If you enjoy a combination of poses, breathing and meditation, join a Kundalini yoga class. Although the practice dates back to the eighth century, Kundalini yoga has only been a part of the North American yoga scene since the late 60s. Specific breathing techniques and awareness of the seven chakras are important in Kundalini yoga, which helps you not only build your physical strength, but also your ability to mediate. Whether you practice yoga at home or in a studio, a few specific items can increase your enjoyment of Kundalini yoga.
Attend any Kundalini yoga class and you're bound to see people wearing a wide range of clothing. As is the case with any type of yoga class, clothing made of light, breathable material that allows you to move freely with comfort is suitable. On his website, Kundalini yoga teacher Anmol Mehta recommends wearing clothing that covers your shoulders and spine, so tank tops are not ideal. Mehta reports that clothing should cover these areas because of Kundalini's flow of energy up the back.
A yoga mat isn't absolutely necessary to practice Kundalini yoga, but most people use one to provide padding below their body and grip for their hands and bare feet. Yoga mats are available in several thicknesses, but standard mats measure one-eighth of an inch thick. Thicker mats measure one-fourth of an inch, while thinner mats, which are ideal for travel, are just one-sixteenth of an inch thick. PVC mats provide a stickiness to give you traction during poses and are also easy to clean with water.
It's easy to feel cool during the relaxation period after a Kundalini yoga class, especially when you lie in corpse pose for several minutes. Having a blanket handy allows you to quickly cover yourself up so that when your body temperature drops during the period of rest, you won't feel chilled. Some yoga studios have blankets available for use, while others do not. It's always advisable to take your own blanket to the class.
Blocks and Silence
Yoga blocks are a common yoga accessory to help you hold certain poses, especially if you're not very flexible or need a device to provide support. Although blocks aren't imperative to enjoying a Kundalini yoga class, virtually all studios have them available for students on an as-needed basis. Having silence, on the other hand, is absolutely integral to practicing Kundalini yoga. Because this type of yoga involves meditation, noises in or outside the room can be distracting.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.