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. Confused
    Confused says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Thank you for that advice. I feel attracted to Hatha yoga these days (that’s not the same as kundalini is it?). It’s funny because yesterday I decided that the main thing I need to do is keep resting well and exercising well to improve my energy balance and strength. So your advice is quite timely.
    I’ll avoid that kundalini awakening yoga for a while, because I think you’re probably right about finding more strength and stability first, and I’ll give the kiryas you recommended a trial as well.
    I actually feel excited about the new possibilities that your website is opening up for me. Thank you.

  2. Confused
    Confused says:

    Hi Arun,
    Thanks for asking, becuase I do want to talk about these things with people who might be able to understand. I’m not sure if my experiences are all from kundalini rising, or if the kundanlini rising is just part of a larger spiritual experience.
    Here’s the basic sequence:
    1. I had a childhood without real parents – they were never really there for me when I needed them, and they didn’t care enough about me in general. It was uncomfortable at best.
    2. I grew up, and of course decided to go my own way and became fairly isolated from family and a normal life.
    3. I went and followed my dreams, got the Ph.D and saw the world. Things were going okay, but I was lonely and I had faith in nothing and no one.
    4. I had some difficult times hit me after that, and got addicted to Xanax, a toxic love affair, and realllllly lost my way for while.
    5.At that point I went ‘home’, and instead of reconnecting with my family (they’re still emotionally unavailable) I ended up getting a gift from a stranger (a man who owned hotel where I stayed). He gave me a book about the Mother Goddess. He was from India, and tried to tell me about her and I really didn’t get it, but I kept the book, and read bits and pieces of it.
    6. Around this time I started to search for an understanding of the world interms of buddhism and quantum physics. This is when I started having the white outs. I’d feel that I was getting insight into a parallel life of mine, or memories, or something, and just beginning to see how things in the universe work, and then I’d get sick to my stomach and white out.
    7. I kept reading about the Mother and decided that she was my hope in this life for comfort and safety, and I began to have some faith again.
    8. I decided to push out all of the toxic things that had built up in my life. One day I just decided enough was enough. I left my lover (who was abusive), I stopped taking the Xanax, and I decided to only do what was right for me from now on. That included yoga.
    9. The day after I made this choice, a feeling of complete peace came to me. I felt the world was exactly as it should be, I saw how all the good things I ever did in this life had brought good things to me. I saw how all of the pain I had felt in my life had brought me to this new clean, healthy place. I was able to forgive everyone who had ever been bad to me, and to forigive myself. I had real peace for that day.
    10. Then I was doing yoga one morning, and afterwards I sat down and called my father (who I hadn’t spoken to in over 10 years). After we talked and tried to set some things right between us, and I got off the phone, I couldn’t get up. I had a terrible pain in my lower back for the first time in my life. So I just sat there and meditated, did some breathing and eventually I was able to stand.
    11. At that very point (and I’m sorry if this sounds disgusting), I felt what I think is the kundalini move in my lower back, it felt like it was coming from some ancient place inside of me, some place I never knew was there (but it was right at the tip of my lower spine). And it felt like a kind of spiraling outward and I had to use the restroom. I can tell you that everything in my intestinal system was completely cleared out almost immediately (again, I’m sorry if this sounds gross). But it was a real purging. In the next few days I kept reading the internet to see if I could learn something about this strange experience, and that’s when I found out about kundalini rising (this was never mentioned in the book I read on the mother goddess).
    12. After that, my life has been changing in such strange ways. The lights of my former life have gone out (my best friend died, I don’t speak with the love of my life anymore, I dropped many old limiting beliefs), but I am finding new lights and new faith all the time. Things I need seem to come to me without me having to look for them. And I feel a protection that I never felt before.
    13. Finally, the white outs keep coming, the pain in my lower back is there off and on and I had a dream that meant something to me. I was swimming in a dark lake in the mountains, and a young woman swam up next to me. We began to chat as we swam, and I looked over at her to see that she was a lovely young woman with fair skin, dark hair, but she had the deepest sadness in her face and her eyes. At that point I realized that she was me. Then I noticed we were near a dangerous waterfall, and I warned her to be careful. She looked at me with a look of infinite sadness and she let her self go over the edge. She was naked, and as she fell, she tucked her knees and head into her chest, and disappeared into the mist below. In that dream, I feel like I saw my sad self die, and that I will never be as sad as I was during these last years ever again.
    And that’s my story. And I don’t know if it’s all about kundalini or if just part of it is. I am still left confused by the white outs, but I do feel better most of the time, much stronger, much happier, much more protected and loved than I ever used to. I think it’s the mother goddess who came to me, at last. I hope she’ll never leave me, I can live with the back pain as long as so many good things keep developing in my life, it’s worth it.
    Sorry for the long answer, I just felt like getting my story ‘out there’. And thank you again for asking.

