Have you ever felt as though your whole life was falling apart yet, at the same time, coming together in the most glorious fashion? Do you feel as though you’re experiencing a phase of complete surrender?
It’s possible you’re experiencing a taste of the mystical, yet highly transformative kundalini awakening. The unusual part of all this? You don’t even have to be spiritually aware or have any interest in spiritual growth to experience one.
More often than not, they’re fully spontaneous (which can make them even more confusing if it’s your first time).
As someone who has experienced the many ebbs and flows of this supreme force of nature, I thought it only right to dedicate an entire article to it, diving deep into its symptoms, stages, causes, and what to do when you’re experiencing one.
First things first…
WHAT IS A KUNDALINI AWAKENING?
A kundalini awakening is a type of energetic awakening and mightily powerful spiritual experience. It’s the awakening of the primal life force within the depths of your soul.
Some say it’s a form of spiritual awakening, but I believe it runs much deeper than that. It’s a complete shedding and purging; a true transformation of the mind, body, and spirit on all levels.
In case you’re wondering where the term comes from, ‘Kundalini’ is Sanskrit for ‘coiled snake’ or ‘she who is coiled’, and it’s this ‘snake’ which is energetically trying to be uncoiled, or rather released into the body.
WHAT IS KUNDALINI ENERGY?
Unlike typical spiritual awakenings which are psychological in nature, and where the energy is said to emanate from the Universe, Kundalini energy is said to rest at the bottom of our spines in a location referred to as the ‘Muladhara’.
The Muladhara is the root chakra in Western practices.
It’s when this energy is activated and flows freely through the energy centers of the body and up to the Crown Chakra, that we then go through a kundalini awakening.
But, this awakening isn’t designed to get us to act with more power, more clarity, or even more focus; it’s designed to allow us to practice patience, rest, softness, self-compassion, and understanding.
It wants us to embrace the part authentic part of ourselves that we hid or denied in fear of rejection, disappointment, or shame.
Despite what many believe, a kundalini awakening represents the divine feminine part of us; the aspect that loves flow and freedom.
Whereas a true spiritual awakening brings balance to both the divine masculine and the divine feminine, the kundalini does not.
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF A KUNDALINI AWAKENING?
I believe a kundalini awakening is a homecoming, a spiritual liberation; the point at which you strip away everything that you internalized and wore like a jacket. Everything you embodied that wasn’t truly yours to take.
I believe this awakening spans much, much further than just a yoga practice or a ‘rite of passage’. Instead, it seeks to set your soul free; free of overly ambitious materialistic pursuits, free of hustle, free of false expectations, free of anything that drags or weighs you down.
From what I’ve witnessed with others, I also think these awakenings are deeply personal, meaning the thoughts, beliefs, and systems that are challenged for me might not be the same as what rises for you.
Overall, it’s an incredibly beautiful process, but it’s definitely not easy the first time you experience one.
It feels as though everything you’ve ever known to be true completely crumbles away, as you come to accept that most of your life was built on unrealistic values constructed by society and the beliefs of those around you.
21 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS YOU’RE GOING THROUGH A KUNDALINI AWAKENING
- You feel detached from reality, in a peaceful way
- You have a feeling of pure euphoria or lightness, especially around your heart area
- You begin to appreciate the little things in life and practice gratitude
- Your mind is noticeably quieter, with the ability to slow your thoughts
- You feel a deep sense of love and compassion for others, animals, nature, and yourself
- You’re able to pause before you react
- Your intuition is heightened, and you experience intense visions or even soul memories linked to a past life
- You see through the fake lens that society and media portray
- You resonate with old soul energy
- You have a magnificent surge in creativity
- You see time and experiences as non-linear
- You see the world as inherently magic and as a playground for the soul
- You embrace the duality of life, the yin, and the yang
- Past traumas have less of an effect on you
- You possess a newfound clarity and strength that you’ve never experienced before
- You feel closer to a state of self-realization
- You’re noticeably more connected to the interconnectedness of the world
- You’re having sudden epiphanies and breakthroughs as your upper chakras clear
- You feel more connected to your life purpose (or at the very least the creation of one)
- You work with the ego, not against it
- Synchronicities such as angel numbers, animal symbols increase
- You’re able to consciously develop and hone your spiritual gifts
- You receive intense, often life-changing cosmic downloads, a form of soul communication
ARE THERE ANY PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF A KUNDALINI RISING?
