Kundalini Yoga – What Is It And Its 7 Major Chakras?

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Kundalini yoga, also known as Laya yoga, has its roots in Tantric traditions. In Tantra yoga, you are taught the various ways to respect and worship Shakti, the ultimate form of feminine energy. According to the followers of Kundalini, Shakti resides within our body and is called the Kundalini. They vouch for the presence of this powerful energy lying dormant and untapped in the base of our spine.

What is Kundalini Yoga?

As the name suggests, this form of yoga concentrates on awakening the dormant energy through meditation, asanas, mudras, bandhas, kriyas, Pranayama, and chants. Also known as the ‘yoga of awareness’, this form of yoga seeks to awaken the unexplored potential in all the individuals, allowing you to blend with the unrestrained Self.

Your body is a very complex organization, which has loads of untapped energy coiled in it, lying dormant and waiting to be explored. These energy levels are not visible to a layman’s eye and are found within the seven chakras, which in turn are powered by the life force called Prana. And here is where Kundalini yoga comes to your help. With regular practice of this form of yoga, one can clear the clogged chakras, awaken them, and allow free flow of energy. This, in turn, leaves you invigorated, paving way for your physical and spiritual bodies to touch new heights.

Here is what this form of yoga gifts you:

  1. You will be calm, composed, creative and productive, relaxed, happier, and healthier.
  2. Your energy levels pep up, ensuring better physical and mental well being.
  3. Your intuitive power becomes stronger, enabling you to carve better opportunities.
  4. You get to know yourself better and unravel a new self.

What are Kundalini Yoga Chakras?

To understand Kundalini and the Chakras, you need to know what nadis are. Nadis, quite often called astral tubes, are located within your astral body. There are about 72,000 nadis in each person. When two or more nadis intersect at a specific place, they form the chakras. So, there are countless chakras too. These chakras allow prana to flow from your astral body into the physical one, ensuring that your physical body stays alive.

Clogged nadis quite often are the culprits behind ill health. That is why keeping them clear and awakened is quite essential. And this can be done with the help of Kundalini yoga alone. There are 7 major chakras that come into play when you talk about purification and awakening.

  1. Muladhara –Base Chakra: Located at coccyx , the spine’s base
  2. Swadhishthana –Sacral Chakra: Located at the sacrum
  3. Manipura –Solar Plexus Chakra: Located within the spinal lumbar region, behind your navel
  4. Anahata –Heart Chakra: Located at the chest’s centre
  5. Vishuddha – Throat Chakra: Located at the throat base
  6. Ajna – Thrid Eye: Located between the eyebrows
  7. Sahasrara – Crown Chakra: Located within the head’s crown

What is Kundalini Awakening?

Now that you know about the 7 chakras and where they are located, let us see what Kundalini awakening is all about. Awakening the Kundalini is done in two phases – the purification phase and the awakening phase.

  • The Purification Phase:

This essential phase is pretty lengthy. This is done with the help of various Kundalini Hatha yoga techniques, including asanas, kriyas, and Pranayamas.

  • The Awakening Phase:

Once you clear up the clogged chakras, then you can start awakening them with the help of various advanced bandhas, mudras, and pranayamas. The awakening phase begins at the Mooladhara, progressing gradually through the Nadis and Chakras, until it reaches the Crown Chakra. This phase is also referred by many as the union of Shakti with Shiva or the merging of male and female energies.

There are various ways by which you can purify and awaken your chakras, and all of them need the presence of a qualified yogi or yogini.

Purifying and Awakening the 7 Major Chakras With Kundalini Yoga:

I. Mooladhara Chakra – Root Chakra:

Purifying: Bakasana – Crow Pose:

1. Stand on the yoga mat, spine erect, feet in contact, and hands residing on either side of the body.
2. Squat on the mat in such a way that your palms rest on the floor. Make sure your hands are at shoulder width.
3. Tucking in your core, raise the hips as high as possible while knees rest against your upper triceps.
4. Fix your gaze on the mat, about 3 inches off your hands.
5. Balancing yourself on the hand, push your feet off the ground, straightening the elbows.
6. Hold the pose for a count of up to 10 initially.
7. Slowly, bring your feet to rest on the mat.
8. Relax yourself and lift your torso off the ground in such a way that you are now standing in Uttanasana.

