. The aim of Kundalini Yoga is to bring body, mind and soul into harmony and to perceive yourself holistically. To do this, it uses two energetic models:

  • the chakra system
  • the system of ten energy bodies

The philosophy behind Kundalini Yoga

The word Kundalini comes from Sanskrit and translated means something like snake power. The assumption: a snake lies curled up and sleeping under the so-called root chakra (Muladhara chakra). A chakra is an energy center in the body. It bundles the energy currents that flow through the person at a certain point.

There are a total of seven different chakras that stretch from the lower end of the spine up to the crown of the head. If they are impaired by fears or other negative influences, the chakras can contract and blockages arise.

The root chakra is located at the lower end of the spine. With various Kundalini Yoga techniques the Kundalini serpent should be awakened there so that it can reach the higher chakras. Since there are past experiences and subconscious feelings in the root chakra, this awakening process can be associated with negative sensations. But it is also a chance for the yogi to develop further.

Kundalini Yoga: that's behind it!

Energy plays a major role in modern societies. Many people feel stressed and have difficulty coping with everyday life. The performance requirements are growing steadily, changes happen at a very fast pace. Kundalini Yoga aims to increase people's energy levels. Yoga understands energy to mean all those forces that are active in the human system and influence physical, emotional and mental processes.

Yogic philosophy distinguishes between two basic energies:


Behind this is the energy that pervades the universe on all levels. It is, so to speak, the original resource. It is a latent energy that needs an impulse to act. Through pranayama, i.e. the conscious control of breath, the proportion of personal energy should be increased.


Kundalini is an activity stimulus for Prana. It has a creative aspect. All that exists is Kundalini. Prana only gets a direction through Kundalini. If something changes its shape, Kundalini is active. This applies to cooking, building a house or natural disasters. The ultimate goal of every yoga tradition is the awakening of the Kundalini.

The different chakras in Kundalini Yoga

A central energetic model to which Kundalini Yoga refers is the chakra system. The main flow of energy in our body is a vertical flow of energy that runs along the spinal cord. The seven main chakras lie around him - from the spine up to the crown of the head. Each chakra influences certain areas of the body or the corresponding organ functions, depending on its location.

Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)

It is at the lowest end of the spine on the human body and revolves around the rectum, spine, and bones. This chakra influences basic trust as well as security and steadfastness. If it is open, someone is firmly established in life. If it is blocked, anxiety and nervousness dominate.

Sacral Chakra (Svadhistana Chakra)

The sacral chakra can be found a little below the navel. It affects feelings, sexuality, and creativity. When it gets out of whack, self-doubt and pessimism are typical symptoms. Bladder infections, kidney stones and migraines are also common.

Umbilical Chakra (Manipura Chakra)

A bit above the belly button is this chakra, which revolves around assertiveness. When it is open, there is confidence and courage. Shyness and passivity are the consequences when it is blocked. Typical diseases are malfunction of the pancreas and liver.

Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)

This chakra is at the level of the heart. Love, empathy, and compassion are strong when it is open. If it is underactive, people are afraid of rejection, are often cold or distant.

Larynx Chakra (Vishudda Chakra)

The larynx chakra is related to communication. This expresses self-expression or the ability to listen. If the flow of energy is disturbed there, it is difficult to speak openly. Introversion is a common consequence. Conditions such as tinnitus or a sore throat can also occur.

Third eye chakra (Ajna Chakra)

Our cognition and the visualization are related to the third eye chakra. It's also located between the eyes. People with an open third eye chakra have good intuition. Their ability to concentrate and their imagination are also very strong. If this chakra is blocked, independent thinking is difficult. Typical symptoms are headaches or problems with the eyes.

Crown chakra (Sahasrara Chakra)

The highest chakra is on the crown of the head. It has to do with the connection to the spiritual. If it is in balance, the person feels in harmony with the world. If the flow of energy in this area is disturbed, it can either become too inflexible in thinking or tend to be too prone to intellectual thinking. In the case of blockages, metabolic disorders in the brain can result.

Electromagnetic field (aura)

Tasks related to the nervous system, such as finding one's life's mission or differentiating them from other people and stimuli, play a role. If things get mixed up, the affected people feel exposed to constant nervous tension and they often react over-sensitive. Your perception: You are haunted by bad luck. Characteristics such as a lack of stress resistance or nerve and skin diseases are associated with it.

The ten energy bodies according to Yogi Bhajan

Kundalini Yoga refers to ten energy bodies that represent the powerful ability of the psyche. Each individual is connected to different forms of body energy and has specific tasks. If they are out of step, Kundalini Yoga can bring them back into balance. There is a connection between the chakras and energy bodies.

Yogi Bhajan used the system of energy bodies to put together specific sequences of exercises or to select meditations that have a balancing effect on the human energy system

Soul body

The soul body establishes contact with the soul. The key issue is the balance between heart and mind. Typical signs that something is mixed up are:

  1. Feeling of constant exertion
  2. Difficulty leaving past things behind
  3. Constantly circling thoughts
  4. restlessness
  5. Lack of self-care
  6. depressions
  7. burnout
  8. sexual dysfunction
  9. constipation

Negative mind

It is linked to the ability to perceive risks and assess them correctly. The negative mind includes the aspect of saying no and the protective function of an awake consciousness. It is therefore also referred to as the “protective mind”.

