Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning “coiled,” and Kundalini energy is an unconscious force that’s coiled like a sleeping snake at the base of your spine. Sometimes it’s called “serpent power,” and when you wake it up, it supposedly rises up along your spine, through your body’s various chakras to your head. This is thought to bring you enlightenment and bliss — and it’s a big goal, kind of like achieving Nirvana — so it’s something students of spirituality, yoga and meditation strive for. If this is you, and you’re intrigued by the possibility, it could be one way to experience ultimate ecstasy.
Begin practicing yoga or meditation first, so you are able to willingly achieve a state of peace or joy. The goal here is to focus internally and remove outside distraction from your mind. A local yoga class or a guided meditation audio can help you, and it's not as hard as it sounds, but be prepared to do this regularly for a year or more. You also need to be in good physical condition, have an emotionally and intellectually stable mind and be able to work with your breath, seeing it as a channel of energy that’s in balance and nourishing to your body. Without this foundation, you are not ready to embark on the quest to awaken your Kundalini energy.
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Further establish your yoga/meditation foundation with what they call “mediate” methods of awakening Kundalini — these are indirect, slow and gentle practices like religious rituals, mantra chanting and meditation. Hey, things like this take time and patience, and they’ll prep you for the next steps. If you want to try some new types of yoga, look into Bhakti yoga, which is based on faith; Karma yoga, which is about perfection in action; and Jnana yoga, which is about mental concentration and self-inquiry. You can try any of these things on your own, but you’ll have even better luck with someone experienced guiding you.
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With your foundation in place, move on to “immediate” methods of awakening Kundalini, which are more direct and, yes, somewhat faster; but with these ones, you absolutely need somebody helping you do them properly. There are four categories of immediate methods: physical, breath, meditation and mantra. So you’ll be doing things like deep breathing practices, specific postures and intense meditation.
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Try some physical immediate methods of awakening Kundalini. You can choose from a range of yoga styles, such as Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, Kriya yoga, Raja yoga or Tantra yoga. Expect to practice poses, hand gestures and locks, or Bandhas.
Do some breath-based immediate methods. These include Pranayama, or vigorous breathing exercises; more Bandhas, where breath is the focus; and working on breath retention.
Practice some meditation-based immediate methods. Be prepared for intense focus, which is required to reach the proper state of meditation. A high level of concentrated meditation is referred to as Samadhi, which comes in various stages.
Do some mantra-based immediate methods, which can be combined with any of the other immediate approaches to Kundalini awakening. Mantras are words or phrases that you chant while concentrating, and you might incorporate subtle movements or vibrations to help awaken dormant energy.
Be prepared for Kriyas, or bursts of energy, which cause your body to jump and let you know you're on the right path. These little jolts might feel like a seizure and can be quick, sharp, mild or powerful. Once you get used to them, they will feel more like a warm wave of energy, followed by a feeling of peace. They are generally pleasant and further your spiritual journey, but are not the same as Kundalini awakening.
Expect to experience Kundalini awakening. There are various signs that it’s happening, including involuntary jerking or shaking; electric-like flows of energy; strong feelings of pleasure; intense cold or heat in the areas of certain chakras; sensations that snakes or ants are crawling along your spine; spontaneous Mudras, Asanas, Bandhas or Pranayama; a sense of confusion; sudden mood swings; and increased experiences of inner lights, colors or sounds. Yes, it all sounds rather mystical, and even sexual, and it definitely is a complete mind-body-spirit experience.
- Be patient; this is definitely not an overnight process and takes time and dedication to do properly.
- Some people consider it dangerous to awaken Kundalini, and call it an occult practice. Theosophic author G. S. Arundale wrote that if the student hasn’t reached a high enough level of spiritual development first, it can be like unleashing a furious river that destroys everything in its path. You definitely need to be fully prepared, physically, mentally and spiritually before attempting to unleash this energetic and electric-like force.
Heather Vale is a writer, interviewer and seasoned journalist. She has authored news, entertainment and informational programming in TV, radio, print and online media. She is also a certified childhood fitness and nutrition specialist with a background in mind-body-spirit health, self-help, business, technology and pet breeding. Vale holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual arts from York University.