Friday, August 15, 2014

The Structure of a Kundalini Yoga Class

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan follows a certain structure because this way we can be sure to stimulate our energy safely, effectively, and gain the results/benefits that we want.This structure together with the hands-off teaching policy (Yogi Bhajan specifically instructed that we verbally correct students and never adjust students' postures by physical touch) will allow students the time and space to go within and understand their true Self. That is why Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is presented in the way that was handed down by Yogi Bhajan. We want students to have an experience of their higher Selves in a safe and sacred space, without anyone pushing his/her own agenda on the students, or forcing them into anything that they are not comfortable with.

For those who are curious and  have never taken a single Kundalini Yoga class, here are the details of a Kundalini Yoga class: 

1. Every Kundalini Yoga class begins by tuning in with Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (Adi Mantra)

We are made of energy. To unlock the energy in our body we need the right key. The correct sound and rhythm that we create with our own voice is the key to unlock the energy inside us. The mantras given by Yogi Bhajan are the correct keys, and these mantras will for sure have a positive effect on the body and mind.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo is a mantra that is chanted 3-5 times at the beginning of every class. Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo can be translated as "I bow to the divine teacher within me and all around me", or "I bow/pay respect to this learning process that takes me from not knowing (my Self) to knowing (my Self)".

Chanting this mantra will vibrate the skull, stimulate the pituitary gland, and cause chemical changes in our blood stream. This helps us to relax, put our mind in a meditative state and connect us to the teacher/wisdom in us and of the past, present and future. As you can see, Kundalini Yoga is not just some physical exercises, it is a personal journey toward knowing your true Self. 

Here is a video of senior teacher, Sangeet Kaur, leading the tune-in before starting the Double Gong Healing session.

2. Warm-up

Warm-up consists of a series of short exercises. It is up to the teacher to decide the exercises for the class. Warm-up may take about 10 minutes and usually include stretches and breath work (pranayam). We should always warm up the muscles properly, open up the circulation to get energy flowing and to make sure that we don't injure ourselves.  

In this picture, master teacher, Adi Singh is leading students through some warm-up exercises.

3. Kriya

A kriya is a specific set of yogic exercises that were put together to create specific results. Yogi Bhajan left us with countless kriya sets, each for a specific purpose. For example, there are kriya for the kidneys, kriya for flexibility, to build strength and stamina, kriya to get rid of fear, kriya to get rid of anger, kriya for prosperity, for the auric field...etc. 

It is up to the teacher to select the kriya for the class. However, a properly trained Kundalini Yoga teacher will never alter the kriya and deviate from the original teaching. This way students can learn to raise their energy correctly and safely.  

 This picture above shows an example of a kriya in Kundalini Yoga. 

 Here in this photo, master teacher, Sevak Singh, is demonstrating an exercise from a kriya.

4. Relaxation

After practicing a kriya we need to lie down to let the energy settle down and to let the body adjust to the changes we experience from the kriya. Be sure to let go of all the tension in your body and let your breath become normal. Some teachers will play mantra music and some teachers play the gong during relaxation

In this video, Sadhana Kaur is playing the gong for students after a kriya.

5. Meditation

After a nice rest, our mind and body are ready for meditation. Again, it is up to the teacher to select the meditation for the class and present it exactly the way it was taught by Yogi Bhajan because the correct posture, hand position (mudra), eye focus, breath and mantra will create the specific results that we want in each meditation.

Just like the kriyas, Yogi Bhajn left behind countless meditations that work on different aspects of the Self.

In this picture, Haritej Kaur is demonstrating a meditation for balance and clarity.

6. Ending the class with the  Long Time Sun Shine Song

Finally, at the end of the class, we bless ourselves and each other with the Long Time Sun Shine Song and long Sat Nam, completing this cleansing, uplifting, self-discovery process with beautiful energy.

Thank you for reading, we hope this article helps everyone learn about Kundalini Yoga. If you are in Phoenix, please come join us and have an experience of your true Self. Sat Nam! 


  1. Can you share some yoga steps which can help losing weight and can up my energy level? My sister is suggesting me to join Philadelphia Yoga Classes, what would you recommend me? Any idea?

    1. Hi Cris! Any Kundalini Yoga exercise/meditation can help raise one's energy, and with frequent practice, will also contribute greatly to physical fitness. If you are new to Kundalini Yoga, try to take a class from a certified teacher. You will feel a difference immediately! If you want to practice some exercises at home, maybe start with something easy. Try these warm-up exercises in this video by Spirit Voyage:

      Good luck and blessings to you!