Kundalini yoga

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Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline which is a consolidation of the highest physical and meditative techniques found in the teachings of Raja yoga, Shakti yoga, Bhakti yoga, tantra, Kriya yoga, Laya-yoga, Nada yoga and the pillars and Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.[1][2] Kundalini yoga is called the yoga of awareness because its practitioners believe that it directly affects ones consciousness, develops intuition, increases self knowledge, and unleashes the unlimited creative potential that exists within every human being.[3][4][5]

Kundalini yoga is a highly developed spiritual set of techniques with an obscure and multicultural history which, according to Hindu tradition, relies upon a technique called shaktipat to attain enlightenment under the guidance of a spiritual master.[6] Mainstream traditions propose that kundalini energy can be awakened and enlightenment attained by practicing a combination of yogic techniques—ideally following the guidance of a certified teacher—including the use of mantra, prana and breathing techniques, sadhana, asana practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.[7]

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Underlying philosophy

According to yogic philosophy, the kundalini is a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine. It is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent (literally, 'kundalini' in Sanskrit is 'that which is coiled.' Sanskrit kund, "to burn"; kunda, "to coil or to spiral").

In the classical literature of Kashmir Saivism kundalini is described in three different manifestations. The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini. The second of these is as the energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini. The third of these is as consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these two. Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will help to understand the different manifestations of kundalini .[8]

The path of Kundalini is said to proceed from the Muladhara Chakra at the lower end of the spinal column up to the Sahasara Chakra at the top of the head. But its awakening is not thought to be a physical occurrence; it consists exclusively of a development in consciousness. According to some claims, awakening of kundalini brings with it pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.[4][9]

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