Kundalini Yoga is the most ancient and therapeutic type of yoga. According to yogic philosophy, Kundalini (Sanskrit) is a sleeping, dormant spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine. When awakened, this energy can heal and rejuvenate our entire physical and emotional existence.
Every movement and pose in Kundalini Yoga is executed with a keen focus on breath. Each Kundalini class begins with a chant that has a strong positive impact on brain activities. This is followed by exercises to stretch the spine and improve flexibility. The main activity of the Kundalini class which is called kriya is composed of a series of poses and pranayama (breathing exercises) in which special attention is paid to different parts of the body. Each Kundalini Yoga class ends with relaxing breathing and chanting meditations.
Until modern times, Kundalini Yoga was on the whole a secretive and misunderstood technology – it was not widely taught by any master teachers outside of India . Perhaps the earliest known written mention of Kundalini Yoga is in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad. Some have estimated that the composition of the Upanishad texts date as far back as between 1,400 and 1,000 BCE. In the late 1800s into the early 1900s author John Woodroffe, an Oxford graduate, translated some twenty original Sanskrit texts under the pseudonym Arthur Avalon. His most popular and influential book titled The Serpent Power, became a major contribution of the time to the appreciation of Indian philosophy and spirituality and the source of many early Western occult appropriations of kundalini practice.
In 1969 a renown spiritual teacher from India, Yogi Bhajan, re-incarnated the previously restricted Kundalini Yoga and introduced it to the West as comprehensive spiritual system for personal growth.