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One Guru’s Guide to Kundalini Yoga

What it is and why you might want to add it to your routine in 2017

The founder of the RA MA Institute in Venice, California (a second location is soon to open in Palma de Mallorca, Spain), Guru Jagat is a buzzed-about figure in the yoga community who teaches a variety called Kundalini while draped in white garb, often including a turban. Even Alicia Keys has been singing Jagat’s praises since notoriously going makeup free. In her new book  Invincible Living: The Power of Yoga, the Energy of Breath, and Other Tools for a Radiant Life, Jagat promises to reveal practice’s secrets for boosting mood, enhancing beauty, and increasing creativity.

“We need a higher caliber technology to basically upgrade our own human operating systems, and that’s what Kundalini yoga does and is,” says Jagat. A focus on meditation and variation of movement sets the practice apart from more popular forms like Vinyasa. “Standard yoga has become the highest hobby sport injury arena, even higher than basketball and some of the other hobby sports, because, my opinion is that there’s all this repetitive motion. We have enough repetitive motion in our daily lives,” she explains. “There’s this kind of multi-faceted experience you’re going to find in a Kundalini yoga class, because there’s 8,000 different prescriptive meditations and breaths, you’re going to never really have the same experience twice.”

Photo Credit: Lisandra Vasquez

If all of this feels very abstract or unattainable, it’s worth noting that Jagat is well aware of the “barriers to entry” that surround yoga in general—things like unrealistically good looking people posing on Instagram. “‘I need this book in Wal Mart,’” she told her publisher. “There are 80 million people on this planet that want to try yoga this year, but they feel like they are afraid to do so. There’s all sorts of reasons why they talk themselves out of it because they feel like they don’t belong to the spiritual culture or the physical culture. So this book is really kind of a love song to the every person.”

If you’re interested in dipping your toes into Kundalini, Guru Jagat provided DuJour with a breathing exercise from Invincible Living below.

BREATH FOR VICTORY 

NOTE : You can do this exercise no matter where you are, even if it’s in line at the supermarket.

POSTURE: Sit or stand.

EYES: Keep your eyes closed, gently focusing up and in at the brow point.

BREATH AND MANTRA: Inhale and hold your breath. Press the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Mentally vibrate the mantra, Victory! Exhale. Repeat and continue. You can also hold the breath and mentally repeat, Victory, victory, victory, victory…as many times as you can in one breath. Exhale and repeat.

TIME: 10 seconds to three minutes

TO END: Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Photo Credit: Lisandra Vasquez

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