Kundalini Awakening Symptoms

Symptoms of Kundalini Awakening 

Real Life Experiences & Descriptions of Kundalini Rising

Are you going through a kundalini awakening episode or experience?  Let’s find out… 

Kundalini awakening symptoms are truly a very intriguing subject.  Really there is no correct answer to the question, “What are the symptoms of Kundalini Rising?”, as thankfully, each of us is absolutely unique and thus, on a unique trajectory on the path to Kundalini Awakening.  That said, there are some common kundalini experiences that are often reported, which I would like to share with you in this article.

Although we can draw up endless lists of symptoms from third party accounts, I would like to instead make this series about kundalini symptoms that you or I have actually experienced.  In this article, I will give a recent account from one of my students about what she experienced shortly after class, and then I will add my own kundalini experiences and observations as well. 

In the comments section, I encourage you to add any kundalini awakening experiences or symptoms you have felt, so others can better understand what they might be going through.  Here is the recent email I received from my student, Aida:

Aida’s Experience of Kundalini Awakening:

I am a student of the “Gentle Kundalini Class”. I just finished taking a series of exercise specifically for the spine.
As I left the class I felt energized as I usually feel after each class, but this time it was a little different, I was feeling extra aware of my surrounding. Like a light turned on. My back was so straight. It lasted all day.
If I could go to class every morning I would go. It makes my day start right in every way. And there are times when I am not feeling like going to class and I push myself to go and do not regret it.
Thank you for being my teacher.
Aida D. 

For those interested, here is a link to the Spinal Warmup Kundalini Yoga Kriya we did in class that day.  Thank you Aida, for sharing your personal experiences with us.

This particular experience of kundalini is very interesting and significant.  This is because it is the common experience of advanced meditation and of kundalini yoga.  In the article, Powerful Kundalini Yoga Battles Profound Zen Meditation, I described my own such experience with kundalini awakening, but not from doing kundalini yoga, but instead from doing Silent Mind Meditation!

Aida’s experience points at the two things that all yoga and meditation boils down to.  Energy and Awareness. 

My favorite description of Kundalini Yoga is, “The Yoga of Awareness,” and as you see from her account, she felt more aware, as the energy of kundalini had risen up her spine.  In meditation, it is the same.  The demand for intense awareness, in order to comprehend the thought process via direct perception, leads to energy (kundalini) rising up and elongating the spine.  Awareness then follows.

Jiddu Krishnamurti describes this experience of kundlaini energy flowing up the spine as “The rush of water filling up and thus causing a pipe to stand erect.”

When we insist that the spine be straight during meditation, it is simply to facilitate this awakening and thus, to assist in being more aware.  I have experienced kundalini rising and puling up with such force, during meditation, that it sometimes make me feel as if I am going to be launched right off the ground or as if it’s going to pull my head off and up into the sky.

Kundalini Awakening in Meditation

Symptoms of Kundalini Awakening:

I am going to describe some of the physical symptoms my students or I have felt due to kundalini awakening.  I know there are many emotional and mental symptoms as well, and you are welcome to share those with us in the comments section below.  I am grouping the experiences into 3 categories, common, uncommon and rare, according to what I have observed.

Common Kundalini Awakening Symptoms:

  • Tingling in the body and brain region.  Also sometimes described as ants walking, tickling energy or flushes of energy.  The brain being flushed with energy is quite pleasant :-).
  • Heat or cold in the system, or running along various channels and chakra centers.
  • Fluttering or twitching of muscles.
  • Pinching or burning in various regions of the body or brain.

