What Is Kundalini Yoga? History, 3 Benefits, and More!

Yoga quotes about practice

If you’re wondering, “what is Kundalini yoga?” this insightful guide will explain all you need to know, including its health benefits, origin, and different types of practice.

Meaning “a coiled snake” in ancient Sanskrit, Kundalini is a type of yoga full of surprises and benefits. The idea behind the Kundalini centers around “unlocking” the latent energy in your body to let it flow along the spine, starting at its base and coiling upwards to the head.

When Kundalini yoga wakes up that hidden energy, it taps into different energy centers and flows to the roof of your crown and outward to create a swift, balanced flow. Practicing Kundalini is a great way to detoxify your mind and take you closer to a successful spiritual awakening. 

History Of Kundalini Yoga

The exact origin of Kundalini yoga remains unknown. 

However, the earliest records of Kundalini tell us about the existence of an ancient book known as the sacred Vedic collection, Upanishads. The collection dates back to somewhere between 1000 BCE to 500 BCE. It mentions in the book that Kundalini was a science of energy and spiritual philosophy before modern-day yogis adopted it.

Kundalini was traditionally performed simply by students sitting down to hear the teachings of the master. Nowadays, modern Kundalini yoga involves basic intentional movements as a physical expression that paves the way for the positive energy within one’s body to be activated and released.

What Makes Kundalini Yoga Special?

The major contrast between Kundalini yoga and other styles of yoga lies in the limit of movements and how the energy is closely connected to your mental health. Instead of focusing on challenging poses, Kundalini shines its torch on the spiritual benefits of yoga. 

The limit in the movement of Kundalini may remind you of similar forms of yoga, such as Hatha yoga or Vinyasa yoga. However, its primary focus is placed on the way you angle your breathwork, postures, and meditation to help you achieve your goal. 

What Is Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini shines its torch on the spiritual benefits of yoga

For that reason, Kundalini inclines towards the spiritual form of practice that enriches your mind rather than toning your physical body. The ultimate goal you should expect to cultivate is the spiritual awakening of your body that brings out peace of mind by aligning with the chakras.

Check out our guide on what to eat before yoga to come prepared. 

3 Major Benefits Of Kundalini Yoga

Reduced Stress And Anxiety

Kundalini has a way of clearing out your mind by decreasing the levels of stress and strengthening your resilience.

Improved Cognition And Mood 

Once the blockages taking over your mind are removed, it’s easier for you to seek positivity in things and enhance your mood. By controlling your breathwork, postures, and meditation, you will improve how you express your emotions, feelings, and apathy.

Healthier Blood Sugar Levels

Activating the “coiled snake” nestled along your spine is believed to release the energy you need to reduce blood sugar levels. Ultimately, it allows you to reduce weight, especially for those who have Type-2 diabetes, which is connected to obesity.

4 Important Kundalini Yoga Terms


The term “kriyas” refers to a specific sequence of physical actions associated with a certain breathing technique. Practicing kriyas will block the energy flow to certain areas in your body. From there, the effects of the poses will be intensified through a set of rapid and repetitive movements.


If kriyas refer to the sequence, mudras indicate the gestures you perform with each finger on your hand. When each fingertip joins the thumb, it represents a different element, sealing the energy in and letting it flow throughout your system. Ultimately, the mudras will bring harmony to the body. 

For example, when the index finger and thumb interact, you are creating a Gyan Mudra that represents the seal of knowledge. Likewise, the middle fingertip and the thumb create Shuni Mudras representing the seal of patience. Moving on with the ring fingertip and little finger, you will bring vitality and mental clarity.

Shuni mudras yoga pose
The middle fingertip and the thumb create Shuni Mudras representing the seal of patience


With mantras, the positive energy and affirmations will be vibrated and attracted toward your soul through chanting. In some places, people will chant mantras in Gurmukhi. However, English is also spoken in a few classes. 


Finally, chakras can be loosely translated as energy points reigning different body parts. When Kundalini energy flows through these chakras, you will experience different emotions and feelings, such as enthusiasm, creative activity, generosity, gratitude, awareness, and bliss.

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in learning about Tantra yoga.