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. Sometimes, the practice is also called “yoga of awareness.”
Kundalini Yoga asana sequences are called kriyas. Each kriya is a preset series of poses done with a specific breathing technique, blocking energy flow to certain areas of the body (called a bandha) to intensify the effects of the pose.
Some kriyas may consist of rapid, repetitive movements. In others, the poses are held for several minutes. In a group class situation, the teacher will typically pick a set of kriyas beneficial to most people.
Part of the Kundalini practice is to chant mantras or positive affirmations. Often, these mantras are chanted in Gurmukhi, though they are also sometimes spoken in English. Some of the mantras you may use in a Kundalini Yoga session include:
Sat Nam, which means “I am truth” or “Truth is my identity”
Ong So Hung, which means “Creator, I am Thou”
Guru Guru Wahe Guru Guru Ram Das Guru, which means “Wise, wise is the one who serves Infinity”
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo, which means “I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher within”