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This week, I began teaching Kundalini Yoga again. The yoga class highlighted balancing the pituitary gland. I always tell my class that I like teaching this set of poses since I learned that the pituitary usually shrinks as we age. Actually, the shrinking causes the aging as hormones diminish and bodily functions change. Can we really prevent this deterioration from occurring or at least slow it down? This set of postures includes a rapid shallow breath called the breath of fire, followed by simple inversions such as a forward bend from the standing or kneeling position. The intention of this pairing is to send energy to the area where the pituitary lies. In yoga, this area between the eyebrows is called “Ajna”, better known as the 3rd Eye or the 6th chakra.

The 3rd Eye is considered the seat of intuition and knowing. The upshot of fueling the pituitary is that it allows the clear thought and vision of Ajna to surface. These moments of awareness are tantalizing.  Like on that adorable AT&T commercial, “we want more, we want more!”

Last night I shared in a yoga class taught by 95 year-old Tao Porchon-Lynch. She incited the group to live life to the fullest. She to me exemplified the great life one can have when we allow ourselves to

“want more” for our lives or rather “expect more” for our lives. She awakens each day expecting the beauty and grace of life to surround her without limitations.  In fact, she is still competing in ballroom dance competitions although I suspect she always wins for her age group!

As I work to allow the surfacing of my own inner essence and knowing, I hope to participate in life fully. I know others are on similar paths. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.

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Those who practice Kundalini know it as the Yoga of Awareness because of the effects that it has on the practitioner. It is a mental, spiritual, and physical activity that develops spiritual awarenss, improved mental focus and physical fitness, and increased individual consciousness. But how?

Kundalini Yoga is a combination of both yoga and meditation. It focuses on the ideas of upholding values, speaking the truth, and encompassing compassion for the self and others. The methodology is where it gets a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to yoga in general. I’ll break it down as simply as I can for you.

Technically, kundalini is a spiritual energy located at the base of the spine. Picture it as a serpant that is coiled up, resting. Sanskrit – Kundala – that which is coiled. The practice of Kundalini yoga is meant to awaken that serpant via six chakras and to pierce the seventh, “the crown.” A chakra is known essentially as a point of energy in the body. Most practitioners describe chakras as wheel-like or flower-like, meaning each of the seven have several aspects to them (spokes of a wheel or petals on a flower). Take a look –>  Ok, so imagine a serpant coiled up at the bottom and then slowly rising up by means of practicing Kundalini yoga until it reaches the crown. As the serpent awakens, so does your consciousness, awareness, mindfullness, happiness, you name it.

Some understand Kundalini Yoga to be a “tri-fold” experience. Depending on your instructor, it may pull techniques from Bhakti yoga (“spiritual practice for fostering love and devotion for a personal God”) for devotion, Shakti yoga (“to be able” – sacred force) for power, and Raja yoga (“royal union” – focus on meditation) for control.

Kundalini classes will vary in frequency depending on your instructor but the Kundalini journey is a daily life style. Those who are dedicated will practice daily kriyas, “powers of thought,” and meditation in sadhana. Sadhana is basically a means a accomplishing something.

Beyond the benefits already discussed regarding the practice of Kundalini Yoga, many people also experience what they describe as “pure joy, pure knowledge, and pure love.” It helps those who practice to get to know themselves in a deeper and purer way which then allows them to interact with others in a sincere and compassionate manner. The physical benefits are equally as rewarding as your body will become more fit and crave healthy options in other aspects of you life.

For information on my Kundalini Yoga class schedule please check out my website! www.wellnesswithinbe.com or email Becky at rebeccam@udel.edu to be added to my Yoga and Wellness mailing list!