  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Confused,

    With kundalini awakening, my first advice is to get healthy and fit. This allows the body to be able to deal with any increase in energy flow that takes place, or handle better any biochemical changes occurring at a cellular level as well.

    I recommend starting a yoga practice, which does not directly look to open the chakra centers further, but instead helps to build your systems to achieve the results I indicated above. You may like to use some of the yoga sets on the website and you can find more details on that here…

    Free Online Kundalini Yoga Kiryas (Don’t do the Kundalini Awakening Set though, till you feel more balanced).

    For more devoted practice, you may wish to try the online courses, but don’t overdo them initially.

    Free Online Yoga & Meditation Classes.

    Let me know your progress.


  4. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey PSM,

    Great contribution, thanks so much for sharing your insight and personal kundalini awakening experience. Am sure many will find your guidance helpful and reassuring.


  5. PSM
    PSM says:

    Just a couple tips for those experiencing the more severe symptoms. I personally have had my whole body shake for a half hour a couple of times, fantastically erotic energy rising up in bubbles, several occassions of full streams of energy up the spine, loads and loads of fears coming up and being released, lots of pressure and bliss that is fairly distracing to me at work, terrible panic and fear of death, and some digestive troubles, just to name a few symptoms. A couple things that have helped immensely have been the Sedona method, Emotional Freedom Vial, tapping, and spinal breathing. The Sedona Method and the Emotional Freedom Vial both help release fears that the Goddess is loosening within. They have made many of my symptoms relax. And using a few Mantras like the Adi Shakti Mantra have helped me experience Kundalini energy on up my spine and filling my head that feels inteligent and warm and very peaceful that seems to take away all of the symptoms for a few days including the pressure in the forehead. For the digestive troubles ground Chia Seeds have helped a lot. They assist the body in removing toxins so the liver stresses less.
    Let the process happen and don’t fear it or pray for it to stop. The times it has been on full force in a peaceful way are worth it. We are being reshaped by the Divine maybe? Hope those couple tips help.

  6. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Hi Confused

    it sounds very interesting that you are able to dig in to some previous life or to distant future. its a rare case. did u experience some other symptoms of kundalini as well. how did it started, it must not have started all of a sudden. can u pls. tell a score of events that have lead to this situation.

  7. Confused
    Confused says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Thank you. It’s a relief to be able to talk about this with someone – I usually keep it t myself, because the few people I told about it want to help, but don’t know how.

    I had the suspicion that with each of these episodes that I was gaining insight somehow into another dimension, another life or something like that, but these visions I have are never particularly happy ones, and they never make much sense, and they’re never even about people I know –although I do recognize myself in some of them and feel the settings are familiar, but in these visions I’m not like who I am in this life. It’s really very strange and this idea that I’m purging things makes a kind of sense.
    I’d never thought of it like that before, and now that I think about it, it does feel like an analogy for vomiting up something that makes sick and then feeling much relieved aftewards. And just as I read what you wrote, I had another one of these episodes. They don’t happen too often, maybe only once a month or once every few weeks, but they are fairly distressing.

    Anyway, thank you for trying to help. If you happen to come across something I could read about this, or anyone else who’s gone through it, could you please let me know?

    Thank you again,

  8. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Confused,

    Your experiences are certainly unusual. If I had to guess, I would say that the past is being purged, thus the cleansing you feel afterwards. Unfortunately, in us there is much that requires purging :-). Such purging is a part of the process and it is accompanied by the sickness or nausea in the stomach directly afterwards.

    Issues related to the lower back are very consistent with kundalini.

    I am happy to hear though that your normal state is much improved as a result of the changes you have made.

    I suggest that if your lifestyle allows it (or on weekends), try to remain a little alert during the night as you sleep. Such purging generally happens then, but is below our threshold of awareness. Being aware during this time can give you greater clarity and insight into the process you are undergoing.

    Let me know how it goes.


  9. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Martin,

    The pain in the neck usually is of the following nature…

    1. It is towards the back of the neck.
    2. Can be a pinching or burning sensation.
    3. There can be swelling in the back on the neck (like a lump).
    4. The back of the neck can become sensitive, almost painful to the touch.

    If it’s along those lines in some way, it could imply kundalini doing her thing.

