For the month of September I did Kundalini Yoga.
Before I tell you a bit about my experience, I want to let you know why this blog post will likely be shorter and less polished than most. I’d like to reduce the amount of time that I spend staring at screens, so I’m limiting myself to 1 hour to write this post. Most posts take me several hours.
Why Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is weird yoga. I suppose one could say that all yoga is wierd, with all of its unusual poses. But I think Kundalini yoga would seem even weirder than most yoga from an outsider’s perspective.
For many years I’ve been interested in Kundalini Yoga, but hadn’t tried it due to fear of the potential negative side effects. I finally decided to try it due to the potential benefits and my recent “not holding back from life” attitude.
I was interested in yoga primarily for the spiritual benefits. I must say that I find the potential sexual benefits intriguing also. What doesn’t motivate me to do yoga are the physical benefits like flexibility, or mental benefits like a calm mind. I have nothing against becoming more flexible or calmness, but I don’t care about those benefits enough to sit through a yoga class to get them. It’s the spiritual aspect of yoga that I’m really interested in.
The reason I chose Kundalini Yoga is because it seems to be more focused on that spiritual side than other types of yoga. Also, kundalini practitioners claim that from a spiritual perspective it works up to 10 times faster than other types of yoga.
The theory behind kundalini yoga is that there’s a coil of spiritual “kundalini” energy stored at the base of our spines. The primary purpose of kundalini yoga is to get that kundalini energy to rise up the spine through the 7 chakras, which apparently has a variety of spiritual benefits.
I have no idea whether that kundalini energy actually exists, or whether chakras exist. I’m very open to the possibility that both exist since enough people claim to be able to feel them strongly, including people who I’ve spoken to. Is it all in their heads? Is it psychosomatic? The placebo effect? Maybe… and maybe not. I’m not sure.
A couple of Kundalini yoga teachers assured me that if I did Kundalini yoga every day for a month, that I’d almost certainly notice some spiritual effects by the end of the month.
I attended a kundalini class almost every day at a nearby yoga studio which were 1 to 1.5 hours each. For the days when I couldn’t make it in to a class, I did 30-45 minute kundalini sessions on my own at home by following Youtube videos. I took about 2 or 3 days off completely from doing kundalini yoga during the month.
After about 3 weeks I still wasn’t noticing any effects. At that point I asked the teacher after one of the classes if there were any particular exercises that for her were most effective in terms of feeling/raising the kundalini energy. She mentioned an exercise called the “Sat Kriya”.
I went home, did a Google search for the most powerful kundalini yoga exercises, and saw the Sat Kriya mentioned again and again. I decided that for the next week I’d quit going to the classes and do nothing but the Sat Kriya every day.
To do the Sat Kriya, you sit in the position that you can see in the image at the top of this page. While in that position you focus your attention on the third-eye chakra in your forehead, and say “Sat Nam” over and over and over. When you say “Sat” you suck your belly in forcefully. When you say “Nam” you let you belly relax. That’s it. Apparently it can be done for as little as 3 minutes and as long as 62 minutes. I said Kundalini yoga was weird, didn’t I? Many kundalini exercises are even more unusual than the Sat Kriya.
By the end of the month, I still hadn’t noticed any effects – at least not any that I could confidently attribute to kundalini yoga. I continued doing the Sat Kriya for a week or two beyond the end of the month but eventually quit because it was aggravating a shoulder injury that I have.
I’d like to continue doing the Sat Kriya for some time every day once my shoulders are healed. Although I haven’t noticed any dramatic benefits yet, I’d like to give the Sat Kriya more of a shot.
Post finished in 1 hour :)