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Beginners' Yoga Sequences

20-Minute Kundalini Practice to Rev Up Your Metabolism

This Kundalini practice, passed down by Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga, is designed to do increase your energy and metabolism.

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Prep work
Say or chant Ong namo guru dev (rhymes with “save”) namo three times. This means “I bow to the Creative Wisdom” or “I bow to the Divine Teacher within,” and is used at the beginning of every Kundalini practice to tune into the divinity and knowledge in each of us.

See also Yoga Style Profile: Kundalini Yoga

Fists of Anger

guru jaget, fist of anger

3 minutes

Take a comfortable seat, touch the tips of your thumbs to the pinky-finger mounds on each hand, and close your fists. Alternate swinging each arm overhead, as if doing the backstroke. Take powerful and even inhales and exhales through an O-shaped mouth. To end, stretch your arms above your head, hands interlaced and palms facing up. Inhale, imagining a white light around you, then exhale. Repeat this ending breath 3 times.

See also Kundalini Yoga: The Key to Kicking Bad Habits for Good

Baby Pose, with Head Up

guru jaget, baby pose, head up

1.5 minutes

Sit on your heels and bring your forehead toward the ground and your arms alongside your body, palms up. Keeping the hands on the floor, lift your neck to your comfort level and bring your gaze straight ahead. Hold here. Begin Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath or Breath of Fire), pumping the stomach as you breathe powerfully in and out through the nose. If you start to feel uneasy with any alternative-breathing practices, revert to normal breathing.

See also 8 Detoxifying Poses + Kundalini Kriyas

Seated on Heels, with Back 
on the Ground

guru jaget, Seated on Heels, with Back 
on the Ground

1.5 minutes

From Baby Pose, sit up and gently ease onto your back, remaining on the heels. Place your arms next to you, turning palms up; if you can’t make it all the way down, face your palms downward for support. Close your eyes, rolling them up and in toward the center of your forehead—your “third eye”—and practice Breath of Fire. In Kundalini Yoga, this posture is said to help with blood flow to the organs and with removing waste that may slow metabolism.

See also Kundalini Yoga: 13 Poses to Help You Break Bad Habits

Kundalini Chair Pose, with Lion’s Breath

Lion laughter.

1.5 minutes

Come to standing, feet a little more than hip-width apart and toes turned out 45 degrees. Bend forward, keeping your back parallel to the floor. Then bend your knees deeply and reach your arms between them, bringing the hands to the tops of the feet. Try to keep the hips at knee height. For Lion’s Breath, stick out your tongue and breathe in and out through your mouth. Exhale to come out.

See also Quiet + Focus Your Mind: Kirtan Kriya

Sukhasana (Easy Pose), 
with Arms Stacked

guru jagat

3 minutes

Come into Easy Pose. Bring your arms to shoulder level, bend your elbows, and stack your forearms, right over left, with your palms facing down, parallel to the ground. Close your eyes and roll them up and in toward your third eye. Breathe long and deeply, silently reciting a mantra for creation: Hari (rhymes with “buddy”) on the inhale and har (pronounced “hud”) on the exhale. (Hari means “yellow” and is used here to invoke a higher power.) Repeat as many times as possible in 3 minutes.

See also Kundalini Yoga for Better Digestion

Cat Pose 
and Cow Pose

guru jaget, cat pose, marjaryasana

Marjaryasana and Bitilasana

2 minutes

Come onto your hands and knees, bringing your shoulders over your wrists, and your hips over your knees. Take a deep inhale, stretching the neck up and dropping the belly for Cow Pose; on the exhale, press into the floor, bringing the head down, and pull the navel in as the spine arches up for Cat Pose. Continue this movement for 3 minutes. The movement between the two poses is said to activate cerebrospinal fluid and “wash” the brain and face, creating clarity in the mind and a natural anti-aging effect in the skin.

See also Kundalini Yoga: Nabhi Kriya to Balance the Third Chakra

Sarbang Dandes

guru jaget, downward dog pose, ado mukha svasana

2 minutes

Begin in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose). On an exhalation, descend into Plank Pose, then Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), with the body parallel to the ground and elbows bent. Inhale to push up into Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): Arch your back, straighten your arms, and lift your head. Exhale back to Down Dog, and inhale as you hold the posture and begin the sequence again. This exercise builds strength, focus, and cardiovascular endurance.

See also Need a Flow? Try These 8 Vinyasa Yoga Sequences

Ego Eradicator 

guru jaget, Ego Eradicator

2 minutes

Come back to Easy Pose. Roll your fingers into the pads of your palms, keeping the thumbs out. Bring your arms up to form a 60-degree angle, pointing the thumbs toward each other. Focus on your third-eye point. Begin Breath of Fire, breathing powerfully and evenly through the nose for almost 2 minutes. To end, inhale and hold for as long as you can. Bring your thumbs to touch over your head, spreading the fingers. Exhale your arms down.

See also Kundalini Yoga: Deep Meditation for Positive Transformation

Easy Pose, with Gyan Mudra

guru jaget, Easy Pose, with Gyan Mudra

1 minute

Remain in Easy Pose. Bring your hands to your knees with the index fingers pressing the tips of the thumbs in Gyan Mudra, which is said to bring the brain into a natural state of peaceful clarity. Breathe long and deeply, eyes closed and rolled up and in. Focus on your third-eye point, in the center of your forehead.

See also Energy Rising: Two Kundalini Meditation Techniques

End here with Savasana (Corpse Pose) 2.5 minutes OR, HAVE 10 MORE MINUTES? Continue the Sequence.