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,

    Glad the article on enlightenment was helpful and also, that the whiteouts are more manageable. Seeing things in a detached way is consistent with some of my experiences as well, and your description of just being an observer is spot on.

    Hope everything continues to fall into place.


  2. doer
    doer says:

    Hi Marie,

    I am afraid you are not recalling the contents of the book very correctly. She goes to many of her previous lives in her many sessions with Dr Brian & the book comes out of the recording of those sessions. The contents seemed pretty objective to me, so thought might benefit you too. Though it is one of the books I like, but am not that attached to anything so as to get hurt by its criticism ;-)
    Regarding your visions, As you say ,are a chance to set things right; but the same people are not there( at least in the same physical bodies). I again feel it is all a process of clearing up your storehouse of memories (the subconscious) like the basement of your house, one thing (memory) at a time. a chance to understand and resolve. Just like if you understand gravity and aerodynamics, u can build a plane to defy gravity; you are no more bound by it; you are free; same with experiences(memories). I myself have used the paper technique (some scholars call it ‘sanskar dah tantra’ (a hindi/sanskrit phrase)). It is pretty powerful, though for some experiences I had to do it twice.
    So, even if you want to ask for forgiveness, for the said incident, do it in writing or even otherwise too. The supreme intelligence, as Anmol mentioned is unconditionally forgiving.
    We can talk about the other aspects of your whiteouts too.But since, this thread is about kundalini awakening symptoms, let ‘s do it on mail.I would love to hear from you. My mail id is theswayingfire@gmail.com. Mention yours or just drop a mail.

    love & best wishes,

  3. Marie
    Marie says:

    One last thing, and this is for Anmol – I just wanted to thank you for the previous post you made concerning the nature of enlightement. It’s still a subject that I don’t understand well and your comments were helpful. I think I have been looking to enlightenment too much as an escape, and the closer I move towards it, the more it just seems like an alignment that will set all things right, and can only be attained by setting right all those things in our own spheres of influence.
    Anyway, thanks for pointing out what you did, it gave needed perspective.
    All the best,

  4. Marie
    Marie says:

    Hi again Doer, I forgot to mention one thing that’s changed. Today I had another one of those episodes that I call ‘white outs’, but this time, no memories came up. I just felt that physical sickness that I get with the episodes, and I felt the usual detachment from my environment (the best way I can think to describe it is that I turn into the ‘Observer’ with a much greater intensity than is normal – I don’t relate in a familiar way to surroundings that I normally live in when I’m in this state, they look suddenly foreign, even though it often happens in my own home – basically I see the physical parts of my life (body, living space, etc.) as someone who isn’t attached to them, it’s weird).
    Anyway, this was the first time that I had an episode that wasn’t accompanied by the feeling of my brain clearing out thoughts by whiting them out.
    I hope this means I’ve got where I needed to go with these white-outs, and that I can move on now. It’s hard to tell, I guess I’ll know in time by whether or not the white outs come again.
    And thanks for the tip about the burning of the memory on a paper. I just tried that with the memory of that awful incident I described above. I hope it will help.
    All best,

  5. Marie
    Marie says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks for your comments Doer. A long time ago I glanced over that book, but don’t remember it’s contents well. What I did remember was that the story about the woman who went back to her life in ancient Greece, but the details of the story seemed antithetical to certain key aspects of ancient Greek life (e.g. she describes the temples as white, but they were painted in bright colors in antiquity). But maybe I’m remember the story the wrong way, my apologies if this is a favorite book of yours.
    I did want to write because I had quite a strange experience last week. About 7 years ago I had a vision that felt very much like a past life memory. It felt like a memory of mine, of something I took part in. It was the first time I had a vision, and didn’t have one again for years. But the memory of it has stuck with me vividly all of this time. The memory is basically about me being a part of a group that harmed someone. I didn’t harm the person myself, but I also did not stop what happened. I only fought it on the inside, and I did nothing in reality to prevent it. It was awful.
    Last week I had a reason to travel overseas, to a place I had never visited before. I couldn’t find a place to stay (it was a last minute trip, not enough planning…), and as it was getting late in the afternoon, and I still had no place to stay that seemed good, I told myself I’d stay at the first place I saw at 5pm, no more wandering around aimlessley. And exactly at 5pm I drove up to a cabin and was able to stay there for three days.
    During my time there, I took a walk around the property, and I found myself in the exact setting of that vision I had had 7 years ago. Everything about it was the same (except obviously the people I remembered were not there).
    The whole time I was there I felt like apologizing for what had happened there. I don’t know if I was able to set things right just by knowing that if was in the same situation again, I’d fight it – or if I’ll need to do more. I don’t know how to tell. But I feel like this is what the experience is about – a chance to set things right and clear the past.
    Or I’m just crazy. Maybe both….
    Thanks very much for your thoughts and ideas above.
    All the best,

