WHAT IS YOGA?
All types of Yoga share the same roots. The word Yoga comes from the ancient Sanskrit word meaning “Union” in the sense of uniting, or joining, the Finite Self with the Infinite, Universal Self. The ancient Yogis of India practiced meditations and disciplines aiming for a complete balance of body, mind and spirit to achieve this higher level of consciousness. Over time, their teachings were developed in India and spread to the West through a number of late 19th and 20th century Yoga masters. From these roots, the body of Yogic postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditations have evolved to become a familiar and life enhancing practice for a rapidly growing number of people in today’s world.
WHAT IS KUNDALINI YOGA?
The word “Kundalini” is also derived from Sanskrit and literally translated means “the coil of the hair of the beloved”. It describes the subtle source of energy residing at the base of the spine (latent, coiled and sleeping). The sets of exercises (Kriyas) and meditations practiced in Kundalini Yoga tap into, move and channel this energy in a gradual and highly effective way, raising our awareness and bringing many long lasting improvements to our well being and outlook on life.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF YOGA?
The regular practice of Yoga and Meditation raises our awareness and helps us to combat stress and build our self esteem. Physically it increases our core strength and flexibility. It offers us techniques to help us to control and manage our emotions so that we can become more peaceful and happy. Yoga exercises and meditations are widely recognized by medical practitioners for the benefits they bring to our health and well being. For example, “mindfulness” is becoming increasingly popular in mainstream therapeutic settings and is derived from traditional yogic meditation. Kundalini Yoga has been credited by medical researchers as being highly effective in combating illnesses brought on by our stressful modern lifestyles. For example, the”Kirtan Kriya” meditation which has been credited with preventing the mental decline typical of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease: Kirtan Kriya
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KUNDALINI YOGA AND OTHER TYPES OF YOGA?
Kundalini Yoga shares many of the classic yoga postures (e.g. cobra, triangle, bow pose) and techniques (e.g. breath control, mantra and meditation) with other traditional forms of yoga (e.g. Hatha Yoga) . In Kundalini Yoga, the postures are typically more dynamic than static and the use of breath control, body locks, mantra and meditation is key to developing our physical and spiritual alignment and raising our awareness. Kundalini Yoga uses exercise sets (Kriyas) that make use of our own subtle energy sources (principally the Kundalini energy) and subtle external energy sources (principally the Pranic energy gained from the breath) to initiate and consolidate a range of benefits for our health and well being. The range of sets (Kriyas) is extensive and varied, working on the many levels of our human physical, mental and emotional being, each one effective and uplifting in its own way!
“Yoga has never been truly described for what it is. It is an art and a science with which you can leap over the pitfalls of life. It is a science and knowledge and art where mind and body can work in union and spirit will back it up.” YB