Most people are quite familiar with yoga. Yes, it’s a mind-body practice that boosts your physical strength and ability to be present in your breath through different bendy poses—but there are so many ways to go about doing it. Essentially, there are different kinds of yoga, which range from the traditional vinyasa flow to ashtanga (a more rigid, repetitive style) to yin (a very slow method of holding positions)—and then there’s Kundalini yoga.
The thing about Kundalini yoga is that it seems to be a bit more mysterious. “Kundalini is the yoga of awareness,” says Abigail Devine, instructor, healer, and guide who leads the Devine Sound Journey once a month at bodē nyc. “It uses movement, breath, sound, and mantra to work with balancing the energies in your body.”
While other yoga modalities are more about embracing the physicality of flowing between poses, Kundalini is more, well, abstract. “Kundalini yoga emphasizes the flexibility of the spine, which is where the Kundalini energy runs,” Devine explains. “Each class is unique, but will all start with an opening mantra and breathing exercise, followed by a series of physical exercises. It’ll end with a meditation.”
Since its practice is different than your go-to vinyasa flow, for instance, Kundalini’s main benefits are “deep energy work and connecting with your highest self,” as opposed to just getting in a sweat sesh. But it also has the “physical, emotional, and mental purification” benefits of other yoga practices. In other words: You’re still getting a mind-body refresh.
Looking to try out the old-school energy-enhancing Kundalini yoga? Keep scrolling for studios to practice it in both New York and Los Angeles.
Where to practice Kundalini yoga in New York and LA
Kundalini Yoga East, New York City: The over 20-year-old space centrally located in Union Square is solely focused on the Kundalini yoga practice, providing students all of the tools necessary in order to explore the methodology and lifestyle. Not only can you work on your Kundalini while there, but you can also enjoy various special events and workshops—examples include gong sound baths, meditation classes, and sadhana, AKA spiritual practice. 873 Broadway, New York, NY 10003; (212) 982-5959
Hari, New York City: At a studio dubbed the Treehouse, here you’ll find a peaceful oasis in the middle of midtown Manhattan where you can take Kundalini yoga classes, gong meditations, and even enjoy jazz. Yes, really—Hari is meant to be a sacred spot where you can express your creative spirit in any way you wish. 140 W. 30th St, #3, New York, NY 10001; (212) 465-0606
Ra Ma Institute, New York City: Founded by Well+Good Council member Guru Jagat, the Lower East Side location (which also has a center in Venice, California) is a hub for Kundalini yoga, meditation, and workshops on motherhood or women’s impact on society. Bonus points for being able to sign up via ClassPass and offering daily lectures for added immersion. 125 Stanton St., New York, NY 10002; (917) 261-6228
Nine Treasures Yoga, Los Angeles: The Hollywood studio was founded by Tej Kaur Khalsa, a yogi who’s been teaching the practice for over three decades. Here, you can choose between daily a.m. meditations, Kundalini yoga and meditation classes, and even sign up for teacher training if that’s what you’re looking for. 8182 W. Sunset Blvd, Ste. 201, Los Angeles, CA 90046; (323) 934-9140
Yoga West, Los Angeles: Nestled in the heart of LA, Yoga West offers self-empowering Kundalini yoga classes year-round along with community classes in which you can dive even deeper into the practice. Also on the roster? Pregnancy and post-natal yoga, teacher training, and Sat Nam Rasayan classes—AKA deep relaxation that puts you in touch with your meditative mind. 1535 S. Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035; (310) 552-4647
Kundalini Yoga by the Sea, Los Angeles: The light-filled studio (which, yes, is actually by the Pacific Ocean) is a wellness center and dreamy locale where you can practice Kundalini yoga, reiki workshops, teacher trainings, and pre- and post-natal yoga. 605 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404; (310) 963-9811
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