If you live in Brighton and Hove, you will probably have noticed a hitherto little-known style of yoga class appearing on fitness club and health centre timetables around the city.

Julie Cuddihy moved to Brighton in February last year and brought with her the art of kundalini yoga.

She is now teaching classes every day in the city. She also runs several yoga holidays and workshops and has just written a book - Open Your Heart With Kundalini Yoga. This is one busy lady.

But being busy is nothing new for Julie. Originally a fashion designer, she co-owned a successful London urban wear company called Mickey Brazil and spent most of her evenings attending ritzy fashion launches.

But, eventually, she grew tired of the fashion world and began to search for a more meaningful path.

After trying many different types of yoga, she came across kundalini and immediately felt an affinity with this expressive form.

She went on to train with Sky (School of Kundalini Yoga) in London and has been teaching since 1999.

The word kundalini means awareness and the hidden potential of that awareness: The greatness of which you are capable.

The form works on your entire nervous and glandular system, preparing the mind for optimal clarity and greater use and releasing dormant energy in the body.

Asanas (postures), prayanama (breathing exercises), mantra (chanting), mudras (hand gestures), bhandas (body locks) and meditation combine to help the individual find his or her path to self awareness.

The session always begins with the Adi Mantra, which brings the class together in a common thought and calls the mind to attention, ready to focus on the Kriya.

The Kriya is the core part of the class and is a sequence of exercises designed to "work out" a component of your mind and body system, such as the glandular system or inner organs.

The sequence varies with each class and will be different according to its focus.

I went along to Julies Sunday class at Shape Health and Fitness Club in Hove.

In this session, we were working on the "temple" and releasing ourselves from fragmented thoughts.

After the Adi Mantra, Julie guided us through four or five exercises, each lasting a different amount of time from one minute to five.

Next, we relaxed in corpse pose, allowing the body to release any tension created from the vigorous Kriya and then, to finish, we sat cross-legged and chanted for nine minutes.

After the Kriya, your mind and emotions should be calm and clear.

The meditation section - which can be chanted or silent - at the end of the class utilises this clarity to develop your ability to project and concentrate.

It was surprisingly pleasant to chant and, as I relaxed, the sound resonated through my body and left me feeling very "centred".

Prior to the session, I had read a little about kundalini and knew that there would be a fair amount of vocalisation and expressive movement.

Not a class for the chronically shy, I thought.

But anyone put off by chanting, panting and writhing (yes, we did all three) should bite the bullet and go for it. You need to open your mind to reap the benefits of this yoga form.

Besides, everyone else in the class is far too busy doing their own chanting, panting and writhing to notice you.

Julie teaches at Shape, Fonthill Road, Hove on Saturdays, 11am-12noon, and Sundays, 11.30am-12.30pm. Call: 01273 232331.

All classes at Shape are open to non-members.

Open Your Heart With Kundalini Yoga by Siri Datta (Julie Cuddihy) is published by Harper Collins/Thorsons and is available from August 18, priced £14.99.