I love Kundalini yoga and have practiced it at the Y for a long time now. It calms you down and makes you strong and helps you get through what life throws your way.
Here’s a beginner set. Don’t push too hard. It should feel good. Don’t hurt yourself. I usually wear more clothes than the guy in the picture.
KUNDALINI YOGA – The flexible spine set
1. Breath of fire– 1 minute (always at the end of ‘breathe of fire’ take a deep breathe and hold it for 15sx and then exhale and breathe normally.)*
2. Sufi grind – sitting cross legged, hands on knees, circle the torso in one direction for 30sx to 1 minute and then in the other direction for the same time. Try to keep your chest up as you come forward so you arch your lower spine and then let it slouch down as you circle around to the back
3. Spinal flex – sitting crossed legged with your hands on your ankles, slouch and then arch your lower back (rounding your back and then lifting and pushing your chest forward) for 30sx to 1 minute.
4. Twist warm-up – with your elbows bent and your palms facing forward in front of your shoulders, arms hugging your sides, inhale and twist to the left, exhale and twist to the right. Speed up a little as you become comfortable 30sx to 1 minute.
5. Corpse pose — Lie down flat on your back with arms by your sides, palms facing up and relax. 1 minute
6. Curl up hugging your knees to your chest and lifting your head between your knees (or thereabouts), HOLD, breathe deeply and slowly and then do breathe of fire for 30 sx. Relax down.
7. Sitting on mat – one leg extended, the other knee bent with foot touching side of your extended thigh, reach down and touch your toes (or as far down your shin as you can comfortably get and breathe deeply. Try to relax your body on each exhale. 30sx to 1 minute.
8. Same as above but the other side.
9. Life nerve stretch — With both legs extended touch your toes, breathe deeply and then do breathe of fire and flex ever so slightly with each exhale.
10. Corpse pose — Lie down flat on your back with arms by your sides, palms facing up and relax. 1 minute
11. Cat-cow – On your hands and knees on the mat as you exhale lift your back into the cat position, simultaneously lowering your chin to your chest. On the inhale lower your back so it’s arched like a cow’s back and raise your head and look up. Repeat for 30sx to 1 minute. Once you are comfortable you can speed up.
12. Cobra – lie on your stomach, chin on the mat, hands on the floor in front of you. Come up onto your elbows, gently using your back muscles. Begin with long deep breathing and then do breath of fire. This is a great position to do breath of fire because your chest is so open. 30sx to 1 minute
13. Lie on your stomach, face to the side and rest for 1 minute.
14. Corpse pose for 4 or 5 minutes.
15. Take a deep breath. Wiggle your toes and fingers only. Then rotate your wrists and ankles. Then take a big stretch with your hands over your head and your fingers spread out. Then curl into a ball and do some spinal rolls back and forth and finally sit up.
* Breath of fire is a short, rapid, strong breath. On each exhale you pull in the stomach area. It’s as if the short, sharp exhale is produced by pulling in the stomach. This builds the strength of the diaphragm and improves the mechanics of breathing and cleans the blood and I’m sure many other good things like it allows you to see the ‘oneness’ of all life etc.