What is Kundalini?

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  • Written By: Niki Foster
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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According to ancient Hindu philosophy, kundalini is a coil of energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine. This energy can be awakened through the process of spiritual development, causing it to rise along the spine and activate energy centers known as chakras. This is said to bring about physical effects as well as spiritual enlightenment. When exactly the concept of the kundalini developed is not known, but passages in the 8th century Siva Sutras assume the reader's familiarity with it. The energy is described in more detail in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a Hindu text written between the 12th and 15th centuries that elaborates on the physical exercise the Western world most often associates with yoga.

In the early 20th century, Sir John Woodroffe referred to kundalini as "Serpent Power" in his translation of two Hindu texts, leading to a longstanding image of this energy as a snake in the West. In reality, the word means "coiled up." Western thinkers C. W. Leadbeater and Carl Jung also discussed the kundalini in their writings, but critics complain that they did not do the idea justice by taking it out of its cultural context.


Many people who wish to explore the idea practice Kundalini Yoga, a combination of physical postures, chanting, and meditation designed to awaken kundalini power in the body. Chakra work may also include contemplating certain images, eating certain foods, and engaging in breathing exercises. For many, this is the ultimate form of body-mind exercise, as it emphasizes the physical benefits of spiritual health and vice versa. Recently, this form of yoga has even gained some adherents in the medical profession in the West.

Practitioners of Kundalini Yoga warn that this energy is very powerful and that one should not seek to awaken it without professional guidance. As kundalini rises through the chakras, it can become an increasingly intense experience both physically and emotionally, and some believe that it can be harmful if not done correctly and with caution. Kundalini awakening is also said to be a lengthy, often lifelong, process.

Some attested side effects to Kundalini awakening include tingling sensations, gastrointestinal problems, headache, depression, mood swings, and anxiety, among others. It is important for people seeking this awakening to secure both a spiritual leader and a medical professional that they trust before seriously embarking on this work, as diagnosing any medical problems possibly related to the practice is a delicate issue by nature. Practitioners of kundalini awakening claim that it can have amazing benefits in every area of a person's life, but it is always advised to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new physical activity.


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Post 11

This is a great way of explaining Kundalini. For Kundalini Yoga beginners, it is important to understand that this awakening of energy is for all. It’s nothing to be afraid of, but it helps to have someone guide you through this awakening. I take online classes from Guru Rattana, who has guided me every step of the way.

Post 10

Kundalini is all about internal electricity. Yoga actually means to yoke the mind through electrical impulses and charges which can lead to serious overheating and chemical consequences of magnitude. The mercury can rise but fall just as quickly, hence the extreme temperature changes.

Kundalini coils are never dormant; they are comparable to atoms in the sense that both must spin in timed creative cycles, however, many things can cause these cycles to change from creative to very destructive.

Counter clockwise spinning is linked to speed, light, electricity and heat, the system begins to illuminate, dormant cells become very active, toxicity will be high and very dangerous. The human system is full of liquids, but water and electricity will spell disaster.

To understand Kundalini coils, we first and foremost must gain a much greater level of comprehension about the metals within us which have been there since the day of Creation.

Post 9

Sahaja Yoga Meditation is meant for everyone who desires to find his or her true self, which is full of peace, joy of life and love for others. It's a living science that will open up to you gradually as your meditation become deeper and your experience stronger and more fulfilling.

It was developed by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. It involves the awakening of subtle spiritual energy called kundalini. The classes are free and can be learned online as well.

Post 7

As a yoga teacher and one who has practiced many forms of yoga and body/mind modalities since the early 70s, I have had many strange and wonderful experiences. I believe everyone has all kinds of unexplained reactions to life in a physical

body. Some seek medical help and are given drugs to suppress the life energy flowing through.

Call it Kundalini or what ever you like. Life is a spiritual awakening no matter how you choose to live it. Our minds always look for a label for our experiences. If you let yourself unfold without judgment or labeling we find this energy to be the very joy we are all looking for.

Energy is Energy.

Fear and resistance will always

restrict and be experienced as pain. You and you alone have the power to change your perception of your experience.

You create your mental world and that, my friends, forms your physical world. The best meditation is to watch your mind always, find out what and who you really are.

If you like what you see in there keep it, if you don't then change it. Your mind belongs to you.

"May Your World Improve With Each Breath" Sal

Post 5

i really am not sure what has bought me to know, or want to know, anything about the kundalini, but i seem to have very mild versions of the symptoms. thing is, i don't do any meditation, neither do i know much about meditation (have been considering getting into meditation for awhile now), which leads me to wonder: is it kundalini or is something else going on?

Post 4

I am practicing Reiki Tummo which awakens your kundalini and had no symptomatology and feel great and have advanced spiritually more in this 2 years after RT than in my past 59 years. I feel the fire of the Kundalini cleansing and purifying and my Heart has opened amazingly.

Post 3

Im a 40 year old male with no prior knowledge of chakras or kundalini until about 5 years ago when i was hit with a kundalini rush so intense i thought i was on fire. I woke up and felt my body throwing heat and what felt like electricity. My third eye also opened at the same time (didn't know what that was at the time either) and i could see color splotches in my field of vision for days, plus all the jangly weirdness that a cranked open 3rd eye can bring. On top of that, i had tingling in my hands, legs and feet, cold felt hot and vice versa. This all kept on for weeks in varying degrees.

There's more to it now...much more. But yes, definitely... a kundalini awakening can happen without warning, without meditation or yoga, even without any prior knowledge of such things.

Post 2

Is it possible to have the side effects of kundalini awakening without ever trying this yoga? or any yoga? I have been becoming more spiritual, changing life practices since november 2007. lately I am overcome with much depression, anxiety so severe that my throat swells shut, I feel like I can not breathe, hands shake very bad all since I have been coming more spiritual

Post 1

I have tried kundalini yoga and although I found it to be a great workout, I have never experienced serious spiritual awakening or any of the side effects. I am not sure what the difference is.

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