Kundalini Yoga For Beginners: History, Benefits, Poses, & How To Get Started On Your Journey

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Beginner Kundalini Yoga creates alignment in your spiritual development, heightens your spiritual enlightenment, and jumpstarts healing through movement within the seven chakras

Maybe you already have a strong Kundalini practice or maybe you are a beginner. If you’re at the start of your journey or would like to go deeper into the practice, keep reading to learn all about Kundalini Yoga for beginners.

In this article, you will discover: 

  • What is Kundalini Yoga
  • History of Kundalini Yoga
  • Five Pillars of Kundalini Yoga
  • Benefits of Kundalini Yoga
  • How Kundalini Yoga Differs From Other Forms Of Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga Poses
class of kundalini yoga for beginners with hands touching their heart

What is Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is an empowering practice that focuses on building confidence, clearing negative energy, expanding your aura, and connection through chanting.

Kundalini can be broken down into the Sanskrit word, kundal, which means circular and/or a noun for a coiled snake. The other translation is kundali, the feminine origin, meaning a ring, bracelet, or coil of rope.

This explains why one of the symbols associated with kundalini is a snake. The practice is said to arouse Kundalini Shakti from its coiled base up through the six chakras along the spine and through the seventh chakra, the crown.

History of Kundalini

According to the article, Kundalini Yoga | Where it Comes From? / History, examination of mystical literature and traditions shows Kundalini represented in various names for nearly three thousand years. 

In the bible, it is interpreted as “the solar principle in man.” It is also referenced in the Quran, the works of Plato, Masonic writings, and various other forms of historical literature. 

woman in childs pose in kundalini yoga

The practice was brought to the Western world and first taught publicly by Yogi Bhajan, who caused a negative viewpoint onto the practice due to his own abusive actions. 

Bhajan faces allegations of child abuse, psychological abuse, and systematic oppression. Although the practice was brought to light by Bhajan’ physical teachings, he does not serve as a sole representative for the practice in present times. 

Kundalini is a practice in which we awaken and channel energy through the movement of prana (vital life force) energy at the solar plexus, chanting, and meditation. 

Pranic healing is a natural healing technique that can be used as a treatment for illnesses. It is derived from ancient, esoteric healing methods that have been rediscovered, researched, and tested over decades.

Interested in learning how pranic healing occurs during a Kundalini Yoga practice?

Keep reading to learn Kundalini yoga beginner poses to add to your daily practice!

Five Pillars of Kundalini Yoga

  1. Pranayama
  2. Asana (poses and kriyas) 
  3. Mantra (Sat Nam) 
  4. Mudra 
  5. Meditation 
kundalini yogi practicing low lunge outside by the lake

1. Pranayama

Pranayama is used in between poses and to activate energy in the chakras, primarily the solar plexus chakra.

It is also encouraged to breathe through poses so as to elongate the time in which the posture is held. This is said to enhance the spreading and activation of prana energy.

2. Asana (Poses and Kriyas)

In Kundalini, the asana or series of poses are referred to as kriyas.

Each kriya serves a purpose in elevating the prana (vital life force energy) and spiritual enlightenment, this is used in connection with breathwork techniques and bandha locking.

In addition to kriyas, the term Drishti is also used, as it is in other forms of yoga. Drishti is a Sanskrit word commonly translated as gaze, focal point, or view.” 

A Drishti can be used to ground further into a pose or as a substitute for closing the eyes, as well as to create a line of power and connection through the third eye. 

3. Mantras

Mantras and chanting are used throughout the practice. They are usually led by the instructor and students are invited to participate.

Mantras are repeated words or phrases in Sanskrit that are sung with a certain vibration, rhythm, and tonal quality to illuminate the chakras. 

Sat Nam is a mantra commonly associated with a kundalini practice. Its meaning is Sat (truth) Nam (name or identity), translating as “truth identity”.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo mantra is typically chanted three times at the top of each Kundalini class.

It translates to “I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher”. This can also be translated as “I bow to the teacher within.” The mantra is said to connect us to our own divine power and raise our vibration.

woman sat meditating in her house

Other mantras and chants are used in the practice as well. In Kundalini Yoga for beginners, some instructors choose to provide the chants in written form for you to follow along.

It is most common to listen and join in if or when comfortable in Kundalini classes. Music is typically played to associate with the chants and further spread a positive vibration. 

Mantras can initially feel intimidating for some who are new to a chanting practice. It helps to understand what is being said, the energy the mantra conveys, and how it used to elevate your vibration. 

