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This article will provide a basic overview of what Kundalini Yoga is and how Kundalini Yoga works. At the core of Kundalini Yoga lies Kriyas and the best way to understand the methodology of Kundalini Yoga is to understand Kriyas and their functioning.
Kriyas are a set of exercises done in a particular sequence to work on a specific theme. There are a wide range of Kriyas available, each refined over thousands of years to optimize their effectiveness.
Kriyas utilize all the available Kundalini Yoga mechanisms to work their magic. They employ asans (postures), movement, pranayam (breathing exercises), bandhas (body locks), mantras (sound vibrations), mudras (hand positions), laya yoga (yoga of rhythm and sound), mental focus and meditation to do their work.
Dynamic movement and asans bring expanding and contracting pressure via multiple angles to various areas of the body, this is accompanied with powerful pranayams, the combined effect of which is that the target regions are saturated with highly charged and oxygenated blood. This nutrient rich blood fills the capillaries forcing them to discharge toxins and other harmful elements, which are then eliminated, neutralized or expelled by the body. The health of the region thus improves and the nerves fire more completely, the glands and organs are invigorated and regain their natural voltage and secretion levels are returned to a condition of strength and vitality.
The key above is the removal of blockages (granthis) that is taking place on many levels of the organism, thus facilitating the flow of energy.
There are Kriyas designed for working on almost every part of the human system (Immune, Glandular, Circulatory, Digestive, Nervous, Respiratory, Sexual, etc . . . ), working on our various traits and characteristics (Awareness, Intuition, Willpower, Confidence, Compassion, Charisma, etc . . . ) and also for healing many different types of ailments and diseases. Lets now see how this ties in with the Chakra (energy vortex) system.
There are 7 primary chakras that lie all along the spine from the base to the crown of the head. Associated with each chakra are the primary nerve junctions and organs of that region. Furthermore, each chakra is responsible for certain traits and characteristics that make up our personality.
When we strengthen and rejuvenate the nerves and organs in a particular region, we are in fact activating these energy centers that reside there and are thus working on ourselves not only at a physical level, but also at an emotional and mental level (by affecting our traits and characteristics). Practiced over time, the chakras become charged and come into balance with each other, bringing us into physical, emotional and mental well being.
Again, it should be noted that the work being done is primarily about dissolving granthis (blockages) in these regions which introduce disease and imbalance into the system by preventing the chakras from functioning at their optimum level. Finally, let see how this relates to Kundalini Shakti.
Kundalini is energy. It is the fundamental energy whose flow through the organism allows for all its systems to operate, at all levels of consciousness. It is the energy of awareness, it can be said that where your awareness is, that is where Kundalini is flowing or that where Kundalini is flowing is where your awareness is.
To awaken Kundalini means to dissipate blockages in the gross and subtle systems in your being and allow for greater and greater flow of energy and awareness. As blockages are cleared trapped energy is released and pathways are cleared. Kundalini then is able to flow freely though those regions, healing, nourishing, rejuvenating and balancing them.
The dissipating of blockages can also be thought of as the clearing away of the subconscious mind, the collection of unresolved emotional and physical disturbances, where lies the root of many of our attachments and fears. So overall Kundalini Yoga is a system by which one, through the process of dissolving the past, allows the infinite to shine through into the present.
Anmol Mehta is a Yoga Teacher, Zen Expert & creator of profound Meditation & Yoga programs. These Free Meditation, Chakra & Kundalini Yoga Classes are available at Guided Meditation Techniques & Kundalini Yoga Zone. You will also find articles and lively discussions on the Daily Meditation Practice, Kundalini Yoga Exercises & Zen Meditation Blog.