Written by Monica Krake, founder of Head + Heart, your guide to living aligned.

We are the source of our own energy in this life, which means that how we direct our energy creates our lived experience, not (as most of us were led to believe) the other way around. Matter doesn’t create energy, energy creates matter, and as the world of Quantum co-creation shows us, we all have the capacity to shift our own energy, and to therefore shift our lives, in any direction we choose. 

It’s also true that humans have a negativity bias, meaning that we’re going to be navigating the higher and lower aspects of ourselves until we die. Our tendency towards being hyper vigilant about dangers and fears comes from ancestral times – it’s deeeeep – so we do need to work at calibrating towards a higher energetic state. And, good news, we can. We can condition our energy and ourselves to align with our highest potentials.

Recently, I took a 30 day kundalini practice with Marika Richoz which really brought this to life for me. My goal was to learn to direct my energy throughout my day, and I wanted to explore a regular Kundalini practice to see how it would feel in my body. 

If you’re brand new to the concept of Kundalini, here’s the official definition: In Hinduism, Kundalini is a form of divine feminine energy (or Shakti) believed to be located at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga postures and breathing techniques are meant to help us in harnessing this energy, and moving it from the lower, denser chakras, up the spine, to be transmuted into divine nature, through the crown. 

What I discovered through Marika’s program is that Kundalini is a great way to feel into a practice of being more open, loving, energetic, and vibrant. It really helped me solidify the shifts I was making in my external life, but on the energetic level. There’s a reason why the teachings of Kundalini are found in so many mainstream healing programs these days, including Wim Hof and Dr. Joe Dispenza and those who offer any kind of energy medicine

Kundalini is linked to many benefits including helping the body release stuck energy and emotions, improving vitality, and even supporting detoxification. Here, I’m sharing a Q&A with Marika Richoz to explain what Kundalini is, how it works, and why it’s a great practice to support lasting energetic shifts. Read on.

Head + Heart: What makes Kundalini such a powerful way to move energy?

Marika Richoz: Kundalini is a very activating practice that’s known to help the body move stuck and stagnant energy and increase our energy and vitality. In Kundalini, the metaphor of our potential energy is like a coiled snake at the base of the spine. In Kundalini we move that energy up through the spine, through the different chakras or energy centres. How we move this energy is through the movements connected with the breath and kriyas (movements postures). Kundalini helps us to get all of our chakras into alignment so that they’re balanced; basically we are unblocking any areas that may be stuck. In the method I was taught, called 3HO, the kriyas were meant to be taught in a very specific order, working on a specific theme and area of the body.  With every Kundalini class, there’s always breath involved, and movement of the spine. This is important because the spine has many nerve endings inside it that stimulate different parts of the brain. As well, in Kundalini, and many other yoga traditions,  there’s an emphasis on the “Mula Bandha” or the pelvic root lock, which is how we learn to keep the energy contained and channel it up through the body.  On a more anatomical level, engaging our root lock sets up a strong foundation for the rest of your practice. Here’s a video series that I created for Instagram, that serves as a Kundalini 101!

H+H: How can Kundalini help people shift their energy and awareness, and even potentially bring their greater potentials to life?

MR: With Kundalini, we are essentially challenging the body in a very intentional way. So, this type of intentional stress, in a contained environment, teaches us to learn to control our stress responses via breathing through them. We then learn that we can do hard things, so that when we do get stressed out in real life, we’ve conditioned ourselves towards greater resilience. The idea is that we all have the tools and techniques to breathe through what comes at us in day to day life. Essentially, the practice of Kundalini helps us to become more clear, aware and connected with the essence of who we really are. I also want to say that there are Kundalini kriyas that are more gentle because there are seasons in life where we need more softness and slowness.  Together, the movement, breath, and mantra offered in Kundalini becomes a magical combination to open us up.  And I always say that to understand kundalini is to experience it!

H+H: How has Kundalini changed your own life? 

MR: Kundalini is the practice I go to when I’m stuck. When something in my body or life isn’t moving, doing kundalini helps to shift it, because the practice of Kundalini takes the stagnant energy and disperses it. Kundalini is an invigorating practice. The more you give to it, the more you receive out of it. I’ve become much more grounded and resilient since doing Kundalini. I’ve found it to be the most balancing practice I can do for myself.

H+H What are three Kundalini poses you go-to daily?

MR: Breath of fire:  Breath of fire is done with a closed mouth, in and out of the nose. The inhale is equal to the exhale and the naval will naturally begin to synch up with the breath, in a pumping motion. This is a super detoxifying breath. It gets the cobwebs out of your brain. If you don’t have caffeine, do five minutes of Breath of Fire. 

This video shows you what Breath of Fire looks like:

Gentle Cat/Cow. Here’s a great video demo to show you what Cat/Cow In Kundalini, we go a little faster mid way through, to get the spinal fluid moving. This is an incredibly way to gently prepare the body for your day. Here’s what Cat/Cow looks like:

Sitali Pranayama: You curl your tongue and suck as much air through it and then exhale through the nose. This is a wonderful breath when you feel anxious or panicked and need to get grounded. 3 minutes will change your state of being. You can also do it through your teeth if you cannot curl your tongue.

This video offers a demonstration of Sitali Pranayama:

Cold Shower:  Daily cold showers are an old yogic life hack that has become very popular and there is a reason why: In addition to improving circulation, increasing our capacity for stress and reducing fatigue (try one before having that 3rd cup of coffee!) cold showers have been proven to improve dopamine levels long term! Cold dips boost vitality and our sense of natural spirituality

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Personally, Marika’s 30 Day Practice helped me to attune to and direct my energy in a beautiful way. I’d like to personally invite you to join me for 30 Days of Kundalini with Marika inside of The Collective Shift. This experience starts January, and is perfect for anyone who wants to receive support and guidance in shifting into living from their Highest in 2023. Learn more and sign up here
You can learn more about Marika Richoz on her website and follow her on Instagram.


How Kundalini yoga can support lasting energetic shifts.

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