FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How to start?

Yoga can be practiced by everybody – irrespective of one’s age and one’s profession. It is not important how fit you are either. During first class you will learn how to maintain bodily postures and how to breathe and relax. It is best to obtain basics of the practice during classes with a qualified teacher and then you may start your individual practice.

What do you need?

Mats for exercises and a light blanket to cover yourself during a stage of relaxation. Occasionally pillows to sit down during meditation when your muscles are not used to this position. You practice bare foot (to stimulate feet receptors by contact with the ground), wearing loose, comfortable clothing – preferably made of natural material (for example 100% cotton).

What are the cons?

Wait at least two hours after eating before you start your practice. Do not practice yoga under influence of alcohol or drugs. During the practice take note of your own limitations. In case of any problems, for example with the spine, you should consult a doctor regarding yoga practice and apply the doctor’s recommendations. It is recommended to tell your teacher if you are pregnant or during a menstruation to receive modified bodily postures and breathing practice.

What a Kundalini Yoga class looks like?

Every class of Kundalini Yoga is different and there are many sets (Kriyas), to work with different parts of the body and subjects. The following elements are used to practice Kriji: asanas, parnajamas, bandhas, mantras and mudras (below you find explanations of the above terms). You move fluently from one position to another, and at times you stop the body motionless or practice movement only with a particular part of the body. The essential part of a class is music. A practicing person should put more attention to one’s feelings coming out of one’s body in this practice than to bring a bodily posture or a certain movement to perfection, thus the majority of postures is done with eyes closed. Below a typical class chronology:

  • tuning in
  • worm up (preparing the spine and a way to concentrate into the body)
  • kriya (a set of movements, breaths and body postures practised for particular purpose)
  • relaxation
  • meditation
  • ending mantra

duration of a class: 90 min

What is kundalini?

A word "kundalini" literally means "curled lock of hair of the beloved". This is a poetic metaphor describing curled creative energy – power potential, which can be found in every person from the day she or he is born. Kundalini Yoga technique prepares the body and the mind for awakening and increase of this energy and later to the way back.
Do gĂłry
What is asana?

Asana means consciously taken bodily postures, in Kundalini Yoga asanas may be static for example sitting with your legs crossed motionless or dynamic for example in a laying down position and lifting your legs up and lowering them down. Bodily postures and movement stimulate different organism systems to balance them and cure, they have a slight pressure on the glandular and nervous system causing energy flow in nadis (channels through which energy flows).

What is pranajama?

Pranajama means breathing techniques, jama=control, prana=life force. Unless told otherwise, inhaling and exhaling is done through the nose. The basic technique consists of long and deep breathing – inhale first, relaxing your belly outward, then filling the chest and then exhale – first empty the chest, it drops followed by the stomach – the naval is pulled in towards the spine. A distinct breath for Kundalini Yoga is so-called breath of fire – this is rapid and rhythmic breathing. Starting learning the technique of this breath you shall concentrate on the naval point and on a powerful exhale through your nose. Diaphragm takes a very active part in exhale giving the pace of the exhale. Inhale is automatically "sucked in".

What is bandha?

Bandha means "keep, close, embrance". They help to manage prana movement (life force) in our organism, increase the flow of rhinorrhea and gathers effects of formerly practiced exercise. Closing takes place when the muscles constituting a particular system are tensed and centralized. Most frequently used ones are the following: Closing the basis (mul bandha) – tightening of lower sphincter, followed by sex organs and lifting up and then pulling in the naval, it is used at stopping the breath, both after inhale and exhale. Closing the neck (jalandhara bhanda) -delicate tightening of a neck and throat so that a chin stays in the curve between the collars, it enables prana to flow to the head by correct setting of spinal cords and the chest, it is used always when we sit with our spine straight.

What is mudra?

Mudras are hand positions using nerve endings located in our hands. Curling, crossing, joining fingertips with other finger/s establishes "understanding" with our body or mind regarding a concrete emotion or behaviour. The most frequently used mudra is „Gjan mudra”, in which an index finger and a thumb meet by fingertips. This is so-called wisdom mudra – thanks to this connection of receptors we can obtain better ability of understanding.
Do gĂłry
What is mantra?

Mantra is a basic sound; a word mantra means a "tool or vehicle of mind".
It is used to take the consciousness from its involvement in the present,
you repeat Mantra only in your mind or aloud – it invokes to resonance in you body and mind. Mantra is a sound which transforms, develops and modifies the consciousness thanks to repeating its rhythm and also by sound, meaning and tone. Mantra is chanted at the beginning of the Kundalini is made up of the following words: "Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo" (I bow to the Creator, to the divine teacher within) and at the end vibrations „Sat Nam” (I am the truth, the truth is my name).

What is Sadhana?

This is everyday personal spiritual practice of yogi. Practice of discipline and conscious activity by getting up early, exercising the body and meditation. In Kundalini Yoga tradition, Sadhana was taught by Yogi Bhajan in the following scheme:
- 20 minutes reading of Japji Sahib
- app. 50 minutes of exercises (kriya)
- 62 minutes for performing a set of 7 mantras (sound vibrations)

© AGHI 2008 - 2011