Kundalini is a Hindu word that refers to energy that lies dormant in the spine until it is awakened and channeled upward through the chakras in the process of spiritual perfection. Yoga practitioners unfamiliar with kundal... more »ini may find Carol Carlson's 70-minute video a bit daunting, as it combines fairly energetic exercises with the "breath of fire": short, quick breaths pulsed by the diaphragm through the nose. Carlson uses a meditation mantra and a breath mantra as she moves through a series of stretches and strengthening postures. Kundalini Yoga with Grace and Strength is undoubtedly a good resource for experienced practitioners, but since it is a little short on instruction and explanation, it is recommended for intermediate-level students and above. People who enjoy the postures and practices of Iyengar yoga might do better with the Yoga Journal's series. --Jhana Bach« less
Susannah Johnston | Croton-on-Hudson, NY USA | 11/09/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am a certified Prana Yoga Instructor (based on Kripalu Yoga) and I recently discovered Gurmukh's Kundalini Yoga tape, which I think is wonderful. In my quest to learn more about Kundalini Yoga I ordered this Carol Carlson video. After no more than 10 minutes into this tape I had to turn it off. What is she thinking to do a backbend with breath of fire as her first asana, with no options for modifications for beginners or people with shoulder, wrist or back issues....and even for advanced students no warm up??? I could not go on I was so annoyed at her. I found her tone condecending and annoying. Yoga students seeking an energizing, revitalizing, life changing experience should try Gurmukh or Ravi Singh, both instructors present the practice from a place of love and healing, yet the work outs are physically challenging."
Kundalini Yoga For Grace and Strength
Kristina C. | Long Beach, CA USA | 12/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a hatha yoga practioner for years. This is the first video I ever did of Kundalini yoga. I loved it. I felt so relaxed in mind and body. After I had finished with the video, I desired to go right into a meditation. It felt wonderful. I have never experienced this kind of yoga before. I love hatha yoga but this yoga... is different in a lovely way. In a subtle way, I just felt energetically different. I felt happier the rest of the day. It is strenuous and physically challenging yet at the same time very spiritual. Worth every penny. I can't wait to try other Kundalini videos and learn more about what Kundalini is all about."
Don't waste your money....
Damon Zex | 12/21/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am not a certified Kundalini yoga instructor, but I do have classes with friends and co-workers. Occasionally we do our class with Gurmukh's video... a wonderful experience -- very uplifting -- she is such a gentle soul. One day, someone brought in Carol Carlson's video and we decided to give it a try. Not only did every one of us find her hard to follow... but we also felt she was very annoying and rather condescending. It did not feel like a Kundalini yoga class at all... not one that we are used to anyway. We have not watched the video since... no one even wants it. If you are looking for a great Kundalini yoga tape, buy Gurmukh's. If you already have Gurmukh's, then try one of the Kundalini yoga websites and try someone else's. Even buying a Kundalini yoga book and going through the sets on your own is better than doing it with this. Honestly.. don't waste your money."
Energizing & Relaxing
Rengetsu | Seattle, WA USA | 11/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carol Carlson's video is an excellent way to simultaneously energize and relax your mind and body. If you are a beginner, be prepared to do this video at 10-15 minutes intervals. It is geared more toward intermediate yoga practioners, but she still gives beginner's optional methods to do the exercises. Sometimes I do the entire tape, and sometimes I do it in intervals throughout the day if I am particularly worn-out! I often use the end of the tape (a relaxing meditation) to help me go to sleep or calm me down! In reference to the person who commented on "breath of fire" throughout every exericise, I somewhat agree. I have found that long deep breathing is much more beneficial to me, particularly when my muscles are tight. The longer breathing usually brings me in to the pose with no pain and no thought. This is what I have experienced in other Kundalini classes as well. But, if you get the video, just participate in breath of fire whenever you would like to and use the long deep breathing when you think it necessary. Carol Carlson says this herself!Excellent video!"
An Engimatic, Beautiful, & Inspiring Workout
Damon Zex | Columbus, OH | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who thinks this workout is disjointed clearly is not meditating while moving through this kriya. First, it's time to shed some light on what this type of kundalini sequence actually is. This is definately a Yogi Bhajan sequence. Bhajan created several kriyas with similar names - "Grace & Prosperity," "Flexibility & the Spine," for example. "Grace & Strength" is a fusion workout existing in an interzone between the original "Warrior Workout" and "Flexibility & the Spine." Like the "Warrior Workout," there is a running segment, frog pose, and several back bends like bow. Like the flexibilty or spinal kriyas, there are cobra, seated wide angle forward bends, wheel, crow squats, and standing back/forward bends. Carol is showing you exactly how this kriya would have been taught by Yogi Bhajan. Anyone who has ever done Ravi Singh's and Ana Brett's "Ultimate Stretch Workout" can see obvious similarities to this set. The difference is that it has a more rapid motion, contains an aerobic component, a segment designed for the heart chakra, and a rather complex abdominal sequence in the middle of the set. I personally think Carol magnificently explains breath of fire, what real strength is, and concludes her set with a beautifully inspired resting pose dialogue. As she says, this set is to improve your strength, not prove your strength. I have spent years doing power yoga, ashtanga, and kundalini. This segment, in a similar mode to Donna Davidge, works on the body and the mind throughout the day after performing it in the morning. Also, those hatha yoga critics who claim it is unsafe to begin in table top (truly one of the less difficult asanas) need to understand that before doing any intermediate kundalini sequence, one should already be warmed up. Before I do this or any kundalini set, I perform the Five Tibetan Rites. After doing any rigorous segment, Carol gives you more than ample time to consolidate your gains through a moment of still meditation. Realize, if you are doing yoga simply to de-stress through deep breathing, kundalini yoga is less appropriate than hatha, ashtanga, or power yoga variations. If you are doing this to actually raise kundalini, work the lymphatic, nervous systems, and increase the internal will linking the body and mind together, this is the type of yoga to do. Upon finishing this workout, even though it is made up of an anti-intuitive sequence, I feel active, strong, defined, and just as ready to take action in my day as I would if I did power yoga. Often, power yoga can make me feel too heavy or weighted down from too many held poses. I like how this unusual sequence jump starts my heart after running/skipping in place, making me feel extremely light on my feet. I also think her return to child's pose and her instructions on how to round up, using your abdominal muscles makes transitioning between meditating and action extremely fluid. Those who have criticized this DVD should take a look at a kundalini book and understand the wide variety of sequences Bhajan created before displaying their obvious lack of knowledge to the world. Carol Carlson didn't make this DVD for shock value, fame, or bedazzlement. It is clear that she expresses a true, deep felt love of kundalini and a true urge to give you, the viewer, a true kundalini experience."