What Is Kundalini Yoga?

Kia Miller by Kia Miller | January 23rd, 2012 | 5 Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Yoga

Kundalini yogaI often say to students that you cannot stay the same when you practice Kundalini yoga. The very nature of what we do is to awaken the energy of consciousness, to practice in a way that sheds light on our self-imposed limitations, and invites us to think out of the box and develop our intuitive mind. Being able to live from our intuitive mind is one of the main goals of a Kundalini practitioner.

I practice and teach both Hatha and Kundalini yoga. I see my Hatha practice as daily maintenance — a great way to work out kinks in my body, get grounded and calm. My Kundalini practice is a place of transformation. The kriyas and meditations are much more specific than your regular flow class, much like an Iyengar practice, but rather than focusing on physical alignment, the kriyas are a specific set of exercises that generate energy, organize that energy and deliver you to a specific energetic state — particularly one of greater awareness.

Also within the practice are built-in moments of stillness where we sit quietly and awaken to our Self. The breathwork within the kriyas is so powerful that it starts to strip away the layers that veil our consciousness, and in the sweet moments between poses we can sense the fullness of who we are. The kriyas work on strengthening your nervous system, balancing your glandular system, purifying the body and calming the mind.

I have practiced kriyas that have left me blissed out, high and filled with a sense of connection and joy, and others that have provoked and confronted me to the very core of who I am, both physically and mentally. I have learned to stay present and accept pleasure and pain as part of the same journey to health and balance. Our ego naturally leans towards pleasure and comfort. It takes concerted effort and discipline to begin to release the ego’s grip on our consciousness. This effort is the work required to begin to access the truth of who we are, to create a strong connection to our Soul and therefore our Soul’s work on this planet. It is where we start to make great strides toward living as an enlightened being.

Before practicing Kundalini yoga, I had done some meditation, but it had always been elusive for me. Meditations within Kundalini yoga are multifaceted. You can do the simplest forms, such as breath awareness or simple mantra, or explore more elaborate meditations where there is a specific breath, mantra and mudra that all work together to balance different aspects of the mind and body. When practiced for 40–120 days, the result is pure magic.

Kundalini yoga is not to be taken lightly. It is like an express train that shakes and wakes you up. I sincerely encourage you to have an experience of Kundalini yoga for yourself. It will add depth to your existing practice and to your life. I have created a number of Kundalini videos on GaiamTV.com for you to try. If you find a set that resonates with you, stick to it for 40 days so you can reap the full benefits of the kriya.


  1. I am a bipolar suffer since 1993. I have been practising Hatha Yoga for a year and half now. I have recently been on a 5 day Kundalini Kriya Yoga retreat, offered by my Hatha teacher. After the retreat my teacher recommended that I find a Kundalini teacher who will assist with the efficient management of bipolar. I am based in Johannesburg South Africa. I have spoken to about 3 teachers already but my gut feel did not give me a strong connection with them. Do you know a teacher is JHB that you can recommend?

    Thanks in advance.

    DK | August 18th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  2. Dear DK,

    I do not know any Kundalini teachers in Johannesburg, South Africa. However you could try contacting the 3HO.org community to see if they know anyone. Blessings, Kia

    Kia Miller | August 30th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  3. I live in Barbados and I have been been experiencing some shift in belief for the past four years. I decided to do Yoga and I bought a couple of DVDs and stated with the Iyengar system. While that was good I felt I needed more so I research, I found Kundalini.

    I have been practicing six days a week since November, I have burst out crying somedays but now I feel a lot of anger, pain, hurt and resentment and I don’t know how to process it.

    What I mean is that I know why, where and to whom the feelings are towards, however I now want to rid myself of this. I see the people who have cause me much of the hurt and pain everyday.

    Sharing my feelings with them is not an option as they react vindictive, so am trying to deal with all the range of feelings coming up with out causing more emotional attacks.

    What do you suggest?

    Ruby | January 5th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  4. Kundalini Yoga is an amazing form of yoga that can help you become more aware about yourself and your surroundings. If you watch videos available at http://www.yogatech.com, you’ll be walked through Kundalini Yoga exercises, then Kundalini style meditation and relaxation with accompanying songs. It’s an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone!

    Angie Robinson | May 1st, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  5. Pairing the Kundalini breathing exercises, or pranayamas, with physical yoga practices, such as Iyengar and Hatha Yogas, really help. The whole idea is to focus on generating that kind of energy you are describing in your article. And this energy can glide you through the day. I’m really thankful to Kundalini Yoga, because it has added another dimension to my clients’ physical training sessions. Great article!

    libby ramsey | January 30th, 2014 | Comment Permalink

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