  6. Doer
    Doer says:

    Hi Marie,
    As you might have figured out by now that i posted the above comment without going through the whole thread, and without knowing your real name Marie (which you mentioned in later posts).Addressing someone as ‘confused’ who have had wise insights about life sounds pretty funny and foolish. I posted it after reading the post in which you first mention the ‘white-outs’ . Hope all that has cured itself and you are well on your way.
    Love and regards,

  7. Doer
    Doer says:

    Hi Confused,

    I would request you to read the book “Many masters, many lives” by Dr. Brian Weiss. Your experiences are very similar to the subject matter of it.May be it ‘ll give you a better understanding of what you are going through and hence will make it easier. Moreover, whenever you have visions of your past, this life or the previous, sit down in a calm and stable manner and let it all come & watch it as a witness as a third person. Write it on a paper in as much detail as you can & then the burn the paper. Watch it burn away. What is happening to you is a part of the evolution and these visions come because of the “unresolved karma” of the past.(most of them will be cos of unhappy situations of the past) Many scholars say it is like your subconscious (the great store-house of all karma) is getting cleansed. Writing the episode gives you an understanding of it (once you understand it it doesn’t bind you anymore) and hence resolves it and burning it away will convince you that it is getting cleaned up from the store house. Not all the experiences need to come up like this and get resolved. As you evolve many ‘ll get dissolved away, without coming to your conscious plane.


  8. Nick
    Nick says:

    Hi. I have had most of the common and uncommon symtpoms, and all of the rare symptoms except for the last one (churning arms and legs). I would like to add one symptom to it, but it may be unrelated. Sometimes when I touch things I can feel electricity in objects. Mostly around the stove (even plastic switches, light switches) and taps that are running or not. I think my sense of touch has become more sensitive, and that is why I feel the electricity.

  9. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey M,

    No are no rules for enlightenment, the dark night before the awakening is not something everyone has to go through. There are plenty of examples of people finding their Way w/o such intense suffering.

    Suffering though is very much a part of human existence today and the best reason I believe for that, is due to us having cut ourselves off from the Totality and trying to live ego-centric, hollow lives. This inevitably brings suffering.

    Meditation or spirituality can simply be thought of as the process for ending future suffering. Once you re-connect to the Witnessing Consciousness (Whole) and live in alignment with it (discover your true purpose), suffering may still take place to the body and ego which persist and act, but you identify with that less and less (or not at all).

    Hope this helps.


  10. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hey Marie,

    Although I agree with most of what you are saying, I would like to make one clarification.

    Enlightenment does not need to be seen in opposition to, or an escape from everyday life. In fact, I think the more energy you have, the more balance you have and the more Divinity you have shinning through, the more effectively you will be able to carry out your real work here in life. Perhaps in some ways we are saying the the same thing, just using the term enlightenment differently.

    So from a kundalini perspective, it means one is living with a great deal of energy and awareness, and that one is free from lower emotions and attachments. This of course translates into having the chakras opened and balanced.

    Which brings us to your request for working on the lower chakras. I am planning to add more sets to do so, currently the set for the navel chakra is online, and for others who may not have read it all yet :-), here is the link to that…

    Core Navel Power Yoga Set & Video

    Stay tuned for the other Chakra sets…


  11. Marie
    Marie says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Thanks for your message, and for taking care with my feelings when you constructed it. The slightly bad news isn’t so bad, I suppose:) At least it won’t be in the long-view.

