Which School Of Yoga Asks Its Practitioners To Wear White?


Which School Of Yoga Asks Its Practitioners To Wear White
It is common to see Kundalini Yoga teachers and practitioners wearing white, loose fitting clothing, ideally of natural fibers.
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Why do yoga practitioners wear all white?

Why wear white? – Yogi Bhajan claimed that your aura extends nine feet around your body, but the color white extends your aura by an extra foot, providing more protection from harmful energy and projects your positive energy out to inspire others and attract prosperity into your life. Read also A Beginner’s Guide to Kundalini Yoga,
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What is the Kundalini Yoga tradition?

Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that involves chanting, singing, breathing exercises, and repetitive poses. Its purpose is to activate your Kundalini energy, or shakti. This is a spiritual energy that’s said to be located at the base of your spine. As Kundalini yoga awakens this energy, it’s supposed to enhance your awareness and help you move past your ego.
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Who started the Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini yoga was coined, created and popularized in 1968 by Yogi Bhajan. He described the intent of his teaching to be a “healthy, happy, holy” (3HO) way of life. He taught his American students how to awaken their inner spiritual energy through mantra chanting, breath work, and yoga poses.
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Where did kundalini originate?

It is said that Kundalini Yoga was originally used in India by the warrior class in the Sikh religion. However, an examination of mystical literature and traditions showed that Kundalini, called by various names, seems to have been a universal phenomenon in esoteric teachings for perhaps three thousand years.

  1. Undalini-type descriptions or experiences are found in esoteric teachings of the Egyptians, Tibetans, Chinese, some Native Americans, and Africa.
  2. Undalini has been interpreted from the Bible as “the solar principle in man”, and is referenced in the Koran, the works of Plato and other Greek philosophers, alchemical tracts, and in Hermetic, Kabbalistic, Rosicrucian, and Masonic writings.

Also the Upanishads, the sacred scriptures of Hinduism that date back to the fifth century B.C., provided a written description of Kundalini, although the oral tradition dates back even further. For thousands of years, this sacred science and technology was veiled in secrecy, passed along in the oral tradition from master to chosen disciple.

Indian yoga, with its emphasis on the transmutation of energy to higher consciousness, contributed the cultivation of Kundalini and the preservation of its knowledge. Kundalini was a rarity in the West before the 1970s until more attention became centered upon the consciousness. In 1932, for example, psychiatrist Carl G.

Jung and others observed that the Kundalini experience was rarely seen in the West. Kundalini Yoga was never taught publicly until Yogi Bhajan, challenging the age-old tradition of secrecy, brought Kundalini Yoga to United States in 1969. Since then, it has spread all over the world.
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Do you have to wear all white for Kundalini yoga?

Do I Need to Wear White if I attend a Kundalini Yoga Class? – Of course not! Yoga can be practiced in any color and any style of clothing (so long as you can move in it!). If you are curious, you may like to experiment with wearing white and pay attention to how you feel.
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What is the yoga where you wear all white?

To Purify Your Aura – We know that white objects appear as white because they reflect all other colors and light. In Kundalini yoga, it is also believed that white reflects any negative influences, which ensures that your aura is kept pure and free from any external disturbances.
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Why is Kundalini Yoga so powerful?

8 Benefits Of Kundalini Yoga You Never Knew About Which School Of Yoga Asks Its Practitioners To Wear White How Kundalini yoga transforms your life – from strengthening your willpower and creativity, to helping you make wiser decisions. by Sandra Shama Kaur I often tell students that you will never be the same after you practice Kundalini yoga. The very nature of what we do is to awaken the energy of consciousness.

  • The practice brings to our awareness our self-limited beliefs and habit patterns that we inherited from the past.
  • It invites us to process painful memories that are stored in our subconscious and to release them.
  • It awakens our ability to become intuitive and sensitive, to understand a person or a situation even if no words are said, and to know the consequences of actions before they happen.

I love athletics and many types of rigorous yoga like Vinyassa and Ashtanga. I see these practices as adventurous and challenging. With consistency I see improvements in my speed and performance. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can perform handstands and headstands.

Even a little pride. My Kundalini practice is a place of transformation. The kriyas and meditations are pretty structured practice, but rather than focusing on physical alignment, the kriyas are a specific set of exercises that generate energy, organize that energy and deliver you to a specific energetic state — particularly one of greater awareness.

Also within the practice are built-in moments of stillness where we sit quietly and awaken to our self. The breath work within the kriyas is so powerful that it starts to strip away the layers that veil our consciousness, and in the sweet moments between poses we can sense the fullness of who we are.

I’ve noticed over the years many subtle benefits to practicing Kundalini yoga such as: 1. Nervous System Kundalini yoga strengthens your nervous system. So when you’re in down dog or plank pose for three whole minutes and your entire body is shaking, have no fear! Your nervous system is toning. And the stronger your nerves are, the more you will be able to act in a cool, calm and collected matter in the face of any situation, be it a car accident, big presentation or family drama.2.

Willpower Kundalini yoga awakens your inner willpower right at the core of your solar plexus (Third Chakra) at the navel point. What that means is that you build a strong heat in this region, which helps in digesting not only food but also past memories and self-doubt.

We become much more able to process and digest events that happen and take necessary action immediately to eradicate things, people or situations that are causing us more harm than good.3. Brain Power Kundalini yoga clears the fogginess of the mind. When the mind becomes clouded with several thoughts, it feels a little like a cobweb of thoughts have formed and are difficult to untangle and with a few minutes of rapid breath of fire or one minute breath, the mind becomes crystal clear, we feel more alert, focused, concentrated, with a better memory and the capacity to make sound decisions.4.

Creativity Breathing alternately through the nostrils brings into balance left and right hemispheres of the brain. We usually act, analyze and do much more frequently than we feel, visualize and imagine. And that’s because the right side of the brain is usually understimulated.

