Frequently Asked Questions
All yoga has its origins in the work of the ancient yogis and rishis who spent their lives observing the fluctuations of energy and the effects of different activities behind closed eyes. The yogic system started out with mantra or a coded sound that created a desired effect, breath work and movement. Over time, the holistic system became diluted into different techniques and then schools (i.e. some just had mantra, some just had movement, etc.). This led to 22 schools of yoga at the time the Yoga Sutras were written by Patanjali circa 200 A.D.
Kundalini yoga was kept secret and only taught to those who had “graduated” from other schools of yoga or were of royal lineage until Yogi Bhajan brought it to the West in 1969. The purpose of this school of yoga was always to have the quickest transformative yogic “recipes” for alignment between the body, mind and the soul.
Yogi Bhajan recognized a lot of seekers of Soul Awareness amongst the hippies he encountered when he arrived in the West. He believed that in the coming Age of Aquarius Kundalini Yoga would be a necessary tool, a life raft through challenging times ahead. He made it his mission to create as many teachers of Kundalini yoga before the Age of Aquarius* began November 11, 2011. (Yogi Bhajan passed in 2004.) Today there are thousands of Kundalini teachers in the world because of Yogi Bhajan.
*"The Age of Aquarius is a mega-multiple manifestation. It is a lifestyle which has a vision of many channels of realities which a single human being will have to face. The capacity of the mind will reach its optimum in order to deal with everyday life. The world will become smaller and smaller and smaller. So man's vitality has to become larger and larger and larger.” ~Yogi Bhajan
What does a Kundalini yoga class entail?
In general Kundalini yoga classes follow this flow: 1) tuning in with mantra (sound), 2) pranayam (breathwork) and warm ups, 3) kriya, 4) relaxation (sometimes with gong) 5) meditation 6) closing blessing and mantra. (Kriya are complete sets that like a recipe create a certain treatment or treatments such as challenging and strengthening the nervous system and testing the will of the student beyond the limitations of the ego.)
Why do we use mantra in meditation in Kundalini?
The answer to this question is found in the sacred text of Japji, or the Song of the Soul—
By remaining silent, inner silence is not obtained.
According to Kundalini yogic technology, the goal to true silence is to “tune” the 72,000 nadis or strings in the subtle body, the mind, the glandular system and nervous system to a harmony using mantra and breath and that harmony is the true feeling of inner silence.
Are Yoga and Meditation a religion?
We refer to Yogi Bhajan for the answer—
Someone always asks if [yoga and] meditation is a religion or a belief. It is not a religion. It does admit you are a body, mind, and spirit. But it clears the mind, pure and simple. This lets you bring more energy and spirit to whatever your tradition or religion may be. You can practice it as a human, even as an atheist. It is about human capacity and the relationship to your mind and whole self. It doesn’t give you some specific belief. It does make you more believable about your beliefs.
Do any of the words used mean that we are chanting to some god that we don’t know? No. You are chanting in your mind to evoke a state or to feel your own sacredness and soul. There is no concept at all of ‘chanting to someone.’ It is an energetic act that changes your brain, stimulates hormone balance, and engages you in a special conversation with your mown mind about vastness and truth.”