10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice

Posted in Health and Wellbeing,Kundalini Yoga by Anmol Mehta

Rules For Practicing Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga Reference: Kundalini Yoga Guide

The following is a list of suggestions to help guide you on how to practice Kundalini Yoga, Kundalini Yoga Kriyas (sets) and Yoga sessions in general.  To understand more about what Kundalini Yoga is and how Kundalini Yoga works, please read the following article Introduction to Kundalini Yoga.

  1. Kundalini Yoga Attire:
    1. Clothing should generally be loose and comfortable.  Unlike other schools of Yoga, in Kundalini Yoga it is advisable to keep the shoulders and spine covered, so practicing without any covering on the upper body is not recommended.  This has to do with the awakening, flow and distribution of Kundalini Shakti up and down the back, specially its movement via the 3 main psychic channels (ida, pingala and shushumna) that lie in and along the spinal cord.
    2. Kundalini Yoga is generally practiced barefoot.
    3. A blanket can be used to cover the body after doing a Kundalini Yoga kriya during the relaxation period.  Most Kriyas are followed by a period of relaxation that is usually done in corpse pose (shav asana) and during this time the body temperature tends to drop, so a blanket (or shawl) can be used to stay warm and comfortable.  You will fall asleep at least once, no worries we have all done it :-).
  2. Kundalini Yoga Diet:  This is a rather big topic, but here I will just provide some important highlights.
    1. Try not to eat at least 2-3 hours before doing your Kundalini Yoga kriyas and asanas.  Given that Kundalini Yoga uses many different bandhas (body locks), pranayamas (breathing exercises), asanas and vigorous movement, you could be quite uncomfortable if your stomach is still full.  Use a nutrient bar or other healthy snack if you feel you need some energy prior to your yoga set.
    2. Although Yoga in general recommends a Sattvic diet (foods that promote calmness and clarity), and not rajasic foods (energetic foods that promote activity) or tamasic foods (foods that promote heaviness and dull the mind), due to the physical, energetic nature of Kundalini Yoga, including some rajasic foods in your diet is not a significant issue.  Still it is recommended that the bulk of your diet be sattvic.  Sattvic foods are generally fresh and sweet such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey etc.  Rajasic foods are generally spicy and stimulating, such as onions, garlic, eggs, fish, tea etc.  Tamasic foods are fatty foods, stale food, meat, etc.
    3. Kundalini Yoga Kriyas are designed to force the organs, tissues, nerves and vessels to expel buried toxins out into the elimination systems of the body.  So after any kriya or tough yoga set, one should drink plenty of water to help cleanse the body of these toxins and waste that have been released.
  3. Kundalini Yoga Breathing:  
    1. Kunadalini Yoga significantly relies on the Science of Pranayama (breathing exercises) to work its magic.  Each exercise and asana is accompanied by a specific pranayama.  Unless it is specifically specified all pranayama should be done through the nose.
    2. Although Jal Neti (washing the nostrils with saline water) is recommended for cleaning the nasal passageways to help maximize the benefits of the pranayamas, it is advisable as a minimum to keep a box of tissues handy.
  4. Kundalini Yoga Safety:
    1. Some Kundalini Yoga Kriyas can be quite challenging and it is recommended to always do warm-ups first before doing these tough sets and asanas.  There are several good easy kriyas and sets which work very well as warm-ups to the tough kriyas.  It is especially important to do spinal warm-ups as charging the cerebrospinal fluid within the spinal cord and brain assists in the flow of awakened Kundalini Shakti.
    2. This item can’t be emphasized enough.  Don’t overdo it.  Try to walk the middle ground between fanaticism and laziness.  This goes for both, your overall practice and also for each kriya and asana you do.  In other words, each exercise you do should not be too easy and not be too hard, and your overall sadhana (spiritual practice) should be equally balanced, between being ridiculously ambitious or excessively easy.  With regard to your sadhana try to establish a steady, long-term daily practice, rather than doing 10 hours a day for 2 weeks and then nothing after that.
    3. This is probably the most important guideline.  Use common sense with regard to injuries.  Use modifications that are provided for the difficult asanas and exercises and back off if you feel you are risking injury.  Also, feel free to increase the relaxation time between exercises or reduce the time suggested for doing a particular exercise to suit your pace.  As my yoga teacher Ravi Singh used to say, Kundalini Yoga is all about you and you – it is not a competition – so listen to your body and let your inner voice guide and direct you.
    4. The Kundalini Yoga teachings and methodology provided here have been perfected over the centuries to not only, optimize the benefits of the kriyas, but, also to reduce any dangers and risks associated with awakening Kundalini Shakti.  The general idea is not to activate the chakras by excessively using the Beej Mantas (seed sounds) associated with each chakra or other direct methods; the idea, instead, is simply to prepare the system physically, emotionally and mentally for greater and greater flow of Kundalini Shakti. The approach is to trust the Universe to awaken this energy in accordance with the level of preparation.  This approach  helps avoid many of the difficulties involved with the premature awakening of Kundalini that one sometimes comes across in the literature.
  5. Kundalini Yoga Teachings:
    1. It is suggested to initially learn Kundalini Yoga from a teacher who can ensure that the knowledge is accurately transferred.  If possible you should at least try to attend a few live yoga classes so that you can get a feel for the kriyas, asanas, and pranayamas.  But keep in mind that the real Guru is within and is always available to guide you if asked.
    2. There is also some good literature and websites available which provide guidance and resources for practicing kundalini yoga.  You can look for books written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Ravi Singh or visit their websites for more information.  Of course you can also go to the Kundalini Yoga Section or the general Yoga Section of this website for plenty of good stuff too :-D.
  6. When to Practice Kundalini Yoga:  In general Kundalini Yoga should be practiced in the early morning hours.  But if you can’t do your sadhana at that time, it is fine to practice at other times of the day as well.  Some kriyas, such as those that help you sleep, etc. of course need to be practiced at their designated times.  Below are some reasons to motivate you to practice in the early morning hours.  You can also ready The Secret on How to Become an Early Riser if this is something you want to accomplish.
    1. Early morning is called brahmamuhurta in Sanskrit.  It literally means “The Divine Time.” This is the time of the day when the spiritual energy on our lovely planet is at its highest.
    2. The air at this time is fresh and contains the greatest amount of prana (cosmic life force).
    3. The mind is also fresh and unburdened with the worries of everyday life.  This will help in the practice of concentration and meditation.
    4. This is the time of day when you are least likely to be distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
    5. The stomach is empty, which is necessary before practicing many of the Yoga asanas and pranayamas.
  7. Where to Practice Kundalini Yoga:  It is important for the place where you practice Kundalini Yoga to be neat, spacious and clean, but more importantly it should be well ventilated.  You can also use a fan to keep the air fresh, but make sure it is not pointed directly at you.  Practicing outdoors is fine as well, although in direct sunlight it may become too warm due to the energetic pranamayas and exercises.
  8. Tools for Kundalini Yoga Practice: 
    1. It is fine to use inspirational music when doing the Kundalini Yoga kriyas and sets, but music in general should not be used when doing the meditations, unless it is specified otherwise.
    2. You can use a firm cushion, yoga block or folded blanket to sit on if it helps take the pressure off your knees, hips and back.  You may also use a zafu, smile cushion and zabuton to practice the meditations or kriyas if you like.  I have ordered my zafus and zabutons from here and have been very happy with them zafu.net.
    3. It is recommended for obvious reasons to make sure you are not practicing on a slippery surface.  A yoga mat or appropriate yoga rug should be used.
    4. To help you stretch and hold certain asanas it is fine to use a yoga blocks or yoga straps.
    5. Yoga neck pillows or folded blankets are fine to use to support your neck or lower back (by placing under your knees) during relaxation periods while in shav asana and similar asana.
  9. Medical Conditions and Kundalini Yoga Practice:
    1. Kundalini Yoga should never be practiced under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  You are about to awaken the most potent force within yourself, trust me you wont need to get a high of anything else once you start this journey.
    2. If you are taking prescription medication, or are under medical supervision you should check with your health care provider before starting a Kundalini Yoga Program.
    3. If you are pregnant you should check with your health care provider before proceeding.  There are also Kundalini Yoga kriyas specifically designed for Pre-natal and Post-natal periods.
  10. Kundalini Yoga Attitude:  Be committed and trust in the Universal Forces to guide, nourish and deliver you.  Kundalini Yoga is a very powerful science and you will find it an invaluable asset in helping you reach and surpass your maximum potential.