Kundalini yoga awakens our inner creativity by releasing our worries about the little things and opening us up to infinite possibilities that life has to offer.5. All Embracing Kundalini yoga opens the heart center (Fourth Chakra). Poses like the Tree Pose provide us with security in the root chakra so we feel like strong steady trees planted firmly to the earth, and when our needs are not met we don’t feel like it’s the end of the world.

We remain open and trusting that the higher power (God) will provide us with what we need when the time is right. So the world doesn’t collapse when we don’t get that job, fail that exam or suffer from a breakup or family death. Whatever it is, we gain an attitude of acceptance.

  • Understanding that it’s all-OK.
  • It’s all good.
  • We are open to whatever life has to offer.6.
  • Compassionate Communication In Kundalini yoga,poses like the Shoulder Stand open the throat center (Fifth Chakra).
  • Add this to an open heart and we become forgiving, compassionate and nonjudgmental and our lips can bless, give gratitude and kindness to all those around us.

Thus don’t be surprised when you start addressing your boss, cousins or neighbor by dear, dearest, sweetheart, my love and so on. More so, when there is something bothering you, you will find the best way to express yourself to bring you to say the absolute truth with all gentleness and tenderness.7.

  1. Awakened Intuition We spend so much time stuck in our minds, analyzing the pros and cons of each decision when in reality the answer is always within us.
  2. We always have a gut feeling about something but we tend to ignore it.
  3. Yoga gives us the ability to pause and listen to the message behind that gut feeling.

It enables us to quiet down the mind to the point that our thoughts become still and we can feel what our heart yearns for, something that will be good for us.8. Wise Choices All forms of yoga make us more conscious human beings. So don’t be surprised if you start acting like a wise guy, refraining from behaviors that cause harm to you and the environment like smoking, drinking, drugs, meat and dairy products and wastage of water and electricity.

Instead, you will choose to consume fresh vegetables and fruits, whole foods, to protect animals and the environment, to serve others through charitable giving and to take up activities like singing, dancing and art that will remove you from the company of people and surroundings that no longer bring the best out of you.

Kundalini yoga is not to be taken lightly. It is like an express train that shakes and wakes you up. Some kriyas will leave you feeling high and totally blissed out. Other kriyas will really provoke and confront you. What’s important is to stay present and accept pleasure and pain as part of the same journey to health and balance.

  1. Our ego naturally leans toward pleasure and comfort.
  2. It takes concerted effort and discipline to begin to release the ego’s grip on our consciousness.
  3. This effort is the work required to begin to access the truth of who we are, to create a strong connection to our soul and therefore our soul’s work on this planet.

It is where we start to make great strides toward living as an enlightened being. I sincerely encourage you to experience Kundalini yoga for yourself. It will add depth to your existing practice and to your life. We offer a number of Kundalini yoga classes at YallaYoga.
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What is the difference between Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga?

Yoga: a beginner’s guide to the different styles T he myriad benefits of yoga – including lower blood pressure, increased strength and bone density and reduced anxiety – should be enough to get anyone on the mat. However, as a yoga teacher I meet many people who hesitate to embrace this ancient form of fitness due to some pervasive myths.

  1. Is too slow and boring; it’s practised in stuffy, incense-filled rooms – or in 90C heat; it’s just for girls and people who are into chanting.
  2. And – most misguided of all – yoga is only for the flexible.
  3. The truth is that there is a class to suit you whatever your body type or temperament.
  4. Yoga develops strength and balance as well as flexibility – the latter is a consequence of practising yoga, not a prerequisite.

No one has turned up to their first yoga class (unless they were a dancer or a gymnast) able to execute advanced yoga poses. All yoga styles create a feeling of lightness, ease and relaxation. But to get the most benefit and the most enjoyment, you need to find a yoga style and a teacher that suits you.

  • For example, if you’re already doing lots of strength training your best choice is likely to be a yoga style that focuses more on flexibility.
  • That way, you can balance your fitness routine.
  • Perhaps try yin or hatha yoga.
  • Those who have an injury or live with a chronic medical condition such as arthritis might want to try Iyengar yoga, or one-to-one sessions with a teacher where you will be able to focus on alignment and your unique needs.

If you are drawn to experience the spiritual side, you could try jivamukti. And for those who are relatively healthy and want a challenge, ashtanga vinyasa or vinyasa flow might be a good choice. Before you make a decision, try a few of the most common styles of yoga that you might see on a yoga studio (or gym) timetable.

Some classes – marked general or open level – are suitable for all. This is how I started my yoga journey – by watching and copying. When you think you’ve settled on a style of yoga you enjoy, try a few different teachers. All teachers have their own unique focus based on their personalities, their own yoga practice and where and with whom they’ve trained.

Yoga can be expensive, especially in the larger cities. The most cost-effective way is to take advantage of studio offers. Newcomers can sign up for deals such as £20 for 14 consecutive days of classes. Aim to go to a class every few days – later, you can consider committing to a course.

Regular attendance is needed to really reap the benefits. A good teacher will not do his or her own practice at the front of the room. They should be roaming around adjusting, correcting and giving alternatives to people who cannot do the full pose or have an injury. They should be helping you to focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t.

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A good teacher won’t expect you to be anything other than a beginner and they want you to have – and enjoy – a beginner’s experience. Yoga instructor Tao Porchon-Lynch, 93. Photograph: Keith Bedford/Reuters Iyengar yoga Iyengar and ashtanga yoga come from the same lineage – the teachers who developed these styles (BKS Iyengar and the late Pattabhi Jois) were both taught by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.

  1. Many of the asanas (postures) are the same, but the approach is different.
  2. Iyengar yoga is great for learning the subtleties of correct alignment.
  3. Props – belts, blocks and pillow-like bolsters – help beginners get into poses with correct alignment, even when they’re new to them, injured or simply stiff.

