By Susan Munro, RP-CRA.
Kundalini is a dormant energy within most
people. For anyone that has studied some of the Eastern Philosophies, for
instance the Hindu mythology, Kundalini is a serpent goddess who lies asleep at
the base of the spine, coiled three and a half times around the first chakra.
Her name is Kundalini Shakti, and she represents the unfolding of the divine
Shakti energy, the energizing potential of life itself, a living goddess who
enlivens all things. Kundalini in Sanskrit means “she who is coiled”. When
kundalini is activated, it then enters the body via the base chakra and then
rises along the primarily channel in the body and completes a circuit. Most
noted is its shape of a snake. Usually the symptoms start at the left big toe,
winding its way up the leg up through the various chakras until it finally
reaches the Crown of the head. However, tradition states that it becomes
uncoiled at the base of the spine. When this journey of energy is completed, it
is said to confer a state of enlightenment upon the individual. Not to say that
the person is enlightened, but that the journey of enlightenment has begun.
Chakras are energy centres in the body. There
are seven. Each of these energy centres are connected with a major endocrine
gland. For more information on this, please see article on Chakras.
Although it is reputed to be in the body at
puberty, it doesn’t “activate” for all people. It does activate primarily in
menopausal women more often than men. Men and women who actively meditate for
extended periods of time or adhere to spiritual practices, have a greater
incidence of activating this energy. And also can be activated by shock,
whether by a near-death experience, a tragic loss or a severe drug interaction.
Yoga, Qi-Qong, fasting and stress are major factors as well.
Under the afore-mentioned circumstances, the
kundalini energy awakens and begins to rise through the body, piercing and
opening the chakras as she moves in her undulating, snake-like fashion. As
kundalini releases stored and blocked energies, her movement can be quite
intense, sometimes painful, and often leads to mental states that seem out of
This energy is a heavily condensed primal force,
similar to the potential energy found in water (electricity). When released, it
creates a vertical connection between the chakras and moves up the central
channel of the body. We have three channels; central, sun and moon. These
channels are known as nadis. If by analogy, you push a lot of water through a
small hose, you know that it starts to move around like a snake. This thrashing
type of action is exactly what a person may experience on the physical level.
If one is in a system of spirituality that works
on individual chakras, the activation of one chakra connecting to another may
also cause distress, on the physical, mental and emotional layers. In most
systems, the base chakra is opened first and then it is connected to the heart
chakra, to be guided by love and caring.
Although this whole process is healing in nature,
its effects can sometimes be quite unpleasant. Such effects may last for
minutes, days, months, or even years. The upside is that it is becoming more
and more obvious for practitioners such as myself to recognize it and help can
The signs and symptoms of kundalini could be any
and all of the following (please be aware that these symptoms could also be
major symptoms of pathological disease):
Muscle twitches, cramps or spasm.
Energy rushes or immense
electricity circulating the body
Itching, vibrating, prickling,
tingling, stinging or crawling sensations
Intense heat or cold
Involuntary body movements
(occurring more often during meditation, rest or sleep): jerking, tremors,
shaking; feeling inner force pushing one into postures or moving one’s body in
Alterations in eating and sleeping
Episodes of extreme hyperactivity
or, conversely, overwhelming fatigue
Intensified or diminished sexual
Headaches, pressures within the
Racing heartbeat, pains in the
Digestive system problems
Numbness or pain in the limbs
(particularly the left foot and leg)
Pains and blockages anywhere; often
in the back and neck.
Emotional outbursts; rapid mood
shifts; seemingly unprovoked or excessive episodes of grief, fear, rage,
(including laughing and weeping – are as unintentional and uncontrollable as
Hearing an inner sound or sounds,
classically described as flute, drum, waterfall, birds singing, bees buzzing but
which may also sound like roaring, whooshing or thunderous noise or like ringing
in the ears.
Mental confusion; difficulty
Altered states of consciousness:
heightened awareness; spontaneous trance states; mystical experiences (if the
individual’s prior belief system is too threatened by these, it can lead to
bouts of psychosis or self-grandiosity).
Heat, cold, strange activity,
and/or blissful sensations in the head, particularly in the crown area.
Psychic experiences: extrasensory
perception; out of body experiences; pastlife memories; astral travel; direct
awareness of auras and charkas; contact with spirit guides through inner voices,
dreams or visions; healing powers.
Increased creativity: new interests
in self-expression and spiritual communication through music, art poetry, etc.
Intensified understanding and
sensitivity: insight into one’s own essence; deeper understanding of spiritual
truths; exquisite awareness of one’s environment (including “vibes” from
Enlightenment experiences: direct
knowing of a more expansive reality; transcendent awareness.
Ruling out any organic causes of disease, this
kundalini process is a Spiritual Crisis for many people. Becoming more than
human is a bit of a leap for most of us, but it IS a heritage. Many people have
gone through the rigors of this transformation and come out the other side of
it. It is imperative that if you are feeling a majority of the above listed
symptoms, that you seek help, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process
and it is interfering with your normal life.
You can doubt you are sane when you are in the
throes of a kundalini experience, but rest assured that you are not. If you
understand that the symptoms are not a sickness and you are not suffering from a
mental disease, the process can be endured and completed. The energy does
eventually break through and connect all the energy centres and you will
function on a different reality, one much more serene and grounded than ever
If you find yourself dealing with uncomfortable
kundalini awakening symptoms, you should look at this list and see what you can
actively do to help yourself first:
Find others who have knowledge of this experience.
2) Purify. Abstain from any
substance that triggers a reaction in your body, like recreational drugs,
tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine prescription drugs. Avoid sugars, greasy foods
and additives. Go natural. Eat well, especially protein which is generally
grounding. Get a massage and blood-pumping exercise (esp. important to move
energy on all levels).
3) Manage Stress.
This is major transformation on a spiritual level, so you must make time for
it. Make a list of where you are giving your time that is not productive.
Also, make a list of what you NEED in life, right now, not tomorrow and then set
about getting these needs met.
4) Educate Yourself.
Read about Kundalini. There are many fine books out there from people who have
gone before you (booklist will be available on this site shortly). There are
internet sites as well.
5) Consider Therapy.
As Kundalini brings up unresolved issues, this is the best time to deal with
them. It will take some of the bumps out of the road. Try to find a therapist
that understands this process. It can be a worse scenario if the therapist
thinks you are coming unglued and tries to convince you that you need drug
6) Start a Spiritual Practice.
May be it is time to practice meditation, yoga or some spiritual practice, OR
you might need to stop meditating for a while if it increases unpleasant
Kundalini awakening symptoms. If you notice your symptoms get better or worse,
follow what your body tells you. This is trial and error.
7) Ground Yourself.
Kundalini is most difficult when the energy is moving upward without enough
energy moving downward to balance. Sitting on earth, getting into nature,
feeling earth in your hands, taking homeopathic remedies or flower essences
(which are gentle). Hug a tree or sit beneath one. Use visualization
techniques that “root” you to the earth. All these things have to be
experimented with to see what suits you.