Practice These 7 Kundalini Yoga Poses and Kriyas to Focus Your Mind and Balance Your Body

In Kundalini Yoga, your pranayama (breath), drishti (eye gaze), mantras, asanas (yoga poses) and mudras are all interwoven to lead to a connection with the higher consciousness – fast. Combined and practiced together, these techniques are called Kundalini kriyas.

A kriya is a set of postures, movements or breath patterns which, when all performed as a sequence, lead mind and body to a specific desired outcome.

Pranayama, or conscious breathing exercises, are practiced initially to connect the mind, body, and breath (spirit). Various pranayama have differing effects and when combined with the movements can create a strong chemical change in the body.

New to Pranayama? Read this: Pranayama Explained + 5 Techniques to Get You Started

Your drishti – where you set your gaze during your physical practice – is used to deepen your focus and awareness.

Mantras are incorporated throughout to utilize sound therapy and the sound vibrations within your body.
 

 
 
Asana and repetitive movements are used to release tension from the body and transfer energy around the body to strengthen, stretch and release.
 
Mudras, the hand gestures incorporated into your practice, are energy ‘seals’ using the magnetic and electrical polarities in the fingers and hands.
 
Get the scoop on Kundalini 101 with An Introduction to Kundalini Yoga
 
When I first tried a Kundalini 3-minute warmup, I felt cellularly different immediately. The poses and movements within Kundalini Yoga can have a profound effect on your body and mind.
 
 

Try These 7 Kundalini Poses and Kriyas:

Kundalini Yoga is a practice that has been gifted to us to strengthen and improve our nervous system. These Kundalini kriyas and yoga poses will clear and focus the mind, and bring balance to your body.

Did you know Science Says Kirtan Kriya (A Kundalini Mantra) Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s – Here’s Why

For your first time practicing each of the following, begin with 30 seconds or 5 deep breaths and work up to 3 minutes for each exercise. This allows time for the oxygen and chemical changes to occur in the bloodstream.
 

1. Breath of Fire

Breath of Fire is a powerful and detoxifying pranayama technique that heats up the body, inhaling & exhaling through the nose.

This detoxifies your body, oxygenates blood, and strengthens your solar plexus chakra. The Solar Plexus Chakra is the seat of our willpower and determination, enabling us to have the strength and power to continue with the set practice (which at times can be very challenging) or goal of the Kriya.

Due to the detoxifying nature of the breath and the chemical changes in the body, dizziness may occur – this can be relieved by focusing the eyes up to just behind your eyebrows and drinking a glass of water afterwards.

Let’s try it:

  • Inhale pushing your stomach outward with gentle, intentional force
  • On your exhale, pull your stomach up and into your spine, expelling your breath with the same gentle, intentional force

Want more information and guidance on this form of Pranayama? Energize and Release Toxins Instantly with this Breath of Fire Pranayama Tutorial
 

2. Ego Eradicator

This simple but super effective exercise strengthens and cleanses the lungs, opens the heart and with thumbs pointing up, literally plugs us into the higher realms by balancing the two hemispheres of the brain and bringing a mental clarity that quietens the negative mind.
 
hands-up
 
Let’s try it:

  • Sitting in Easy Pose (Sukasana), flex your fingers at the middle knuckle so the pads of your fingertips rest where the palms meet the base of the fingers
  • Point your thumbs towards the sky
  • Extend your arms 160 degrees above the head
  • Focus your eyes up to the Third Eye Chakra, and then begin your Breath of Fire

 

3. Spinal Flexes (Seated Cat Cow Pose)

Yogi Bhajan once said, “You are as old as your spine is flexible.” A stiff spine can disrupt the flow of spinal fluid, stimulating the aging process and restricting the efficiency of your digestive system.
 
Spinal-Flexes-cat

Spinal-Flexes-cow
 
Let’s try it:

  • In Easy Seated Pose, grasp your knees or front ankle with both hands
  • Bring awareness to your heart’s center
  • Keeping your eyes closed, inhale as you lift your gaze and pull your heart forward for Cow Pose, exhale as you round your spine for Cat Pose

 

 
 

4. Sufi Grind Pose

The spinal movements we did in Seated Cat Cow target the lower spine predominantly and the lumbar region, while Sufi Grind Pose focuses on your thoracic (or mid) spine.
 
Sufi-Grind-Pose-1

Sufi-Grind-Pose-2
 
Let’s try it:

  • In Easy Pose, rest your hands on your knees
  • Circle the spine counterclockwise, churning and grinding your thoracic spine and abdomen
  • Inhale as you circle forwards and exhale as you circle back
  • Halfway through, switch directions

 

5. Shoulder Twist

This wonderful mobility practice for the cervical spine eases tension and stiffness around your upper back, shoulders, and neck. Your breath also opens and recharges your lungs, creating immense energy that strengthens and enlarges your aura, as we churn up the energy around the body.
 
Shoulder-Twist-1

Shoulder-Twist-2
 
Let’s try it:

  • Place your left fingertips on the left shoulder and same with your right side
  • Keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders and parallel to the ground, begin twisting left and right
  • Inhale left and exhale right
  • Vibrate the mantra Sat Nam in your head as you twist (Sat left, Nam right)
  • Allow your head to naturally follow the movements of your spine

 

6. Frogs

This wonderful exercise tones, shapes and strengthens the lower body while providing a cardiovascular workout. The energy that gets stimulated in the lower chakras is then pushed up your spine to connect with the higher chakras.
 
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forward-fold-frogs-pose
 
Let’s try it:

  • Stand on your toes with feet out at 45 degrees, heels touching and knees bent deeply out to the side, hands resting on the floor
  • On your inhale, straighten the knees taking the hips up to the sky, keeping your head low, and hands resting on the floor and heels touching
  • As you exhale, bend back to the starting position, lifting your head and dropping your hips
  • Continue rapidly with powerful breathing
  • To finish, come up to stand with feet flat on the floor and take five long deep breaths through your nose. Feel the energy charging up your legs and into your higher chakras

 

7. Archer Pose

This posture is wonderful for promoting willpower, determination, and clarity of desire. You will also strengthen your hips, quadriceps, shoulders and core.

archer-pose

Let’s try it:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Step back with your left foot, ensuring that both feet are flat on the floor
  • Make a fist with both hands out in front and pressing your palms together
  • Keeping your elbow high, pull back your left arm (like you’re pulling back a bow), keeping your left shoulder and elbow high
  • Focus your eyes on your right thumb out in front of you
  • Ground down through the legs and feel strong and bold like a warrior
  • Try it with both long deep breathing and Breath of Fire
  • Switch sides

 
 

These Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Create a Balanced Body and Focused Mind

When you take the opportunity to try anything new – be it something you are unsure of, or something you have wanted to try for years – approach with an open heart and an open mind.

The guidance provided here is for you to experience and feel! Try these kriyas and poses for yourself, connect with your body, notice how you feel and then let us know how it goes (we love hearing from you in the comments below!). As a final thought, consider this quote from Yogi Bhajan:
 
“There’s nothing which can be more precious in you than your own relationship with your own consciousness.”
 

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