Uncommon Kundalini Awakening Symptoms:

  • Pressure in the Third Eye Region (Ajna Chakra).  This is pressure, tingling or other sensation in the center of the forehead.  Can go on for years (14 years and counting so far for me).  Caution: If the pressure, due to certain practices, intensifies to uncomfortable levels you feel are “immense”, you should cease that practice and consult a competent kundalini yoga teacher.
  • Sudden bursts of energy anywhere in the body.  These are almost always short lived, from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • Spontaneous yoga asans or kundalini yoga movements.  They may come on spontaneously, or they may take over, as if on auto-pilot when one is practicing  Kundalini Yoga Kriyas or Exercises (For an example see article: Explosive Kundalini Rising in Class Today).
  • Kundalini Shakti rising up and elongating the spine.
  • Incredible feeling of love and desire for your partner (not ordinary lust, alcohol induced or otherwise :-).  Usually comes upon you spontaneously, deep in the night.  Sex feels like it’s the first such experience and the intense feelings of attraction emanate from somewhere beyond yourself.
  • Unfortunately, pain in the lower back, back of the neck and headaches.

Rare Kundalini Awakening Symptoms:

  • Experience of divine light within.  Very intense light, usually pure white and incredibly beautiful.  I call it the Radiation of the Lord.
  • Tremendous vibratory energy (sometimes feels like it’s coming from the inner ears).  Very blissful, but can intensify to the point where it would completely overwhelm your consciousness if you let it.
  • Spontaneous bliss, intensely pleasurable.
  • This one is a bit scary.  Complete paralysis of the body.  Complete immobility and rigidity takes place.  As with the all consuming vibratory energy, it requires some courage to allow.
  • This one is exceedingly rare.  I have experienced it only once in my life, and have only ever read about it being experienced by one other – the master of awareness, G. I. Gurdjieff.  The arms and legs churn like that of a baby.  It happens naturally and cannot be simulated.  It is also intensely pleasurable and quite a remarkable experience.

There are of course a wide range of transcendental experiences, some of which you will find described in the category Spiritual Enlightenment Experiences.  Above, I have provide those that are more commonly associated with kundalini awakening, although many would argue, including Swami Vivekananda, that all enlightenment experiences have to do with kundalini entering the brain region in some capacity.

So if you have experienced some kundalini symptoms as well, please do share them with us below.  I think it will benefit others identify if what they are going through is actually symptoms of the ever mysterious kundalini awakening.

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  1. Malini
    Malini says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    I want to share something, which now I believe may be some kind of Kundalini awakening? I had a paranormal experience 5 yrs ago. It was very scary. I thought I had schizophrenia. I have experienced other people answering to what I was thinking. Even I saw personalized messages in newspapers and radio!! No normal person would believe what I have experienced. Even I, myself would like to believe that it was a mental illness; it is much easier to believe that way, especially because I’m a doctor.

    Since then I have changed a lot and the changing is still continuing.

    My question is: “is it possible to have the awakening without any effort?” Because I never tried or wanted that. I even never heard of Kundalini. Only thing which I think might have contributed to was resigning from my job (from World Health Organization) and sitting at home and reading Bhagawat Gita. Though I don’t know whether I did that consciously. It was very unlike me.

    The issue which is troubling me now is that I’m getting temped to join some ashram, which I don’t want to do. But at the same time, doing the routine job looks very unproductive to me. I want to involve myself more in some spiritual activities. Can you please suggest some solution?. Thank you,

  2. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Thanx once again Garry for you attention.

    Thats very nice that you have been doing all your meditation under the guidance of a spiritual master but i never consulted any guru. yes i used to ejaculate during this period becaus e i never knew that it can create problem. but are you sure that this all has happened because of immature opening of third eye.
    Can you pls. consult your guru for me and ask him how long it will take to clear these blockages. Also along with the pressure in my third eye region, other muscles in my body (mostly one at a time )start doing unusual moments like vibrations, anywhere in legs,shoulders or neck, cheeks and at many places. I guess that also is the Chi effect as you mentioned earlier.
    I can understand your situation too wat you feel in your body (in years and head). but wat is the outcome of all that. did you ask it from your teacher. how will all this effect your life.
    Garry tell me more abt. you, do you have a yahoo, gmail or orkut id so that i can have an online chat with you.Pls. reply me as there are very few people who can understand us :-( rest all are ready to laugh on our situation or grade us with a psycho degree.are you in touch with some more such persons if yes tell me abt. them, i am happy to find someone who could understand my situation, thanx once again Garry for your attention.