Anusara yoga is a more modern form of Iyengar. Ashtanga yoga Ashtanga is a more vigorous style of yoga. It offers a series of poses, each held for only five breaths and punctuated by a half sun salutation to keep up the pace. You can either attend a regular class or the more traditional Mysore style (see below).

Mysore style Ashtanga yoga taught one-to-one in a group setting. Students turn up at any time within a three-hour window to do their own practice as taught by their teacher. This is my preferred style of learning yoga and, I think, the safest and most traditional. You go at your own pace, on your own breath.

Vinyasa flow Teachers lead classes that flow from one pose to the next without stopping to talk about the finer points of each pose. That way, students come away with a good workout as well as a yoga experience. If you’re new to yoga, it is a good idea to take a few classes in a slower style of yoga first to get a feel for the poses.

  • Vinyasa flow is really an umbrella term for many other styles.
  • Some studios call it flow yoga, flow-style yoga, dynamic yoga or vinyasa flow.
  • It is influenced by ashtanga yoga.
  • Bikram yoga Bikram yoga is the favourite of anyone who loves to sweat.
  • It was created by Indian yogi Bikram Choudhury in the early 1970s.

He designed a sequence of 26 yoga poses to stretch and strengthen the muscles as well as compress and “rinse” the organs of the body. The poses are done in a heated room to facilitate the release of toxins. Every bikram class you go to, anywhere in the world, follows the same sequence of 26 poses.

Kundalini yoga Kundalini yoga was designed to awaken energy in the spine. Kundalini yoga classes include meditation, breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing, and chanting, as well as yoga postures. Hatha yoga Hatha yoga really just means the physical practice of yoga (asanas as opposed to, say, chanting).

Hatha yoga now commonly refers to a class that is not so flowing and bypasses the various traditions of yoga to focus on the asanas that are common to all. It is often a gentle yoga class. Yin yoga Yin yoga comes from the Taoist tradition and focuses on passive, seated postures that target the connective tissues in the hips, pelvis and lower spine.

Poses are held for anywhere between one and 10 minutes. The aim is to increase flexibility and encourage a feeling of release and letting go. It is a wonderful way to learn the basics of meditation and stilling the mind. As such, it is ideal for athletic types who need to release tension in overworked joints, and it is also good for those who need to relax.

Restorative yoga Restorative yoga is all about healing the mind and body through simple poses often held for as long as 20 minutes, with the help of props such as bolsters, pillows and straps. It is similar to yin yoga, but with less emphasis on flexibility and more on relaxing.

Jivamukti yoga Founded in 1984 by David Life and Sharon Gannon, Jivamukti means “liberation while living”. This is a vinyasa-style practice with themed classes, often including chanting, music and scripture readings. Jivamukti teachers encourage students to apply yogic philosophy to their daily life. Geraldine Beirne is a yoga teacher based in London,,

: Yoga: a beginner’s guide to the different styles
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Why was Kundalini Yoga kept a secret?

The story goes that kundalini yoga was kept secret from the general public for thousands of years. But the assumption is it was due to a dangerous aspect of these teachings. The truth is much simpler than that. Yogis, sages, and gurus used to have many followers and people were living happy lives practicing kundalini yoga but eventually, they started to be prosecuted and were forced to leave the society because people were becoming hard to control and the feudal or slave systems (you know those pyramid schemes where few have all the wealth and many have nothing) were not working. Which School Of Yoga Asks Its Practitioners To Wear White After the plague of the 14th century in Europe, there was a lack of workers which created a huge growth of the middle class. Simple workers could now afford to wear expensive clothes, have nice houses and their self-esteem was growing. They started to question their religious leaders and even their kings and nobility. In kundalini yoga, just as in religious freedom movements, we have a pathway to create our own understanding of the world and the place we play in it. It is due to this freedom that we reach our potential and are able to live in dignity. Enslavement doesn’t happen through chains, it happens through ideology.

  • As someone who lived in a communist country can attest to that.
  • Deemed as dangerous to society, kundalini yogis went into hiding in the Himalayas.
  • To keep the practices remembered, they passed them down through the word of mouth from student to teacher, so when there is an auspicious opening, people can once again relearn these practices and elevate themselves.

Therefore for many new students, kundalini yoga feels like coming home. Like a beautiful memory.

Which School Of Yoga Asks Its Practitioners To Wear White

In the past few years, I have seen kundalini yoga be made into a cultish, dangerous, fake study. This process of eliminating kundalini yoga from public awareness continues even today with the latest article about Guru Jagat in Vanity Fair, I deeply resent this cultish classification.

I never teach something that I have never tested on my own. I never repeat the empty words of a guru if I don’t know what they mean to me. I have not changed my parents ‘ given name to fit into the kundalini club. I have not replaced my Christian beliefs with Sikh beliefs. I have added spiritual name as my middle name and I have added words of Sikh gurus on top of my belief in Jesus.

You too always have a choice to take what’s working and leave the rest but never forget those on whose shoulders you stand on. I ask the same of my students. Notice how these tools work on you and then practice them on regular basis. This practice connects you with the divine infinitely creative current of energy.
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What religion does Kundalini Yoga follow?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about Kundalini yoga as exercise (as taught in yoga schools of the 20th century). For other uses, see Kundalini (disambiguation), Indian Tantric illustration of the subtle body channels which kundalini transverses Kundalini yoga ( kuṇḍalinī-yoga ) derives from kundalini, defined in tantra as energy that lies within the body, frequently at the navel or the base of the spine. In normative tantric systems, kundalini is considered to be dormant until it is activated (as by the practice of yoga ) and channeled upward through the central channel in a process of spiritual perfection.

Other schools, such as Kashmir Shaivism, teach that there are multiple kundalini energies in different parts of the body which are active and do not require awakening. Kundalini is believed by adherents to be power associated with the divine feminine, Shakti, Kundalini yoga as a school of yoga is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism,

It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of mantra, tantra, yantra, yoga, laya, haṭha, meditation, or even spontaneously ( sahaja ).
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Who is God of Kundalini?

