Kundalini yoga is the yoga of energy currents, not in the sense of electric or heat or light energy which are material, but in the sense of living energy, which is I, the Self. The mainstream of kundalini flows through the spine divided into three streams, ida (to the left), pingala (to the right) and sushumna (mainstream).
Only a very minor current of the kundalini is awake in most of us and keeps us going through our lives. Everything we do is a function of our kundalini force. A minute amount is released into our system through the spine, connecting to the brain and to the seven centers of consciousness. From there it is distributed through the entire system. A yogi’s ultimate aim is the total awakening of kundalini and when that awakening takes place, the yogi’s consciousness thereafter is the entire life force which exists in the entire universe. It is from this that all the miraculous powers are derived by the yogi. Kundalini yoga is a very high and subtle form of yoga in which nothing happens that is visible to others.
Hatha yoga in its finest, highest, deepest philosophy is a preparation for kundalini yoga. It is the preparation for the control and direction of meditative experience. Hatha yoga is refining the body to move a human being to a finer energy existence. Initially the experiences of kundalini are very pleasant, so pleasant that the physical or sensual experiences that people are familiar with become as nothing compared to the kundalini sensations. A yogi does not identify with them or derive the pleasure from them that we do.
A person may come to a hatha yoga class to learn about how to strengthen his back or work on a thyroid problem. Such things are very easy. If the spine is not straight, the energy flow is obstructed. Kundalini yoga is working from within, whereas hatha yoga is working from the outside. The idea in kundalini yoga is to raise energy up into the higher centers of consciousness. As you raise the energy into these higher centers, you are able to accomplish much more. When the heart center is opened for example, it is not that you become unemotional but rather that you become a master of your own emotions. There are people who claim to be followers of kundalini yoga and say ‘love everybody, have sex with everybody’. The two statements are contradictory. To love everybody means opening the heart center – an upward, inward flow. Having sex with everybody is blocking the lower sexual center so that the kundalini energy flows downward and outward and is dissipated. When it flows inward and upward, the heart center receives that energy and opens up its love to everyone.
In kundalini yoga, nothing is seen happening because what is moving is the finer energy current within. Hatha yoga becomes a preparation for this inner movement. Unless one understands these higher purposes for hatha yoga, it remains only a fine physical body exercise.