HATHA versus KUNDALINI

I am an athletic person by nature. Ive been a hatha yoga practicioner and teacher for almost a decade uplifted and transformed by the medicine of the teachings.  I love the physical practice of vinyasa yoga: the idea of touching each muscle and opening up all the energy channels in the body is exciting to me. I love the deep structural work of Iyengar and  Anusara.  It keeps me grounded and present in my body. It keeps me vital and healthy. I am also thrilled by the more subtle aspects of yoga practice, which drew me to Kundalini yoga and Tantra. The process of transforming the mind and elevating one’s consciousness through the use of these practices is a deep one. Kundalini yoga and Tantra are wonderful paths for modern practitioners – they are quick, effective and practical. 

SUMMER SOLSTICE

I just came back from Summer solstice kundalini yoga gathering in New Mexico. You might probably know this already but Summer Solstice is considered auspicious time to practice yoga and celebrate life. It is time to connect and build upon the enlivening solar energies that are pulsating within us now. I decided to GO FOR IT this year 100%. 

Just few months ago I  remember sitting on m sofa in my London apartment watching “ Wild wild country” on Netflix. The documentary about OSHO’s community in 80ties. I was deeply touched by the story and then I felt a longing in my heart to experience something similar in my own time. The question was where do I find it? and then I remembered ….

I first heard of  3HO Summer solstice during level 1 teacher training. I was brand new to Kundalini Yoga I knew without a doubt I was meant to share these teachings that had immediately transformed my entire being, I quickly learned that Kundalini Yoga is so much more than what I understood to be a yoga practice at the time.

While I’ve heard a lot about the event, I haven’t yet experienced it for myself. I knew it’s a mix of yoga meditation, music, dancing, food, chanting. I knew that Sadhana begins each morning before the sun rises. I knew that on the day summer solstice starts, there are three full days of White Tantric Yoga. But I didn’t know how it feels to be in the high desert mountains of New Mexico with a global community of yogis with the common goal of uplifting the world. And I didn’t know how it feels to commit to shifting consciousness in such a concentrated time and space. Aaaaa all I can say the words can not describe what I have experienced and the whole week felt like an extended state of grace.The togetherness of people is infectious. Again I got reminded how important in this life is to find the tribe you love hanging out with, and i remember from my own past experience that loneliness taking us into weird places. The  life in the city can be isolating and feel lonely.

 One of the most exciting, inspiring, and fun aspects of Solstice is experiencing the love and support of the spiritual community that gathers together for deep transformational work.  First time Ive experienced the power of 3 day White Tantric Yoga. The discomfort of tenting, cold showers, strong winds, the rain, the heat during the day and cold during the night. I’ve experienced the transformational energy of this community - I felt like simply being around this tribe of people makes me a better person.  I felt a full spectrum of emotions. It felt like something changed at my deep core. All I needed to remember is to allow it to happen, to surrender to it all. 

HATHA VERSUS KUNDALINI

"Kundalini Yoga is the crack cocaine of yoga. If hatha is a mild weed high, iyengar is a deep hash glow, and ashtanga is amphetamine, Kundalini blows the *ucking doors off." ~Russell Brand~ on his experience with Kundalini Yoga.

Somme of you might be already very familiar with various styles of yoga. Whether you want to relax, have a workout or get in touch with your spiritual side, there is a yoga class to suit you. And you don't even have to be bendy …All yoga styles create a feeling of lightness, ease and relaxation so try out different styles and teachers to get a good fit for yourself, it can become a life-long practice.

HATHA

Hatha yoga really just means the physical practice of yoga (asanas as opposed to, say, chanting). Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures, meaning your Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga.

The Sanskrit word Hatha translates as "force". The word can be broken down into two words: "Ha" meaning sun and "Tha" meaning moon. Originally the practice of Hatha yoga focused on mastery of the physical body as a preparation for a spiritual practice: the control over the physical body to develop a hold over the chattering mind and as a way to connect to spirit. The practice is focused on yoga poses (asana), breathing practices (pranayama), meditation and moving the subtle energy or kundalini (kriyas).

In the past 50 years, the focus of yoga has been very much about the physical postures and has been used as an exercise technique. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t work solely on the alignment of bones and muscles, it helps with circulation, the lymphatic system, releasing the fascia and connective tissue to increase our lung capacity. It quietens thoughts and calms the mind, and can be practiced to both energise or calm due to the balancing effect upon the body depending on the technique you use.

KUNDALINI 

Kundalini yoga is very different  - it incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras. The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. The kriyas and meditations are much more specific than your regular flow class, much like an Iyengar practice, but rather than focusing on physical alignment, the kriyas are a specific set of exercises that generate energy, organize that energy and deliver you to a specific energetic state — particularly one of greater awareness. The breathwork within the kriyas is so powerful that it starts to strip away the layers that veil our consciousness, and in the sweet moments between poses we can sense the fullness of who we are.  I have practiced kriyas that have left me blissed out, high and filled with a sense of connection and joy, and others that have provoked and confronted me to the very core of who I am, both physically and mentally.   It is like an express train that shakes and wakes you up. I sincerely encourage you to have an experience of Kundalini Yoga for yourself. It will add depth to your existing practice and to your life. I have created couple of Kundalini yoga videos for you to try.  Stick to it for 40 days so you can reap the full benefits of the kriya. Whats great about it is only half an hour long, you can do it in your living room or when travel in your hotel room. Its potent and the effects are instant. 

 

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