This article is about Kundalini, the tantric concepts and psychological theories (Hindu Philosophy). For Other uses, see Kundalini (disambiguation), In Hinduism, Kundalini ( Sanskrit : कुण्डलिनी, romanized : kuṇḍalinī, lit.   ‘coiled snake’, pronunciation ( help · info ) ) is a form of divine feminine energy (or Shakti ) believed to be located at the base of the spine, in the muladhara, It is an important concept in Śhaiva Tantra, where it is believed to be a force or power associated with the divine feminine or the formless aspect of the Goddess.

  1. This energy in the body, when cultivated and awakened through tantric practice, is believed to lead to spiritual liberation,
  2. Uṇḍalinī is associated with Parvati or Adi Parashakti, the supreme being in Shaktism ; and with the goddesses Bhairavi and Kubjika,
  3. The term, along with practices associated with it, was adopted into Hatha yoga in the 9th century.

It has since then been adopted into other forms of Hinduism as well as modern spirituality and New age thought. Kuṇḍalinī awakenings are said to occur by a variety of methods. Many systems of yoga focus on awakening Kuṇḍalinī through: meditation ; pranayama breathing; the practice of asana and chanting of mantras,
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Is Kundalini Yoga the oldest yoga?

This unique system blends physical and spiritual in a practice designed to awaken the higher self and facilitate energy flow. – In 1968 a Pakistani-born economics major named Harbhajan Singh Puri boarded a plane with a one-way ticket from Punjab, India to Toronto, Canada.

Declared a master of Kundalini yoga at age 16, Yogi Bhajan, as he would later become known worldwide, became the first to openly teach Kundalini yoga to the public, unveiling a lineage previously masked in secrecy. In 1969, Yogi Bhajan established the 3HO, which stands for “Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization,” a nonprofit dedicated to sharing the teachings of Kundalini yoga.

For most Westerners who associate yoga with a flowing physical workout, Kundalini is a practice that is a bit outside the box. While physicality is one aspect of this type of yoga, Kundalini blends the physical and spiritual, using mantra such as “Sat Nam,” which means “truth is my essence”; pranayama, or breath control; meditation; and kriyas, or repeated body movements designed to facilitate energy flow.

Both teachers and students wear turbans and white clothing. The color white, according to Yogi Bhajan, is considered to be cleansing, expanding the aura and guarding from negative energy. The head covering protects and contains the energy of the crown chakra, the uppermost energy center of the physical body.

Because of the variety of practices included in a Kundalini class, particularly those that draw more upon the subtle body, this form of yoga can be practiced by anyone no matter their age or physical fitness level. The history of Kundalini is unusual and fascinating. The practice comes from the lineage of Raj Yoga, one of the oldest forms of yoga mentioned in the sacred Vedic collection of texts known as the Upanishads, and practiced in India since 500 BC. Kundalini differs from other forms of yoga in that it descends from a Sikh lineage, a religion distinct from Hinduism and Islam founded in 15th century Punjab that emphasizes love, equality, and service to others.

  • Yogi Bhajan who was also a Sikh, integrated the teachings of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism who studied and practiced yoga.
  • Because of the intersection between yoga and the lineage of Sikihism through Guru Nanak, many of the meditations in the Kundalini practice come from the Sikh tradition.
  • For instance, the use of the mantra Sat Nam in Kundalini yoga comes directly from Guru Nanak’s enlightenment experience when he was studying with the yogis.

Related : 9 Yoga Poses That Boost Energy For centuries, the practice of Kundalini was only taught from master to student, as students were required to go through years of initiation before they were prepared to receive the spiritual teachings of the Kundalini masters.

Now in our modern world, this lineage is believed to exist through what is known as the Golden Link or Golden Chain, a transmission of wisdom and consciousness from masters to students through the subtle body. The word “Kundalini” itself comes from the Sanskrit word for “coiled female serpent”. The image of a coiling snake imparts the sense of an untapped source of latent energy.

The Kundalini practice is designed to activate and release this dormant creative energy located at the base of the spine, and allow it to travel upward, energizing each of the chakras and increasing our consciousness and potential. The Kundalini Research Institute describes Kundalini Yoga as “the practice of awakening our Higher Self and turning potential energy into kinetic energy.” Thanks to Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini is now one of the most formalized styles of yoga currently taught throughout the world, with a set structure for each class.

  • All classes begin with the Adi mantra to tune in to the spiritual channel of the Golden Chain and to focus the mind.
  • Through this connection, teachers and practitioners channel the sacred wisdom of the Masters of Kundalini yoga in order to be guided and protected during the practice.
  • The Adi Mantra, “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” means, “I bow to the subtle divine wisdom, the divine teacher within.” While Kundalini yoga is about experiencing the divine within, it is not a religious practice.

After tuning in, a Kundalini class begins with a series of breathing, or pranayama techniques. Commonly practiced breaths include partitioned breathing (where the inhale and exhale are divided into sections and counted), or breath of fire (rapid and vigorous continuous inhales and exhales to heat and cleanse the body).

  • Typically after pranayama, warm-ups are done to prepare the body and mind for kriyas.
  • This consists of movement and postures that warm up the spine and legs, similar to the basic postures of Hatha Yoga.
  • Once the body is prepared, a set of kriyas is practiced.
  • An example of a kriya is frog, a vigorous and energizing exercise where the practitioner squats down on an exhale, and folds over straight legs on the inhale.

This is repeated a certain number of times. This kriya helps to build lower body strength, improves circulation and respiration, and opens the heart chakra. Once the set of kriyas is complete, the practitioner relaxes by lying in corpse pose, on the back with palms up and eyes closed.

This serves as a time for the body and nervous system to realign, integrate and adjust to the shift of energies that has just taken place. The last part of class includes meditation, mudras (hand-gestures that call upon an intention), and an Irish blessing, “May the longtime sun shine upon you,” chosen in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan to close each Kundalini class.