Yes. Though it depends on which stage you’re in as well as the mode of awakening as to whether these symptoms are pleasant or unpleasant.
I’ve labeled the symptoms below as either ‘light’ or ‘dark energy’. I don’t believe in labeling symptoms as good or bad, as both sides can teach us something about our internal world.
- An electric tingly feeling in the spine (light energy, energy rising through clear chakras)
- Outpouring of emotions (light energy, releasing of trapped trauma)
- A feeling of warmth throughout the body (light energy)
- The relaxation of your muscles (light energy)
- Slower, more regulated breathing (light energy)
- A burning sensation in the spine (dark energy, energy stuck in chakras or blocked)
- Body spasms (dark energy)
- Feeling as though you’re on a ‘bad trip’ or a form of psychosis (dark energy)
- Stiffening of the body (dark energy)
- Hyper-sensitive to light, loud noises, and overwhelming energies (dark energy)
- You feel as though you’re going crazy or losing your mind (dark energy)
- Panic attacks and intense anxiety (dark energy)
- Sudden loss of ability to feel and process emotions (dark energy)
- Sleep disturbances (can be neutral as a temporary transition)
MY OWN PERSONAL KUNDALINI EXPERIENCE
As someone who has consciously worked with this energy for a few years and has traced it through the body line by line, I can honestly say it’s not an easy process.
I thought it best to also share my own symptoms and experiences too, which are probably less common than those I’ve mentioned above:
- An impending feeling of doom, even when my anxiety was under control.
It lasted 2-3 weeks but then disappeared when I traced it to my solar plexus. If I don’t do anything to shift the heavy energy here, it either gets stuck or sits longer than usual.
I initially had a hard time working out why, but I’ve since realized it’s tied to the energy in my natal chart. I’m an intuitive type who experiences the world through an emotional lens. Whereas before I thought this was a flaw – a weakness in my being – I now see it as a beautiful gift that helps me see the world in a gloriously richer spectrum.
- Hyper feel-good energy one minute, chronic fatigue and lowness the next (temporary)
- Very vivid dreams
- A desire to move the body more than usual thanks to a giddy, frantic energy
- Developing a ‘messiah complex’, a grandiose vision of wanting to save the world or its inhabitants (I didn’t develop this, but it’s a common symptom of an awakening)
- Out-of-body experiences
- Paranormal or supernatural connections
- A desire to work with higher deities and life forms
Have you experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section below!
WHAT CAUSES A KUNDALINI AWAKENING?
There are many ways the kundalini energy center can become activated within the body.
Meditation, breathwork, asanas, yoga, and following a tantric lifestyle are the most common ways of activation.
That said, they can happen spontaneously without practicing any sort of ritual or belief and can be triggered by intense and deeply personal experiences such as trauma, accidents, near-death experiences, childbirth, or extreme mental stress.
These 3 factors give rise to the deepest kundalini awakenings, from a soul’s perspective:
- the desire to lead a different lifestyle
- The desire to seek conscious change
- The desire to come face to face with your soul’s limitless potential in this world
You might have spotted that it all comes down to ‘desire’.
Whilst desire is often seen as a bad thing in the New Age movement, it’s actually your soul’s natural position. Your soul desires change. It desires growth. It desires expansion.
So, applying this principle, it makes sense that you were the one to call this awakening into being..which leads me nicely to my next question.
SHOULD I BE AFRAID OF A KUNDALINI AWAKENING? IS IT SAFE?
