What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is a dynamic form of yoga that awakens awareness. It uses sets of yogic postures
and movements (asana) with meditative focus, breath work (pranayama), and chanting (mantra).
In addition to strengthening the health and well being of the physical body, it is very useful for
emotional balance, mental clarity, stress relief, and personal transformation.
How is Kundalini Yoga different from other types of Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga contains the elements of all forms of Yoga. It includes physical postures and
movements (asana), meditation, breath work (pranayam), and chanting (mantra). Kundalini Yoga
is taught in prescribed sets of exercises (kriyas) and is taught in its pure and complete form. The
teacher does not make up exercises or series. Kundalini Yoga is a physical practice but it also
encompasses a meditative focus that makes it good for stress relief and emotional balancing- in
addition to the physical benefits.
Can I attend Kundalini Yoga classes if I am new to yoga?
Yes! Kundalini Yoga is great for students of all levels of experience. All of our classes titled
"Kundalini Yoga" are beginner friendly, all level classes and new students start every day. We
also offer "Kundalini Yoga for Beginners" classes on Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm. Start
What do I need to bring to a Kundalini Yoga class?
For most classes, you do not need to bring anything but yourself. Our classes are held in a
carpeted room so yoga mats are not required (but you are welcome to bring one if you like.) Our
rooms are equipped with pillows that you are welcome to use. Many students like to lay out a
blanket to practice on. Blankets can also be used for covering up to maintain warmth during
meditation and relaxation. Pillows can provide comfort for sitting (slip the edge under your hips)
or for relaxation.
What can I expect in a Kundalini Yoga class?
Each Kundalini Yoga class follows a similar structure designed for optimal results physically,
mentally, and emotionally. All Kundalini classes begin with a time for centering. The teacher
leads the class in the mantra, Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo. This mantra means, I call upon my
own inner guidance, the divine wisdom within me. Students may chant or listen, as they like. The
class then is lead in 10-20 minutes of warm-up exercises, which prepare the body for the yoga
sets (kriyas) that follow.
After warm-ups, yoga sets (kriyas) are begun. Each yoga set involves physical postures (asana),
breath work (pranayama) and meditative focus. Yoga is followed by a short meditation. Class
ends with a long, deep relaxation that allows time for regeneration, stress release, and peace.
Each class closes with a song of blessing, in which students can sing along or listen. The words to
this song are May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light
within you guide your way on. After class, students may relax or visit. At this time, the teacher is
also available to answer questions.
What is Kundalini?
Kundalini energy is the energy of awareness. Yogicly, it is taught that this energy of awareness
lies dormant within us until through yoga, meditation, or spiritual practices, we begin to awaken
it. Once this energy is awakened, we see reality more clearly, exist more in the present, and are
spiritually connected. Simply put, awakening our kundalini is just awakening our own awareness
What are Chakras?
Chakras are energy centers in the body. Each corresponds to a different part of the body (starting
at the base of the spine and moving up to the crown of the head). Learning about the chakras is a
way of bringing balance to mental and physical issues through energetic techniques. Chakras may
be mentioned in Kundalini Yoga classes but it is not necessary to be familiar with such concepts
before attending class.
What is mantra? What is the purpose of using sound in Kundalini Yoga classes?
Mantra is use of specific sounds to change the consciousness of the mind and chemistry of the
brain. Mantras, like words, have a meaning (most are expressions of oneness and unity with the
Infinite). However, the effect of the mantra comes from more than just its meaning. Each sound
is a formula, causing the tongue to strike specific points in the mouth. These points trigger
response in the brain. Some mantras are used silently. In this case, it is a mental focus for the
mind. Use of mantra is a fun and uplifting experience. It is a part of all Kundalini Yoga classes,
at some point. Students who are uncomfortable with use of mantra are not required to chant and
may enjoy just listening.
Why do some Kundalini Yoga classes use the gong?
The sounds of the gong are useful in helping to release blocks in the body and mind. The gong is
used during relaxation or during certain meditations. All teachers who play the gong have been
professionally trained in its use.
How often should I practice Kundalini Yoga?
Ultimately, a yoga practice is best done daily. (Even a few minutes every day can make a big
difference!) This gets you centered for your day and provides maximum progression. But any
practice, however often, will be beneficial. Two to three times a week will provide noticeable
results. Many people find that they feel so good when they do yoga, they want to do more and
What is Sadhana?
Sadhana is a daily personal practice. In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, it is suggested that a
personal practice be done early in the morning, ideally before sunrise! This time is the optimal
time for spiritual practice and it prepares you for the day ahead. However, a sadhana practice can
be done at any time. Sadhana can be a few minutes of meditation when you wake in the
morning, it can be a yoga class you attend, or it can be any spiritual practice. It is a practice of
connecting to your spirit in a focused and conscious way. Guru Nanak Dwara Ashram (the
location of Yoga Phoenix) offers free group Sadhana every day. Every one is welcome.Visit our
Sadhana page for more information.
