Kundalini yoga is sometimes called “the yoga of awareness” because it awakens the “kundalini,” the unlimited potential that already exists within every human being.
Kundalini yoga is a physical and meditative discipline, comprising a set of techniques that use the mind, senses and body to create a communication between mind and body. Kundalini yoga focuses on psycho-spiritual growth and the body's potential for maturation, giving special consideration to the role of the spine and the endocrine system in the understanding of yogic awakening.
Kundalini is a concentrated form of prana or life force, lying dormant in chakras in the body. It is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent. Literally, “kundalini” in Sanskrit is “That which is coiled.” Sanskrit kund means, “to burn”; kunda, “to coil or to spiral.”
In the classical literature of Kashmir Shaivism, kundalini is described in three different manifestations. The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini. The second of these is as the energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini. The third of these is as consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these two. Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will help to understand the different manifestations of kundalini.
The practice of kundalini yoga consists of a number of bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances, cultivation of character, breathing patterns, and degrees of concentration. None of these postures and movements should, according to scholars of Yoga, be considered mere stretching exercises or gymnastic exercises.
Recently there has been a growing interest within the medical community to study the physiological, as well as the psychological, effects of meditation, and some of these studies have applied the discipline of kundalini yoga to their clinical settings.
Poses and postures
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