1.8 What is the structure of a typical class or practice?



Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is probably the most formalized style of yoga currently taught throughout the world. In any class, anywhere in the world, you can expect it to include six major components:
  1. Tuning-in with the Adi Mantra
  2. Pranayam or warm-up
  3. Kriya
  4. Relaxation
  5. Meditation
  6. Close with the blessing song, “May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You”. 
 Kriyas are complete sets of exercises that are performed in the sequences given by the Master, Yogi Bhajan. They can be simple short sequences or they may involve vigorous, even strenuous exercises, and strong breath techniques such as Breath of Fire, which challenge and strengthen the nervous and endocrine systems and test the will of the practitioner beyond the limitations of their ego. 

The typical class is 60-90 minutes: 5-10 minute warm-up, 30-45 minute kriya, 5-15 minute layout, 11-31 minutes of meditation.

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® typically includes pranayam and meditation. Pranayam practices range from One Minute Breath, Breath of Fire, alternate nostril breathing, Dog Breath, Sitali Pranayam, and suspended breath techniques, to name a few. Meditations often involve movement or mantra, and generally have an eye focus (drishti) in addition to mudra (hand position) and asana (body posture). Many Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® kriyas and meditations include mantra and chanting. One of the first signs of the awakening of the kundalini is a new awareness of the power of our words. You begin to meditate on and develop inner sounds using mantra and naad. Kundalini Yoga was often mistaken for Mantra Yoga because of its frequent integration of sound in its kriyas and meditations. The use of mantra throughout the practice of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is very effective in attaining two particular goals of the practice—expansion of the Self and elevation of the spirit. Mantra also supports those new to meditation, who find silence and absolutely stillness very challenging. In this way it is a ‘beginner’s practice’ and can be used by anyone to attain clarity, balance and equanimity. In addition, there are many meditations that are silent, practiced in a profoundly transformative stillness called shuniya.

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