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  1. Kundalini Yoga Set: Morning Wakeup Series
  2. Brain Development and Enlightenment Part II: Vitalize Energy (Kundalini)
  3. SM Meditation Program: Yoga for Energy (Kundalini): Appendix 2
  4. SM Meditation Program: Yoga for Energy (Kundalini): Chapter 9
  5. SM Meditation Program Daily Yoga & Meditation Practice: Chapter 8



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85 Responses to “10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice”

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  1. 85
    Ace Merriweather Says:

    Hello Anmol, I am really enjoying the articles about Kundalini yoga, I have been unknowingly been practing the principles of Kundalini yoga and I am thrilled to learn more. Sincerely Ace

  2. 84
    Powerful Kundalini Yoga Battles Profound Zen Meditation (Zazen) » Lynn Personal Blog Says:

    [...] acknowledges there is a danger factor with practicing Kundalini Yoga.  So please read the article 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice (specially Item #4 Kundalini Yoga Safety) before starting your Kundalini Yoga practice.  To learn [...]

  3. 83
    tarun Says:

    I like

  4. 82
    David Says:

    I am new to this site, but I find it inspiring and informative. Thank you for your efforts, and I will continue to return.

  5. 81
    shrish Says:

    Hi Anmol,

    I am trying to wake up my kundalini but i’am faceing lots n lots of difficulty,please help me and thanks in advance.

  6. 80
    rudra dubey Says:

    just go for “Raj Yoga ” by Swami Vivekanand .

  7. 79
    dhyan Says:

    nice

  8. 78
    RAMESH Says:

    hi , just i want to know that what is ” ENERGY”,AND ” EVERY THING IS ENERGY”

  9. 77
    Ananda Says:

    Thank you Anmol. That definitely is a very helpful recommendation.

  10. 76
    Anmol Mehta Says:

    Dear Ananda,

    There are a few tips on how to convert to veg “gracefully”. I will write about that in a future article, but here are some important points.

    1. Slowly convert, don’t try cold turkey.

    2. First give up the red meat (if you eat it), then chicken and just stick to sea food. From there just move to fish and then completely veg.

    3. Ensure you try this conversion at a time when your life is in a “good spot” and not when you are already facing many challenges. As Buddha say, you don’t want to overload the ox cart.

    4. If you remain non-veg don’t beat yourself up. It is not that enlightenment will be denied to you because of it.

    5. Check out the following healthy eating guide for more good tips regardless of whether you are veg or non-veg.

    Healthy Eating Guide

    Best,
    Anmol

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