In the yogic tradition, Kundalini is believed to be the universal life force energy present in every living being. It exists in a coiled form at the base of your spine. This energy can awaken spontaneously or be called forth through initiation or specific yoga practices that focus on the Kundalini raising process, such as breathing exercises, asanas and meditation. Raising your Kundalini can result in a number of positive and negative spiritual, psychological/mental and physical effects.
Many yogic practitioners want to raise Kundalini for its spiritual benefits. In an article for his website, Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati states that awakening Kundalini and unifying it with the "Absolute" is the highest goal of yoga, vedanta and tantra practices. Proponents of Kundalini yoga believe that one of the main effects of raising Kundalini includes the ability to make quantum leaps in spiritual awareness, according to author Mark Greenia in his book, "Energy Dynamics: Conscious Human Evolution." Raising Kundalini can also bring about a number of additional spiritual effects, such as visions and an increased sensitivity to subtler energies.
Some of the psychological effects of raising Kundalini are thought to include the surfacing of past traumas. This can occur through developing the ability to suddenly recall painful events that may have been buried in your unconscious. You may also experience increased creativity, genius, energy or more vivid, intense dreams that may seem to point you toward specific goals or actions. According to Bruce Greyson, M.D. in an article published in the book, "Kundalini Rising," Western medicine may often confuse some of the psychological effects of raising Kundalini with neurological disturbance and disorders. These effects can include feelings of depression, anxiety, panic and fear, and are often accompanied by physical symptoms that can resemble a psychiatric disorder, such as the twitching and shaking typically found in schizophrenics.
The physical effects of raising Kundalini can result in increased physical well-being or may provide negative, yet usually temporary, symptoms. This may include feelings of fatigue or exhaustion, changes in your level of sexual desire, feeling chills or sweaty, especially at night, and changes in your body heat. According to spiritual practitioner El Collie, muscle cramps, itching or crawling sensations, headaches, racing heartbeat and digestive problems are also possible physical symptoms of awakening Kundalini.
You should not attempt Kundalini raising exercises unless under the guidance of an experienced teacher. There are a number of different paths to raising Kundalini that require extensive experience and knowledge about this process. According to Indologist and yoga specialist Georg Feuerstein in an article for Yoga-Age.com, Kundalini energy can be dangerous if you attempt to awaken it just to obtain certain sensual or sensory experiences. Consult a qualified meditation teacher or guru if you are interested in learning more about the Kundalini awakening/raising process.
- Energy Dynamics: Conscious Human Evolution: Mark Greenia
- Swamij.com: Kundalini Awakening
- Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening: Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Andrew Newburg, Sivananda Radha, Ken Wilber and John Selby
- ElCollie.com: Kundalini Signs and Symptoms
- Yoga-Age.com: Kundalini: Awakening the Serpent Power
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.