Why You Might Want to Give Kundalini Yoga a Try
Kundalini yoga is considered one of the most comprehensive of yoga practice combining meditation,
mantra, physical exercise and breathing into one practice. Kundalini is also one of the oldest forms of
yoga practice – in fact, it dates to 1000 BC. This ancient practice was recently brought to the US by Yogi Bhajan and has quickly been heralded as a true mind and body experience with benefits beyond the physical. In fact, the cognitive benefits of the practice are so intriguing that this form of yoga has been considered therapy for those suffering from depression, anxiety, brain fog, and early cognitive decline.
Mental disease is at epidemic levels in the US. Over 16million Americans suffer from depression and
more than 40 million have some form of anxiety. These numbers have increased by 65% since 2000 and are at epidemic levels. The conventional medical practice is of course medicine and 1 in 8 Americans takes some form of psychotropic drug to date. (1 in 5 women are on some form of pharmaceutical drug)
Research has shown that the rise is related to several reasons, but the environment, diet, and lack of
exercise seem to be big contributors. A functional medicine approach to these conditions considers diet and environmental influences and recommends restoration and mind-body therapies to treat. Kundalini yoga has shown great promise in this arena.
Anyone and everyone can practice Kundalini yoga. Every movement in Kundalini yoga has a purpose and activates parts of the brain that increase awareness and generate balance and control. “Kundalini
“means spiritual energy and it is believed to be a technology to harness your “shakti” or innate primal
creative energy. By combining mantras, meditation, breath, and physical exercise it causes vibrational
effects in the brain and nervous system in ways we still do not completely understand. The movements
appear to balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems while unleashing energy.
Almost sounds too good to be true, right?
There are several compelling research studies done on this practice of yoga including a recent article
which looked at heart rate variability, as well as one that looked at this practice as an effective
treatment for OCD and anxiety. Dr. Khalsa, a Harvard Medical School physician has teamed up with the Kundalini Institute, founded by Yogi Bhajan to study this practice and recent research has shown
increase brain perfusion, decrease gene expression of inflammatory markers as well as increase
telomerase activity ( telomerase is the enzyme which improves the life span of our chromosomes) in
those who practice Kundalini yoga after only a few weeks. They found that those who practiced had a
subjective feeling of wellbeing with improvements of energy, sleep, and memory. In studies looking at
individuals struggling with depression and anxiety, there was a 65% improvement in symptoms after
practicing Kundalini yoga after only 6 weeks. These results surpass any drug therapy or therapy session.
Kundalini yoga is being looked at in older individuals struggling with memory loss and cognitive decline. After 8-week session participants showed increase cerebral blood flow and improvements in memory testing. The results were very promising and future studies with increased numbers and measurements are on-going.
It appears that everyone can benefit from the practice of Kundalini yoga. Regular practice can be
preventative or maybe the missing therapy to manage anxiety, depression, insomnia or brain fog.
Join us on 7/14/2019 for a 90 workshop at Thrive Healthcare where this powerful practice will be
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