What Makes Kundalini Yoga Different From Regular Yoga

With over 10 different major styles of yoga, picking the best one to suit your needs can be daunting to any new or experienced yogi. Some of the more commonly practiced styles include vinyasa, hatha, and Bikram yoga (via MindBodyGreen). One style of yoga which has been increasing in popularity over the last several years is Kundalini yoga. Lesser-known then some of its counterparts, Kundalini yoga is more of a spiritual and energy moving practice rather than a physical practice (via Healthline).

Around for centuries, this style of yoga gets its name from the Sanskrit word "kundal" meaning "circular." According to Kundalini practitioners, it is believed that we have energy coiled at the base of our spine typically laying stagnant like a sleeping snake, and through this form of yoga, that energy is awakened and can move through the seven chakras, or energy centers of the body.

Kundalini practice differs from other forms of yoga both in structure and in substance. Perhaps one of the most striking differences you'll notice in a Kundalini class is the white garments and headwraps sometimes worn by teachers and students alike (via MindBodyGreen). While by no means mandatory, there is a significance to it. The color white represents the extension of your aura and helps fend off negative energy. The white head coverings are worn to keep the cultivated energy within the body.

Kundalini structure and health benefits

The practice itself is also a bit different from other yoga classes you may have taken. This form of practice starts with an opening chant and a brief spinal warm-up to get you ready for the "kriya" or actions. A kriya is a physical posture that is coupled with a specific style of breath, chant, mudra, or any combination of the aforementioned. Each kriya is performed for a designated length of time. Kriyas are followed by time for relaxation and meditation in order to absorb and nourish the energies cultivated and release what no longer serves you. The class then ends with a formal mantra or chant. Kundalini yoga is very meditation and chanting heavy.

Like most forms of yoga, Kundalini yoga also boasts some great health benefits. This practice has been found to help improve symptoms of anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve cognitive function, build strength, and boost metabolism. So the next time you're trying to decide what yoga class to take, consider Kundalini and see how your energy can be transformed!