As seen on Culture Designers
“In a world of excess and clutter, you just want to connect with your own soul,” said Jiwan Kaur, a Kundalini yoga teacher and avid practitioner of the ancient science.
Prior to writing about the Kundalini Yoga Festival, I had no knowledge of the practice. Like most Westerners, I’d dipped my toes into the pool of yoga and found that while some had names likePrana and focused more on breathing, the experience itself was similar. Powerful though it may be, the specifics were lost on me.
I didn’t understand why Kundalini was different, but I did understand living in a world filled with clutter and trying to anchor myself despite it. This, says Kaur, is the main distinction of Kundalini: its power to help you become aware.
“We are living in a world where everything is connected. We all have a vibration and the power to transform that frequency,” she says. “That’s what Kundalini can do.”
Through sound, movement, meditation and mantra, Kundalini harnesses your Shakti, or innate primal energy, raising your vibration in order to help you focus and find your own truth. Often referred to as a technology, the practice is rooted in science and appeals to the more goal-oriented yogi.
At a glance, it looks different than the yoga we have been exposed to. When Kaur talks of raising our frequency, she’s referring to our biology as much as our spirituality. Chanting and music are heavily woven into the practice– creating a transcendental state. Combined with the repetitive movements, or Kriyas, which are meditation exercises involving breath and movement, you have an experience that only loosely resembles the mainstream picture of yoga. This is not the yoga we see in Instagram. It’s methodical and noisy, and it leads to immediate breakthroughs that would otherwise take someone years of psychotherapy, life coaching and personal work to come by.
[Raise your energy with Kundalini Yoga]
“Anyone can do it,” Kaur coos. “Young, old, flexible or not. If you can’t perform a movement, look to the person next to you. They will gift you your posture. If each of us did something for someone else in the world, we’d all be at a different level.”
What she means is a higher level, and evidence suggests Kundalini can accomplish just that. Each Kriya has been handed down from ancient scientists and has a purpose. The movements are designed to generate an outcome in our lives; the mantras develop vibrational effects in the brain and nervous system and the breath accesses the nervous system in ways we normally cannot.
“The sounds open up our ability to be receptive. We can reach an internal space that unlocks our creativity, enthusiasm and clarity,” she continues.
This distinction is worth noting. While all yoga can change your life– a basic understanding of how movement and meditation affect our body proves this– Kundalini is about alchemizing energy.
Our energy is the most important part of creating the life we want and finding the time to make it happen. It’s why we work out, it’s why we drink coffee, it’s why we go to bed early– we’re constantly trying to refuel our reserves so we can get things done. Best selling Author and Cartoonist Scott Adams cites in his book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, that energy is your most important metric on the road to success. We should never sacrifice any of our goals, we should raise our energy in order to accomplish it all.
Have you ever had a day you’ve felt so depleted and hopeless, only your bed and Netflix will satisfy you? Say, for example, on that very day you received amazing news. You’ve just won a grant that will allow you to quit your job and sail around the world. I’ll bet you’d get up immediately, turn off you TV and begin to call friends. That energy has been inside you all along; you only have to find it and harness it. This is how Kundalini can help you: it is specifically designed to raise your energy.
“If you’ve never tried Kundalini, have an experience,” Kaur says to all who are curious. “Don’t listen to me or even this article. Take a leap and get to know yourself better.”