The Fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga
by Bartholomew Skinger, LMT
Very different than the Pranayama form of Yoga with which we are all familiar, which is identified by physical stretching postures, Kundalini Yoga involves breathing techniques and meditation in treatment of the chakras and the body’s energetic system.
Kundalini is the Eastern term for an evolutionary energy mechanism that is built into the human body. This natural evolutionary mechanism is inherent to all, regardless of race, belief, spiritual tradition or practice. When this mechanism is focused upon, or activated, persons are said to have “awakened Kundalini,” or to have “Kundalini rising.” In the Western world today, the definitive meaning of the word Kundalini has been popularly expanded to describe most subtle, energy-related sensations. However, Kundalini, in the traditional sense, is a natural phenomenon that ultimately goes hand in hand with spiritual and energy body development.
Kundalini is seen as an energy seed that exists in the base of the spine, in the sacrum. This is traditionally depicted as a small cobra snake coiled several times around the root chakra, known as Muladhara. Awakened through spiritual practices, energy work and intellectual activity, this unique release of energy rises through the body, moving through the body’s natural energy channels, activating and honing the particular energies and characteristics of the other chakras, both primary and secondary energy centers where the body’s energy is used and stored. The ultimate goal in this practice is for Kundalini to safely rise through Sahasrara, the crown chakra, facilitating a direct connection between the individual and the Divine, hence bringing about a state of spiritual transformation and evolution. Kundalini can be used as a unique catalyst in the process of spiritual growth when applied properly.
The chakras are affected by not only the physical impacts on the body, but even more so by mental and emotional stress factors. Inherent differing variables of the individual can compound these stresses, and include the person’s particular energy body makeup, as well as the level of spiritual development of the person at the time. Conditions begin to arise wherein weakened chakras and subsequent energy blockages begin to occur. If the root, heart and/or crown chakras are involved, these problems can become more of a systemic nature, blocking flow of energy effectively through a large portion of the energy system. Just as with the physical fluids of the body’s circulatory system, if flow becomes stagnant, the likelihood of disease increases, even leading to physical forms of pathology.
A typical energy work session utilizing Kundalini Yoga would include the assessment of the chakra system, and reconciliation of any blockages or weaknesses using two different forms of kinesiology. Each individual therapist will have their own style of energetic treatment.
Each individual therapist will have their own style of energetic treatment. I, personally, have learned it is best to use a combination of techniques involving meditative breathing, energy manipulation (a sort of mental massage), creative visualization and color visualization therapies. It is important to note that the individual receiving energy work therapy is the party most responsible for addressing any mental or emotional issues occurring in their own life which are contributing factors in the energetic insufficiency at the root of the problem. The energy work therapy can temporarily alleviate energetic symptoms, but unless the patient addresses these root issues, the condition could return and even worsen. Long term treatment alternatives can be discussed, and Kundalini Yoga also provides meditative breathing exercises specifically designed to address the problems with each individual chakra, and these can be reviewed and practiced with the therapist as part of the treatment session.
Typical benefits of an energy work therapy session such as this include, of course, increased energy and alertness – but also feelings of relaxation, vitality, a comfort and ease in the body, enhanced morale, alleviation of feelings of depression and anxiety, feelings of well-being, and a heightened awareness of the mind-body connection. Additionally, when the body is sufficiently and effectively energized, it is more readily able to meet the demands on its physical systems for healing. Optimum circulation and respiration are directly stimulated, and increased, leading to more healthy, highly oxygenated tissue. On the other side of the spectrum, this variety of treatment fortifies and strengthens not only the energetic and physical bodies, but also the etheric, emotional, mental and celestial bodies (all layers of the body’s energetic system). This leads to states of heightened consciousness, and spiritual growth and transformation.
Broken down to its core concept, Kundalini is all about breath, and the focused state of meditation to which it can bring us. Breath is Life. We are all blessed each and every moment with breath, and the Life force it brings us.
Breathe, and Live, and Blessed Be!
For more information or to schedule an appointment to experience an energy work therapy session with Bartholomew, call or come by the studio.