If body signals and feelings are consciously perceived and actions are derived from them, a separation between the physical and the mental-spiritual level can be overcome. If the negative mind is out of balance, the following signs are typical: persistent negativity, bladder infections, migraines or sexual disorders, feelings of guilt and shame.

Positive mind

He is always active when people are looking for opportunities and possibilities to solve their problems. The positive spirit is the source of our confidence and humor, with the help of which we can relax and bring ease into our lives even under pressure.

If this energy body is weakened, there is often a lack of courage to perform delimiting actions, and a feeling of victimization can arise. Often times, negative mindsets are overemphasized. It is also associated with visual disturbances, lower back pain, and autoimmune diseases.

Neutral mind

This energy body controls the (up) capacity and the (development) potential of humans. He represents the ability to observe and decide. Since it is closely connected to our intuition, it enables us to see true reality beyond false identifications and judgments.

If the neutral mind is out of balance, affected persons can often only think in black and white categories. You also quickly feel like a victim. Typical traits are also obstinacy and righteousness.

Physical body

The physical body enables the sensual experience and helps to turn it into sensations or thoughts. Its core task is to continually create a balance between the different polarities of human existence, including in these areas:

  • Body (feel) and mind (think)
  • Up (head) and down (feet)
  • Tension and relaxation, movement and rest, activity and passivity

If the physical body is not doing well, it can result in underweight or overweight. Typical complaints are metabolic problems or neck pain. Affected people tend to fall from one extreme to the other. People who have a restricted flow of energy in the physical body are also often prone to language problems.

Arc line

The sixth energy body is the balance field between physical reality and subtle spiritual perception, between rationality and intuition. When there is an imbalance, there is an internal conflict between thinking and feeling. Symptoms of stress or difficulty concentrating can occur. Anxiety or ruminations are also a common consequence.

Aura body

This energy body corresponds to the electromagnetic field associated with the term aura. The aura serves as a container for the life energy Prana. If the energy in the aura body can flow freely, the person has the capacities to rest in his true self and to become aware of his spiritual identity. The aura body works like a protective shield.

If it is weak, we tend to be susceptible to illness or other negative influences from our environment. A strong aura body keeps stress away and ensures that we stay in our center.

Pranic body

The flow of life energy is regulated in the prana body. It transports life energy into the organs and represents the subtle stream of measurable nerve impulses. They pass on pain or well-being. There is an interaction between the flow of breath and the brain. If the pranic body gets mixed up, it can lead to exaggerated fears - possibly out of the feeling that you do not have enough strength to face the challenges of life.

Those affected often resort to stimulants. A common consequence is shallow breath, which builds up even more tension. When one is impulsive and hasty, they cannot hold energy well, which is also indicative of a weakened pranic balance.

Subtle body

It can be described as the survival bubble of the soul and encompasses it like a shell or atmosphere. All of our spiritual experiences are stored in it, and it is also the bearer of our spiritual hereditary dispositions, talents and insights. This energy body represents our ability to bring things to completion. If he is poorly cared for, this can result in naivety or gullibility, for example.

But there can also be rude behavior or aggressive communication. Digestive problems caused by overly critical, overly analytical thinking are also common.

Emanation body

This energy body traces the extent and the outline of our consciousness. It can be assigned to the body of wisdom and enables knowledge, wisdom, higher insight and intuition. If there is an imbalance here, this shows up, among other things, in a fickle nature, because he is afraid of conflicts or fears that he will not be recognized. Affected people often wear inconspicuous clothing and adapt to their surroundings.

How Kundalini Yoga works

There are more than 20 different forms of Kundalini Yoga. Basically, it is about clearing the energy channels (nadis) so that the energy flow in the body can flow freely. There are different and fixed series of exercises for this, they are called kriyas. They strengthen certain body functions. Mental processes are also influenced by it. Which sets are suitable depends on which blockages are present. There are kriyas especially for the back or for sleep disorders.

Recurring elements in Kundalini Yoga are fire breathing and the expression "Sat Nam", which translates as "real me", which sums up the objectives of Kundalini Yoga. In addition, meditations, asanas (postures) and bandhas are integral parts of Kundalini Yoga. A bandha is the contracting of certain muscles in the body to hold and control the energy in the body. This allows the energy flow to be optimized.

The effects of Kundalini Yoga

The exercises in Kundalini Yoga have a massage-like effect. They have a stimulating effect on certain areas of the body, which in turn act as reflex points for various organs. In addition, the yoga style has the following effects:

  • Sharper perception and improved concentration and comprehension
  • Greater sensitivity for your own well-being and a better body feeling, which requires a more realistic assessment of your own capacity and early countermeasures in the event of impending overload.
  • Activation and strengthening of all body systems (heart, circulatory, nervous, immune, lymphatic and glandular systems) Strength in the sense of muscle building, stamina, flexibility and willpower
  • Emotional balance and relaxed handling of everyday challenges

For whom Kundalini Yoga is suitable

Kundalini Yoga is perfect for those who face the challenges of everyday life and want to feel in harmony with themselves. Spirituality, relaxation and concentration play a major role. There is no age limit for Kundalini Yoga. The postures are straightforward. Children can also learn to deal with problematic situations with less stress.

Where Kundalini Yoga is offered

Since Kundalini Yoga is very popular, it is offered in many yoga studios throughout Germany. There are also multi-day workshops and retreats all over the world.

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