Is Kundalini Yoga Dangerous?
Dangers of Kundalini Awakening
Is Kundalini Yoga dangerous? Ah yes, the question I get asked more and more as people learn about Kundalini Yoga is general or discover this website. Kundalini Yoga is certainly a powerful science and if not approached with intelligence and respect it can produce some challenges and difficulties for the practitioners. That is not meant to discourage you from taking up it’s practice, it is meant to help guide you so that you undertake Kundalini Yoga practice safely and thus, enjoy the enormous benefits that this form of yoga bestows (See Rapid Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Practice & Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga Practice for more details on the benefits of yoga).
Kundalini Yoga is favored over other forms of yoga, because of the rapid gains that can be made by those who practice it sincerely. What this means in practical terms, is that Kundalini Yoga can more quickly purify your energetic channels, charge and balance your chakras (energy centers) and awaken in you greater and greater flow on kundalini shakti (energy), than other forms of yoga. Thus, it is the fast track to spiritual growth and enlightenment. This is great, but herein also lies the danger. Improper Kundalini Yoga, coupled with incorrect lifestyle and preparation, can unleash more energy in you than you are ready for.
This premature awakening of kundalini or excessive flow of shakti (energy), before the body is ready to handle it, is the danger with improper Kundalini Yoga practice, or with kundalini shakti in general. The reasons for kundalini awakening are vast and varied, and sometimes have nothing to do with yoga practice at all. You can read about the difficulties that sometimes arise with such kundalini awakening in the popular article Symptoms of Kundalini Awakening.
Ideally, you want kundalini to awaken as per your body’s capacity to handle her and to that end, there is no better approach to preparing the body than intelligent yoga practice, and specifically intelligent Kundalini Yoga practice.
So what is intelligent Kundalini Yoga practice and how do we go about awakening kundalini safely and wisely? In many articles on this blog I have provided such important safety guidelines and in this article I would like to put all that wisdom together so that it’s easily accessible for all who are interested.
Below are these important guidelines to help you minimize the danger of premature kundalini awakening and thus, avoid the problems that this condition can sometimes cause.
Guidelines for Safe Kundalini Yoga Practice:
1. Don’t Over Strain:
This is rule number one for minimizing the danger of premature kundalini awakening by ensuring you are not going further than what your body is ready for. This applies to the practice of all forms of yoga. Weather you are doing yoga breathing exercises (pranayama), yoga poses (asans) or kundalini yoga sets (kriyas), you should not push excessively. Of course some challenge is good, but you are looking to develop your capacity systematically, so keep that in mind and aim for steady progress. Remember, the turtle beat the hare.
Two more important safety notes when it comes to doing your Kundalini Yoga practice. First, be sure to warm up before doing any difficult kriyas (sets) or asanas (postures). Second, be sure to work around injuries and use modifications for advanced poses whenever necessary.
2. Don’t Do Excessive Chakra Meditations:
I constantly have yogis reaching out to me, both online and at my studio, who have focused exclusively on Chakra Meditations and thus, created imbalances for themselves. I have given some powerful Chakra Meditation techniques in the following 2 articles, The Top 3 Chakra Meditation Techniques and the very popular AUM Mantra Meditation for Opening the Third Eye Chakra, and although, I expect you to learn and use these techniques, I have advised that they should not be the only focus of your Kundalini Yoga practice.
Chakra Meditation techniques, directly stimulate and open the chakra points, which then creates the greater flow of kundalini to take place in the respective regions. The danger of course, is if the nerves, glands, organs, psychic pathways (nadis), etc, are not strong enough to handle this flow. As thhen it can create imbalances and issues for you. So the advice is to practice such direct techniques only after you have sufficiently developed your level of fitness, health and strength of internal systems. This of course you can accomplish by practicing Kundalini Yoga Kriyas Sets, Hatha Yoga Asanas and/or Yoga Breathing Exercises (Pranayamas), regularly and sincerely.
3. Danger of Using Drugs:
Unless you are a wandering naked sadhu (Naga Yogi) or a developed Aghori (see article Nude Yoga Exposed), it is very unlikely you are a master of how to use narcotics. The techniques of how to prepare, mix and use narcotics (and certain rare herbs) for awakening kundalini, is still held in great secrecy and if you want to learn this alchemy, you are going to have to take a trip to India and get initiated. There are other ancient religions that also know some of these secrets (like the varied use of tobacco by the American Indians, etc.), but most of that knowledge is also not easily available. So, I suggest you just stay away from drugs all-together.
Besides recreational drugs and tobacco, even alcohol, which has a strong affect on kundalini can be dangerous to a practicing yogi and therefore, should be approached with care. Overall, I am not an advocate of the use of chemicals to facilitate kundalini awakening as more often than not, the end result of such attempts is bad.
4. Get Healthy First:
Before jumping into any advanced Kundalini Yoga practice, you should first try to heal yourself from any serious diseases or illnesses. Of course, yoga itself is very helpful in this matter, but what I am saying here is that you should not jump ahead to doing advanced yoga if you are suffering from serious health issues. Resolving the health issues should be a priority and during this healing phase, only use gentle yoga techniques instead. This will minimize the danger of complicating your health issues with kundalini imbalances.
In addition to practicing gentle yoga to help heal yourself, you should employ Ayurvedic treatments as well. Ayurveda is the ancient science of health and healing, and goes hand in hand with Kundalini Yoga practice. You can get more information on Ayurveda via the following links: Introduction to Ayurveda – The Science of Self-Healing and Ayurveda Category Articles.
You will find Ayurveda to be an invaluable resource on the path to enlightenment and healthy living. It will not only help you achieve optimum physical health, but will also help you find emotional and mental balance, both of which are also prerequisites to advanced Kundalini Yoga practice.
5. Make Time & Space:
Kundalini awakening is not a predicable process. It affects each of us differently and it is advisable to give yourself time and space to allow this process to run it’s course when required. I am not suggesting here that you need to join an ashram, but I am saying that if you have awakened kundalini, then there will be times you need to just rest, relax and be alone. By not providing such down times, you increase the danger of imbalances as kundalini is not able to complete the work she is doing within you.
6. Attitude of Gratitude & Prayer:
Don’t underestimate the value of right attitude when it comes to eliminating the danger that kundalini shakti can pose as she awakens. It is perhaps the best tool at your disposal, to help you make safe and graceful progress on the path of full kundalini awakening. Be respectful, appreciative, devoted and humble and the great Shakti, as well as the Universe, will cooperate with you. Here is a nice vedic mantra to express your love and devotion, but feel free to use your own methods as well: Greatest Vedic Mantra to Express Gratitude.
In addition, before doing your Kundalini Yoga practice always start by asking for protection, guidance and inspiration. This ensures you are approaching these cosmic forces with the correct state of mind and heart. Here are 2 articles detailing how to do this: AUM Mantra Video for Starting Kundalini Yoga Class & Can a Guru Help with Enlightenment.
Summary of Danger of Kundalini Yoga Practice:
Life is dangerous. There is no getting around it. You can, if you wish, hide in a cave and play it safe until Yama Raj (Lord of Death) comes knocking, or you can choose to embrace the adventure. Kundalini Yoga & Meditation practice are doors to infinity and they are an exploration of the unknown. In fact, they finally take you to the doorway to the Great Void, at which point knowledge and mind end, and to enter requires the faith and courage to just let go.
Kundalini Shakti is the wave you ride on this journey to the beyond. There are certainly dangers on the way, but if you follow the guidelines above it will go along way in making your journey safer and smoother. My best wishes are always with you.