Kundalini Yoga—in some circles it’s called “the weird yoga”—in other circles it’s called the yoga of awareness.
Kundalini is a practice that guides us to send energy in, out, and through the body. It uses breathing and movement techniques targeted at specific systems within the physical and energetic body. In some practices you stick your tongue out and roar, in others you balance on your fingers and toes and bounce up and down for 5 minutes straight. It depends on the practice and your desired outcome.
A kriya in Kundalini is a series of postures and breath you do to cultivate (or let go of) specific intentions or energies. Ever since my mom first brought me to a Kundalini class when I was a teenager, I’ve loved the feeling of a kriya–sometimes I literally feel as though I am buzzing once I complete one.
You can choose from countless kriyas depending on what you need–self-reliance, increased fertility, an open mind, and so on. Selecting a kriya has always felt really special to me, it seems to come right when I need it to. Sometimes I won’t think about it for months, and all of a sudden a new kriya is plopped in my lap that I know I need and so I commit to practice it for an extended amount of time–usually the traditional 40 days.
This is a kriya to cultivate radiance.
To view the full meditation with Kia, you can find it here on YogaGlo. They offer a 15 day free trial. YogaGlo is a favorite online yoga resource of mine, I’ve had a subscription for years.
40-Day Kriya for Radiance
Start in a comfortable seated position. Raise your arms and bend your elbows so that you arms look like a football goalpost. Your hands will be in an active gyan mudra, with your index finger hooked under your thumb. Draw your lips together as if you were blowing out a candle or sipping on a straw, the breath will flow in and out of your mouth. (Bonus: this breath is nice and cooling which is perfect for these summer months we’re in.)
You practice this posture and breath for 11 minutes. Let me tell you, 11 minutes is a long time to hold your arms out by your side, but witnessing that sensation is part of the work, staying steady and bright while in the midst of chaos. I’ve found that the less I move and the steadier I can hold my gaze, the more my body can sink into the meditation and relax.
I will be posting about this meditation over the next 40 days over on instagram, I hope you can join me. If you do decide to take the 40 day challenge, be sure to stick to it. Even skipping one day means you should start over. The commitment is part of the practice, too.
If you’d like to browse other kriyas to find one that speaks to your current needs, here is a good resource.
Happy radiance to you!