is an ancient science of directing life force, often called Prana or Chi (qi), which is usually depicted as a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. When this life force is directed up the chakras, or spinal centers, and through to the crown chakra and beyond, it is said to awaken a state of Nirvana or Bliss. Although this is the term often used, a more correct way of describing the energy would be that it goes from a tamasic to a rajastic state or from a static to an active state.
A true kundalini awakening is described in Eastern terms as the joining of Shiva and Shakti, or the masculine and feminine states of consciousness. These are yet again, metaphors to describe a phenomenon which happens in the nervous system, when subtle energy flows unimpeded to the Pineal gland, where DMT, a naturally occurring hormone in our brains is set alight, and we bathe in very pleasurable sensations (akin to bliss) that the ancients often spoke of. In more modern terminology, Kundalini Yoga allows this transition of stagnant energy into active energy which then lights the fire of consciousness through bio-molecular electricity and hormone activation.
Jogi Bhajan first brought the ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga to the United States in the late 1960s, but it was taught for centuries prior and has been alluded to in many great documents from varying cultures throughout the world.
The Yoga Sutras, for example, allude to the efficiency of this type of practice, stating that what is normally achieved in 12 years of Hatha Yoga as well as 6 years of Raja Yoga, plus 3 years of Mantra Yoga practice, can be obtained singularly through just one year of Kundalini practice.
There are references to Kundalini Yoga in ancient texts from Sumeria, Egypt, Africa, and Babylon even, but we find mention of it directly and most prevalently in ancient texts from India.The Hatha Yoga Pradipika refers to breathing techniques that awaken the kundalini (Bhastrika and Shitali, respectively), while the Rig Veda refers to awakening the kundalini as “releasing the waters.” One can easily see why this metaphor is used since anytime Kundalini Shakti is given rise, energy flows more easily through the nadis of the body. There is even an ashvini mudra, named after Vedic dieties who were well versed in awakening kundalini.
There have been archeological excavations in the Indus Valley which show a man seated in a meditative posture with serpents rising up his legs – the serpent being the commonly accepted symbol of rising kundalini. The teachings of this ancient culture were shrouded in mystery as well as misunderstanding for many centuries, since awakening kundalini prematurely, that is, without cleansing the physical body first, can lead to unfortunate side effects, definitely not akin to bliss. Kundalini Yoga practiced with a clean diet, a moral and ethical code (as outlined in the Yamas and Niyamas) and the direction of a qualified Kundalini Yoga Teacher can be safe and effective, however, and one can experience elevated states of consciousness as well as greater clarity of mind and a more perfected physical vessel.
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