If you’ve ever practiced yoga before, then you are aware of it’s many touted benefits – it builds strength, improves balance and flexibility, provides relief from stress, and increased energy.
But those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to practicing Kundalini Yoga! In my 4+ years of daily practice, I’ve noticed some surprising side-effects that deserve some attention…
1. Better digestion
Feeling sluggish? Just try a few minutes of Sufi Grinds, followed by some Breath of Fire and you’ll feel better in a jiff! Many Kundalini Yoga postures are powered by a rapid pumping of the lower abdominal muscles, which acts like a massage for your intestines, stimulating Agni (digestive fire), loosening things up and moving things along – just make sure you don’t eat a heavy meal within about 2 hours of your practice.
2. Increased creativity
The goal and the purpose of Kundalini Yoga is to clear the body and mind of blockages so you can experience your true self. Many times, ‘blockages’ are mental clutter – worries, to-do lists, regrets – that take up real estate in our minds. Every time you practice, whether it’s a 3-minute breathing exercise or an hour-long kriya and meditation, you chip away at some of that extra ‘stuff’. As those extra layers fall away, your become clearer and more open to inspired ideas. And, as a bonus, you have more energy to take action on your ideas! Double-win!
Tip: I like to keep a notebook or journal nearby to write down the ideas or information that comes to me in meditation. Sometimes they flow in so quickly, I’ll forget them if I don’t write them down right away!
3. Stronger immune system
If you’ve ever watched a Kundalini Yoga class, you may think all the arm-waving and heavy breathing is *pretty* awkward. And, you’re right! It looks funny. But it also has a purpose. The rhythmic movements help move lymph through the body, clearing out toxins. Deep breathing provides oxygen to the cells so they can protect the body against illness. Movement stimulates the secretion of hormones, shifting your brain chemistry out of “fight or flight” mode into balance-and-restore mode. The deep relaxation at the end of a yoga class is time for all these effects to integrate, allowing the systems of the body to repair and streamline its processes. The entire body adjusts to the changes you’ve just made, and the result is a rejuvenated, energized, more-balanced YOU!
Unfortunately, I feel it’s important to point out that I am NOT saying that practicing Kundalini Yoga will prevent illness!
(Please, for the love of God, continue wearing masks!)
But your body is your first line of defense – why not do everything you can to boost what you’ve got?!
These are just a tiny fraction of the many benefits of Kundalini Yoga. This practice helped me find the courage to leave a toxic job, rejuvenate my nervous system after the long-term stress I endured there, and heal from PTSD. As my practice deepens, so do the wonderful benefits I experience!
Here is a list of kriyas from 3HO to boost the immune system.
There is also some exciting scientific research being done to study the effects of Kundalini Yoga! The Kundalini Yoga Research Institute maintains a list of peer-reviewed journal publications and dissertations here.