  3. garry
    garry says:

    Hi Arun,

    Upon further reflection, I think the particular symptom of your third eye chakra area acting up all the time is due to trapped chi. When you concentrate as in school, the chi or pranic energy of your body tends to rise to your head, and therefore comes the feeling of pressure as it goes around this area. I had a similar problem around my ear. (but man, thats a long time for you!) The chakra is not fully open, and also many lesser nadi have not yet cleared, and therefore the trapped chi has nowhere to go. So I think the best option is to continue clearing your lesser nadi through pranayama, single mindedness meditation, emptyness meditation, etc. (not forcing energy kind of meditations) Eventually the nadi or chi channel will clear and the feeling of pressure will go away, but it will take some time since the third eye chakra is relatively a later stage place the kundalini energy. reaches. I hope the people who wish for early third eye chakra partial opening to be warned by your example, doesnt sound like fun, and its completely useless until you have purified all your nadi! My teacher says absolutely one must not have sex and ejaculate, nor masturbation (if you do a Tantra or Taoist practice, do not ejaculate), because this will have the effect of reducing the chi energy so the kundalini process will not be able to complete because the jing or bindu needs a certain time to mature.

    Lately my kundalini experience has been very electric! It feels like the energy is trying to push my face off, like one of those gravity rides at an amusement park. My face feels empty and often its like my nose is getting bitten off. Must be good for the skin! Also this morning my mouth was forced to make a circle shape like someone put in a large ring, and i meditated like that for an hour. Very strange feelings, not regular feelings, difficult to describe using regular words. Im going to holiday for a month and sit in a room meditating, hopefully things get less weird.

    Good luck,


  4. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Thank you Anmol and my friend Garry for your invaluable suggestions.

    Garry you may be absolutely right in your saying that it is a process of nadi clearing, but for how long, it is two years now.I am doing every possible thing now so that i dont feed attention to this third eye, as i know well if i kept paying attention to it a big trouble is waiting for me. i will be compeletely lost and will go far away from this present world.Even my one hour attention to it destroy my full day and then it becomes difficult for me to stay away from it for the full day.

    I am really confused now, as i can remember that i have
    put a lot of hard work doing meditation for all the day (in the initial days of awakening) and now i have to run away frm this.this is not the outcome i ever desired rather i always wanted to get an answer to questions of death and birth, i wanted to experience all the answers rather than listening frm someone. can this path (kundalini or whatever i am going thru) will lead me to answers.It many times heart me when i delibrately run away frm so called meditation and i adopt the ways to kill solitair and serenity of my mind.

    My only question right now is ” what is the next stage after this third eye pressure” and how long it will continue?

    Anmol has referred me a good book i will definitely read it and try to look for answers. I have just read Autobiography of a Yogi by Shri Yogananda. It is really an amazing book and best book i ever read.

  5. garry
    garry says:

    Hey Arun,

    I completely sympathize, as I am close to going crazy myself–its not because of all the weird manifestations, but as Ramakrishna puts it, alternatively feeling like “an ant, a fish, a monkey, a bird, or a serpant” every day something odd, its more because of the lack of understanding and clear information and nobody to complain to who wont think I am insane. Your experience indicates the kundalini energy (jing being full and transforming to chi) that is cleaning your nadi. Theres many thousand nadi, so lots of cleaning. If you dont meditate much, the process will be slower, and yet the energy will be there– because it is awakened kundalini energy after all, not just a sugar high. So in my humble opinion, you should do more meditation, because the energy is relentless. (i differ from Arun’s opinion in this point, with all respect. i am not a teacher or guru, so its just my opinion) Some of the posters here so-called kundilini reports above are just wind energy experiences, not yet kundalini. What you are experiencing, the pressure and light, is due to “friction”, unblocked channels. Sometimes the friction can be in the form of pressure, pain, light, bliss, etc. I read it takes maybe 10 months to clean your body into a rajastic one. Its worth it!!! Look younger, feel lighter, little chance of getting a major illness like cancer after this–plus have a body where you can now START real spiritual progress.

