Literally translating as "coil," Kundalini is based on the theory that everyone has a snake-like coil of energy trapped at the base of their spine. Each pose is meant to release this energy.
Steady breathing is extremely important in Kundalini. In 1969 the native Indian Kundalini master Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini to the U.S. and established the 3H0, the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization.
Benefits of Kundalini yoga: Breathing exercises work to boost energy levels. Invigorating postures improve balance and provide physical and mental strength.
Who Kundalini yoga is best for: The gentle form of yoga may be suitable for all ages. Poses can be held longer to increase the intensity of poses. Kundalini yoga is a highly spiritual practice. Chanting is common during a Kundalini class.
Getting ready: Bring your own threads, or purchase this traditional garb at a Kundalini studio. Before a Kundalini class, eat lightly and remember to hydrate yourself.
Kundalini yoga typically begins with chanting, meditation and a series of breathing exercises, which is then followed by a sequence of quick, constant movements called kriyas.
Calories burned: The number of calories burned during a Kundalini yoga class depends on the rigor of the practice. That said, calorie-burning is not at the core of Kundalini yoga.
Before moving on to Ashtanga, Christy Turlington was the most famed celebrity representing the Kundalini crowd. The Calvin Klein model began practicing at the young age of 14 and stayed loyal to the spiritual style for four years.
Kundalini yoga is considered a safe practice. As with any form of yoga, it is important to listen to the body. Poses should be held for as long as they are comfortable. Do not enter positions that are painful.
Who shouldn't do it: In theory, anyone can engage in Kundalini yoga. Individuals without a spiritual side may choose to opt out though, as classes can be highly meditative. Many Kundalini instructors (as well as some students) choose to wear traditional robes and head coverings during a class.