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. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Marie,

    Yours is a question all of us with physical symptoms struggle with from time to time. Here are some of my thoughts…

    1. Kundalini awakening during periods of stress or sorrow is not as uncommon as one would think. This is mostly because the “pain” during that time prevents one from being able to escape reality into a comfortable “mental reality”. This forced awareness into the here and now, as we know, is the key ingredient for spiritual awakening.

    2. Some experiences are easily attributed to Kundalini. Such as anything to do with energy sensations moving up and down the spine and anything that creates “transcendental experiences”. Other physical symptoms are difficult to attribute to kundalini with full confidence. For this reason, it is always worth getting such symptoms checked out by the medical system as well.

    Generally speaking, if living and practicing a more “spiritually oriented” life (yoga, meditation, solitude, mindfulness, light diet, like-minded company, quietude, nature etc.), increases the symptoms, then that is an indication that it is probably due to kundalini at work.

    Hope this helps. Hang in there and feel free to discuss openly.


  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Anmol,

    I am having a low moment and am wondering if you might be able to help. My question is how we can know that we’re going through a kundalini awakening, and not just going crazy. My kundalini experiences started after a very serious period of extreme stress and pressure in my life. Basically my life disintegrated and turned chaotic. I’m getting better, but am wondering if maybe I’m not just suffering from some kind of back injury and some kind of post traumatic stress disorder. I really went through a lot before I started having the ‘white out’ episodes that I’ve described, and the back pain.
    Are there non-physical ways of knowing whether or not something spiritual is happening related to kundalini? Is there telling indications that clearly separate the experience of someone with a stress disorder from the experience of a person going through a kundalini awakening?
    Why would my kundalini awaken in the first place? I didn’t even know this was a possibility until after it seems to have happened.
    I just don’t get it today. Sometimes I do feel that I get it, and everything is quite clear. But maybe I am crazy on those days:)….
    Thanks for your help,

  3. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Arun,

    In the future I plan to launch a forum on Mastery of Meditation, where I will be sure to include a thread for Kundalini Awakening Symptoms. I think it will be a valuable resource to all interested parties.


  4. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Hi Malini,

    this has reference to your question for no. of people who are undergoing kundalini experience. It might look as an epidemic to you but i can tell u from my experience with this matter that there are very few people who are in knowledge of this thing. i keep floating some polls on ORKUT/medtation community and i hardly get sufficient no. of respondents from my indian counterparts. people are not much aware of all this, i cudn’t even find a single person with whom i can share abt. such matters in actual. it is only thru these blogs dat i get in touch with some people who understand all this.

    it is so hard to awake one’s kundalini u can get to know it from some enlightened person but as you got it spontaneously so you are seeing it as an epidemic. my case too is of spontaneity but i dont find many people with whom i can discuss all this.

    your idea of meeting n get together is gr8 but that requires time, money n other resources. i got some mail ids frm the bloggers here n i feel good whn i get their mails n share my experiences with them,you too can do the same, sometime i find people online on gtalk etc. n i can chat online it helps in such matters.


  5. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Marie,

    Thanks so much for your feedback and sharing your first hand experiences with what a strong and balanced Third Chakra can do. Great job and glad the exercises are helping.

    I am sure your comments will inspire many with their personal yoga practice too.

    All Good Wishes,

  6. Marie
    Marie says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Just wanted to give a quick update. The exercises you recommended for the third chakra have really really helped. I’ve been doing them every morning and can feel the stirrings of a stronger 3rd chakra in me. A few days ago I had to give a lengthy presentation to a rather large audience of academics and I’ve never been more together for such a presentation than I was for that one. At some point in the middle of it I became a bit nervous, and then focused on standing straight and making sure the muscles around my third chakra were holding me up, (keeping me from slumping as if I wanted to melt away under the podium). What an instant difference it made. I carried through with the lecture and with real confidence and focus to do a good job.
    I got lots of praise afterwards, which was great, but there was one professor who asked a hostile question…I was inspired with an answer that allowed me to put him in his place while keeping everything pleasant, professional and sincere. People keep telling me how great my reply to him was (no one cared much for his attitude).
    ANYWAY, sorry to ramble, but I could feel my third chakra at work through this experience, and it not only got me through the rough spots, but I walked away with a real sense of accomplishment (something I’d been lacking for much too long). I had the willpower to prepare and present my lecture well, and I had the character to defeat hostility with grace, truth, and razor sharp effectiveness. It was fantastic!
    In other words, thanks for recommending the exercises for the third chakra, they’re really helping.

  7. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Dear Susan,

    It’s a privilege to get the views of a seasoned and devoted yogi. Your experiences from walking the path are invaluable.

    The chanting is always the “unusual and unfamiliar” part of Kundalini Yoga, and it takes some getting used to. This is something I see students warm-up to gently. I too, for various reasons, took some time to open up to it.

    Pranayama works at different rates for different practitioners, and along with the most important aspect of sticking to it over a long period of time (as you have pointed out), is making sure to progress gently and systematically with this potent science.

    72,000…. that’s how many wives Krishna has… so for those who know about Krishna Lila, this should give you an indication of what the true meaning of Krisha Lila is. In fact Susan’s comments above regarding breath, are nothing but the start of Krishna Lila.


  8. Malini
    Malini says:

    Hi Can anyone help me getting any statistics on number of people going through kundalini awakening? It seems to be in epidemic proportion and I feel it needs investgation. If any person or any organization doing such work please let me know. I would like to get involved in it. I myself have gone/ going through this terrible experience alone and I feel it would be nice to have may be a sort of get-together..or any better ideas???