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Related : The Importance of Breathing in Yoga In Yogi Bhajan’s own words: “There’s nothing which can be more precious in you than your own relationship with your own consciousness.” Through powerful energy work, the Kundalini practice calls upon great physical and mental stamina to cultivate a deeper awareness that plants the seeds for increasing consciousness.
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Is Kundalini Yoga a Sikh practice?

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 135: Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma Keval Khalsa rests her bare toes on the base of her office chair. “Yoga means union,” she says, “union of the finite self and the infinite self.” Khalsa, associate professor of the practice of dance, developed “Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma” as a union of practice and theory.

The class begins with study of Kundalini yoga’s history, its relation to the Sikh religion, and its role in Asian and Middle Eastern culture. Yoga, which originated in India, was generally passed down through a select few people in high castes and was used by Sikhs to consciously maintain the body. Twice a week, Khalsa’s students practice Kundalini yoga together.

Through deep focus on the body and the “self,” they attempt to reach complex mental states Khalsa calls “full presence and awareness.” These yoga sessions always involve a group chant. “Sound current is very important,” Khalsa says. “It acts as a bridge to the infinite.” She adds that students find that Sikhism also embraces the power of sound, specifically through recitation of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib.

This sacred poetic manuscript wasrecorded from the utterances of gurus during their “highest states of consciousness.” By reading it aloud, students can become closer to the gurus’ levels of awareness, Khalsa says. Students are required to do yoga individually for forty consecutive days. They reflect on their intellectual and physical progression during this process in detailed written responses.

If a student misses one day of individual yoga study, Khalsa calls for a fresh start. “It takes forty days to change a habit,” she says. Khalsa’s class builds knowledge to bring directly to their yoga practice by researching pranayam, the science of breath, and the body’s nervous-energy centers.

  1. Students also address the theory behind yoga and Sikhism by reading and discussing articles on everything from Sikh philosophy to scientifically demonstrated medical benefits of yoga, and trace Kundalini yoga’s transformation into a popular Western practice.
  2. Yogi Bhajan, who single-handedly introduced Kundalini yoga and Sikhism to the U.S.

in the 1960s, is a central figure in the course, Khalsa says. Combining studio time with traditional lectures, the class is conducted in a relatively new style now promoted by the Dance Program. “True learning is composed of not just the mind but all of our elements,” says Khalsa.

Prerequisites None Readings Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi, The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Articles on the history and philosophy of Kundalini yoga and Sikh Dharma

: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 135: Kundalini Yoga and Sikh Dharma
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Is Kundalini Yoga Scientific?

Scientific studies confirm benefits of Kundalini Yoga If you are a regular practitioner of Kundalini Yoga and meditation, you have probably already experienced the positive effects of these practices and how good you can feel after a kriya or a few minutes of long deep breathing.

  1. But the benefits are not only experienced mentally or emotionally – but also physically.
  2. Undalini Yoga and meditation have an impact on the body and its functions, systems, biochemistry, organs, tissues, and even cells.
  3. They are powerful practices that can benefit the physical, chemical, and biological foundations of the human body, and this is confirmed more and more regularly by science.

A showed that the practice of Kundalini Yoga increases the size of the hippocampus in older adults. The study was a pilot randomized controlled trial to examine the possible neuroprotective effects of Kundalini Yoga in older adults. Participants who practiced a mixture of Kundalini Yoga postures, pranayamas and meditation, showed a significant increase in the volume of the right hippocampus through MRI, confirming this type of yoga can benefit older adults neurobiologically.

The hippocampus is an important part of brain function, associated with memory, learning, the link between emotions and memories, and the regulation of spatial navigation. The ability to calculate spaces and distances is one of the first cognitive skills that people lose as they age. Kundalini Yoga practice can also be useful for subsequent treatments for certain diseases, such as Lyme disease.

A approved by the New York State Psychiatric Institute Institutional Review Board at Columbia University Irving Medical Center showed that the 8-week practice of Kundalini Yoga was useful for some secondary symptoms of people suffering from the long-term effects of Lyme disease.

The Kundalini Yoga protocol consisted of light stretching with rhythmical movements, directed breathing, and guided meditation. Exercises included, among others, March in place (a variant from Yoguic march exercise), Shoulder lifts, Spinal Twist, Spine Flex, Breath of Fire sequence, and Guided Meditation to visualize a transformation of distress into healing.

Primary and secondary outcomes assessed pain, pain interference, fatigue, global health, multisystem symptom burden, mood, sleep, physical and social functioning, cognition, and mindfulness. Participants who practiced Kundalini Yoga reported improvement in multisystem symptoms and cognition over the course of the study.

As we can see, yoga, meditation, and spiritual practices are becoming increasingly present in scientific findings. These articles can be very useful to share the benefits of such practices with a scientific basis – and that gives people a certain level of security and knowledge about how they can be highly beneficial for health.

We invite you to learn more by clicking the links and sharing them with people who may need them. Sat Nam! : Scientific studies confirm benefits of Kundalini Yoga
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Why is kundalini awakening rare?

Is it safe? – There is a lot of talk in the spirituality community about whether kundalini awakenings are safe. Many have hesitations practicing kundalini out of fear that they will experience this intense type of awakening. Everyone’s experience is vastly different and is entirely individual based on their past experiences and current lifestyle.

  • For some, the experience can be blissful and filled with feelings of love and a sense of the interconnectedness of all things.
  • For others, it can feel more like a bad drug trip, or even a psychotic break, where practitioners go through altered sleep cycles, changes in identity, or depression.
  • This discrepancy has led many Westerners to fear the coiled serpent resting in their spine, ready to strike.

Meditation teacher Sally Kempton had such an awakening in her late 20s, and while she acknowledges that the experience may be scary for those who are without an experienced teacher to guide them, she believes that awakenings are a gift from the universe.