Why do teachers of Kundalini Yoga often wear white?
For the practice of Kundalini Yoga, it is helpful to wear white, natural fiber clothing. The color
white is good for the body energetically and for the nervous system. Natural fiber clothing
(cotton is suggested) allows the body to breathe and is comfortable during yoga.
Why do some teachers of Kundalini Yoga have two names?
Many teachers of Kundalini Yoga request a spiritual name. This is a name that was given by Yogi
Bhajan, the master teacher of Kundalini Yoga, or since Yogi Bhajan's passing, has been given by
Nirijan Kaur ( a member of Yogi Bhajan's staff who was trained by him to give the names.) It
represents the highest purpose of the person who is called by that name. A spiritual name is like a
Why do some teachers of Kundalini Yoga wear turbans or head coverings?
Head coverings of any kind are useful for a meditative practice. Turbans in particular are useful
for holding energy in, and for creating a meditative focus at the third eye point (brow point). In
addition, the turban provides a nice cranial adjustment. Some teachers wear a turban or head
covering for these yogic reasons alone.
Is yoga or Kundalini Yoga a religion?
No. Kundalini Yoga (and yoga in general) is a technology for health and consciousness that
predates religion. It is practiced by people of all faiths. Our teachers represent many paths
including Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Sikh, and others. Teachers who visually exemplify a
religious path (such as Sikh teachers who wear turbans as part of daily attire) do so because of
their personal beliefs.
Who was Yogi Bhajan?
Yogi Bhajan was the master teacher of Kundalini Yoga. He was the first yogi to begin teaching
Kundalini Yoga in the West. He arrived in the United States in 1969 and began teaching
Kundalini Yoga to help people live healthy, conscious lives. At that time he also started 3HO
(Happy, Healthy, Holy organization), which shares the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and hosts
many events all over the world. All Kundalini Yoga classes at the Yoga Phoenix are taught in the
tradition that he taught. (Visit www.3HO.org for more information about Yogi Bhajan or 3HO.)
How can I learn more about the basics of Kundalini Yoga?
Attending classes is the best way to experience and learn the basics of Kundalini Yoga. All of
our ongoing classes titled "Kundalini Yoga" are all beginner friendly and new students start
every day. We also offer a weekly "Kundalini Yoga Basics" class - Wednesday nights at 7:30
There are several good books available. We recommend Kundalini Yoga: the Flow of Eternal
Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa or Kundalini Yoga by Shakta Kaur Khalsa.
Check out our New to Yoga page for more tips on getting started as a beginner.
How can I gain an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of Kundalini Yoga?
The best way to gain an in-depth understanding of Kundalini Yoga is to participate in courses
offered through Teacher Training. These courses are for serious students of Kundalini Yoga who
want to take their practice and learning to a deeper level. Teacher Training courses provide
transformational and educational experiences whether you want to be a yoga teacher or not.
These courses cover all the basics of Kundalini Yoga as well as exploringics such as lifestyle,
philosophy, spiritual development, and humanology. Visit our Teacher Training page for more information about the upcoming Teacher Training
course. See our Deepen Your Practice page for more information.
What are the best Kundalini Yoga products to use for a home practice?
Kundalini Yoga (book) and Deeply Relax and Meditate (cd) by Shakta Kaur Khalsa
This book and companion cd are a great set for beginning a home practice. The book includes
basic information about Kundalini Yoga, yoga sets, and meditations. The companion cd includes
all the music that is needed to accompany the yoga sets and meditations.
Kundalini Yoga: the Flow of Eternal Power (book) by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa
This book offers lots of good, basic information on Kundalini Yoga in a fun and accessible
manner. It is very beginner friendly and includes information, yoga sets, and meditations.
Kundalini Yoga: Guidelines for Sadhana (book)
This book includes great yoga sets and meditations. It is specifically designed for helping
students begin and maintain a personal yoga practice.
Prem or Shanti (cds) by Snatam Kaur Khalsa
These beautiful, uplifting cds are great to use for relaxation, during yoga practice, to chant with,
or just to listen to anytime.
Crimson Collection (cds) by Singh Kaur
This cd collection consists of 4 lovely cds that can be purchased individually. They include
angelic vocals and gentle music accompaniment. These cds are particularly nice for relaxation but
are also a good background for yoga practice.
Flow (cd) by Sat Kartar Kaur Khalsa
This fantastic cd is done by local recording artist, Sat Kartar Kaur. It is great as a backdrop for
yoga practice or as a companion for meditation. We love this cd!!
Is Kundalini Yoga available in other states and countries?
Yes, Kundalini Yoga is practiced all over the world. There are Kundalini Yoga classes and
teacher training programs offered throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South America,
Africa, and Asia. (Visit www.3HO.org for worldwide events and