4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Do Kundalini Yoga
1) It will challenge your ego and your ego won’t like it.
In Kundalini yoga the ego is challenged through physically challenging, repetitive, long and sometimes just downright ridiculous exercises (ever walked around on your knees and elbows for 3 minutes?).
In the safe environment of a class we provoke the ego, we observe the ego and we realise there is a possibility of choosing our thoughts.
This goes against our everyday life big time. We are constantly bombarded by big companies hoping to make money out of influencing our thoughts. Our thoughts are rarely a choice from a place of freedom. And then add on top of that how your thoughts are shaped by your past experiences. I.e your childhood. This day and age requires some sort of mindful practise. Alternative? Thinking thoughts that aren’t your own.
2) You will chant and your ego will freak the fuck out.
Like most yoga practises Kundalini Yoga uses an ancient language that has its roots in a religion. Yoga (a sanskrit word) is primarily connected to the language of sanskrit originating in Hinduism. Kundalini yoga uses the ancient language of Gurmukhi, which is used in Sikhism.
Your ego will panic and think you are joining a religion as opposed to tapping into the power of Sound Yoga. Your ego will think you are praising some god you didn’t sign up to get to know. ( because that we already did as a child, thank you very much ) as opposed to celebrating whatever is divine for you.
The sounds of the words and the way they make your mouth and tongue move will touch all the meridian points in your mouth and get all the cells in your body vibrating. This is why singing at the top of your voice in the shower can be so energising!
These sacred words on a repeat in a mantra will draw you into a meditative state. Meditations with mantras are an excellent way to focus the mind on the present moment. And after doing a mantra for several minutes the silence afterwards is delicious.
3) You will realise that you don’t breathe.
There is a huge focus on breath work in kundalini yoga. Breathing is how we can alter the nervous system. And when we alter the nervous system we can alter our mind and our mood, which in turn affects how we go about our daily life.
We usually spend our days breathing a shallow breath, and when things get stressful the breath gets even more shallow!
We don’t think about the breath and instead reach for something outside of ourselves to manipulate the nervous system so we can feel better.
That first cup of coffee is our desire to stimulate the nervous system and in turn elevate our mood. Going to the gym, eating a cake, having a beer, reading a book; it’s all impacting the nervous system and altering our state.
Breathwork is just another way to manipulate the nervous system. Coupled with moving the body, breathwork strengthens your nervous system the more you do it. Your nervous system becomes more robust and more able to handle the ups and downs of everyday life. There is no sudden ‘breath crash’.
Modern life of course doesn’t always allow for anything more than a quick fix coffee break ( and that can be a real pleasure! ), but let’s be conscious of the ways we are choosing to manipulate our nervous system as we move through are day and notice the effects of our choices.
4) You will begin to glow.
Practising kundalini yoga regularly often has the side effect of making you glow! Your skin and eyes will will have this glow that will make people ask what’s changed?
You won’t be able to give them the name of a super expensive face cream or the newest superfood craze on the market. You will have to reveal its all down to kundalini yoga.
Some aspects of kundalini yoga that will give you a glow include:
Breath of Fire. This is a breath technique used frequently in kundalini yoga which gets your blood pumping! It cleanses your lungs and helps them work more efficiently so you can breathe bigger deeper breaths.
Cat and Cow done rapidly with a rapid breath through the nose is found only in kundalini yoga and katonah yoga. This speedy way of doing this common yoga exercise gets cerebrospinal fluid pumping through the system, in turn cerebrospinal fluid helps produce collagen which helps keep the skin plump and firm!
Mula Bandha. This is a gentle but powerful lift of the vaginal muscles (for men the muscles between the anus and the scrotum). Just like all muscles these need to be kept in shape. Believe it or not, tone and vitality here equals tone and vitality in your face!
Mantra. All the mantras in kundalini yoga are excellent at working the muscles of the face, thus keeping them toned and strong. At the same time, as we make the shape of specific words in our mouth over and over again we are stimulating the meridian points in our mouth. The result? A mini micro-current facial that will leave your skin feeling all tingly and zingy.
Aura. I love how Guru Jagat describes our aura as the ultimate cover up. In other words what we project out into the world is what we are. A low frequency electromagnetic field ( aura ) infused with negative thoughts will not a glow give. In kundalini yoga we often work directly with the aura, to raise our energy, let go of limiting beliefs and just to feel good! When you’re having one of those days, this can be just the thing to shift your energy and get you glowing from the inside out.