top of page

What is Kundalini?

Kundalini is the life force that activates consciousness in our cells and energy body sometime after conception. All living creation is part of the same source of consciousness and kundalini is the animating energy. Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning energy of creation. Different cultures have different names for this divine energy, Holy Spirit, Chi, Sophia, N’um, Saraswati, bodhicitta and more. The snake is often a symbol of Kundalini because the energy is thought to be like a snake coiled in a resting state at the bottom of our spine. When it awakens, it rises in a twisting, cobra-like motion up the spine transforming the human by shedding many skins. In most people, kundalini goes unnoticed and leaves the body upon death. Few people report feeling kundalini stirrings during an intense physical or emotional event or during an energy healing. Rarely does kundalini energy fully activate in a lifetime but when it does, it begins a process called kundalini awakening. There is speculation that more and more people are experiencing a kundalini awakening. As humans are facing a planetary crisis, more of us are waking up. More people are experiencing a kundalini awakening, which is a one-way speed train to self-realization.

What is Kundalini Awakening?

When kundalini is activated, there is an intense release of energy. Most report feeling energy rushing upwards from the feet or the bottom of the spine. A few report an initial rush coming down from the top of the head. A kundalini awakening is not subtle and can be quite alarming, especially for those who are unprepared. Following the initial activation, energy can be felt moving through any part of the body as it opens energetic pathways called nadis and clears and balances main energy centers called chakras. The energy may be experienced intermittently for weeks, months, or years. Some describe it as tingles, electricity, waves, there is often noticed changes in temperature and spontaneous movements and breathing patterns. It can be accompanied by feelings of bliss, ecstasy and love; however, there can also be times when the experiencer is feeling fear, anxiety, anger or confusion. Kundalini energy, our own life force, stimulates our energy body and also our nervous system and brain centers causing kundalini awakening to be a very physical experience.


This kind of awakening is not only energetic and physical but it also ignites a process of self discovery and new awareness. We are set on a path of understanding our own consciousness, which is part of the One Consciousness or God. Kundalini is not the only path to this discovery, there are many. Kundalini is a path experienced by few, but if it is your path, it usually activates when you are ripe. I think of the kundalini awakening process like a house renovation. Kundalini clears out or demolishes what is no longer needed and then upgrades systems, getting ready for a new way of living. Just like house renovations, no two are the same. Some may be quick, smooth and straightforward. Others have surprises and challenges and may call for the attention of a skilled professional.


Once kundalini is activated, an intense energetic process begins transforming our energy body, physical body and psycho-spiritual self. An important and necessary part of this process is the releasing of trauma, emotional baggage and repressed memories. There is scientific research that shows that we hold unprocessed negative emotions in our bodies. Often this pain is too much to manage or life is too demanding to take time to heal. Thankfully, during a kundalini awakening, this baggage can be released without reliving the stories. Oftentimes, we have no idea why we are crying, shaking, feeling heat, or experiencing energy movement. Other times we must do the work by going inward and finding the parts of ourselves that need to be healed. This can be a difficult process and a good therapist or spiritual teacher or other healing modalities can be helpful. It’s very important to allow these releases so that we may live life with greater freedom, purpose and joy.

As kundalini moves through us, we often become aware of the beliefs, social & familial conditioning, lifestyle attachments, unhealthy thought patterns and self-concepts that do not serve us. These may also be released. This can feel unsettling because these beliefs helped shape who we thought we were. Without them, will we disappear? Our personal identity may feel like it has fallen apart. As we release the attachments we have to our false identifications, we discover and embrace a more authentic self, our True Self. For some people, they may feel their life is also falling apart as they lose relationships, change jobs, move to a new place. Whatever feels inauthentic will drop away. This path requires courage, surrender, openness and commitment. Eventually, we are left with a healthy ego self who can now serve our True Self.


The kundalini awakening process is unique to each person. Although it may be experienced in a wide variety of ways, the process usually involves some of the following phenomenon:

  • feeling intense or subtle energy rushes

  • involuntary body movements (kriyas)

  • involuntary breathing patterns (pranayamas)

  • feeling of heat or cold in the body

  • tingling electrical currents in the body

  • feelings of internal activity in the brain  (ie. like your brain is getting rewired)

  • pain and physical symptoms of illness

  • waves of emotions such bliss, elation, love but also fear, anxiety, confusion

  • emotional release with or without a story

  • sudden realizations about oneself, others, the world

  • visions, past life viewing, psychic abilities, meeting spirit guides

  • disappointment when returning to ordinary awareness after higher states of consciousness

  • shifts in perceptions and new awarenesses

Conscious Awareness

Some of the shifts in perception and new awareness may occur in any order or all at once. These awarenesses are not limited to but may include some of the following:

  • realization that you are more than your body and thoughts

  • realization that you are part of something much bigger than your self and this world

  • sense of hyper-aliveness or vibrancy of the world around you, perceive colors more intensely than usual

  • aware of interplay between opposites, notice that opposing truths co-exist (paradoxical awareness)

  • experience a profound love for others and/or nature and/or the universe

  • awareness transcends time and space, living life in the present moment

  • witness consciousness, able to watch feelings, reactions, roles from a place of clarity and detachment

  • feelings of being a deeper, truer and freer self

  • feeling like you are going to die, become nothing, or disappear

  • experiencing a silence, nothingness, a void

  • expansion of awareness beyond physical body, psychic phenomenon, paranormal experiences

  • feeling connected to everything, sometimes boundaries between you and objects and/or people fall away

  • realization that God is in everything, everything is God

  • feeling like life or God is living through you, you no longer make life happen

  • feeling like you are both fully human and fully God

Who does it happen to?

This energy and potential resides in all humans and a kundalini awakening can be possible for anyone, whether they have a spiritual orientation or not. I have met people who had kundalini activated by meditation, breathwork, chanting, deep prayer, shaktipat, energy healing, deep study of science and math, contemplating their own existence, intense concentration, psychedelics, sex, art, a near death experience, a traumatic event, and for one man; seemingly no reason at all. Humans are designed to experience realization of our authentic self, and become open to our potential, passions, new understanding, more freedom, more peace, more love.

There are many traditions and practices, both old and new, that aim to activate the kundalini process. Some practices are a direct transmission of kundalini energy and activate suddenly, such as KALI (Kundalini Activation Light Integration). The energy activates a process of releasing, healing and gaining new awareness which lead to transformation. Other practices require discipline and study promoting a gradual awakening. This latter approach prepares the participant with practices meant to deconstruct their ego, heal trauma and teach them to surrender prior to kundalini activation. There are also practices that focus on contemplation and radical shifts in consciousness to awaken the student's awareness first, then Kundalini may follow. Today, many are activating their kundalini without a knowledgeable teacher who can help them through the process. If this is your experience, it is important to follow your inner guide and use discernment when searching for answers and help.

Kundalini activation is wild, amazing and sometimes terrifying but it is only the beginning of the journey. Kundalini can put us on a fast track to transformation and higher states of consciousness. Through grace and our willingness to do the inner work, we can realize our connectedness, true potential and purpose. Kundalini is our human birthright. It is a catalyst for our evolution.

Author, Ruth Nazarian, is a Kundalini scholar, mentor and Kundalini activator

38 views0 comments


bottom of page