“In our tradition, we honor and respect kundalini,” she says. “Her energy is trying to awaken you, expand you, and put you in touch with your own deep energy, which is a fundamentally benign process.” See also Yoga Style Profile: Kundalini Yoga However, according to Kempton and Stuart Sovatsky, a psychotherapist specializing in spiritual work, kundalini awakenings are rare in Western students because hatha yoga is practiced in a less spontaneous way.

“People are trying to hold the poses in a certain way, as opposed to doing poses that release energy blocks specific to their body,” says Sovatsky. Still, many teachers caution against attempts to induce an awakening through intense pranayama or other methods.

  1. Instead, it should occur spontaneously, when the body is ready.
  2. In Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy, yoga scholar Georg Feuerstein explains why: “If you don’t first open the central channels of the nervous system, raising the serpent power along the axial pathway is not only impossible, but also very dangerous to attempt, for instead of entering the central channel ( sushumna nadi ) it is likely to force itself in to the ida or the pingala nadi, on either side of the central channel, causing immense havoc in the body and mind.” Kundalini reminds us that consciousness is far vaster than most of us have ever imagined, which can seem overwhelming and disorienting.

But Sovatsky says that people who have a psychotic break from an awakening usually come from a troubled family background, face high levels of stress, and don’t have enough emotional support. Still, both Sovatsky and Kempton recommend that anyone who is fearful in the midst of such an awakening should seek support from a therapist (such as a transpersonal psychologist) or a teacher who has experienced it themself.
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What color is Kundalini energy?

The Kundalini awakening originates here. Many describe it as the subtle red Bindu or drop because when activated it exudes a red aura. It is linked with the earth element, the action of excretion and the sense of smell.
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Are there side effects to Kundalini yoga?

– People often practice Kundalini meditation specifically to experience the release of energy known as a Kundalini awakening. Many people find this somewhat of a spiritual experience, but it might sound a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect.

During a Kundalini awakening, people report physical sensations, such as warmth or tingling, disorientation, and some temporary discomfort. If a person isn’t fully prepared for the experience, some people claim they may experience long-term negative effects. While meditation can certainly be a powerful experience, there’s no evidence to support such long-term negative effects.

All that aside, Kundalini meditation does involve deep breathing exercises and slowed breathing. If you aren’t used to this, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Take breaks when you need to, and drink plenty of water before and after meditation.
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How many times a week should you do Kundalini yoga?

Regular daily practice is essential if you want maximum results(and have fun while doing it). Consistency does pay off in the end – you’ll be doing yourself a favor on many levels! We recommend practicing at least 20-30 minutes each day.
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What is the hardest yoga style?

Ashtanga yoga: strenuous and not just for beginners – The Vinyasa Yoga of the Ashtanga style offers a different approach than the gentle, slow types of yoga offered in many studios: There is no music playing in the background, there are no variations and the sweat is definitely flowing, because the instructor always makes sure that the asanas are performed correctly.

As a beginner, you should definitely do Ashtanga Yoga with guidance, The pace is fast and there are a lot of jumps, so you have to be extremely focused and use your strength at the same time. Without the support of a professional, this can sometimes go wrong. Ashtanga is considered the most difficult yoga style because you need a lot of patience and discipline,

By the way, it is perfectly normal to work on a series for months or even years: Frequent failure and willpower are part of Ashtanga yoga. As a reward, however, experienced Ashtanga yogis report a great feeling after yoga – it’s worth the effort!
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Which yoga is the Royal yoga?

What is Raja Yoga? – In Sanskrit, the word raja translates as king, chief, or royal. Thus, raja yoga is considered to be the best path to attaining the highest state of yoga—samadhi or enlightenment. It refers to both the highest goal of yoga and the meditation practices used to attain this goal.

Swami Vivekananda describes this internal meditative practice as a path towards mastering the whole universe. He writes, “Raja-Yoga proposes to start from the internal world, to study internal nature, and through that, control the whole—both internal and external.” Raja yoga is also considered the king of yogas as it is one of the most difficult and challenging spiritual paths.

This path of meditation and mind control is best suited for people who are well versed in yoga philosophy and lead contemplative and yogic lifestyles. One of the other four classical schools of yoga ( jnana, bhakti, and karma ) may offer a student an easier path to moksha (spiritual liberation), self realization and inner peace.
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Why is yin yoga so hard?

