Yoga of Awareness
Yoga originate from a time when people started to live consciously. The ability to live healthy, happily, and spiritual consciously developed over thousands of years and through many civilizations. Yoga science was taught openly and integrated into everyday life. There were no secrets, private mantras or important persons.
There were only wise people who were respected. They understood that human health had to do with the life energy. They saw man as an organised energy unit, able to sense, receive and change the entire spectrum of energy that permeates the cosmos. When they looked at someone’s body, they saw a sheath or aura that reflected that person’s higher energy bodies. They were concerned with perceiving and sensing energy and the influence of the various activities and mental attitudes on the energy balance of the individual.
Yoga was a whole
At that time, when there was a lot of knowledge, only three forms of yoga were practiced: Kundalini yoga, Laya yoga and Tantra yoga. These three forms were practiced together. Yoga was a whole, every level of existence was permeated by it. Over time, the work on the whole faded and there was a split, so much power was lost and 27 yoga directions emerged, of which about ten are still widely practiced.
Introduction of Kundalini Yoga to the West
Kundalini yoga was traditionally practiced under the watchful eye of a master. Yoga Bhajan, a former master of Kundalini yoga, introduced Kundalini yoga to the West in 1968. From that time until his death in 2004 he taught Kundalini Yoga and trained thousands of teachers so that the knowledge of Kundalini Yoga could be passed on.
“At Kundalini Yoga, your experience is the most important. It goes straight to your heart. No words can replace the experience. Your mind may or may not accept the words, but your consciousness does not just accept words. The experience does not mean that you are in a deep breathless trance and have become out of this world. …It integrates you more fully with reality and gives you a broader vision and sensitivity so that you naturally act more efficiently.” -Yogi Bhajan.
The exercises, meditations and pranayamas in Kundalini yoga occur in the form of a kriya. A kriya is understood to mean a specific series of exercises. A mantra (healing sound) is often used in the meditations and exercises. Each kriya is different in composition and has a different effect. The word kriya comes from Sanskrit and means ‘action’, ‘practice’, ‘movement’. A kriya has a cleansing and strengthening effect on a physical and mental level.