If your mind can go along with you it is a blessing. If your mind obeys you, it is a super-blessing.
Joogi Bhajan

Kundalini yoga techniques

Breathing
Life is one long breath, which starts with the first inhale at birth and ends with the last exhale when passing away. How often do you think about your breathing? But how often about eating and drinking? How long can you be without breathing? And how often can you be without eating or drinking? Life entirely depends on breath and is a continuous chain of breath. Breathing is the most important body function; the life expectancy and health of a person depends on it. Breath is a very important tool in kundalini yoga and it is given conscious attention.

Postures
Kundalini yoga kriyas use postures. The word “kriya” means action. Every kriya consists of postures, mudras and breath and combinations of the above in precise order. Kriya is a series of exercises.

Mudras
Mudras are specific magical hand postures to guide energy movement in the body. Human body corresponds on hands and yogis have charted areas on hands which affect certain parts in our body and brain. Mudra is bodily expression that gives an opportunity to influence body from inside. By Kundalini yoga every finger is connected to the energy of a certain planet. With specific hand movement and mudra, it is possible to activate different energies to help oneself, for example to ease restlessness or build self-esteem.

Body locks
Locks are an important technique, which increase the benefits from the exercises. Body locks direct the movement of prana (life force) and apana (eliminating force).

Neck lock is the most commonly used lock. Overall rule is, that it is applied when meditating and with most of the breathing techniques. Every time you keep the breath in or out use neck lock unless your teacher gives different instructions. Neck lock helps to keep focus and the movement of energy is natural. Applying neck lock helps to make sure that you do not overstrain your neck during exercises.

Diaphragm lock is always used after breath fully exhaled. Applying this lock massages intestines and the heart muscle. It stimulates cleansing and slows down aging. It also makes you calmer, more compassionate and friendlier.

Root lock coordinates, stimulates and balances energies in the area of sexual organs and navel point. Root lock is applied at the end of an exercise to uplift the released energy and crystalize the effects of the exercise. Root lock stimulates proper flow of spinal fluids and lifts the energy up the spine.

When all three locks are applied simultaneously it is called the Great Lock. It is only applied after breath is fully exhaled. When all three locks are used simultaneously, the body will obtain an ideal healing state.

Mantras

Mantra is a projection of the mind through sound. Sound is an energy form. Kundalini yoga uses mantras in gurmukhi language. Mantras are used for healing, influencing energy centers and altering the state of consciousness. The power of a mantra lies in vibration, rhythmic repetition and positive affirmations.

The purpose of chanting mantras during meditation is to obtain the ultimate state of mind called Anahat. It gives inner strength, ability to be fully open to do what is necessary for you to do. In this state you are happy, real, compassionate, relaxed.

How mantra works? On the upper palate of human mouth are meridian points which can be compared to the keys of a piano or a computer. When reciting mantras, the tongue touches certain points or keys at the upper palate that gives the sound current we are looking for. With such activity we stimulate the central nervous system and the brain, altering the chemistry of the brain in that way makes it possible to influence the mind, creating positive states of the mind. Because mantras are always connected to breath, mantras help regulate the breath as well. There are 84 meridian points in the upper palate of the mouth, 64 points located behind the teeth and the other 20 points are in the middle of the upper palate. Every movement we make with our tongue affects these meridian points. Chanting mantras silently or aloud is a conscious method to control and direct the mind.

Important mantras in Kundalini Yoga

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo – I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher within. This mantra helps to concentrate on the higher self and spiritually guides the teacher and the student through Kundalini yoga class. It is a meditation, a state of consciousness. This mantra is always used at the start of a class or a personal practice.

Aad guray nameh, jugaad guray nameh, Sat guray nameh, siree guroo dayv-ay nameh- I bow to the Primal Wisdom, I bow to the Wisdom of all the ages, I bow to the True Wisdom, I bow to the Great Invisible Wisdom. Mantra for protection, which guides and protects.

Wahe Guru- I am in ecstasy when I experience the Indescribable Wisdom. This mantra speaks of coming through darkness into the light (from ignorance to true understanding)

Sat Nam- Truth is my name. Most frequently used mantra in Kundalini yoga practice. This mantra opens the soul and shows you the purpose of your life.

Meditation
What is the difference between prayer and meditation?

In prayer, you speak to the Creator. In meditation, the mind becomes absolutely clear and receptive, and you can hear what the Creator has to say to you. Meditation is a technique to train and purify the mind. Yogis say they have to meditate to keep the mind and body clean and healthy. In yoga they say that in those moments and minutes when your own thoughts don’t attack you, your mind is under your control. Such a state is the beginning of the journey. Through practice you will be able to keep the mind empty for longer and soon you will notice that you are living in closer contact with your Higher Self or divinity.

Benefits of meditation:
- Develops neutral (meditative) mind.
- Increases wellbeing, inner peace and stability
- Develops intuition.
- Releases unrealized habits, subconscious fears and blockages.
- Increases ability to concentrate, clarity of mind, mental awareness and ability to be present.
- Silent meditation allows the subconsciousness to empty out. Silence makes you aware of multiple experiences of the mind.

Relaxation
Proper harmonious relaxation heals the body.
Ability to relax is important for achieving physical and mental well-being. It is very difficult to relax for those who tend to turn on TV, use alcohol or mind poisons to relax.
Relaxation brings youthfulness, releases rigid patterns, circulates renewal of the glands, centers emotional energy. Relaxation also teaches how to handle stress and release it. After breaking an old pattern, relaxation integrates a new one.

Vitality-and-stress

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