5 Reasons Why Kundalini Yoga Can Change Your Life
by RYAN GREENDYK (shared with me via the wonderful and generous David Callico)
I was first introduced to this practice when I attended a regularly scheduled Hatha class. A substitute yoga teacher who was staday informed us that she’d be teaching Kundalini Yoga instead. Her introduction sums up the practice very well: “If you came here expecting to practice Hatha Yoga, you’re in for a pretty wild ride.”
There are few ancient disciplines and practices that have become as integrated into modern, mainstream culture as yoga. You’ve probably at least dabbled in its magical interweaving of discipline, symmetry, devotion, and beauty. Despite some scattered naysayers, most people have come to believe in its health-promoting and consciousness-expanding properties, and many have assimilated some form of yoga practice into their lives. One form that you may not have tried, though, is Kundalini Yoga. Though it’s quickly gaining popularity, this underrated yoga style is still dwarfed by the myriad derivations of Hatha, Vinyasa, and the like.
Kundalini Yoga is slightly Westernized adaptation of Raj Yoga, the ancient and unbroken lineage of “royal yoga” that was closely guarded by the Brahmins of India and taught only to a select few. Yogi Bhajan broke this long-standing tradition (much to the chagrin of his fellow Masters) by bringing his body of knowledge to the United States in the 1960’s.
I was first introduced to this practice when I attended a regularly scheduled Hatha class. A substitute yoga teacher who was standing in for the day informed us that she’d be teaching Kundalini Yoga instead. Her introduction sums up the practice very well: “If you came here expecting to practice Hatha Yoga, you’re in for a pretty wild ride.” The transformational potency, depth, and purity of Kundalini Yoga astounded me, and I was hooked. Even if you already practice another form of yoga, I urge you to give it a try.
Here’s just a few reasons why…
You will feel its power immediately
Nearly everyone that tries Kundalini Yoga agrees: this stuff gets you high.
Its effect upon the body-mind system is nearly instantaneous; even after a single class or meditation, you’ll feel the difference.
Spiritual practice is often closely paired with patience. While this virtue is certainly worth cultivating, the interminably long anticipation of results that goes hand-in-hand with many popular modalities can lead to a loss of personal momentum. Building a yoga practice that continually rewards you with undeniable somatic, mental, and psycho-spiritual benefits is extremely empowering.
In the belief system espoused by Yogi Bhajan, we’re moving out of the Piscean Age and into the Aquarian Age. He often told his students that “the Piscean Age was the age of seeing because you believe; the Aquarian Age will be the age of believing because you see.”
It will transform you more quickly than you thought possible
Yogi Bhajan stated that “if Hatha Yoga is akin to walking across the country, Kundalini Yoga is akin to taking a plane.”
This yoga form is able to generate such wildly accelerated momentum for two reasons:
1. It is a comprehensive system of yogic practice that encompasses all eight limbs of Patanjali’s yogic path. Rather than focusing just on physical conditioning (asana), breathwork (pranayam), and occasional meditation (dyana), it aligns the practitioner with the full spectrum of evolutionary work. As such, it also delves into holistic lifestyle design (yamas and niyamas), sacred sound technology (mantra), manifestation and subtle awareness (pratyahar), deep preparatory work for meditation (dharana), and transpersonal immersion (samadhi).
In future articles, I’ll delve deeply into how each of these aspects of self-development can be pragmatically applied to make your life healthier, happier, and more activated.
2. As I mentioned above, the powerful and immediate effects of Kundalini Yoga ensure that you’re motivated to continue your practice. Consistent dedication to one’s practice is the key to achieving massively accelerated results.
All forms of spiritual practice are quantum systems, wherein the modality and the practitioner are creating a continual feedback loop that determines the strength of its results. The better the results, the easier it will be for you to continue practicing; the more you practice, the better the results will be.
It’s widely accepted that the spiritual path is ideally “goalless”—that to strive for any particular end result is to be distracted from the evolutionary task at hand.
While becoming attached to end goals is indeed antithetical to helpful spiritual practice, we shouldn’t lose sight of the potential that spirituality has as an applicable toolbox for self-development.
Kundalini kriyas and meditations are designed to facilitate work on a targeted aspect of the body, mind, and emotions. There are sets for calming the heart, becoming more positively extroverted, clarifying one’s life intentions, strengthening the core (one’s center of personal will and purpose, but yes, also your abs), and nearly any other life change you’re interested in making.
The pragmatic nature of a Kundalini Yoga practice ensures that your search after divinity and transpersonal awareness remains grounded in the manifest present.
It will connect you to your core frequency
In order to uphold its deeply practical orientation, Kundalini Yoga is always taught in accordance with a meticulously curated system. Of all the existing forms of yoga, Kundalini Yoga is perhaps the most rigid in its structure and protocol.
Every kriya (a collection of asanas, pranayamas, and meditations) is calibrated to catalyze an astoundingly specific effect upon the body, mind, and psyche. The duration and orientation of each pose and movement is to be practiced precisely as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
And yet, there’s something paradoxical and magical that arises from this discipline (called shakti in yogic teachings).
Through the ordered mastery of such meticulous practice, you are able to transcend the constructed boundaries of your own egoic identity. You emerge into the pure and unmediated space of your core frequency, where you are free to live and create as your Highest Self.
Through the application of logic, you allow yourself to discover flow.
It will teach you the profundity of daily practice
As I discussed in my article series on flow, true emergence into flow and higher identity requires monumental discipline and repetitive action.
Sadhana (the Sanskrit word for “daily practice”) is a core concept in Kundalini Yoga, which stresses constant psycho-spiritual integrity, vigilance, and consistency.
In yogic doctrine, it is believed that it takes forty days to break a negative pattern, one hundred days to create a new pattern, and 1,000 days to master it. Thus, Kundalini Yoga teachers encourage students to practice kriyas for a minimum of forty consecutive days.
This process of lifestyle ritual design is central to the task of personal and planetary activation. Our lives are transformed one positive resonance pattern at a time.
This is the simple but far-reaching foundation of all personal and spiritual development: choose and design positive rituals that work for you, and practice them every single day.
If Kundalini Yoga sounds enticing to you, I hope that you’ll give it to a try. If it’s not your cup of tea, that’s fine too. What’s important is that you simply dedicate yourself to a practice that enriches your life and uplifts the world.
Ryan Greendyk is a conscious internet entrepreneur, writer, kundalini yoga teacher, psychonaut, and sacred space creator. He's pretty fond of tea ceremonies, entheogens, bass-beat wizardry and techno-shamanism, superfoods, gifting, fire spinning, alternative healing modalities, spontaneous outbursts of love, and spending quality time with God and friends. In a nutshell, he's dedicated to delivering others to their highest selves through the creation and promotion of communities, cultures, products, and programs built upon creativity, intentional play, and spiritual self-mastery. He is the Founder of Lightlab and the Producer of Lightlab Events.