I try not to see anything through the lens of fear, but yes and no. Your soul called in this kundalini awakening, and her energy is trying to expand you, to return you back to what matters most; you.
Whether it was pre-destined or it was fully spontaneous in this lifetime, it’s clear your spirit needed to release its earth-bound limitations. It wanted to shed the skin that’s been keeping it stuck for so long.
That said (as you’ll explore in the latter half of this article) there are some precautions to take to make sure you’re connecting with the right intentions.
As Georg Feuerstein, Yoga scholar and kundalini expert, explains in his book, Tantra: The Path to Ecstasy:
"Without prior cleansing of the nādī system, raising the serpent power (kundalinī-shakti) along the axial pathway is not only impossible but also very dangerous to attempt, for instead of entering the central channel (sushumnā-nādī) it is likely to force itself into the idā- or the pingalā-nādī, on either side of the central channel, causing immense havoc in the body and mind."
Aka when the energy is aroused and navigated through the body the wrong way and through the wrong centers, it can cause problems within all of the body’s main systems.
It’s not an experience you chase, but rather let unfold naturally.
CAN I FORCE A KUNDALINI AWAKENING TO HAPPEN?
There are reports of being able to force a kundalini awakening, but personally, I wouldn’t. I see it as similar to messing with Mother Nature.
It has its time, its balance, and its own little ecosystem, the moment you purposefully mess with it, it fights back.
Kundalinis are considered sacred in many traditions and are a form of highly creative intelligence that completely dwarfs our own, so chasing one in the hope of enlightenment sort of goes against their main aim; the natural unfolding of your soul’s evolution.
DO I NEED TO PREPARE FOR A KUNDALINI AWAKENING?
According to Hindu tradition, yes! Many in Western practice will disagree, but I much prefer exploring the practices of where it originated from.
In order to integrate this spiritual energy into your system, the body and nervous system (specifically) must go through a careful period of purification, cleansing, and revitalization.
This can look like toxin release, eating more whole foods, and making sure you’re getting a good balance of minerals and vitamins.
Similarly, the mind and spirit must be prepared through yoga, breath control, physical exercises, visualization, or chanting work.
CAN I GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS ALONE?
Interestingly, tradition says none of this work is to be done without a ‘master’ or ‘guru’ (in its original meaning, not what it has come to mean today).
Without an ‘enlightened’ (I use this word sparingly in my work as I hate the connotations it brings with it) master, you can trigger what’s known as a ‘kundalini crisis’ or ‘kundalini syndrome’, a type of spiritual emergency where the symptoms become far too overwhelming and intense for the person to control.
That said, the master you choose also matters. If the master is underdeveloped in their awakening ability or approaches it in a disrespectful manner, you can supposedly suffer as a consequence.
I try not to see anything in life through the lens of fear, but I thought it’s best for you to see both the pros and the cons.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A KUNDALINI AWAKENING?
Not only is it a tool for amazing self-improvement, self-discovery, and healing, but it also can;
- Cause a massive energetic upgrade
- Foster a desire to improve diet, career or make long-term positive improvements
- Encourage more empathy, compassion and kindness
- Enhance spiritual gifts and psychic abilities
- Connect with your spirit guides and leaders
- Increase creativity
- Give way to a feeling of pure life satisfaction and bliss
THE HIDDEN TRAPS AND LIMITATIONS TO BE AWARE OF
- A false sense of superiority – I’ve seen this in others many times. Some believe that they’re now somehow morally, ethically, mentally, emotionally, and even physically better than others who are yet to go through this kind of awakening.
This is the complete opposite of what a true kundalini awakening seeks to teach. If anything, it reinforces Oneness with all that is, and all that could be.
- Completely detaching from reality and all responsibilities – Even though you can see through the falseness of society, it doesn’t mean you should cut yourself off from it, or drop all of your responsibilities. Doing so is a deep form of self-sabotage and avoidance.