    If the discomfort is caused by a particular exercise, then though we need to move forward carefully.


  10. Martin
    Martin says:

    “Unfortunately, pain in the lower back, back of the neck and headaches.”

    I’ve had pain in the neck since I started practicing the 101 class.

    I wonder if it’s related. I have no idea how to tell if it’s because of some kind of imbalance or cos of progress…

  11. Confused
    Confused says:

    I am not sure what’s happening to me. I think I began to awaken my kundalini last year when I made a big break with my toxic past (I left addictions, emotional abusers, etc. behind me). Since then, I began doing some yoga exercises, praying, meditating, etc. But my lower back is causing me problems, sometimes I can’t walk or get up. Also, sometimes, I begin to feel as if I can see through the veils of time and space, into a reality that is usually hidden from me. And as soon as this starts to happen, and I begin to have visions of people and moments in some other life, everything turns white and I feel completely sick to my stomach, as if I will faint. Instead of ‘blacking out’, I ‘white out’, and I have to lay down and spend about 30 minutes recovering. After that, I feel simply strange -as if my life is new and fresh and different than it was before. It almost feels like I’m ‘re-setting’ my hard drive, if you know what I mean. But the feeling of freshness and lightness goes away after a while, and I return to my normal state. The normal state is much improved since I turned my back on my old unhealthy life, and started doing all I can to make things right for myself, but I have to wonder if I’m not cracking up somehow…. The experience has been a strange one. These ‘white-out’ episodes come without any warning, and they leave me completely confused about things.
    Thank you for any help you can offer.

  12. Malini
    Malini says:

    Hi Arun,

    I think it’s a good idea to share about kundalini awakening. My email id is karmalini@rediffmail.com
    However, I don’t chat …no time for chating too. But we can exchange views thru emails.

    Hi Garry,
    How are you planning to have this kundalini support group? If you have one, please add my email id.

  13. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Hi Malini
    you have actually adopted a very effective way to reduce tension.Somebody rightly said that empty mind is devils workshop. best thing is to keep yourself busy.keep your mind busy.Human being is provided with Intellect and ability to think beyond the sense gratification.Just use your mind to search for answers to most crucial questions in life, Who I Am, where shall i go from here. what is beyond what we see here. just get close to nature as much as possible.I assure you that you will get lot of realization after closely monitoring the natural phenomenon
    around.Just see that no one in the world except human being can grow a single grain, still even a single insect is fed by Almighty somehow, Dogs and Ants doesnt grow anything still they get belly full of food. All these birds get there share from somewhere.
    This whole system is continuously monitored by someone. One is sure to get his Humble pie.Just try to see the world from this angle.This is Meditation. Once you will start observing things this way, you will become very Calm and quite and will forget abt. all stress.

    I am not claiming to be a saint but this is hoe i look at the things and really helps me to be more calm and quite.
    I have taken garry’s gmail id and added him, i wud like to have your gmail id so that we can chat on matters of kundalini, as it can be shared with very few persons who understands it.
    hope to get your reply

  14. Malini
    Malini says:

    Thanks Arun and Garry.
    It is a great relief to know that my experience was not a mental illness. Though I still need to convince myself. For past 5 years I have had been searching for an answer. I think more publicity is required regarding the possible experiences of kundalini awakening, so that people (like me) don’t suffer thinking all nonsense.

    Anmol very rightly says that the true Guru is within us and the guidance comes from within. Many simple thing I have done/ doing during the past 5 years which have helped me to a great extent in overcoming the stress. It may help people therefore I’m writing some of those.
    1. Firstly I started singing!! It was amazingly stress relieving.
    2. I started doing more manual work (household). Now I do all household work myself
    3. Aerobics, yoga and exercises gives a feeling of wellbeing and calmness.
    4. Diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables has very good effect on mental health too. I have experimented on it.
    5. Consciously practicing feeling of love and good wishes towards others (even if when I have arguements/ disagree with them)helps me a lot. Though it is quite difficult at times.
    6.I have realised living alone builds up stress. We are social animals after all.
    7. Reducing job related stress: Now I think it is essential that we take up work only as much as we can do. We have to learn to say “NO”
    8. Developing interests and hobbies is really great. After all we should live a complete life!!
    I have really benefited by practicing these.
    One thing I really don’t know how to do is Meditation. Hope I’ll start doing soon.
    Thank you all again and Best wishes

  15. garry
    garry says:

    Hey Arun: Not even buddha can feel what is going on in your body, only you know. The time depends upon your karma, how many chi-channels you have already unblocked, how diligently you meditate, and having sex will completely delay your efforts. What I do know is that the Taoists say it takes 3 months of sustained effort to get to a level where your body will transform (your skin will get soft, face take on a glow, increase longevity) and you will know this stage has completed because you will experience a state of internal breathing where your outside breath will nearly stop. This is not the full process of kundalini awakening yet, but its perhaps good enough for a goal. Heres my email: gglight@gmail.com. We can make a kundalini support group because some of this phenomena gets really freaky sometimes.