    My own experience is more like alien abduction and being worked on by dentists and surgeons. Sometimes I get mouthfuls of slime, all sorts of feelings of tubes and wires, panels being installed; at the moment of typing there are pin pricks and knives around the crown of my head and some kind of chi-liquid flowing from near my gums to a hole at the bottom of my mouth, my 3rd eye has lots of pressure and ears move when i think of it, and my skull seems to move in sections while my brain boils. I had to come home and sit alone instead of doing normal activities. My rationale is that I want it to finish as fast as possible, so I want to give it the time it needs to complete the process.

    You are correct that this has little to do with spirituality, its all about physiology, the nervous system changing, the body evolving. It is every human’s birthright, but so few people know about it.

    I used to shake alot too, like I had been plugged into a wall socket of energy. This went away after some main nadi, or chi-channels opened, and the energy had somewhere to circlulate.

    5 minutes in my body, a normal man would be screaming down the street!!

    good luck to you and happy cultivating.

    (the Zen people say to just ignore it all, this is the best advice I have gotten so far)

  6. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Arun,

    Yes I have experienced such events, especially the pressure in the Third Eye region and forehead. It is with me almost always, but I can modulate it’s intensity based on where my attention is placed.

    This pressure can grow to immense proportions (feels like a balloon being expanded with air to the point of explosion). In the process of the expansion it displaces the mind. This manifestation of the pressure can be brought about though meditation, but I do not feel it is particularly beneficial or healthy, and I don’t recommend it.

    In any event, I do think you should visit Baba Ramdev. There is no harm in that, worst case he will convince you to do pranayama :-D.

    The physical body has difficulty handling “cosmic energies”. It is simply so. The process can tax the body in a very real way and it is not always fanciful or romantic. See if you can detach yourself from the process and not allow it to bother you as much. I know it is hard, but it could help you cope better.

    It might help to reflect on the fact that some (not all I know) of these symptoms are more troubling to the mind than they are to your life. So see if you can not let them play on your mind so much.

    You may wish to read the following book. The only reason I hesitate is that such books from enlightened masters carry great vibrations and when I read them, it increases my “spiritual symptoms”. That being said, the book will give you a glimpse into the process and it’s possible affect on the body.

    Krishnamurti’s Notebook (by J. Krishnamurti).

    The following article also mentions the problems “enlightenment” can cause to the body…

    J Krishnamurti Ponder His Enlightenment

    Let me know your progress and if there is anything more I can help with.

    All Good Wishes,

    • Neetu
      Neetu says:

      I have been facing severe depression negative thinking and severe anxieties from past 17 years…there is always heaviness on my head and my body also shivers and trembles …always in fear…my life has become hell…I feel strong vairagya and detached from this world …someone told me my kundalini is activated by I never tried yoga in this life…I just prayed to God and read bhagwatgeeta…I m on the verge of doing suicide…plz help me what should I do now

  7. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Thank you so much Anmol for your attention.

    It seems you have good experience to reduce this pressure.You are 100% right in saying that attention feeds this pressure as while i play or chat with friends it doesn’t disturb me but as soon as i pay serious attention to something or try to concentrate in the class, my head immediately get filled with something (like air), it becomes so heavy and pressure starts building inside.
    and then it settles at point in the third eye region.
    Anmol, have you too faced all this, wat is the end of it. I can say for the sure from the suggestions you gave me that you have faced this before.Sometimes i feel it is all psychological, nothing to take with spirituality, is it so?
    i am trying to avoid it since last six months but it doesnt go.shud i really go to some psychologist or it will be ok.I will try to consult Baba Ramdev at his kankhal asharam , it is very close to my place.
    did you find some other such case before, somewhere.if yes how is it now?

    In the process of writing this message i have seen three times bright star like flashes of lights with intense pressure in forehead center, all this is really disturbing, if it happens to a normal man he is sure to feel frightened.