Awakening: Upavistha Konasana – Seated Wide Angle Pose:

1. Seat on the yoga mat in Dandasana (Staff pose), spine erect and legs stretched out in front of you.
2. Once your legs are perpendicular to each other, allow your palms to rest behind you, close to your buttocks. Push the buttocks forward to enable further opening up of legs as much as possible.
3. Keep your knees and spine erect.
4. Taking a deep breath, try to touch the toes of the legs. [Left hand for left leg and vice versa].
5. Exhaling gradually, bend forward slowly, little at a time, until you feel a stretch on your hamstrings.
6. Breathing normally, hold the pose for a count of 10.
7. Take a deep inhalation, bring your hands to rest on either side of the body.
8. Bring your legs back to initial position and relax.

II. Svadisthana Chakra – Sacral Chakra:

Purification: Mandukasana – Frog Pose:

1. Kneel down on the yoga mat, knees apart as wide as possible, without exerting pressure on knees and hips.
2. The feet should be in contact so that you will find your buttocks resting on the mat.
3. Allow your hands to rest on your thighs, palms facing the thighs.
4. Keep the head straight, breathe normally.
5. Hold the pose for 10 to 12 counts.
6. To come out of the pose, bring your legs forward, one at a time, and relax in Dandasana.

Awakening: Pada Hasthasana – Standing Forward Bend:

1. Stand on the yoga mat, feet in contact.
2. Keep your spine erect while hands rest on either side of the body, palms facing the thighs.
3. Taking a deep inhalation, stretch your hands above your head.
4. Exhaling slowly, bend forward your torso along with your hands until your palms rest on the floor.
5. Hold the pose, breathing normally, for a count of 15.
6. Taking a deep inhalation, lift your torso, come back to initial position with hands resting alongside your body.

III. Manipura Chakra – Solar Plexus Chakra:

Purification: Dhanurasana – Bow Pose:

1. Lie on yoga mat in prone position, hands resting alongside your body.
2. Bend your knees, allowing your feet to come as close as possible to your hips. Taking a deep inhalation, stretch your hands backwards, lifting your chest and head.
3. Incline your head backwards as your hold your ankles with your hands.
4. Breathing normally, stretch backwards as much as possible, bending your body backwards to resemble a bow.
5. Hold the pose for a count of 10 to 15.
6. Taking a deep exhalation, relax and come back to the initial position.

Awakening: Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Spinal Twist:

1. Sit in the yoga mat allowing your buttocks to rest on your heels, spine erect.
2. Cross your left knee over the right thigh.

3. Lift your right arm and cross it over the left side of the left knee and hold the ankle.

4. Turn your head to look over the left shoulder, while your left hand wraps your waist.
5. Hold the pose for a count of 10.
6. Exhaling, slowly relax and sit in Sukhasana.
7. Repeat with the other side.

IV. Anahata Chakra – Heart Chakra:

Purification: Ustrasana – Camel Pose:

1. Sit on your mat in Vajrasana.
2. Push your body off your hips and balance on your knees, spine erect, head straight, hands resting on either side of the body. Heels should be spread out at shoulder width.
3. Take a deep inward breath and then while exhaling, bring your hands backward, one at a time, so that you can touch your heels.
4. Push your hips forward, without exerting pressure on your hips, knees, and back so that they are over your knees.
5. Bend your head backwards, allowing to open up the throat.
6. Breathing deeply, hold the pose, for up to a count of 10.
7. Taking a deep exhalation, slowly bring your body to relax in Vajrasana.

Awakening: Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose:

1. Lie down on the yoga mat in supine position.
2. Stretch your legs outwards, heels in contact.
3. Rest your hands, palms facing the mat, alongside your chest.
4. Inhaling deeply, push your neck, chest, and head backwards, balancing, but not exerting pressure on your palms.
5. Holding your breath, remain in the position, until a slow count of 10.
6. Exhale deeply, relax to come back to the initial stage.

V. Vishuddha Chakra – Throat Chakra:

Clearing: Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose:

1. Lie down on the yoga mat in supine position.
2. Stretch your legs outwards, heels in contact.
3. Rest your hands, palms facing the mat, alongside your chest.
4. Inhaling deeply, push your neck, chest, and head backwards, balancing, but not exerting pressure on your palms.
5. Holding your breath, remain in the position, until a slow count of 10.
6. Exhale deeply, relax to come back to the initial stage.

