What is a Kundalini Awakening?

Have you ever wondered, what is a kundalini awakening? Perhaps you’ve had one and you’re hesitant to talk about it for fear of people’s reactions. If so, you are not alone. Sometimes the symptoms of a kundalini awakening can be similar to psychotic episodes. Master yogis, including Kashmiri yogi and philosopher Gopi Krishna, have predicted that more and more people would experience kundalini awakenings in the years to come. The time is here and people are “waking up.” Gopi Krishna shared his experience of kundalini rising in his book: Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in [hu]ManGopi Krishna described a debilitating experience which lasted for years. Not enough is known about kundalini awakenings in the West to be able to compare one experience to the next.

“Gopi Krishna never felt that what took place was personally his. From the beginning he was a mere instrument … of a vaster truth” (James Hillman). C. G. Jung believed that many patients were misdiagnosed as having mental illness when in fact they were undergoing a spiritual emergence–kundalini awakening.Everyone’s experience is unique and ranges from subtle sensations to a full blown kundalini awakening, like Gopi Krishna’s.

What is Kundalini?

Before we look at what is a kundalini awakening, let me define what I mean by kundalini. The term kundalini is hard to pin down, because this phenomenon cannot be measured by Western scientific methods. There are many notions regarding what kundalini is and what it is not.

kundalini (ku̇n-də-ˈlē-nē) n.

  1. The biological basis of all forms of spiritual experience

Kundalini means “the curl in the lock of the hair of the beloved.” The snake is often used to symbolize kundalini energy, and can be seen throughout world mythology and religions. Tantric Yogic science teaches that kundalini is your creative power, the energy of cosmic consciousness. Kundalini is the “nerve of the soul.” Kundalini has been called the “serpent power,” and has long associations with Egyptian, Sumerian, Hindu, and other traditions. In its latent form is lies coiled like a serpent.

Kundalini undulates and is feminine in nature, and has been called the evolutionary power of consciousness. It is believed to be a spiritual or cosmic energy that drives evolution. Consider the last line of Johan Wolfgong von Goethe’s Faust II: “the eternal feminine hithers us on.”  Kundalini is a powerful force that transcends cultures and geography.

Eastern sciences teach that everyone has kundalini coursing through their bodies at all times, otherwise we wouldn’t be alive. In most people, there is an untapped reservoir of kundalini energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine in addition to kundalini that circulates throughout our bodies. Kundalini is subtle psychic energy that travels through the bodies subtle energy channels called nadis. Think of meridian points and energy pathways of the body used during acupuncture–the concept is similar.Muladhara chakra

Kundalini is psychic energy “sleeping” at the area of the sacrum (Holy Bone) at the root chakra (Muladhara chakra). What keeps the kundalini dormant can be symbolically thought of as a knot, the “knot of Brahman,” located at the first chakra, at the base of your spine. The snake lies coiled and sleeping until aroused. When the knot loosens, the energy begins to flow.

How is Kundalini Awakened?

We learn about Kundalini through direct experience. Transformative energy in the human body which can be activated spontaneously, or through spiritual disciplines and practices. It is best not to try to induce kundalini until you are well prepared for it, otherwise the experience could become quite debilitating. The nervous system and subtle energy channels must be strengthened before the “high wattage” of kundalini flows.

  • Meditation
  • Breath work (pranayam)
  • Prayer
  • Yoga practices
  • All on its own

Once awakened, kundalini typically travels from the Muladhara through the central subtle channel (nadi), the sushmana, and continues to the Sahasrara chakra at the crown. The process can stop at any point or be thwarted through other pathways.

I teach and practice Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, because it is specifically formulated to gently arouse the kundalini energy. This ancient yogic science combines exercises (asanas), breathing patterns (pranayam), hand positions (mudras), eye positions (dhrist), and sacred sound (mantra and music) to safely arouse the kundalini energy. Kundalini yoga and meditation is a precise technology designed to be done for specific amounts of time and in a designated order. The combined techniques mentioned above modulates the energy so that kundalini can be released safely. Kundalini energy is nothing to play around with and I highly recommend finding a certified yoga teacher who is well trained so that s/he may properly guide you. All forms of yoga are designed to eventually raise the kundalini, although Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness and fast acting.

What are Signs and Symptoms of Awakened Kundalini?

Everyone’s kundalini awakening experience is unique. The following symptoms have been reported by people who have likely had kundalini awakenings. You may have one or many different symptoms when your kundalini begins to awaken.

  • Sensory Transformation
  • Increased synchronicities
  • Old patterns of behavior or circumstances no longer work for you
  • Sensations of heat throughout your body
  • Powerful orgasmic sensations pulsating up your spine
  • Increased sensitivity to external and internal conditions
  • Dark night of the soul experiences
  • Revelation of New Knowledge
  • Cosmic or Unity Consciousness
  • Detachment from Egoic Desires
  • Traits of Genius Appear
  • No Fear of Death
  • Heightened Psychic Awareness

Caution: I cannot emphasize enough that it is important not to try to force a kundalini awakening. The wisdom of the Universe, Kundalini Shakti (Divine Feminine), and cosmic consciousness work in their own time. Kundalini is an evolutionary consciousness that has its own master timing. Kundalini will naturally awaken in you when and if you are ready for it. It is like a supreme gift or it can be a nightmare if coaxed without proper preparation.


Further Reading:

Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening, by several contributors

Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man, by Gopi Krishna

Kundalini: Evolution and Enlightenment, edited by John White

KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga Teachers:

Directory of Certified Kundalini Yoga Teachers

Kundalini Doula

Anne Taylor, Ph.D. Please contact Dr. Anne Taylor for questions, comments, experiences, and a preliminary consultation if desired. I have been working 1:1 with people experiencing symptoms of kundalini awakening through the examination of dreams, symbols, and their personal experiences. Please contact me for more information.

Anne Taylor, founder of How To Relieve Stress Naturally









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1 thought on “What is a Kundalini Awakening?”

  1. How nice that change of consciousness that you had in relation to the experiences that were happening to you (how to leave your phone in the living room); And how amazing this approach to erase one’s exclusive identity with the body (Like when you felt you were your room) Congratulations! I send you a hug and thank you for sharing your experiences.


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