For students of the yogic practice to truly understand their lessons it is beneficial to also appreciate the cultural and spiritual history of Kundalini Yoga through the centuries.
This rich tapestry will serve as the foundation for deeply understanding the energies of our ancestors and their relationship with the universe, and serves to strengthen our connection with ourselves.
Kundalini Yoga has found popularity in the Western world, but its long history is not only a testament to its accessibility and energy, but also to the positive impact it has on its students’ lives.
Kundalini Yoga encourages students to explore their own spiritual path, while giving them a framework and support system to work within. If you are intrigued by the origin of this beautiful practice, keep reading for a brief history.
When Did Kundalini Yoga Start?
A historical study of Kundalini Yoga shows not a single time of origin, but a coming together of spiritual and philosophical thought for thousands of years.
The earliest mention of the term “Kundalini” occurs around the eighth century, but its central theories are evident in literature and oral traditions much earlier than this.
Where Did Kundalini Yoga Originate?
The esoteric teachings of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and even some Native American tribes explore some Kundalini-like experiences and practices. These traditions place focus on feminine spiritual energy and the uncoiling process which is the essence to Kundalini Yoga.
The importance of the cosmic energy that is held at the base of the spine is understandably pervasive throughout so many cultures due to the empowerment of reproduction, pleasure, and therefore its importance to community and the continuation of the human species.
These concepts are even explored in the Bible, the Quran, and by Greek philosophers.
The Tantric traditions of early Hinduism in India see the concept of Kundalini Yoga becoming more prescriptive, and it was within these spiritual communities that the lessons were passed, philosophized, and the knowledge preserved for later generations. This is where Kundalini Yoga as we know it originates.
When Did Kundalini Yoga Reach The West?
Kundalini Yoga was first acknowledged by Sir John Woodruffe, a western scholar of Hindu philosophy, in the early 20th Century. Its power was further investigated by the Swiss psychiatrist Dr Carl Jung, who used it as a model to explore ideas of higher consciousness.
It was not until the late 1960s that the practice of Kundalini Yoga gained any traction in the West, however. After its introduction in America its popularity spread throughout the West, with its powerful spirituality and universal energy challenging some of the more traditional approaches of the time.
Continue Your Journey
Kundalini Yoga has a rich, long history, with its theories being explored not just in ancient Hinduism, but through many other spiritual practices around the world.
So whether you are just getting started, or you have been a student of Kundalini for many years, take comfort in its history and the millions of people who have explored this path before you.