Kundalini Yoga: the Express Train to EnlightmentNov 28, 2013 12:18AM ● By Trella Dubetz
In 1969, a yoga master named Yogi Bhajan from the northern region of Punjab, India, arrived on the shores of America bringing with him ancient traditions, practices and a spiritual science known as kundalini yoga. He also brought a passion to teach anyone that wished to awaken their consciousness and align their body through the practice. Within two years of Bhajan’s beginning to teach in the West, he founded the Kundalini Research Institute, and an ancient tradition experienced a blossoming rebirth that would spread around the world.
Centuries old, kundalini yoga has the goal to manifest people that are happy, healthy and holy. This yogic tradition incorporates aspects of all yogic paths: service, devotion, posture, breath, sound, concentration and wisdom. The Kundalini Research Institute says the form’s primary purpose is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each of us; to recognize, refine and expand our awareness to the unlimited Self by clearing inner duality, giving us the strength and tools to listen deeply, cultivate inner stillness, prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.
Trademarked as Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan, each class is distinguished by six major components. Classes typically last between 60 and 90 minutes and begin with tuning in using the Adi Mantra, followed by a warm-up sequence that may include pranayam, the use of breathing techniques to affect one’s state of consciousness and well-being. Then, practitioners complete a set of sequenced exercises, called kriyas, which can be short and simple or may involve vigorous exercises and breathing techniques such as Breath of Fire. These are intended to challenge and strengthen the nervous and endocrine systems and to test the will of practitioners beyond the limitations of their ego. Classes also include a relaxation period and an active meditation and close with a special song of blessing entitled, May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You.
Referred to as the express train to enlightenment, kundalini yoga is a full-throttle workout on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels that masterfully crafts an inner peacefulness. The meditations are tuned in to the seasons and times, and the chants resonate on a cellular and psychic level. The practice allows us to access the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, and enables us to merge with the universal Self.
Local kundalini yoga teacher Padmani Kaur recalls her journey. “I have been a seeker of Spirit all of my life, yet the answers to my questions were always just out of my reach. Eleven years ago, I attended a three-hour kundalini yoga intensive class at Omega Institute’s Being Yoga Conference, in New York City. It created such a feeling of grace and bliss that I searched for a teacher immediately upon my return home. That practice grew into a way of life for me. Now, by the use of meditation and mantra, asanas (postures) and relaxation, I can receive the answers when they come, and in whatever form they come in.
As a teacher of kundalini yoga, the opportunity to share these vast teachings is a gift,” adds Kaur. “Kundalini yoga is profoundly healing, and seeing its effects on the class is one of my favorite perks of being a teacher. Yogi Bhajan came to the West not to gain students, but to create teachers. My mission is to carry on that legacy; to serve students as they realize that we are all teachers. One of my favorite Yogi Bhajan quotes is, ‘Life is waiting for you, and giving you a chance to elevate it. Don't fail.’ Kundalini yoga gives me the tools I need to elevate my life successfully, and I am forever grateful.”
For more information about kundalini yoga, visit KundaliniResearchInstitute.org.
Trella Dubetz lives in Lancaster City and facilitates her mind-body therapy practice, Sage Massage & Wellness, in Millersville. Connect at 717-468-7523 or visit TrellaDubetz.com.
Local Kundalini Yoga Classes
Taught by Padmani Kaur ([email protected])
Mondays, 9-10:30 a.m., Mountville Church of the Brethren, 60 Clay St., Mountville.
Tuesdays, 7-8:15 a.m., West End Yoga, 221 West Walnut St., Lancaster.
Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Radiance, 9 W. Grant St., Lancaster.
Taught by Carolyn Whitt ([email protected])
Tuesdays, 7:15-8:30 a.m., Hempfield Area Recreation Commission, 950 Church St., Landisville