and why that shouldn’t keep you from doing it – Why is Yoga so Hard? We all know (or should know) that proper rest and relaxation are essential for healthy living. So often, throughout the busy week, the busy month, the busy year, we look forward to our weekends, vacation days, even just those few moments throughout the day to sit and breathe. And yet we rarely seem to take advantage of the spare time we get to truly relax. “I wish I had more time for” for what? An hour or two in front of the TV? Surfing the internet? Reading a book? All various forms of entertainment will help us pass the time more or less enjoyably, but do we really feel more rested after? Or just more restless? Yin yoga offers space and time for true rest. Yin yoga is, basically, the opposite of yang yoga – a simpler, quieter sister to the typical hot flow most people associate with hatha yoga classes. Yin is a chance to stretch and feel into the spaces of your body, but more importantly it’s an opportunity to, in a way, stretch and feel into the spaces of your mind. And that is what makes it so HARD to do. Also Read >>> An Introduction to Yin Yoga I often find five minutes of solitary meditation difficult to sit through. My mind wanders to to-do lists for the day, distant plans for the future, and daydreams of every sort. Focusing awareness to my breath and body in the present is no easy task. During a yin practice that sort of meditation is extended to around 75 minutes, while also adding in bodily poses that, when held for five minutes at a time, can get very uncomfortable indeed. The combination of mental and physical distraction (and discomfort) makes yin yoga quite possibly more challenging than any other form of yoga. Coming to terms with the ins and outs of your own body during physical exercise is one thing, something many people, including myself, find a worthy and often fun challenge. Coming to terms with the often-neglected, dusty, and dark corners of your own mind? Even more intimidating, if you ask me. Still, true rest for your body and mind relies upon a level of contentment and peace that can only come from acknowledging what is within. When you come to your mat not to work but to let go, tuning in to what is internal rather than external, you recognize that everything you need to be content is already within you. If your body is sore, you allow yourself to feel it. If your mind is worried or distracted, you allow yourself to feel it. And when you allow yourself to feel, you allow yourself to heal (cheesy, I know – but true!). You come to realize that your current state of mind is only that – a state of mind, which can change. Your mat is a space of transformation: as you would release the tension and toxins from your body in the form of sweat during exercise, so you release the stress and anxiety from your mind in yin. In yang yoga you give effort; in yin yoga, you give in to rest. Also Read >>> Yin Yoga, the Art of Letting Go Giving in is not the same as giving up, which is the sly distinction that makes yin yoga difficult to practice. We don’t want to succumb to the fears and stresses that plague our minds, so we avoid the space where facing those discomforting thoughts occurs. But it’s not a failure to recognize what thoughts and feelings exist within us, but rather a surrender to what is. You may not be able to change every circumstance life throws your way, but you can control your reaction to it. Yin yoga is all about practicing that control over reaction. It is the master at teaching the individual that no matter where you are, you are. Odd, that I find myself seeking motivation to do what I know from experience is the ultimate R&R work out, I only know that when I do give myself time and space for yin, I come away more complete in mind and body than I was before. Maybe that’s what’s so hard, is that that self nourishment may appear to be mere self indulgence. Yet without it, we are no more loving or beneficial to those around us than we are to ourselves. Maybe we all need a little more time and space for yin in our lives.
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What color do yogis wear?

Why Do Yoga Teacher Training Students Wear a Yellow and White Uniform? In 1969, a master yogi named Swami Vishnudevananda created the first yoga teacher training in the West. Spurred by a vision of training generations of yogic peace ambassadors, he mapped out a curriculum from all he had learned from his guru, Swami Sivananda.

Since then, the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) has graduated more than 43,000 people and is regularly offered at our centers and ashrams around the world.At the opening ceremony for each TTC, students are presented with a uniform: a yellow t-shirt and white pants.While wearing the uniform is not mandatory for much of the day, there are a few daily activities during which students are required to wear yellow and white, including:

Satsangs Yoga philosophy class Meditation and scripture study class

The yellow and white hold a special meaning for the students and teachers. In the Sivananda Yoga tradition, wearing the color yellow represents the quest for truth and knowledge on the spiritual path. And while yellow carries the vibration of knowledge, white brings the vibration of purity.

In yoga, purity refers to the personal development that you can achieve by transforming negative qualities into positive ones, gaining a true sense of self in the process. For some portions of the Yoga Teacher Training, during which students receive knowledge from the swamis and senior teachers of the lineage, these carefully chosen colors are worn to enhance the inner learning process.

By wearing yellow and white, you invite more positive energy into the experience at a subtle level. During the rest of the day, including asana class, karma yoga, free time, and meals, students can wear their own favorite clothes and colors. But many still choose to remain in their uniforms for their convenience or personal preference.

  • Often Sivananda Yoga teachers also relate to the energetic experience of being part of something bigger than themselves.
  • The uniform symbolizes a common thread between thousands of yoga teachers from around the world who have embarked on the adventure of yogic living — spreading peace, health, and joy throughout the world.

***** : Why Do Yoga Teacher Training Students Wear a Yellow and White Uniform?
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Why do yogis wear loose clothes?

Getting better at things – Which School Of Yoga Asks Its Practitioners To Wear White #yoga #yogateachertraining #200hourYTT #300HourYTT #yogaretreat #yogameditationretreat #yogatherapy #yogaclasses #yogacourses Yoga Asana is just like any other type of exercise. You should work on getting better at it over time, as with any other type of exercise.
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Why do girls wear yoga pants everywhere?

In today’s fashion era yoga pants are women’s favorite and they are the go-to pants choice for women everywhere. Don’t even try to argue, Whether you go for a playful date or a grocery store yoga pants are most preferable by women. Don’t you agree? Yoga pants are one of the most picked fashion in today’s world. So why do girls and women wear yoga pants? Here are the most common reasons why women wear yoga pants or leggings:

They are comfortable. Yoga pants stretch well and snug to our body in a way that makes them very comfortable to wear all day and night long. They perfectly fit to the shape of the body, especially the butt. This makes girls of all body shapes feel better about their shapes and boost their self confidence, Even people with no ass can look like they have some junk in the trunk. Ahahaha. It doesn’t matter if it looks like she got a butt, but today my friend, she has got a thick ass. They go well with most styles and outfits. Whether you’re wearing a dress or an oversized shirt, heels or sneakers, yoga pants will most likely match your outfit very well

They are generally inexpensive. Although the special brands are a bit expensive, you can generally find them reasonable. Don’t worry; you can make every penny worth it on one pair because you can wear them every day and slay any outfit. They take up little space in the closet. You can fold them neatly and forget that they even exist. They’re extremely comfortable and flexible, even if you put on some weight they can snug you really well. If you get bloated during the day, they do not get into your skin. Cotton or other soft material feels heavenly against your skin. Can be of different lengths, long, ankle fit or till your calves depending on what kind of workout you’ll be doing you can pick them respectively. They breathe vewell. Though some pants are suffocating and super uncomfortable. They are the perfect choice for travel outfit. Pair up your yoga pants with a crop top or an oversized shirt and put on your favorite sneakers. I’m sure you’ll rock that airport look. You don’t have to worry anymore. Grab those fries and that extra cheese pizza and give a treat for yourself. You can eat as much as you want and not have to worry about buttoning your pants cause yoga pants have that amazing elastic. You can comfortably work out in them. There’s no chafing or pulling when working out in yoga pants. I mean, that’s what they were made for, right? You can feel comfortable doing a jumping squat if you have never done one in your entire life.