  9. susan
    susan says:

    Dear Anmol:

    Yes…kundalini yoga has helped clear the channels linking one to the “other side”…the nadis…but remember there are 88,000 of those???

    not just the sodarshan chakra kriya…but kundalini tapes. I’ve done Ravi and Ana kundalini tapes everyday for a while. It’s become an automatic thing…on autopilot… when my family started hearing me chanting…they were all concerned I had gone bonkers… but slowly they’ve adapted.

    the thing with the breathing part is that one does not completely gauge the full extent of the “connection” until quite a bit of practice… must be because at that critical moment when the nadis for that particular asana is cleared…then one knows intuitively that the connection to the other side is there. When that happens…one is so grateful for the discipline and the “sticking to it” that one has done over the years. When that breath comes alive….there will not be a chance to give an excuse for not doing the sadhana, cause at that point, you will want to do it…and even feel like you don’t have enough time. Before, meditation seems like such an empty, waste of time, but now…it seems like half an hour is not enough…and breezes through and one grudgingly gives it up so that one can go to work.

    A word of warning for all…keep all your normal day to day activities….one needs to do outward exercises…even if people annoy you and you prefer your own company…keep reaching out to them…for every hour of meditation, it’s best to go walk/run a mile.

  10. Confused
    Confused says:

    Hi Anmol,
    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been trying the morning exercises that you recommend, and I have to say that they’re helping a lot.
    Unlike the other yoga I’ve done, the strengthening/toning exercises don’t make my lower back go crazy, and I feel a lot better over all.
    I don’t want to fool around with the kundalini energy, now that it’s woken up, but I do want to focus on my third chakra. I can tell that it’s force is ridiculously weak, I have almost no willpower sometimes. Are there more yoga exercises that help develop it without risking a problem with kundalini going wild.
    Bye for now,
    Confused (my name is Marie, so I’ll use that from now on)

  11. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for your wonderful input. Yes, very careful with the use of alcohol or drugs. Don’t recommend that to anyone unless you are an expert Naga Yogi or Aghori. If you don’t know either of those 2 terms, that is probably an indication you are not ready to mess with chemicals. Even so, I don’t suggest their use.

    I have been meaning to get that singing bowl forever (and a gong). You have inspired me to get that done today.

    Yoga and meditation everyone, is the best and safest prescription.


  12. susan
    susan says:

    wow…different things work for different people

    I found that Tibetan singing bowls help calm the fireworks down. It doesn’t stop it, but it definitely stabilizes it.

    Yesterday, I bought one, and couldn’t stop playing it. I even put water in it, played it, saw different crystalline formations on the water surface, then drank it. It actually tasted different. Somehow I’ve also had symptoms like the craving of red wine, grape juice, and unleavened bread…but, I have got to warn you…alcohol, like drugs, holds very strong psychic powers, so everything that you have in your heart gets transferred and multiplied in the drink…then when you drink it, it’s like you are perpetuating your issues ten times over….now I understand the original intent of the christian sacraments.

    Different things work with different people. I still do kundalini yoga every morning and half to one hour meditation. It’s automatic… I don’t think I can function without it.

    I know people want easy answers, but there are none…the most consistent answer would be yoga and meditation, like Anmol mentioned…there is no way around it….we just have so much stuff to work out..

    rushing it is not a good idea…remember…it is the gaining of consciousness that is to be increased, not the rate of cleansing…

    Cleaning out stuff without really gaining consciousness is seriously harmful—please have patience everybody.


  13. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Hi PSM

    I appreciate your curiosity for spiritual matters.I hope you will be blessed by Sh. Prabhupada swamiji’s teachings.Read this book with full belief in Swamiji’s teachings, you will surely get the desired outcome.

    Pls. let me know how do you feel after reading that book.you can contact me at arunmomia@gmail.com


  14. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Hi PSM

    Person from whom i got that book is an ISKCON(International Society for Krishna Consciousness) member. He provided me a book written by Founder Sh A.C.Prabhupada Swamiji. Name of the book is ‘The Science of Self-Realization’. Its a good book that gives deep insides in to the facts abt. life and death and purpose of coming here as human beings. one thing i would like to tell u is that Everybody is not fortunate enough to read such books, as once a person get in touch with these books he starts his last journey to endless cycle of births and deaths and sure to get salvation in this birth or next.

    Prabhupadas teachings has been accepted by milloin of people all over the world and i am sure you will find answers to your all quarries in this book.

    Arun Momia

  15. Arun Momia
    Arun Momia says:

    Hi Confused,
    Thanx for sharing your experiences with us.I can assure you that there are many common threads among the lives of both of us. I too faced the similar kind of circumstances as u mentioned.
    After i lost all the confidence in relatives n friends because of some bitter experiences, i was provided a very spiritual book from one of my acquaintance this helped me to clear my concepts abt. life and death and from then onward i started looking at world frm a different perspective. and as happened to you i too felt something happening in my lower back. since then i keep on feeling different kind of changes in my body, only a person like u can understand me as i can gauge the real situation u must be in now.

    hey its nice to share some thoughts with you. my gmail id is arunmomia@gmail.com. if possible pls. provide me your gmail id as well so that we can share some more experiences thru live chat.

    Thanx a lot once again for your cordial reply


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