What Is Kundalini Awakening?
Imagine seeing the world with an expansive vision. You have a keen perception that combines innumerable perspectives at once. You understand your feelings perfectly. You also sense how others are interpreting the world, how others feel. Their judgments are clear to you. With adequate practice and guidance, this is some of the enlightenment that comes through Kundalini Awakening. Awaken the dormant energy within you.
Exploring Kundalini Awakening through the Parable of Shiva And Shakti Kundalini is often described as dormant serpent energy coiled up at the base of the spine. Imagine a resting snake, coiled eight times, waiting to unleash its magnificent power at the base of a great mountain. She has within her infinite energy potentiating. She is the force of creation, resting, longing to rise up to be in union with consciousness at the heights of spiritual bliss.
It is said that the serpent is Shakti, a goddess that is legendary for having created all that is. One of two protagonists in a sort of “big bang” origin story, inspired by her longing to be one with Lord Shiva, the other protagonist.
Lord Shiva symbolizes consciousness and the unmovable power of the observer. He is said to have been meditating for thousands of years while Shakti danced for him. Her longing to be at one, dancing with her beloved provokes him to open one of his three eyes. She beckons for him to dance with her. He closes his eye and rests back in meditation for thousands of more years, awaiting her absolute clarity that joining in harmonious union with him is her true desire. As her longing intensifies, she determines that she must dance with her Beloved Lord Shiva. At that, his three eyes open, they dance together, and all at once the universe unfolds into creation. All of nature is created as a result of their union.
The witness is consciousness, unmoving, and unchanging. Nature is all that dances, all that moves and changes in this world. The witness or seer within each of us is Shiva and the nature of all things around us and within us is Shakti. When Shiva and Shakti are separate, spiritual awakening cannot take place. That separate state is known as a duality. The very merging of Shiva and Shakti obliterates duality and opens the spiritual river of oneness through which Kundalini flows.
According to Yogarupa Rod Stryker, “awakening to this vision of ourselves and the world we live in as ultimately nondual,” is the path to happiness and true spiritual awakening. The bliss state is not conditional. That means the ecstasy of a kundalini awakening does not depend that life plays out in any specific way. It’s the type of sheer joy felt by Eckart Tolle as he describes his awakening in, The Power of Now. The unconditional bliss and oneness that a kundalini awakening produces can be experienced only from a state of Samadhi. Samadhi means to be at one with all things, feeling no separateness or duality from anything in creation. It is a state that yogis strive to realize after many years of mastery under a guru. It is exceedingly rare that anyone has sustained states of Samadhi without a deep well of daily practice and a guru or master teacher as a guide.
What is Kundalini Awakening
According to Dr. David Frawley, Kundalini is the concentrated energy of awareness or attention. It is not an energy apart from consciousness, but rather the energy that manifests with consciousness when it becomes free from thought.” That is why a dedicated meditation practice can enable kundalini to flow, as the cessation of thoughts is a goal of certain forms of meditation on the path to oneness.
Kara-Leah Grant explains, “When Kundalini awakens, a person may experience deeper empathy with others, and this empathy can almost become telepathic. There is greater sensitivity, higher energy levels, sometimes psychic abilities or deep knowing, aging can appear to slow down, creativity and charisma can increase, as can internal peace and knowing. There is a sense of being part of All that Is. The greater mysteries of life are no longer mysteries.”
A person that realizes spiritual enlightenment through a kundalini awakening may choose to work in the healing arts. They tend to work in harmony with their true life’s calling, perhaps signaling a change of careers. They may lose interest in material things while becoming more generous. They may speak less and chose words with deeper clarity and meaning.
Warning: Subtle Body Awakening in Progress
A kundalini awakening is not so much a physical force, but the movement of the energy of the subtle body. Therefore you cannot undergo an awakening without taking the right steps to open and purify the channels of the subtle body. If you are not rightly prepared, a kundalini awakening might cause a ruckus that can feel like a breakdown. Take caution as you explore awakening the serpent energy within you.
What Happens When Your Kundalini Awakens
If Kundalini is awoken, the energy is said to rise up from the base of the spine from the root chakra, which in parable has been referred to as the base of the mountain. The energy ascends to the peak, which correlates with the crown chakra and the pineal gland. (Carrellas, B. (2007). Urban tantra: sacred sex for the twenty-first century. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts. ) “When the pineal gland is activated, a major change in consciousness is experienced, explains Carrellas, author of Urban Tantra.” According to Stryker, awakening the kundalini energy causes a, “state of vision that is super sensory where we can access our highest potential.”
Take Heed; Awakenings May Not Be Contained
If a practitioner is unprepared or the kundalini awakens spontaneously, there can be an experience of total inner chaos due to changes in motivation, appearance, diet, weight gain or loss, sensations in the crown of the head, and shifts in personality that an unguided and/or underprepared person might not be able to handle. A Spontaneous Arousal of kundalini energy can happen as a result of “intense energy work, drug use, sexual experiences, abuse or trauma, yoga practice or life events,” explains Grant.
The awakening may cause spiritual distress and a total breakdown resulting in a massive life crisis.
Some people lose jobs and relationships; others experience difficult emotions from a traumatic past as if the trauma is being relived in the moment. The test is weather they can overcome and learn from the past or be beaten by the same daemons from an earlier time. If you are well trained and guided, with strong and steady spiritual practices, you are more likely to manage these astonishing changes and sensations. It is sensible to follow a particular path, to be trained to know the signs and symptoms of a Kundalini Awakening, and to be aware of the changes that may occur so that you have spiritual practices and support of masters to guide you through.