  8. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Arun,

    I am sorry to hear of the challenging time you are facing. Your symptoms certainly do indicate a kundalini awakening. I suggest that you visit a good Ayurvedic doctor or a competent Kundalini Teacher if possible, as some long term care may be needed to settle the system down.

    A Vata pacifying lifestyle and diet (including more grounding) could help in this matter, but due to the severity of your case it would be prudent to get a thorough analysis done.

    The following suggestion may seem unusual, but it might help. In addition to your studies, if there is another passion that you enjoy very much I suggest embracing it for some time. This will help you take your mind off the symptoms you are undergoing, allowing you to better cope with them as they recede more into the background.

    I, of course, do not feel you should engage in more meditation or kundalini exercises till the situation is more under control, unless a competent teacher suggests techniques to counter and settle the current situation.

    If possible, ignore the pressure in the forehead as much as possible and see if this helps it subside. This area is activated and “feeds” on attention, so starving it of attention should help the pressure there dimish.

    Keep me informed of you situation and progress and I will try to help further.

    All Good Wishes,

  9. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Thank you sir for such useful information.
    I am pursuing a management course at IIT Roorkee right now. I am facing a big trouble because of some changes in my body since last two years.
    This all happened while i planned to prepare for my mba entrance in a big way, i stayed at our farmhouse in the shivalic region at morni hills for my preparation, hardly ever i have involved in any other activity than studying or meditating, as i m very fond of nature and questions regarding death and birth has always excited me, it was complete solitaire there i hardly care for hunger and took food only once a day, then one night something mysterious happened at the inner part of space between buttocks and testies, it was like some bubbles bursting there continuously for 10-15 minutes at an hours interval. initially i thought some serious disease caught me because of my miserable lifestyle but soon i started seeing flashes of light as in summers i slept under the sky in the night time a star kind of sharp light i used to see in the sky and it at once disappears like a flash.i was very afraid as i have already heard a lot of ghosty stories in the hills, but after sometimes i got admission to iit roorkee, and here i got a chance to go to Baba Ramdev Kanakhal Asharam in connection with my cuisines Lungs T.B illness, from there i bought a book on yoga and i read abt, chakras and kundalin for the first time, and i could guess that my yogi kind of lifestyle lead to my kundalini awakening. but slowly situation has become more complicated as i started feeling intense pressure in the center of my forehead most of the time in the day, mostly at the times when i try to concentrate in the class to hear lectures, i score miserably in the class as i can not listen anything attentively. even i see those light stars flashing on my laptop screen many times.also some of my body muscles start vibrating very fast in thighs,legs shoulders,and there are vibrations at places that i first time feel that here too is a muscle like near your nipples.

    this pressure in forehead and these flashing lights and vibrating muscles are sometimes very irritating and depressing, sometime pressure in forehead center is so much that as if some nerves are going to burst and blood will come out.
    i just want to ask how long it will continue , till date i see it just as a disease nothing else, sometimes i feel like consulting a psychiatrist but i read at many places that doctors neither can understand it nor cure it.
    i am sure that all this will end only with my body frm here.
    it is long time now ever since i felt myself as such as i used to be three years back – COMPLETE NORMALCY.

  10. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Namaste Keith,

    Welcome back, nice to have you stop by. Thank you for sharing with us the views of the Himalayan masters. Mantra meditation is certainly a very potent technique for activating the chakras and awakening kundalini.

    The following meditation uses the AUM mantra for such purposes for those interested.

    AUM Mantra Meditation for Third Eye Activation

    I do agree it should be used intelligently, as with any techniques dealing with kundalini.

    All Good Wishes,

  11. Keith
    Keith says:

    Kundalini awakening is a delicate matter…because this awakening practices requires spiritual and emotional maturity, or else the practitioner can suffer negative side effects. Mantra meditation is much safer in today’s current age, for achieving self-realization. This is the collective conclusion of many realized masters from the Himalayas and Far East. Namaste.

