Sat Nam! This session is hosted by Portland practitioners Gurucharan Singh and Hardev Kaur. This class is by donation. Please enter on the deck on the east side of the building. Event Contact: 503-247-8192.
This is a Kundalini Yoga Portland (KYPDX) event. They curate events committed to the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, who brought this technology to the West from India.
Who is KYPDX?
Kundalini Yoga Portland is a local branch of the non-profit global community called 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy!). Their vision is to share the wisdom of Yogi Bhajan, to bring peace to the inner and outer lives of all people, beyond boundaries of race, religion, creed, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some basic answers to get you started. Please also visit the KYPDX Resources page, which has a wealth of links about Kundalini Yoga worldwide.
I AM NEW TO KUNDALINI YOGA, HOW DO I FIND A BEGINNER'S CLASS?
All classes are for all levels.... there really aren't levels actually... there will be a beginner experience and a more advanced experience . So when you go to class, simply let the teacher know you are new to Kundalini Yoga! Take a look at the KYPDX calendar to find a class that works for you logistically (time and space!) then contact that teacher to chat with them a bit to get a sense of it. (But really it is fine to just show up!)
WHERE CAN I LEARN ABOUT SADHANA?
Kundalini Yoga Portland offers Group Sadhana, which is not technically a class (although there is a volunteer leader and it does include yoga and meditation). Learn more on the Sadhana page!
WHERE IS KYPDX LOCATED?
Kundalini Yoga Portland is an organization, not a studio or yoga center. Between their Locations page and the Calendar we hope you can find a class! KYPDX offers monthly events that sometimes take place in someone's home. Stay up-to-date on the latest by signing up for emails! Want to host an event? Contact us!
HOW MUCH DOES A CLASS COST?
Classes are offered at various studios around town. Please inquire directly for the latest information on passes and rates. Drop in rates range from $5.50 to $14.
HOW IS KUNDALINI YOGA DIFFERENT?
All yoga is a way to link the body and the mind. Kundalini may be considered a more spiritual practice than what you'd find at a fitness gym. Yoga session lasts 60 to 90 minutes and include mantras (chanting), warm-ups, a set of movements and stretches called a "kriya,” and meditation. Kundalini can be both physically and mentally challenging, or it can be quite simple, depending on the kriya and where you’re at. It is absolutely appropriate for people of all ages and all levels of fitness, though beginners should let their instructor know. There is no "wrong" way to practice. Though there are many physical benefits, the focus is internal. For more great information about how Kundalini Yoga is unique, check out this great article on spiritvoyage.com.
WHAT IS A "KRIYA?"
A kriya is a prescribed set of mantras and movements designed to help you achieve a specific, positive effect. You can read more about all the different types of kriyas and their benefits on the 3HO website.
WHAT DOES "SAT NAM?" MEAN?
"Sat Nam" literally means "Truth is my identity." You will hear this phrase a lot in the Kundalini community! This mantra reinforces the divine consciousness in everyone. It is used as a greeting as well as the mantra for all Kundalini Yoga exercises, inhaling “Sat” (truth), exhaling “Nam” (name, identity).
WHY DO WE CHANT?
We chant to "tune in", and to create a vibratory frequency in the body. Most kriyas involve a mantra. Don't worry if you feel shy or don't know the words. Just do your best to follow along and eventually it will come naturally. The more you practice, you may realize how good it feels to exercise your voice along with your body!
WHY DO WE MEDITATE?
Meditation is an important part of every class. Meditation helps us to become clear, neutral and joyful. In class, we generally sit for 3-11 minutes in meditation. Yogi Bhajan says: "Prayer is when the mind is one-pointed and man talks to Infinity. Meditation is when the mind becomes totally clean and receptive, and Infinity talks to the man."
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
You are welcome to wear any comfortable yoga-type clothes to class. However, if you'd like to, you can try to wear white cotton and natural fabrics (this nurtures your electromagnetic field). It is recommended to practice with bare feet. You can try using a cotton turban or just a bandana or scarf to focus your energy (and keep your hair out of your face).
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO CLASS?
A regular yoga mat is fine if you have one, and a blanket. Often, Kundalini Yogis will practice while sitting on a fluffy natural sheepskin rug. If you have one, great! If not, don't worry. Some studios may have extra mats, blankets, or sheepskins you can borrow. It's a good idea to bring a water bottle to keep you hydrated.
WHEN SHOULD I EAT?
It's best not to eat anything too heavy for 1-3 hours prior to your class. A light snack such as fruit is good. Drink plenty of water. Sometimes we will share tea after class!
The basic structure of a Kundalini Yoga class:
A Kundalini Yoga session lasts 60 to 90 minutes and includes the following elements: tuning in – warm ups - yoga set or "kriya" - relaxation - meditation – closing.
Every session starts with chanting the mantra "Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo" which means
"I bow to the infinite, divine teacher within myself."
We follow tuning in with the mantra for protection:
Aad Guray Nameh (I bow to the Primal *Guru)
Jugaad Guray Nameh (I bow to the *Guru woven throughout time.)
Sat Guray Nameh (I bow to the True *Guru, the true identity of the Self)
Siri Guru Devay Nameh (I bow to the Great *Guru whose Great Glory will always be.)
*Guru: that which brings us from darkness (Gu) to light (Ru)
By chanting these mantras you open yourself for the experience of Kundalini Yoga. The mantras give access to the positive connection between yourself and your higher conscience.
Your teacher will guide you through a series of physical movements to prepare your body and mind for the work ahead. You will feel your heart pumping and your blood flowing! The warm up and subsequent movements of the class are generally done with your eyes closed as much as possible, to keep the focus inward and to avoid judgement and comparison.
Your teacher has chosen a specific, prescribed combination of movements, mantras, and meditation to help you attain a spiritual, physical, and/or mental benefit. Kriyas can help align the chakras, strengthen systems of the body, empower you in your daily life, and simply make you feel better! Certain movements may be physically or mentally challenging, but just do your best. Generally, in an hour to two-hour class, each part of the kriya will last only a few minutes.
Meditation is an important part of every class. It helps to integrate the body and mind, and strengthen the benefits of your practice.
We conclude by singing The Long Time Sun song and chanting ‘Sat Nam.’ This mantra integrates the effect of the discipline and reaffirms your authentic self. We then bow in gratitude to the teachings.
May the longtime sun shine upon you,
all love surround you
and the pure light within you
guide your way on!