You know hot yoga lets you work up a sweat, vinyasa helps awaken a sense of spirituality, and aerial yoga gets you off the ground, but what’s Kundalini yoga? Plenty of Sacramento yoga studios, such as Yoga Shala Sacramento, include Kundalini yoga among their class offerings, but it might be hard to tell if it’s right for you. So whether you’re new to the style or new to yoga altogether, read on to learn what to expect at your first Kundalini class. What Is Kundalini Yoga? Kundalini yoga is built around the idea that untapped energy is coiled at the base of the human spine, much like a sleeping snake. Kundalini practitioners “awaken” this untapped energy and allow it to move along the spine and rouse the seven chakras throughout the body. As Kundalini’s early proponent in America, Yogi Bhajan (also known as the Siri Singh Sahib, or the Sikh leader in the Western Hemisphere) first introduced the yoga practice to a packed high-school gymnasium in Los Angeles in 1969. What’s a Chakra? Each chakra is considered an energy center that, when opened, may allow people to increase stamina, tone muscles, overcome anxiety, or reach a greater spiritual awareness. Many opt to practice in large groups because it is believed that as each person’s chakras open, the individual’s consciousness fuses with universal consciousness. Clearly, this yoga is about much more than just getting fit. What to Expect in a Typical Class The class begins with a chant and stretching. The instructor leads the kriya, a sequence of poses and designated breathing techniques. The kriya might include poses held for long periods interspersed with rapid and repetitive moves, plus mudras (hand poses), and interior body locks. The class ends with meditation, which might include the teacher striking a gong or singing.
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