Kundalini Yoga: Is unity through awakening psychic nerve force, which indicates the depth of this Yoga style. Kundalini Yoga is sometimes referred to as the “Mother of all Yogas.” On the surface Kundalini Yoga might resemble Hatha Yoga, but the emphasis on the subtle body, chakras, mantras, meditation, and Pranayama is presented in a uniquely powerful way.
Kundalini Yoga was cloaked in secrecy until Yogi Bhajan gave a lecture in Los Angeles during January of 1969. Until that time, most information about Kundalini Yoga had been exchanged verbally from teacher to student. So, this was the beginning of Kundalini Yoga teaching “going public.”
The awakening of Kundalini energy starts with focusing on dormant energy at the base of the spine within the first major Chakra; also known as the Muladhara Chakra. Through asanas, coordinated Pranayama, Japa (repeating mantras), and meditation, the Kundalini energy is sent up the spine to the Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head.
Samadhi, also known as intuitive enlightenment, is one of the most sought after results of Kundalini Yoga practice. Therefore, Kundalini attracts a much different type of student and Yoga teacher from what is most commonly found in a Hatha Yoga class. This is neither right, nor wrong, but most Hatha Yoga students are not usually pursuing a spiritual transformation process.
As a side note: Kundalini has taken a few verbal assaults, from religious fundamentalists, for being a bit mystical and a little harder to understand. Based upon my own experience, Kundalini Yoga sessions will purge negative energy from your mind and body. Only positive results can be gained in the study of Kundalini Yoga, under the supervision of a competent Kundalini Yoga teacher.
Mantra Yoga: Is unity through sound. Mantra Yoga is also referred to as Japa Yoga and the repeating of particular Mantras will cause sensory withdrawal (Pratyahara). This is, in fact, easier for most people to accomplish than meditation and it allows the Mantra Yoga practitioner to remove negative energy from the body, mind, and spirit.
In Sanskrit Mantra literally means “tool for thinking” or “tool for thought.” The purpose of Mantra Yoga is to achieve salvation through unity with the supreme consciousness, which you many people refer to as God, Brahman, Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah. The repeating of Mantras, which is also known as Japa, is in fact prayer. So, Mantra Yoga may not look like much “from the outside looking in,” but it is a deeply spiritual, powerful, and rewarding Yoga practice, in its own right.
© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He’s a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.