Kundalini yoga was little known among all the various types of yoga until recently, but has been booming over the past three years, here in France at least, especially since the first lockdown in 2020. As the pause button was pushed on all of our lives, searching for meaning in life became a central issue. All whilst trying to manage the unknown and fears from the outside world, amplified by the media, and unprecedented restrictions.
It just so happens that kundalini yoga makes it possible to overcome your fears, while increasing your self-confidence. Its devotees consider it to be the “original” yoga, even if others prefer to advocate unity within yoga, making sure that none of its many branches take precedence over any other (by the way, the word “yoga” means “union” in Sanskrit). They all aim to bring the human body into harmony along with the mind, via breath work, vital energy, poses, inner sensations and regular practice. So what more can kundalini yoga bring to the table, and what’s ‘so special’ about it?
Teachings and benefits of kundalini yoga
This approach makes it possible to awaken self-awareness via, among others, sets of poses (or kriyas), together with specific breath work (not least Breath of Fire), meditative mantras and then deep relaxation at the end of the session. Each kriya is aimed at completing a specific action (increasing vitality levels, offloading anger, etc..).
Mantras are repetitive chants which make it possible to calm down and help you to get connected with yourself. They make it possible to change vibratory frequencies at a conscious level. This can be felt right from the first classes, then almost permanently. Making a mantra vibrate on the inside and outside of yourself is a singular experience. Bewildering for the mind at first, it makes it possible to let your mind go (that damn mind of ours!), to experience a sensation of oneness and fulfilment and to feel moments of peace. Sometimes it doesn’t work at first: it all depends on the setting and how present you are in yourself! Not judging (yourself) and getting there gradually, at your own pace, are the keys to mastering kundalini yoga – except for those who fall in love with this practice right from the first session!
This is a powerful discipline which helps you to feel your vertical positioning, your alignment, in relation to the heart line. Moreover, kundalini yoga refers to “a primordial energy said to be present in all human beings and which travels along a main channel located in the spinal column, in the middle of the bone marrow, from the sacrum to the top of the head” (source: Wikipedia). However, some adverse side effects have been reported. It’s important to listen to what you are feeling, to your inner voice and to have an instructor whom you trust, as with any discipline.
If this energy management practice is right for you, it gets you grounded and bolsters self-confidence and inner feelings of safety. It makes it possible to leave your fears at the door (especially those that breed anxiety, from the media) and to feel supported, and to get connected to the “big whole”.
What does getting connected to the universe mean, and how does it go?
Separation is a projection by the mind. We are the creators of our reality.
“I am not about separation, I am the whole”. The teachings of kundalini yoga push you to break away from constant comparisons and realise that each of us has our life path along which we are guided.
To do so, the idea is to clear space for your consciousness and your intuitions, not your mind. To open up to receive synchronicities and happy coincidences. To feel that everything has meaning, everything happens for a reason, sometimes a hidden meaning, and that nothing happens by chance! (While retaining your free will). The energy that you give off will come back to you. We attract that which we give off.
Certainly we cannot touch or see our emotions or thoughts, yet we are much more than our physical bodies and much more than matter. There is something sacred within us, a cosmic dimension, and the appeal that the planets, crystals and the invisible world hold for younger generations proves it. To help with grounding and your connection to the universe: feel the space, silence, air, the density of the magnetic field…The human body, which is also present in subtlety, is a world in itself, magnificent, able to undergo emotional and psychological upheaval and bounce back. What nice thing are you going to do for it today?
How do you find the kundalini yoga instructor who’s right for you?
The first thing to do is determine what you want. Would you rather have an instructor who talks a lot, or one who leaves silent pauses? Who dispenses personal development advice? With lots of spirituality, or not? Further, would you like this instruction to be linked to other disciplines, like astrology, or music with instruments? Try things out and see how you feel, to determine which instructor will suit you best depending on how things come together at the time and the stage you’re at in your life.
A few kundalini yoga instructors:
- With links to astrology: Catherine Saurat-Pavard. Her daily astral bulletins are great!
- With links to shamanism and dance: Marion Sebih. A journey outside of time with gongs and chants, highly spiritual.
- For gentle, profound, genuine instruction: Caroline Wietzel. Her Monday night yoga nidra class is super relaxing.
- For energetic, instructive classes for the masses: Lili Barbery-Coulon. This influencer has worked hard to raise the profile of kundalini (her live sessions on Instagram during France’s first lockdown were incredibly intense and brought some 10,000 people together!)
- For classes that are full of vitality, well explained and easy to get into: Cristina Cuturi and Xavière Desmet.
- For highly spiritual instruction with moments of silence (and given by a male instructor): Adrien Parfène.
The real gift of kundalini yoga – in addition to having you work on yourself – is being yourself, being able to get to your truth and therefore your freedom. It’s certainly not the only possible way, but kundalini is the vector of a spiritual path. Between the tangible and astral worlds, it promotes the broadening of your consciousness and allows you to be better grounded in the present.