How to Awaken Your Kundalini Energy
Open Your Sushumna Nadi and Cease Thinking
According to Dr. David Frawley, “The awakening of kundalini requires that prana or life force enter into the Sushumna or central channel. This occurs when the prana is withdrawn from its fixation through the thought process on the external world.” /video/pranayama-meditation) In order to open the central channel or Sushumna Nadi, one can practice alternate nostril breathing along with a number of yoga and tantra practices or focus, breath, and movement.
To withdraw the senses from the Physical Body and to cease thought on the external is exceedingly difficult. The ability to do so, even for a brief moment, is the result of the Practices of the fifth, 6th, and 7th limbs of yoga which will ultimately lead practitioners to the 8th and final limb, Samadhi. The fifth-seventh limbs can be roughly translated to one sense withdrawal, one-pointed focus of the mind, and concentration without an object. Learning the 8 limbs of yoga in sequential order is important. It is crucial to learn to draw the senses inward prior to learning to focus on one object at a time. Focusing on one object must be done before focus can be dissolved to no sense object. All of those skills must be ascertained prior to dissolving a sense of self that leaves the meditator in a state of Samadhi, in perfect union with all that is.
Dedicate to Your Spiritual Practice
You can attempt to experience a kundalini awakening by practicing tantra, yoga, as well as other spiritual practices with fervor and dedication for many years. It is ill-advised to rush this process by abusing drugs or partaking in advanced practices meant for practitioners with years more expertise.
Study With a Teacher
Study with a master teacher. Choose someone with personal experience in spiritual awakening to prepare yourself for a safer transcendence into a higher consciousness and state of oneness.
Know the Origin of the Energy
Depending on whom you study with and what particular tradition you study, you may learn that Kundalini rises from different points of origin. Yogarupa Rod Stryker states definitively that the kundalini life force energy arises from the navel or Third Eye Pineal Gland chakra. This is different from what was earlier described as kundalini living dormant at the root chakra in the base of the spine. Depending on the lineage you study, the practices will differ to bring you to experience this heavenly, and potentially precarious, spiritual awakening.
Know the Difference
If you are not in a state of Samadhi or complete, then what you may experience is not truly a kundalini awakening. What it may be instead is some of your energy centers waking up and gaining life force energy. This is more commonly what people have experienced in the yoga and meditation communities and is regularly confused with a deeper experience of a true kundalini awakening. Be aware that there is a difference.
If you are called to experience a kundalini awakening, to be shifted and changed from the depths of your being, do so carefully and with guidance. Take your time learning the practices from your chosen spiritual path. Know the signs and symptoms of a kundalini awakening. Be prepared to undergo a major shift in consciousness. Prepare to be awakened.
What Is Kundalini Yoga?
There aren’t many things that retain their full potency when they are blended together. Ok, maybe Pert shampoo and conditioner. Maybe Simon and Garfunkel. Maybe cronuts, but that’s about it. In yoga, Kundalini is the exception.
Kundalini yoga is a blend of Bhakti yoga (the yogic practice of devotion and chanting), Raja yoga (the practice of mediation/mental and physical control) and Shakti yoga, (for the expression of power and energy).
A well-taught Kundalini yoga class leaves you feeling like you’ve gone to therapy, had an awesome workout in the gym, made it to your yoga mat and enjoyed a fun singing session with friends. The purpose of Kundalini yoga is to provide a modality by which people can achieve their maximum creative potential, free themselves from Karma (the lasting effects of past actions) and realize their life purpose. Experiencing a Kundalini awakening is like being given the secret code to always winning a blue ribbon, along with a get-out-of-jail-free card, at which point you gleefully fire your life coach because now you know more than he does.
Is That a Snake in Your Spine or Are You Just Glad to See Me?
To understand how Kundalini works you first have to understand that you have a snake in your spine. The Sanskrit word kundal means “circular,” and it can be a noun for a coiled snake. The feminine kundalī means a ring, bracelet, or coil of rope. This concept was adopted as kundalinī into Hatha yoga in the 15th century and, by the 16th century, was used in the Yoga Upanishads.
So the term Kundalini means “a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine,” which is usually conceptualized as a coiled-up serpent.
The practice of Kundalini yoga is supposed to arouse the sleeping Kundalini Shakti from its coiled base through the six chakras that reside along the spine, and through the seventh chakra, or crown. Chakras are wheels, or hubs of energy, along which energy or prana, travels like a superhighway to distribute energy throughout the body.
Like a snake being charmed out of a basket by a bansuri, Kundalini weaves and coils, waking up energy and clearing stagnancy along the way. Without the fangs.
These days Kundalini yoga is a synthesis of many traditions, and the kriyas and meditations in Kundalini Yoga are designed to raise complete body awareness to prepare the body, nervous system, and mind to handle the energy of Kundalini rising. Many of the physical postures are designed to activate the navel, spine, and focal points of pressurization on meridians (energy points). Through breath work (pranayama) and the application of yogic locks of energy (bandhas), the release, direction, and control of the flow of Kundalini energy is achieved.
The technique of alternate nostril breathing (left nostril, right nostril) which is described as a simple breathing technique, is one of these often-utilized techniques. When you’re dealing with a stuffed up nose, there’s nothing simple about breathing out of one nostril. Especially the one plugged up. I’ve found the simplicity comes through first attempting, then practicing. This type of breathwork is taught as a way to cleanse the nadis, or subtle channels and pathways, to help awaken Kundalini energy. Probably the last thing you want to do when you’re congested, but can be quite helpful!