Thankfully, controlling your Kundalini energy isn't as frightening a task as, let's say, taming a wild stallion, especially when you don't know a thing about horses. If you maintain a regular Kundalini yoga practice, giving equal attention to the four components of breathing, asana, chanting and meditation that define this style, then you're already familiar with this energy. Through your practice it awakens and moves up from the base of your spine and through your chakras. How little or how much energy you receive or how blissful or uncomfortable it feels is dependent on certain factors and conditions, which you can control.
Be spontaneous. Attempting to execute the perfect yoga asana or kriya is not as beneficial as making it perfect for you. Don't struggle. If something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't good for you. By all means work on mastering poses, but do it at your own speed and in your own way. Energy is all about flow and if you perform Kundalini yoga with equal parts acceptance of your limitations and belief that you will overcome them when you're ready, then the energy you create will flow without restriction.
Practice with a qualified instructor if you want to experiment with pranayama or breathing techniques that were designed to elevate your Kundalini energy. Tucking yourself away to practice these techniques without guidance can be dangerous. An expert can help you build your pranayama practice incrementally. By building your mastery over time, you have more control over the Kundalini energy ebb and flow.
Say your vowels. Positioning your tongue in your mouth just so, to intone mantras or words or phrases like OM and Sat Nam -- both biggies in the Kundalini yoga lexicon -- produces vibrations throughout your whole body. For a brief time your body and mind are one. You have an unimpeded flow of Kundalini energy. Use mantras at the beginning of your Kundalini yoga practice to elevate your energy and at the end to ground it.
Meditate after a Kundalini yoga session. You'll want to tune in and evaluate your experience. That doesn't mean having a one-sided conversation with yourself to go over the playbook. It means sitting or lying down comfortably and absorbing how the energy you have built or blocked through your practices of asana, breathing and chanting has affected your body, mind and soul. Each Kundalini yoga practice is a chance to alter your practices to suit how you feel or what you want to feel and meditation will help guide you.
Linda Kaban is a certified yoga teacher and professional life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their fitness goals. With a bachelor's degree in the humanities, Kaban has been writing since 1998 and has been published in YOGALife magazine along with other healthy living publications.