What is Kundalini? Kundalini is a Sanskrit word that means "coiled up." It is often represented by a snake coiled around the base of the spine. However, other meanings of the word kundalini include "serpent power" or "sleeping goddess."
Kundalini energy is more or less dormant in most people, but it can be awakened through yoga and other practices. When the kundalini energy is activated, it can lead to profound spiritual experiences. Also, kundalini awakening can have intense physical side effects when the body isn't prepared correctly.
However, if kundalini energy is not handled correctly, it can cause problems such as physical illness, emotional instability, and even psychosis. In this article, we will explore what kundalini is and why you need to be careful with it.
Read on to discover more about the origins of Kundalini and why you should be cautious if following a path that "awakens" it.
Origins of Kundalini In Yoga
Kundalini is an ancient concept rooted in Indian culture and spirituality. The Vedas, a collection of Hindu scriptures, mention kundalini energy as the "subtle body." This energy governs our physical, mental, and emotional health.
The Upanishads, another set of ancient Hindu texts, describe kundalini as a coiled-up serpent at the base of the spine. This serpent is known as Shakti, the feminine aspect of divine energy. Shakti is often represented as a goddess in Hinduism.
When the kundalini is awakened, it rises the spine and leads to spiritual enlightenment. However, the Hatha Pradipikia warns that this process should only be done under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Otherwise, it could lead to physical and mental problems.
When the kundalini energy is awakened, it rises up through the chakras (energy centers in the body). There are seven main chakras, each governing different aspects of our lives.
The kundalini awakening process can be gradual or sudden.
It is often associated with intense emotions and physical sensations such as heat, tingling, or shaking. In some cases, people may even experience hallucinations.
Kundalini energy is a powerful force, and it should not be taken lightly.
Other Cultures That Speak Of "Kundalini"
In Chinese culture, kundalini energy is known as "qi" (pronounced "chee"). Qi is often described as a life force or vital energy. It is believed to flow through the body and connect all organs and systems.
Like kundalini, qi can be dormant or awakened. When it is awakened, it can lead to profound changes in consciousness. It can also cause physical side effects such as shaking, sweating, and changes in heart rate.
Awakening qi is often done through qigong, which is a type of Chinese meditation. Qigong can be used for healing, self-defense, or spiritual development.
In Tibetan Buddhism, Kundalini energy is known as "tummo." Tummo is often associated with the practice of tantra. Tantra is a type of yoga that uses sexual energy to achieve spiritual growth.
When tummo is awakened, it leads to what is known as the "heat death" experience. This is when the body temperature drops significantly, and the person experiences intense feelings of bliss and oneness with the universe.
Like Kundalini, tummo should only be practiced under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Otherwise, it could lead to physical and mental problems.
In Christianity, Kundalini's energy is known as the "Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit is a force that is said to indwell in all Christians. It leads to spiritual gifts such as prophecy and healing.
The Holy Spirit can also cause physical side effects such as shaking, speaking in tongues, and being slain in the Spirit. These experiences are often associated with Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity.
Kundalini energy is a powerful force, and it should not be taken lightly. Whether you call it kundalini, qi, tummo, or the Holy Spirit, this energy can lead to profound changes in consciousness. It can also cause physical side effects when mishandled.
Presupposition: You Cannot Awaken Kundalini
Throughout the previous paragraphs, I used the words "dormant" and "awaken". But in reality, the presupposition is that kundalini can neither be awakened nor extinguished.
Kundalini is not something that you turn on or off like a light switch. It is an innate quality of every human being. We are all born with kundalini energy, which is our true nature.
Kundalini can only be covered up or obscured. This often happens through the process of socialization. As we grow up, we learn to repress our kundalini energy to conform to societal norms.
However, it is possible to uncover your kundalini energy. This can be done through yoga, meditation, and other spiritual practices. In fact, there are entire branches of Yog dedicated entirely to Kunḍalinī (kundalini) Yoga.
And other branches of spirituality are simply working with Kundalini but without putting words to it as such. In the end, it is your journey, and you will find your way of working with kundalini energy.
What Can Happen if The Body Is Not Gradually Prepared for Kundalini?
Now that we have a better understanding of what kundalini is let's take a look at some of the potential risks associated with it.
One of the biggest dangers of kundalini is that it can lead to physical problems if the body is not gradually prepared for it. Kundalini energy is potent, and it can cause imbalances in the body if it is not handled correctly.
Some of the physical side effects that can occur when kundalini is mishandled include:
Physical Side Effects
- muscle spasms
- chest pain
- heart palpitations
- high blood pressure
- night terrors
Most of the side effects can be mitigated naturally by tolerating time to prepare the body or by working with a professional who can help to monitor the process.
Some mental side effects can occur when kundalini is mishandled. These include:
As with the physical side effects, most mental side effects can be mitigated by taking things slowly and working with an experienced specialist in the field.
What Does Kundalini Feel Like (Anecdotal Reports)?
Now that we have looked at some of the risks associated with kundalini let's take a moment to explore what it feels like.
There is no one answer to this question because everyone experiences kundalini differently. Some people report feeling a "blissful" energy throughout their bodies, while others report feeling more like an electrical current.
Some people feel kundalini as heat in the body, while others feel cold. It is said that kundalini can manifest in any way that you can imagine because it is your energy, after all.
For some people, Kundalini happened to them spontaneously without any conscious effort on their part. While for others, it was the result of years of dedicated spiritual practice.
There is no right or wrong way to experience kundalini. It is a personal experience, and you will know it when you feel it.
What Is Bindu & How Does It Relate to Kundalini?
In yoga, there is a concept known as Bindu. Bindu is the point at which all things come together. It is the place where energy converges.
