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Benefits of Kundalini Yoga and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Yoga is a true mind-body exercise. Yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation all help to connect the mind with the body. Kundalini yoga posture is one type of yoga that includes chanting, singing, breathing exercises, and asanas. It is considered to lead people to spiritual freedom. It is located in men between the excretory and urinary organs. In females, it is located in the base of the uterus, in the cervix.1 Let us read much more interesting things about kundalini yoga in detail. 

kundalini yoga

What is Kundalini Yoga? 

Kundalini is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kundala’, which means ‘coiled’ or ‘circular’. Kundalini is a hidden energy that remains dormant within the body. It is well known as the power that lies in the muladhara chakra and takes the shape of a coiling serpent. It is a form of divine energy located at the base of the spine. The kundalini awakens by practising pranayama, bandha, asanas, mudra and meditation. It is coiled up like a serpent, and its awakening is said to feel like an electric current passing through the spine. Life can become full of positivity and energy as the kundalini awakens. A person’s psychic, physical and emotional capacities may change due to kundalini awakening. It might grow gradually or suddenly. Kundalini yoga is a pose that can help awaken the kundalini. The movements of kundalini yoga are called as kundalini yoga kriyas.1  

Based on what I’ve observed, people who participated in Kundalini Yoga sessions showed improvements in various psychological aspects. They reported reduced anxiety and stress levels, enhanced mental well-being and better physical fitness.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

How to do it? 

The steps of kundalini yoga meditation are as follows: 

  • Firstly, sit in a comfortable position on a mat or the ground. Make sure your back is straight.2 
  • Then, bring your palms near (but not touching) the centre of your chest.2  
  • Touch your little finger and thumb of your right hand to the thumb and little finger of your left hand.2  
  • Keep the rest of your fingers (minus the thumb and little finger) straight and your palms open. This hand formation is said to resemble a lotus in bloom.2 This is the kundalini pose.  
  • Then, focus on the tip of your nose.2 
  • Chant the following mantra while practising the kundalini pose ‘Humee Hum Brahm Hum’.2 
  • You can practice it for 31 minutes during normal breathing.2 
  • When you’re finished, hold your breath and exhale. Repeat two more times.2 
  • Once you are finished holding your breath and exhaling, relax by moving your arms and shoulders.2 
  • Slowly come to the original position. 

Do You Know? 

Some fun read facts about kundalini in kundalini yoga are as follows: 

  • In tantra philosophy, the universe appears to be split into two poles or aspects. The feminine pole is called shakti (sakti), and the masculine pole is shiva (siva). Shakti is energetic and creative. It appears as the entire universe in which matter, life, and mind exist. It is understood that kundalini is a human version of the shakti, a feminine force that exists everywhere. The scriptures say that when karma (the cause-and-effect law) ripens, shakti covers herself with her illusion (maya). 
  • The concept of Kundalini energy has been around for ages. It is mentioned in ancient Vedic texts dating back to 1,000 B.C. 
  • Although kundalini has been described as an energy, a snake, and a goddess, actually, it has no appearance. Instead, it is the cosmic power exhibited in our bodies. 
  • The Sikh spiritual leader, Yogi Bhajan created the kundalini yoga technique. The primary concept is to awaken the snake power at the base of the spine (kundalini). 
  • Depending on the period, history and culture, those who have awakened this supernatural force are called Prophets, Rishis, Siddhas, Yogis, and other names. 

Based on my experience and research, I recommend trying Kundalini Yoga as a supplementary treatment for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). PTLDS refers to the condition where some patients continue to experience symptoms like fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and cognitive difficulties for six months or longer after Lyme disease. Kundalini Yoga is safe, accessible, and cost-effective, with participants reporting positive effects on symptoms.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Benefits of Kundalini Yoga: 

The following are the benefits of kundalini yoga: 

1. Benefits of kundalini yoga for cognitive function  

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is when memory loss occurs and thinking ability may decline. MCI may lead to serious issues, such as Alzheimer’s or other brain diseases. Eyre et al., 2016 proved that kundalini yoga was effective against MCI. It showed that kundalini yoga showed an effect on cognitive functions which are the mental processes that make us focus on things, make a plan or do multiple tasks. It may also help improve mood.3 However, please do not rely on kundalini yoga because it may not help to get rid of MCI on its own. So, kindly see a doctor for proper treatment. It is best to try this under the supervision of a trainer. 

2. Benefits of kundalini yoga for stress 

Aravena et al., 2017 proved the effect of kundalini yoga on stress management. The cortisol hormone controls the functioning of stress-related physiological systems. Kundalini yoga may help lower cortisol levels. It may also lower the risk diseases such as hypertension, anxiety, and depression caused by stress.4 However, you may consult a specialist for diagnosis and treatment of any stress related symptoms. It will be best if you practice it under the guidance of your trainer. 

