kundalini yoga glossary

Apana: the eliminating force of the body

Asana: body positions – preferably a position of comfort, or one that allows you to sit comfortably for meditation

Aquarian Age: It’s exciting times!! We are transitioning from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age (which began on November 11, 2011 and extends for 2000 years). The Piscean Age was dominated by hierarchy, power and machines, and the Aquarian Age is ruled by awareness, information and energy. It is a time of great change, as the old structures fall away. Vast changes in society, consciousness, and the nature of our perception of the world and each other are occurring. We have always experienced this but rarely with this intensity and never with this scope and vastness. The change is on all levels of life at once, and it affects each one of us personally. It is also a re-balancing of feminine energy after the very masculine dominated energy of the Piscean Age. 

Those who cannot make the shift will freak out and fall apart and that’s what Kundalini Yoga is here to help with ! More here on the Aquarian Age.

Bhanda: body locks which direct prana and apana, they allow the effects of exercises to accumulate and equilibrium to be established. * see Jalandhara (neck lock) and Mul bhand (root lock)


Long Deep Breathing – 

Sit straight in easy pose, or lie down. In a smooth motion –

  • inhale through the nostrils into the abdomen (like a balloon is expanding in your belly)
  • then the chest
  • finally the clavicle area
  • exhale through the nostrils in the reverse order – clavicle relaxes, chest empties, abdomen empties as you pull navel in towards the spine
  • Repeat –  do this as slowly as you can, feel as if a wave is moving up and down your body.

Breath of Fire – energizing & cleansing breath

  • A short, shallow pump powered from the navel, breathing in and out of the nostrils with an equal inhale and exhale. Focus initially on the exhale, then the inhale happens naturally in the vacuum.
  • Beginners: try panting like a dog with the mouth open and tongue out at first. Once that is established, simply close the mouth and continue using the nose to breath.
  • Benefits: releases toxins from the lungs; expands lung capacity; strengthens the nervous system; boosts immune system; increases oxygen to the brain facilitating a focused, intelligent, and neutral state of mind.
  • You should avoid breath of fire if you are pregnant or menstruating (do long deep breathing instead).

Chakras:  seven ethereal energy centers of the body located along the spine, plus the aura or eighth chakra. Each chakra corresponds to both physical and mental/emotional/spiritual aspects of the self. We exist in multiple dimensions!

GOD: In yogic philosophy  “God” is an acronym for the principle forces that guide the universe: G.O.D. g=generating power, o=organizing power, d=destructive or delivering power

Guru: Teacher or teaching. Gu – darkness, Ru – light. That which turns darkness into light

Jalandhar bhand: neck lock, is done by sitting with the spine straight, lifting chest upwards, pulling the chin gently towards the back of the neck, keeping the head centered and not tilting to either side. Keep all muscles of the face, brow, neck jaw and throat relaxed.

Kriya: a specific sequence of postures, breath, sound, and eye focus that when done together have a particular and complete action (eg Kriya for Strenghtening the Nervous Sytem). They affect your chakras, meridians, physical glands, organs, emotions which are all interconnected, so basically everything.

Kundalini: the uncoiling of your essential consciousness, your creative potential, the energy of consciousness, the energy of the Soul itself. Literally it means “the curl in the lock of the hair of the beloved.” YOU WAKE UP!

Long Time Sun Blessing: 

May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You, All Love Surround You 

And the Pure Light Within You, Guide Your Way On

Send out the energy you have created to someone or somewhere else in the World that it’s needed with this blessing. You can sing it or say it at the end of your practice.

Mantra: have various meanings, but also very important effects on the brain & endocrine glands through the tongue’s action on the palate and the vibrations throughout the body and mind. You are literally an instrument, all your cells constantly vibrating (quantum physics tells us this too). We also recreate different states of consciousness by using the particular sounds created by enlightened yogis.

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (Adi Mantra): Tuning in mantra for Kundalini Yoga. It means: I bow to the Infinite teacher; I bow to the teacher within. This also connects us the Golden Chain of Teachers and Masters (including Yogi Bhajan) in this lineage.

Aad guray nameh, Jugaad guray nameh, Sat guray nameh, Siri guroo Dayv-ay Nameh: Mantra for protection and guidance, sometimes done after the Adi Mantra – you can use it anytime you need protection. Here is a link to an audio (last track).

I bow to the primal wisdom.I bow to the wisdom true through the ages.

I bow to the true wisdom. I bow to the great unseen wisdom.

Sat Nam: Sat – Truth Nam – Identity – truth is my identity: This is a seed, or Bij, mantra – and like a seed it contains the information of the whole. Used to keep the mind focused. Also used in its nuclear form as Sa Ta Na Ma (which is Infinity, Life, Death, Rebirth).

Wahe Guru: The indescribably ecstasy of transformation. Wahe – Wow, Guru – God (that which brings us from darkness into light – Gu =Dark, Ru=Light).

Mudra: hand positions that lock, seal, or guide the energy flow and reflexes to the brain.

The fingers and hands are highly repesented in the brain, and each finger is also associated with a different quality (knowledge, patience, energy, mental clarity).

Mul bhand: or Root Lock, frequently applied at the end of an exercise or series to crystalize its effects. It circulates and balances the energies of the lower chakras, and mixes the energies of prana and apana to open the energy flow (eventually creating enough heat to open the Sushmana or central channel for energy to flow up the spine ie Kundalini rising). It is done in 3 fluid steps: first, contracting the anus, then the sex organs, as if stopping a wee, then tightening the muscles of the lower abdomen and navel center.

Nadis: Meridians or energy channels that flow through and bring Prana to the body. There are 72,000 Nadis in the body, 72 of which are vital. The three major Nadis are the Ida, Pingala, and Sushmana.

Navel Point: Located just below the belly button, it is the starting point of all the 72,000 nerve endings and nadis. A vital nexus of nerves, it is our power centre and corresponds to the Navel Chakra.

Neck Lock: see Jalandhar bhand

Root Lock: see Mul bhand

Sadhana: Daily spiritual practice – done in the Amrit Vela or ambrosial hours before the Sun rises. Can be yoga, prayer, meditation or anything that helps connect you with your Soul and the Truth.

Sushmana: Originating at the base of the spine, it is the central energy channel that runs up the spinal column to the top of the head.  It is through this energy channel that the Kundalini is raised (once prana and apana are fused to generate the force required using the root lock).