Awaken Your Yoga Senses
Are you ready to balance your nervous system, find inner stillness, heal wounds at their deepest and connect with your own divine creative power?
FMTV has just added an exclusive yoga and meditation program with Kundalini instructor Ashley Aiken-Redon from Kundalini Yoga St Barth. The awakening yoga series explores the fundamentals of Kundalini yoga and breaks down the practice into a series of instructional videos that can get you delving into this ancient yoga practice at the comfort of your own home. Before you start streaming, let’s explore the origins and core concepts of Kundalini.
Kundalini is an ancient Sanskrit word that literally means “coiled snake”. In early Eastern religion (long before Buddhism and Hinduism) it was believed that each individual possessed a divine energy at the base of the spine. This energy was thought to be the sacred energy of creation. This energy is something we are born with, but we must make an effort to “uncoil the snake,” thereby putting us in direct contact with the divine. Kundalini Yoga is the practice of awakening our Higher Self and turning potential energy into kinetic energy.
“The primary objective [of Kundalini] is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.” – Kundalini Research Institute
What is Sat Nam? Sat Nam is the most frequently used mantra in Kundalini Yoga. Sat means "Truth" & Nam means "Name or Identity" So quite literally, this mantra translates as "Truth is my name" or "I am a physical manifestation of Eternal Truth." It can be used during your practice as a way to focus the mind and bring all the awareness within and also as greeting or parting words, to recognize the Truth in others and our oneness with all that is.
What is kriya? Kriya is a word that literally means "completed action." In Kundalini Yoga, a kriya is a set of exercises which are very specifically designed, sequenced and timed to elicit a certain effect. There are literally thousands of kriyas in Kundalini Yoga, from wackier things like "Kriya to relieve inner anger" and "Kriya for the lungs, the electromagnetic field and deep meditation" to "Kriya for the sciatic nerve" or "Kriya for the nervous system & glandular balance."
Why do we Tune-in & Tune-out? In Kundalini Yoga, we use the mantra "Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo" to connect with source energy and align our energy in an effort to enhance our practice. This mantra means quite simply: "I bow down to the creative force of the Universe, I bow down to that very same creative force that exists within me." Similarly, at the end of the practice, we often tune out with a blessing song, "Long Time Sun." "May the Long Time Sunshine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you, guide your way on." We chant it twice, the first time to bless yourself for this time that you've taken to journey within and the second time, we project the healing energy of this mantra out to someone we know, someone we love and who may be in need of blessing. Alternatively, it is also nice to tune-out with 1-3 long Sat Nams. Long Sat, short Nam.
What is Mulbandh? Mulbandh is a powerful contraction of muscles of the pelvic floor and the navel that stimulates and redirects sexual energy into creativity and healing energy. This "root lock" is often applied at the end of exercises and meditations to seal the healing and uplifting effects and stabilize the senses.
What is Sat Kriya? This one exercise contains just about all the benefits of Kundalini Yoga within itself. Sat Kriya is designed to do the one thing from which all wellbeing springs: raise the kundalini energy. If you were only going to do one single thing every day for your spiritual and physical practice, make it Sat Kriya!
What is Breath of Fire? Breath of fire is a rapid, rhythmic, continuous breath, equal inhale to equal exhale, through the nose. On the inhale, the abdomen inflates, on the exhale, it deflates, as you draw the navel all the way back towards the spine. This is a powerful, cleansing, purifying, balancing breath that will leave you feeling energized and empowered.
Chanting 101? We exist in a sea of energy and energy vibrates. Everything in manifest creation is constantly vibrating, from an inanimate object to the sound of our spoken words. Even our silent thoughts have an electromagnetic vibration. The frequency at which we vibrate determines the scenario played out by our mind, defining how we feel and what we project to others. Chanting invokes the positive power of mantra and raises our vibrational frequency. One of the first signs of the awakening of the kundalini is a heightened awareness of the power of our words. You begin to meditate on and develop inner sounds using mantra and sound, a practice which is very effective in attaining two particular goals of Kundalini Yoga—expansion of the Self and elevation of the spirit. Mantra also supports those new to meditation, who sometimes find silence and absolute stillness very challenging. In this way, it is a ‘beginner’s practice’ and can be used by anyone to attain serenity, clarity, and balance.
What's with the sheep's skin?Yogi Bhajan suggested that it was preferable to practice on a natural fiber, in an effort to keep our energy grounded and connected to Source, throughout the practice. Practicing on a sheep's skin honors the life of the animal by dedicating it to the sacredness of a daily spiritual practice.