Awakening: Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand:

1. Lie down on the yoga mat in prone position.
2. Take a deep exhalation. Now, while inhaling, lift the legs until they make a 90 degree angle with the floor.
3. Exhaling, lift your waist off the mat while pushing your legs backwards beyond your head.
4. Support your waist with your hands.
5. Hold the asana for a count of 10 while breathing normally.
6. Exhaling slowly, bend your knees, curve the back, and gently and carefully, allow your body to return to the initial position.

VI. Ajna Chakra – The Third Eye:

Purification: Guru Pranam – Saluting Your Teacher:

1. Kneel down on the yoga mat in such a way that your buttocks rest on your heels.
2. Taking a deep inhalation, lift your hands above your head, palms joined in Namaskar mudra.
3. Exhaling, bend forward, allowing your torso to rest on your thighs.
4. Simultaneously, bring your folded hands so that they rest on the floor,
5. Your forehead should rest on the floor.
6. Hold the pose, normally breathing, for a count of 10.
7. Exhale and slowly lift your torso off the thighs, allow your hands to rest on the thighs, palms facing the thighs, as in Vajrasana.

Awakening: Padmasana – Lotus Pose:

1. Sit erect cross-legged, left foot resting on your right thigh and right foot on left thigh.
2. Close your eyes and with deep inhalations and exhalations, try to relax.
3. Let your hands rest on thighs in Chin Mudra [Thumb and index finger in contact].
4. The focus should be on the point that lies in between the brows.
5. Sit until you feel completely at peace with deep breathing.

VII. Sahsrara Chakra – Crown Chakra:

Purification: Sat Kriya:

1. Kneel down on the yoga mat in such a way that your buttocks rest on your heels.
2. Lift your hands above your head.
3. Interlace your fingers, leaving aside the index ones.
4. Keep your arms as close as possible to your ears.
5. Squeeze the belly button.
6. Do this for about 3 minutes.
7. Relax in Vajrasana.

Awakening: Salamba Sirsasana – Headstand Pose:

1. Sit in Vajrasana on the yoga mat.
2. Taking a deep inhalation, bend your body forward.
3. Bring your hands to the front, with portion right from the elbows resting on the mat, and place it beneath your head.
4. Interlace your fingers and adjust your head to rest on the palms. Hold your head firmly with your hands.
5. Slowly, push your buttocks and knees off the floor, straightening your legs.
6. Bring your feet close to your head to the maximum possible extent, allowing your body to be balanced on the arms and head.
7. Lift your legs to reach the wall, one at a time.
8. Straighten your body, slowly, to allow it come in a straight line. Keep the feet relaxed.
9. Keeping your eyes closed, relax for a count of 10.
10. Taking deep breathes; gently return to the initial position.

Each Kundalini yoga chakra has its own significant place in Kundalini Yoga. You cannot just concentrate, purify, and awaken a single chakra, leaving aside the others. While the Mooladhara, Swadhishthana, and Manipura chakras concentrate on elimination, Vishuddha, Ajna, and Sahsra Chakras enable accumulation. The Anahata chakra or Heart chakra is the point where the upper triangle intersects with the lower one, balancing the two in the right way.

One Last Word:

There is a widespread connotation that Kundalini yoga is an alternative form of sexual practice. This is incorrect. Just like other forms of yoga, this too teaches you to be healthy, internally and externally. The difference – the way you become aware of that untapped energy.

Kundalini awakening can be achieved through various means. The above mentioned list is just one way of doing it. There are various Pranayama techniques that help in clearing the chakras, enabling the surge of that congested energy. Sexual union is also one of the forms to clear off the chakras, especially because Kundalini is trapped in the Mooladhara – the root. A clear Mooladhara, undoubtedly, is a vast source of untamed energy.

Kundalini yoga looks quite simple, but in reality it takes ages to master the concept as well as to clear and awaken your chakras. The topic is wide and the discussion, a never ending journey.

Have you ever followed any other ways to awaken your sleeping serpent energy? Share with us in

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