At its highest level, this is the wounded ego’s way of keeping you stuck and trapped in life, never fully integrating into the human experience.
On a social level, it’s also scientifically not healthy. There are numerous research studies to prove the damning effects of isolation and long-term loneliness.
- Spiritual nihilism – Maintaining the belief that ‘none of this matters’ or ‘life is meaningless’ or ‘all is an illusion’.
In vacuums, these universal principles work, but when applied to the human experience, they bring with them bitterness, confusion, apathy and misunderstanding.
- Believing you’ve achieved enlightenment – I find this one amusing. Enlightenment isn’t something to be achieved or even experienced. I see enlightenment as more of a way of life, coming back to what matters most; you.
- Developing an intense savior complex – In mild cases, this can look like wanting to save the world, and believing you’re truly here as a special force for humanity.
In extreme cases or what I call ‘kundalini psychosis’, some may truly believe they’re Jesus, Buddha, God, or the next deity reincarnated, here to ‘deliver a special message’.
Though they would argue with me, this belief is extremely disconnecting and pulls these people even further from reality.
HOW CAN I CONNECT WITH MY KUNDALINI ENERGY?
Speaking from personal experience, connecting with your kundalini energy will give you a feel-good factor.
It’s immensely powerful, and doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll trigger an awakening so don’t be too worried about doing this. Spiritual practitioners often train for years to allow one to unfold.
- Journal your way through. Journaling is an often overlooked tool to connect with the kundalini vibration within. Not only does it help us to identify and process emotions that we couldn’t do verbally, but it can actually help you heal faster.
As weird as it sounds, a 2013 study revealed that 76% of adults who journaled for 20-50 minutes a day after a physical or mental injury healed after just 11 days.
Those in the control group saw no signs of recovery!
- Practice somatic work and ground your body. Be intentional with your body’s movements .
Did you know that trauma is actually stored in the body? Residual energy from past experiences shows up as rigidity in the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
It’s called traumatic somatization and can cause anything from anxiety to chronic illness. I should know, I cured myself of a so-called chronic illness through somatic work alone!
Take time to release the tension in the body by harnessing the power of the mind-body connection.
- Cultivate your upper chakras. The upper chakras, namely the heart, throat, third eye and crown, are notoriously difficult to fully unblock, which is why it’s best to cultivate them through cleansings, crystal work, and meditation.
- Channel energy through your lower chakras. Lower chakras are much easier to work with given they’re connected to the grounded nature of this world; the physical realm. Work on unblocking the solar plexus, sacral, and root chakra to let the Kundalini energy flow more freely through your nervous system.
- Meditate near the Ocean. The rhythmic ebb and flow of the ocean’s waves mimics the spine’s natural energy, thereby gently encouraging it to flow through your own body.
KUNDALINI AWAKENING FAQS
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A KUNDALINI AWAKENING?
Typically, there’s a deep period of integration after a kundalini awakening. It takes time for your mind, body, and spirit to catch up to all of the internal transformation.
This can feel as though you’re entering a type of void or abyss; a place where you’re not fully tapped into your true self yet but where you’re more detached from the inner-workings of society than usual.
IS A KUNDALINI AWAKENING PERMANENT?
Yes in the sense that you will always remember and integrate with the experience.
Your spinal energy center will also always remain open, but it’s not permanent in the sense that the symptoms you’re experiencing during it will last. And that includes both the good and the bad.
HOW LONG DOES A KUNDALINI AWAKENING LAST?
How long your kundalini awakening lasts completely depends on you. Some experience it at the beginning of their spiritual journey, others much later in life.
For some the initial effects last weeks, for others, months. The overall process though is a lifelong journey.
Kundalini reminds us that we’re merely a part of a much wider intelligence, an intelligence so great it must be felt through the vessel of the body rather than seen or heard.
⭐ Continue Your Journey of Discovery
- Am I Going Through a Spiritual Awakening? The 28 Main Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For