Bindu is often likened to the point of a needle because it is said to be incredibly powerful yet small and delicate simultaneously.
The relationship between Bindu and Kundalini can be thought of like this:
- Kundalini is the energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine
- Bindu is the point at which this energy converges
- When Kundalini is awakened, it rises up through the chakras to Bindu
- At Bindu, Kundalini and shakti (the creative life force) meet, and this is said to be the highest point of spiritual awakening
Kundalini and Bindu are two concepts often spoken about because they are intimately linked. However, it is essential to understand that they are not the same thing.
Bindu is the point at which kundalini energy converges. It is the place where all things come together. Kundalini is the energy itself.
Bindu & the Nadis
The Nadis are the energy channels in the body through which kundalini energy flows. There are said to be 72,000 Nadis in the human body.
Of these, there are three primary Nadis:
This is the central channel that runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. It is associated with consciousness and is often referred to as the "channel of purity."
Ida - Lunar
This channel runs from the left side of the spine to the left nostril. It is said to be associated with lunar energy and is often referred to as the "channel of bliss."
Pingala - Solar
This channel runs from the right side of the spine to the right nostril. It is said to be associated with solar energy and is often referred to as the "channel of action."
The Nadis are an essential part of kundalini because they are the channels through which kundalini energy flows.
Can the Bindu Move Through the Sushumna Nadi?
Yes, it is said that the Bindu can move through the Sushumna Nadi. The Sushumna is the central channel that runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.
It is often referred to as the "channel of purity" because it is associated with consciousness. When kundalini energy rises through this channel, it is said to be a compelling experience.
The movement of Bindu through the Sushumna Nadi is often likened to a snake moving up a pole. It is a slow and steady process that takes time and patience. Some yogic practices focus solely on the cleansing of the Nadis, allowing the Bindu to descend and then ascend the Sushumna more easily.
Kundalini and the Chakras
The chakras are the energy centers in the body. There are said to be seven primary chakras:
Muladhara (Root Chakra): This chakra is located at the base of the spine. It is associated with survival and is said to be the foundation of all other chakras.
Svadhisthana (Sacral Chakra): This chakra is located just below the navel. It is associated with pleasure and is said to be where our creative energy resides.
Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra): This chakra is located just above the navel. It is associated with power and is said to be where our personal power resides.
Anahata (Heart Chakra): This chakra is located in the center of the chest. It is associated with love and is said to be the bridge between the lower and higher chakras.
Vishuddha (Throat Chakra): This chakra is located in the throat. It is associated with communication and is said to be where our ability to communicate clearly resides.
Ajna (Third Eye Chakra): This chakra is located between the eyebrows. It is associated with intuition and is said to be where our ability to see clearly resides.
Sahasrara (Crown Chakra): This chakra is located at the top of the head. It is associated with enlightenment and is said to be where our connection to the divine resides.
The chakras are an essential part of kundalini because they are the energy centers through which kundalini energy flows. When the kundalini energy is awakened, it is said to rise up through the chakras, culminating in a state of enlightenment.
Can Kundalini Get Stuck At A Chakra?
Kundalini doesn't necessarily get stuck at chakras, but it can sometimes not move forward because of specific blockage.
For example, if there is a blockage in the Muladhara chakra (the root chakra), it can prevent the kundalini energy from rising up through the other chakras. This is why it's essential to cleanse and open all of the chakras before attempting to awaken kundalini energy.
Certain yogic exercises focus on the Muladhara chakra, such as Mula Bandha (Root Lock) and Muladhara Mudra (Root Gesture). These exercises help to cleanse and open the chakra so that kundalini energy can flow freely.
Why Kundalini Shouldn't Be A Goal for You to Achieve
While kundalini is a fantastic experience, it shouldn't be a goal you're trying to achieve.
The reason why is that kundalini is a natural process that happens when you're ready for it. It's not something that you can force or achieve through yoga exercises.
If you try to force kundalini energy to rise up before you're ready, it can result in some severe health problems. That's why it's essential to be careful and take your time when practicing yoga.
If you feel like kundalini energy is rising up within you, consult with a qualified yoga teacher or spiritual guide before continuing. They can help you navigate the experience and avoid any potential health problems.
Kundalini is a powerful energy that should be respected and handled with care. If you do decide to work with kundalini energy, make sure you're prepared for the journey ahead.
Spiritual Issues That Can Arise From Kundalini
There are a few spiritual issues that can arise from kundalini, such as:
Ego death: When the kundalini energy rises, it can cause the ego to die. This can be a frightening experience for some people because they're no longer in control.
Loss of identity: Since the ego is what gives us our sense of self, its death can result in a loss of identity. This can be disorienting and confusing for some people.
Spiritual awakening: As the kundalini energy rises, it can cause a spiritual awakening. This can be a wonderful experience for some people, but it can also be overwhelming.
Enlightenment: When the kundalini energy reaches the crown chakra, it can lead to enlightenment. This is the highest state of consciousness and can be a life-changing experience.
Kundalini Explained With Ease
The origin of Kundalini is a topic of debate. Some say that it is a natural process that happens when you're ready for it. Others believe that it is something that yoga exercises can help achieve.
Regardless of its origin, kundalini is a powerful energy that should be respected and handled with care. If you do decide to work with kundalini energy, make sure you're prepared for the journey ahead.
Kundalini will work with you, and it will provide the right experience for your cards of life. It is often associated with helping reach a state of enlightenment. If you are seeking kundalini, be prepared for a life-changing event. It will come to you when it is the right time.
If you'd like to learn about the origins of Yoga Mudras, check out this blog post I wrote on the topic.