    Malini: Kundalini is not a fancy word for any kind of mystical or psychic experience, it is specifically a physiological process of energy that is released and cleans your body, ending with the entry into the Shushumna channel, the main channel along your spine. Your’s is a kind of sponatenous awakening, which is now past. You have the predisposition for this, even though you squandered your experience, you can gain quick progress just by following Anmol’s great advice and just practice! meditate!

    Hima: if it were possible to make spiritual progress laying in bed listening to someone on the phone, I would have been enlightened long ago. Chakras dont open that easily, so him promising this means he is not being honest. You did have some kind of “pranic energy” experience however (the ringing in your ears is caused by lots of pranic energy rising to your head). Meditations suggested on this site are worth much more and less confusing than relying on some phone-guru.

  16. Arun  Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Malini i would like to say something in your case.
    you are absolutely right while saying that Kundalini awakening is a spontaneous phenomenon. In my case too it started itself and when it starts abruptly it brings lots of confusion and frustration, I am still searching for the answer whether i should help raising my Kundalini energy or should try to pacify it. Mind deviates a lot and it becomes very difficult to concentrate.

    If you find a good suggestion from a spiritual master pls. pass it on to this site so that we can get help from that

  17. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Hima,

    Yes this is consistent with Mantra therapy and energy healing. The sounds create certain energy centers from activating and opening up. The pressure in the forehead relates to the Third Eye region (Ajna Chakra). Tingling in the lower back is the activation of Kundalini Energy.

    To begin, please first concentrate on getting healthy and then work on getting very fit, before opening the chakras using Mantra Yoga (Naad Yoga or Bij Mantras).

    This is to prevent issues with the greater flow of energy that takes place when chakras open up and the body is not ready.

    You may like to start with the free online kundalini yoga and meditation classes we offer here on Mastery of Meditation. If so, please start with Course #101. Links are below…

    Free Online Meditation & Kundalini Yoga Classes

    Introduction to Meditation & Kundalini Yoga

    Please let me know if you have any questions, or run into any issues.

    All Good Wishes,

  18. HIMA
    HIMA says:

    Last week, I was very weak and ill, and called this Indian man who claimed he could unblock chakras. Over the phone for one hour, he recited various mantras non-stop, during which time I was in a deep, relaxed meditation state. At one time, it took all I had to control this urge to burst out laughing because of the tickling in my lower back was soooo intense. I tried so hard not to laugh. I didn’t want to insult the man who was so diligently chanting by causing him to think I was laughing at him, but this tickle was too intense to bottle up. Also, ringing in my ears, which has continued (it’s been 5 days). The last symptom was a pressure in the very top center of my forehead, right up against my hairline (he called it the 5th eye, but didn’t explain what that was about). I would like to understand better what is going on, and if I should try to develop this further, how to do that, and whether I should wait until I find a good teacher? Thanks for your help.

  19. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Malini,

    Yes it’s absolutely possible to have such kundalini awakening w/o any conscious effort. There are many reported “non-spiritual” scenarios where spontaneous kundalini awakening has occurred.

    There tend to occur during intense times and activities (emotional, mental or physical), but not always.

    Certainly, leisure time as you had after quitting is another phase when such spiritual awakenings occur for sure, especially if you are in nature or are reading enlightened material (Bhagawat Gita would qualify :-).

    The temptation to join an Ashram, to me is an invitation from within to move deeper on your spiritual journey. I do not feel it’s necessary though to take such step (leave everyday life and join an Ashram that is).

    I do strongly suggest starting a regular spiritual practice, which includes meditation and perhaps yoga as well. A good article outlines what your day should incorporate for spiritual growth can be found here…

    10 Things To Do Everyday

    For starting a meditation and yoga program I suggest taking the following course. It has been beneficial to many.

    Introduction to Meditation & Yoga Course

    If you are highly motivated and interested in an intense spiritual effort, you may wish to try the following 9 day challenge.

    Comprehensive 9 Day Spiritual Test

    The above are good starting points. Please let me know your progress and any other issues you might run into.

    All Good Wishes,


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