If you start doing Kundalini Yoga, on your own or in a class or community space, sooner or later — probably sooner — you are going to encounter these 10 core practices of Kundalini Yoga. These mantras, chants, poses, and lifestyle routines all embody the Kundalini Yoga focus on our relationship with the divine in and around us. If you’re new to the practice, they’re a great way to get a feel for the breadth of what Kundalini Yoga has to offer (as well as make sure you know the lingo next time you drop into a class!).
Sat Nam Mantra
This is the basic mantra used in Kundalini kriyas and meditations. It reinforces the divine consciousness in everyone. It is often used as a greeting, as well as the standard mantra for Kundalini Yoga exercises, inhaling Sat (truth), exhaling Nam (name, identity). When we say Sat Nam to each other, we are acknowledging our mutual divine identity.
Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire is one of the foundational breath techniques used in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. It is energizing, cleansing, expands the lung capacity, strengthens the nervous system, boosts the immune system, and strengthens the electro-magnetic field.
In Kundalini Yoga the thumb represents the ego. In Ego Eradicator the thumb is stretched up reaching to the heavens. Ego Eradicator opens the lungs, consolidates the magnetic field, and brings the brain hemispheres to a state of alertness. A classic warm-up exercise, there are also variations found in many different kriyas.
Sat Kriya is fundamental to Kundalini Yoga. It stimulates and massages the internal organs, and the rhythmic contraction and relaxation produce waves of energy that circulate, energize, and heal the body. If you have time for nothing else, practice this kriya for 3 minutes daily.
This meditation is a catalyst for change. Sa Ta Na Ma is a mantra to help you consolidate and change your habits, with each repetition representing the cycle of Creation. This meditation has been studied and shown to help prevent memory loss.
Although Stretch Pose can be challenging, when done correctly it has a tremendous effect on the entire body. It activates the third chakra through the navel point, boosting resolve and self-esteem. It also resets the nervous system and strengthens the abdominal area. In conjunction with Breath of Fire, it is calming, rejuvenating, and purifies the blood.
Long Ek Ong Kars (Morning Call)
This mantra is often used as a cornerstone of morning sadhana, but it can also be chanted at any time. It is also called Long Chant, Morning Call, and the Adi Shakti Mantra. It balances the chakras, opens the solar plexus, evokes a sense of oneness with the Divine, and is said to liberate you from the cycle of time and karma.
Guru Ram Das Mantra
This is a mantra of self-healing, humility, relaxation, protective grace, and emotional relief. It calls on the spirit of the master healer Guru Ram Das, the 4th of the Sikh gurus. It projects the mind to the Infinite, and then brings finite guidance on a practical level.
One of the most notorious routines in the Kundalini Yoga toolkit, a cold shower is an essential step in the preparation for morning sadhana, and good health in general. Cold showers improve circulation and flush the organs clean, keeping your skin radiant and the blood chemistry young and healthy. It also stimulates healthy secretions from the glandular system and strengthens the nervous system. Give it a try—you just might learn to love it!
Based on the knowledge of Ayurveda, this richly spiced tea warms the body, supports the immune system, and stimulates digestion, liver, and spleen function. A hint of black tea supports energy, and milk is added to complement the spices. If you want to create an enticing aroma in your house without baking cookies, try making some yogi tea from scratch.