You can find Kundalini mantras easily on YouTube to follow along with and learn more!

4. Mudras

Mudras are sacred and symbolic gestures practiced in yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Mudras assist in the flow of prana energy.

Each mudra represents a form of symbolism and coordinates to a specific effect on the mind, body, and soul. Mudras are introduced with certain poses and in transition to new poses. 

You can expect to hold a mudra in addition to a mantra, chant, meditation, or pose.

woman smiling with her hands in anjali mudra

In beginner Kundalini Yoga classes, hand and finger placements will be instructed in more detail to get you into the correct mudra. In more advanced classes the mudra is named in the same fashion a pose is named without further instruction. 

5. Meditation

Meditation is cued in Kundalini typically in coordination with a mudra and/or mantra.

Meditation allows the Kundalini student to sit with the energy of their practice and allow it to freely move through the body. It’s also cued after more challenging poses or breath work to cool and soothe the body. 

Benefits of Kundalini Yoga:

  • Aura enhancing
  • Confidence booster
  • Gets you into your body and out of your head
  • Physically clearing negative energy
  • Deepened breathwork 
  • Strength (inward and outward)
  • Heightened manifesting abilities
  • Expanding consciousness
  • Chakra clearing and balancing

Developing a Kundalini practice has many benefits including confidence restoration, stress relief, energetic downloads, and mindset shifting. 

The postures in a Kundalini Yoga practice are held for longer periods creating an opportunity for strength building, increased flexibility, and an expansion of focus. 

yogi smiling with the seven chakras around her

Clearing energy and activating prana through the solar plexus are great for improving digestion. In addition to the powerful physical benefits, you may also gain heightened insight and intuition from a consistent Kundalini practice. 

How Kundalini Differs From Other Forms Of Yoga

Kundalini Yoga poses will not necessarily flow together. The focus is more on the flow of energy through the chakras. 

Postures or poses in other forms of yoga are more rooted once at peak.

When doing your beginner Kundalini Yoga practice, it is important to remember consistent movement and flow of energy are encouraged/instructed even after the pose has landed.

Kundalini Yoga incorporates meditation, mudras, and breath work found in other forms of yoga. However, it differs in the uses of more active mantras, chanting, and the intention of creating heat in the body. 

We see this in other forms of yoga to warm up the body and align with focus, but it may not be incorporated into all instruction. In Kundalini, this heat generation can be expected throughout. 

Kundalini Yoga places more focus on spiritual enlightenment than the poses/asana.

mat doing cat cow in a yoga class

Kundalini Yoga Poses

Kundalini is an invigorating practice with benefits for any and all willing to connect deeper into their body for a physical release of energy. This physical release allows you to connect on a deeper, more spiritual level, and illuminates your path for inner guidance. 

If the practice is new to you, more guidance may be needed to understand what has been covered. To provide you with further assistance in your Kundalini journey, there are links to resources and videos throughout this article.

Now that you know all about Kundalini Yoga, here are Kundalini Yoga beginner poses along with instruction and visual for each pose to guide you in developing your practice at home or in class:

class of yogis in cobra

Final Thoughts

How do you feel about starting your beginner Kundalini yoga practice? Did any of the Kundalini beginner yoga poses strike you as a full-body “yes” or a full-body “no”?

Allow yourself time to ease into each pose and try only what feels good for your body. 

We are all made with our own unique essence. Do what feels good for you! Remember to do everything in practice and allow your body time to adapt to each pose. 

This ‘Kundalini Yoga for Beginners’ article will allow you to begin tapping into your prana energy and set your path to understanding your inner spirit.

You may feel inspired to begin a home practice or find a class near you. 

If you are not able to find Kundalini in a class or studio near you, tap into an online or web-based class. You can also find lots of information about it online, via YouTube, and other search engines. 

Kundalini focuses on your spiritual expansion and enlightenment of your inner truth. Allow these poses and resources to only be the beginning of your journey!

Want more information? Read Kundalini Meditation: A Guide To Awaken Your Inner Potential or try out the YouTube practice below!

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Frandasia Williams, best known as Frannie, is the Owner and Founder of Guided Surrender, LLC. A home for healing. A safe space for women to be vulnerable while receiving guidance, support, and comfort on the journey towards healing. Frannie is a Certified Yoga Instructor, Reiki Practitioner, and Soul Centered Coach. She guides overextended, high achieving women to becoming SELF FIRST and manifest new beginnings through healing at the soul level. In her free time you can find her bundled up on the couch with a cup of tea, a good book, or binge watching Netflix.

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