Kundalini Yoga and its Relation to Other Types of Yoga

Tue, 06 Mar 2012

comes in many different forms and types: the most popular forms in the West are probably , Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Bikram or Vikram Yoga. The science of yoga - of uniting your individual consciousness with the universal consciousness (see our earlier post on "") - is said to have been around since at least 40.000 years. In those early times it was openly taught and integrated into daily life as a way to stimulate and regulate the individual's energies, and each student of yoga worked on all aspects of himself, combining physical exercise, mental discipline, and intellectual analysis of the world. Yoga was a holistic discipline and it permeated every level of human existence. But over time, as students started to emphasize and practice separate components of this holistic yogic system, different schools of yoga emerged - 22 in total - and the techniques of the yogic science became diluted and divided. Some schools started to focus on the physical asanas, others on the aspect of bhakti (devotion), still others focused on mantra and meditation but without breath control, etc.

Kundalini Yoga is the most holistic form of yoga, the form where all the original aspects are still retained. It is often described by use of the diamond-metaphor: whereas all the other schools of yoga can be seen as facets on a diamond of the holistic original, Kundalini Yoga is the diamond itself. It integrates pranayam (breathing techniques), asanas (body postures / movements), mudras (hand-postures), mantras (sound currents or mentally produced sounds), bhandas (body locks / muscle contractions), dhristi (mental and eye focus), gyan (knowledge), philosophy and bhakti (devotion, love). As you cannot understand the entire diamond through studying any one facet alone - looking at one facet can only give a shallow, incomplete understanding of yoga - people who want to gain a complete understanding of yoga will usually turn to Kundalini Yoga. Because it is the diamond itself, it gives greater leverage and self-transformational power than any one facet ever can, and that is why the personal development that Kundalini Yoga students experience is so much more effective than that reached through other types of yoga. There is a certain depth, completeness, and timelessness that is inherent to the very nature of Kundalini Yoga.

This depth and completeness shows itself in the three main characteristics of Kundalini Yoga: leverage, legacy and lineage. First of all, Kundalini Yoga gives the student leverage: it gives one the power and the tools to change and transform one's life. Typical for Kundalini Yoga is the speed of this transformation: what takes about 20 years through any other type of yoga can be done in a year through Kundalini Yoga. (The Yoga sutras or writings state that the effect of just 1 year of perfectly practiced Kundalini Yoga equals the effect of practicing 12 years of Hatha Yoga, plus 6 years of Raja Yoga, plus 3 years of Mantra Yoga, plus 1 year of Laya Yoga). In Kundalini Yoga you not only immediately encounter your own ego; you are given the tools to clear out its attachments, so that the light of the soul can start shining through the cracks in the ego. Secondly, Kundalini Yoga has a legacy. Every kriya or yoga set is complete as it is and is guaranteed to have a certain outcome when practiced by any individual. Nothing needs to be changed to the structure of the kriya thanks to the innate integrity and so there's nothing for the ego to reconstruct - which is another way in which Kundalini Yoga helps to break the ego. Thirdly, Kundalini Yoga has a lineage: it has been practiced and experienced by enlightened souls for thousands and thousands of years, and currently there are hundreds of thousands of Kundalini Yoga students worldwide. Both the consciousness of this lineage and the group consciousness are very important aspects in Kundalini Yoga. At the beginning of any class, students tune into this lineage (which we call the Golden Chain) through chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. And we use the power of the group consciousness in for example global 40-day-sadhanas and in the annual Kundalini Yoga Festivals that are held worldwide - the European Kundalini Yoga Festival in France being the largest one, with over 3000 people attending in 2011.

So if you want to discover the diamond in its entirety rather than just looking at one single facet, come to a Kundalini Yoga class and let this ancient technology work for you.

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