Don’t forget that although Yoga pants are go-to pants and can be worn all day long but they are especially des for wearing during Yoga workouts, They help improve your flexibility while ensuring your body breathes throughout the workout or yoga sessions.
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How has yoga been whitewashed?

Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga attempts to blend Ignatian and Hindu spirituality but the latter falls short LUCIA PUERTAS VIA FLICKR Like all sacred rituals, yoga should be performed without the erasure of its rich culture, spirituality, and history. I was walking the halls of the Lincoln Center campus during New Student Orientation this past fall when it became clear to me that this school is a Jesuit institution.

It’s no secret that Fordham stands by Ignatian philosophies and ideals like “cura personalis,” or “care for the whole person,” as we’ve all heard seemingly unendingly since we’ve started school here. I thought that this motto would mean that I was joining a school that not only provided academic but personal care for its students.

Through all of this, I never considered the possibility that the presence of this Ignatian groundwork would contribute to the whitewashing of other students’ religious and spiritual groups on campus. Fordham is affiliated with Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga, an organization that results in the whitewashing of Hinduism through the practice of yoga on campus.

This isn’t a new organization, and it isn’t exclusive to Fordham either. According to its official website, Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga — which was founded in July 2016 — was established by the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus. Its main mission was to establish “a collaborative ministry led by Jesuits and laypeople formed in both the Ignatian and yoga traditions.” When there is an attempt to practice yoga without specifically educating oneself about these origins and practices it erases the culture ingrained in the practice.

But it seems, at least in my observations, that they rarely attempt to be inclusive and adapt Dharmic, specifically Hindu, traditions and spirituality within their practices. If their goal has always been to successfully blend and explore both cultures’ practices, then they would dedicate, at minimum, a significant amount of their time referring to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Indian spirituality and the history of yoga.

  1. Historically speaking, yoga is derived from the Indian subcontinent and has spiritual and religious roots in Vedic texts and practices.
  2. When there is an attempt to practice yoga without specifically educating oneself about these origins and practices it erases the culture ingrained in the practice — thereby, whitewashing it.

Carol Gibney, the associate director of Campus Ministry for Spiritual & Pastoral Ministries, told me about her role as a certified yoga teacher and the Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga sessions she hosts on both Fordham campuses. She stressed the idea of students in Fordham needing to “slow down” and “pray with their bodies.” Throughout our conversation, she spoke about how institutions of higher education can often force students to stay busy all the time and get “stuck in their heads.” She wanted to use her experience with yoga to help students get back in touch with themselves and their spirituality.

While this sentiment is important within the context of mental health for students, by Fordham not making it a priority for these instructors to begin to teach and incorporate Hindu spirituality are doing a disservice to students by disseminating a whitewashed version of yoga. Gibney said she incorporates Hindu philosophy “respectfully” but tries to “not talk a lot during the sessions, (and) just invite(s) people to offer this time as a time to pray with their body.” Placing yoga under an Ignatian label and not putting in enough of an effort to acknowledge and incorporate Hindu philosophy while practicing it is an extremely harmful thing to do.

Placing yoga under an Ignatian label and not putting in enough of an effort to acknowledge and incorporate Hindu philosophy while practicing it is an extremely harmful thing to do, as it neglects the roots and communities that have developed this sacred practice into what it is today.

Ramesh Rao, chair of the center for communications studies and theatre at Longwood University and a human rights coordinator for the Hindu American Foundation, explains in an op-ed from The Guardian that yoga has become more and more culturally relevant and profitable in the West, but “few yoga teachers and journals mentioned the origins of the practice and its connection to Hinduism.” Some studies place the current value of the yoga industry (yes, it’s an industry) at around $84 billion.

Yet, most of the money made capitalizing off of this practice is much more likely to end up in the pockets of a white person than the poor garment workers of India, who made the yoga pants and from whom this practice was originally stolen. These small steps are not nearly enough of an acknowledgment of the true roots of yoga.

  1. Furthermore, yoga has become secularized over the past decade in the West “to rid it of any taint of a ‘pagan’ tradition.” Yoga, as a practice, has been commodified and capitalized upon by mostly white people.
  2. It isn’t right to strip this ancient Dharmic practice of its true origin and place it under the label of Ignatian spirituality without doing anything to acknowledge its Hindu roots.

Madisen Caferro, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’23, who has frequented Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga sessions since her first year at Fordham, stated that the use of the word “namaste” at the end of each lesson is the extent to which Hinduism and Indian spirituality is acknowledged during these sessions, as well as the yoga poses that retain their original Sanskrit names.

  • These small steps are not nearly enough of an acknowledgment of the true roots of yoga, especially not enough to claim that you are practicing yoga respectfully.
  • There are many steps that the Ignatian Spirituality and Yoga community on campus can take to become more inclusive and begin to incorporate fewer whitewashed teachings throughout their sessions.

Beyond using phrases such as “namaste” and the correct Sanskrit phrases and names for all of the asanas (yoga poses), learning yoga also has to include a discussion of the religious and spiritual teachings behind it, as well as learning the asanas. Susanna Barkataki discu sses this phenomenon in her blog post, ” How to Decolonize Your Yoga Practice,” in which she states that if someone from the West becomes a certified yoga teacher and carries out classes that are mainly asana-based (pose-based), they end up remaining “blissfully unaware of the complexity of yoga’s true aim or the roots of the practices” and are “culturally appropriating yoga.” Barkataki believes that when we continue to practice yoga and remain ignorant to its history and religious roots — as well as the discrimination that its authentic practice has faced in the Christian, white, Western world — we run the risk of perpetuating a recolonization of yoga by “stripping its essence away.” It’s important that we acknowledge how heavily appropriated yoga has become by white people.
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