  12. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Ricardo,

    First off thanks for sharing your personal experiences and kundalini symptoms with us. Does sound like you had a very remarkable encounter there. I will add visions to the list above, as I had heard of this before but not met anyone who had such an experience… until now of course :-).

    With regard to your concerns..

    It is not at all uncommon that regardless of which spiritual practice one takes up, that one goes through a period of cleansing. This is due to the suffering in us from that past that the practice is purging. In general, depending on the level of difficulty one had in childhood, the intensity of this “cleansing” varies. These periods can be prolonged or they can come and go, until the process has run it’s course.

    What is worth avoiding, is to have all the junk come up too fast (or not being able to handle the release) and that is a danger with a powerful science like Kundalini Yoga. So the best protection against that are the following 2…

    1. The practice should concentrate more on preparing the body, than actually awakening the chakras. So that as and when the cleansing and energy being to move, the body is capable of handing that.

    2. Not to over do it. Pranayama, Kundalini Yoga, Meditation should all be practiced without excessive strain. Also, before doing advanced practices to start slowly and build up the body, mind and emotions first.

    If in the event imbalances come in, it is important to address them first, even if it means to stop the practice for some time. Diet, rest and other means can help with this.

    Hope this helps. It is a very good question you have asked, and I think I will put together an article regarding it, as I am sure this is on many practitioner’s minds.

    All Good Wishes,

  13. Ricardo
    Ricardo says:

    Hi Anmol! Thanks for posting this! It is very interesting.

    Some of the symptoms I have had in my experience are hot “electric” tickles which are born in the base of my spine and make their way through my spine while touching my organs, and finally they reach my face and brain. Also, I sometimes feel short or little spasms in the muscles near the base of my spine. While sleeping I have felt the same tickles. This sensation of “hot tickles” may vary from pleasurable to overwhelming. They become overwhelming when I am under Sun exposure or very angry and irritated, so I guess this might be an imbalance.

    I also want to share a more special experience, which can actually may sound a little strange. The first day I felt the hot tickles I kind of saw the face of Jesus Christ. The image was not very clear but I knew deep in my heart it was him. The image was not as a painting with colors, shades, and forms, but only as a sketch, and I could see it everywhere: in the ground, in the trees, in the water, and even when I closed my eyes as an after image. This was very special and blissful, but I never talk about that because people might think I’m insane. In fact I was never scared of that, not even worried.

    Finally I have a doubt Anmol. I have read in several places that kundalini awakenings may produce depression and schizophrenia, and I’m sometimes worried about this. I would like to know how to prevent this. I know that practicing kundalini yoga is a way to keep balanced, but is it the only way?
    And for example what steps should anyone take if he or she thinks his/her kundalini caused depression?

  14. A. Decker
    A. Decker says:

    Good article. Very interesting. Well done. I liked the Krishnamurti piece at the end, too.

    I may have a question for you about kundalini, but later, as I’m out of time right now.

    Thanks. :-)

  15. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Falguni,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Yes, this sounds a lot like the kundalini experience I was describing. Glad you are enjoying the webiste :-).


  16. Falguni
    Falguni says:

    hi Anmol,

    Most of the time when I do my yoga in the evening I experience a very strong vibration through my ears; something very similiar to what you described in the above rare symptoms. I always wonder what it is, but then I tell myself it is me just paying attention to my breath an awareness.

    Thank You so much for sharing this on your site.


  17. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Jen_chan,

    Thank you for your comments and participation.

    Kundalini awakening can cause a lot of confusion for people who are not familiar with this phenomenon and I think finding others to share their experiences with can be very helpful.

    Glad you are enjoying the website.


  18. jen_chan, writer SureFireWealth.com
    jen_chan, writer SureFireWealth.com says:

    There’s always something interesting and perspective changing to find here. I really liked reading about Aida’s personal experience. It sounds simple but reading it tells me there’s more to it than just a good back and a good day. I’m looking forward to reading more about personal experiences. In a way, they reflect and confirm my own.


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