3. Benefits of kundalini yoga for aggression 

Aggression is a harmful social interaction born out of anger that can bring harm to others or self. A study by M Yuvraj, 2020 compared the effects of kundalini yoga and pranayama on selected psychological variables of aggression in school boys. According to the findings, aggression in school boys had dramatically decreased after 3 months of kundalini yoga practice. Furthermore, the same study found that the academic performance of school boys had also improved.6 However, the promising results of kundalini yoga on aggression need to be explored further. Consulting a specialist or a physician might help you make better choices.  

4. Benefits of kundalini yoga for diabetes 

Hongasandra et al., 2017 investigated the benefits of kundalini yoga and other yoga postures in diabetic patients. Yoga therapy has been proven to be useful in controlling blood sugar levels. In the study, kundalini yoga was reported to reduce the levels of Hb1AC. HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) measures blood sugar levels during the past two or three months. Therefore, kundalini yoga may help manage diabetes.5 However, diabetes is a serious condition; it can cause severe side effects. So, please consult the doctor for better health results. 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.  

Risks of Exercise 

  • Pregnant women should only perform any poses after consulting with a trained professional. It will help you reach better health outcomes. 
  • If you have breathing problems, avoid doing kundalini yoga as it involves breathing exercise especially holding your breath. However, kindly consult a doctor for better health results and perform this mudra only under the guidance of a trainer.2 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher/yoga expert, we can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice exercise with precautions.  

Conclusion  

Kundalini yoga is a type of yoga that involves pranayama, meditation, mudra, asana, and bandhas. The practice of Kundalini Yoga consists of the awakening of the resting Kundalini Shakti. It may help with diabetes and stress management. However, if you experience unpleasant symptoms while practising this yoga, please consult a doctor.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is kundalini yoga effective against skin diseases?  

No, as there is no evidence suggesting kundalini yoga for skin benefits. More research is needed to prove the effects of kundalini yoga on skin diseases. Kindly consult a doctor. 

Are kundalini yoga practices helpful for hair growth? 

No. However, further research is required to prove whether kundalini yoga is helpful in hair growth. 

State the benefits of kundalini yoga for mental health. 

Kundalini yoga might be helpful in the management of stress, depression and anxiety. Cortisol is a stress hormone that lowers the function of serotonin (a mood-elevating hormone). Kundalini yoga may help reduce the cortisol levels associated with stress.4 However, these effects need to be confirmed by further research. Kindly consult a doctor for better health results. 

Is kundalini yoga beneficial in cancer treatment?  

No, however, more studies are required to determine the effects of kundalini yoga on cancer. Please consult a doctor for health results. 

Does Kundalini yoga help those with leprosy? 

No. However, for better health outcomes, please visit a doctor and do this posture under the guidance of a yoga trainer. 

References: 

  1. Kundalini – MINISTRY OF AYUSH. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2022, Available from: https://pratibha.digitalindiacorporation.in/ayuweb/en/kundalini/ 
  1. Studies show that Kundalini Yoga can lower blood pressure and slow heart rate – The Kundalini Research Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://kundaliniresearchinstitute.org/en/studies-show-that-kundalini-yoga-can-lower-blood-pressure-and-slow-heart-rate/ 
  1. Eyre HA, Siddarth P, Acevedo B, Van Dyk K, Paholpak P, Ercoli L, Cyr NS, Yang H, Khalsa DS, Lavretsky H. A randomized controlled trial of Kundalini yoga in mild cognitive impairment. International psychogeriatrics. 2017 Apr;29(4):557-67. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5540331/pdf/S1041610216002155a.pdf 
  1. Garcia-Sesnich JN, Flores MG, Ríos MH, Aravena JG. Longitudinal and immediate effect of Kundalini Yoga on salivary levels of cortisol and activity of alpha-amylase and its effect on perceived stress. International journal of yoga. 2017 May;10(2):73. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433116/pdf/IJY-10-73.pdf 
  1. Hongasandra NR, More P, Kumar V, Jagannathan A, Raghuram N. Effectiveness of yoga for patients with diabetes mellitus. Current Science. 2017 Oct 10:1337-53. Available from: https://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/113/07/1337.pdf 
  1. Yuvaraj M. Effect of Simplified Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama Practices on Selected Psychological Variables and Academic Performance of Secondary School Boys. Shanlax International Journal of Education. 2020 Jun;8(3):108-13. Available from: http://www.shanlaxjournals.in/journals/index.php/education/article/view/2311/2682 

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