Kundalini yoga

Kundalini practitioners are big on meditation and spirituality, which they combine with breathwork and postures.

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Golden Bridge NYC
(253 Centre St at Broome St; 212-343-8191, goldenbridgeyoganyc.com). Single class $20, packages available.
Types of yoga offered: Kundalini, prenatal kundalini, kundalini gong, meditation, some hatha and vinyasa.
Name of class: Kundalini Gong
Length: 90 minutes
What to expect: Each class is a kriya, a series of movements and repetitions—which are never the same twice. Chanting, singing, New Age music and breathing exercises are included.
Level: Yoga newbies can do it.
The verdict: Even the kundalini people warn you that kundalini is one of the weirder yogas. Good news for the self-conscious, though: The whole thing is done with eyes closed—so we could look inward (or not be embarrassed). The movements themselves seemed strange—during a long chair pose we whipped our heads from side to side and chanted. But our instructor explained the meanings behind our movements, so no matter how bizarre it was, we never felt uncomfortable or left out. Our payoff was an extra-long savasana at the end, during which the instructor played a gong and some droning music and we got pretty close to feeling blissful.—Emily Jacobson

Kundalini Yoga Park Slope
(473 13th St between Prospect Park West and Eighth Ave, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-832-1446, kundaliniyogaparkslope.com). $15.
Type of yoga offered: Kundalini
Name of class: Kundalini Yoga Sunday Evening
Length: 90 minutes
What to expect: Chanting is followed by 45 minutes of not-strenuous yoga, 15 minutes of relaxation and 15 minutes of mediation.
Level: Yoga newbies can do it.
The verdict: This intimate class (on the day I went there were only three of us) in a Park Slope brownstone is not for the spiritually uncomfortable. While the focus is on upper-back and shoulder tension, we spent a lot of time on our breath: huffing and puffing in various rhythms, while holding traditional yoga poses. After 45 minutes of stretches, we endured 11 minutes of chanting “God and me, me and God are one” over and over in a traditional Hindu pose. The session concluded with rest and a delicious cup of tea, no praying necessary.—Caroline Voagen Nelson

Shakti Yoga Center
(3 Victory Blvd at Minthorne St, Staten Island; 718-442-9400, shaktiyoga.com). Single class $13, packages available.
Types of yoga offered: Gentle, basics, kundalini
Name of class: Kundalini Yoga
Length: 90 minutes
What to expect: Class opens and closes with a series of chants; we were concentrating on the “positive mind” aspect of Kundalini thought. Physically, the sequences are not very strenuous.
Level: Yoga newbies welcome
The verdict: The kindly teacher was a pro at creating an environment conducive to positive thinking. She lit incense, turned on music, and explained and encouraged us the whole way through a precisely timed sequence of two-minute postures, followed by familiar exercises (like leg lifts and jogging in place), and finishing with meditation. Throughout the class we practiced “Breath of Fire,” a technique meant to open up your lungs and allow your body to melt into that elusive positive energy.—Jessica Rohls

NEXT Acroyoga
Individual postures and partner yoga is combined with chanting, meditation and discussion that’s meant to facilitate a sense of community within the class.

Vinyasa | Hatha | Bikram | Anusara
Forrest Yoga | Iyengar | Kundalini | Acroyoga | Hybrids

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