    Here’s the thing; – my lower three chakras are a mess, given my fairly problematic childhood/family realtions. My top three chakras have always had to work overtime to compensate, or at least this is how it seems to me. My heart chakra seems to have opened up last year, and I sense that my primary spiritual task is really to integrate my already spiritual self into regular human life (work, home, relationships, enjoyment of the here and now, service to myself and others, this kind of stuff). So I want to work on those lower three chakras and build a nice foundation for my more human side, and be able to integrate my stronger spiritual side with it.
    I feel like kundalini waking up last year was the beginning of this, and without rambling too much more, I want to ask you if you think a particular concpetion I have is sound:

    Basically I have the sense that we’re here in time and space to integrate the divine with our own human and material existence. I also have the sense that this ultimately requires the balancing of all chakras, and free flowing of kundalini energy between them all. My sense is that the clearing of karmic debts facilitates this. And then, once the balance is complete, the energy flows freely integrating our human and divine aspects. And once we’ve made our contributions to this material world, we’re free to let it go and move on into enlightenment. Checking out any sooner, or at least attempting to, would only bring us right back where we were when we tried to escape (I say this b/c I’m often tempted to climb a mountain and hang out up there for the rest of my life, but that seems like it wouldn’t really help me accomplish what I suspect should be accomplished, as I described it above). It’s kind of a rough description, but there you have it.

    Does this resonate well with any thoughts you have about kunalini rising ? Does it seem off-base?

    In any case, anything you can recommend about purifying and strengtheing the lower three chakras will be most welcome. (That is, anything other than what you have already generously made available on this site already – I think I’ve read it all).

    Thanks again,

  12. m
    m says:

    hi anmol, me again with a negative question. does everyone embarking on a spiritual journey have to have suffering. if losing a loved one is price of spirituality then i don’t think i’m ready for this. and why does god make people suffer. why couldn’t there be a better system? and is suffering inevitable no matter if you’re spiritual or not? is suffering just a part of being born on earth?

  13. Nandini
    Nandini says:

    Hi Anmol,

    Thanks for the advice. I definitely want to keep at it! Your emphasis on keeping healthy and only going as far as your body is ready is what attracted me to this site in the first place. It addressed my fears and how to overcome those fears to achieve what i wanted.

    I will let you know how it all goes. At the moment i’m trying to convince my mom, who’s perspective i value immensely and who is not comfortable with kundalini yoga, that this is a good idea. Her experiences with it were not very positive and she is fearful of the possible repercussions, which are legitimate concerns.

  14. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Nandini,

    Am very glad you are finding valuable guidance on the website.

    Your symptoms are certainly consistent with kundalini, and yes as I mentioned in my comment above to Marie (item #2), it is not uncommon for early experiences to be quite significant. They do tend to settle down though as your practice matures.

    Yes, the Third Eye feeds on attention, and since your attention is drawn elsewhere, the sensations there are diminished. I too don’t mind the pressure in that region :-). Re-attend to it, and the sensations should return.

    You are doing fine, just ensure you build up your physical health using the yoga practices, so that you will be better able to deal with the increased flow of Kundalini.

    If it gets too much, back off for some time till things settle down a bit, but continue to endeavor to stay as healthy as possible.

    Let me know how it goes.


  15. Nandini
    Nandini says:

    First of all, thank you so much for this site. I am sure that a great deal of time, energy and love goes into it and i would like you to know that it is very much appreciated. I have found answers here that i have been searching for for a long time.

    I have just started kundalini yoga and i am going very slowly because of many of the things i have read about it. I have been meditating (not consistently) for a very long time – my mother was very deeply involved in yoga and taught me the basics of light meditation when i was child.

    I don’t think what i am experiencing now is a symptom of awakening but i would just like to know if it is normal for someone who has just started. The area around my spine running up to the back of my neck feels heavy and is hot (not a burning hot though). Oddly enough, even though it is hot, it also feels cool – like someone took one of those refreshing towels and rubbed my spine with it. My limbs – arms and legs – are trembling, like i did 60 squats and pushups yesterday. Not violently like many people here describe but i am aware of it. Now and then the section of my spine midway down my back would tingle/vibrate briefly then stop (this is the setion that feels the heaviest). It is usually normal for my third eye to vibrate/throb painfully: during and after meditation, when i am doing puja, when i am stressed and other times for no reason at all, but for the past six weeks or so that has relatively stopped and even during kundalini it only happens briefly (i started kundalini yoga in the past week – very recently). Is it because i don’t focus on that region anymore but rather on my spine? Unlike the others here, i kinda miss the throbbing thid eye.

    I am doing this on my own (with only my inner guide) and i am wondering if i am doing something wrong. Please let me know if this is normal for a beginner.


  16. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Marie,

    My thoughts on your situation, good and a only little bit bad :-)…

    1. Yes things do tend to fall apart initially for those who are exposed to spirituality. This is not uncommon at all. It usually sets one on the spiritual path, or is the result of just having embarked on it. Very common experience.

    2. Here is the slightly bad news about your profound experience. It is the common experience of most of us spiritually inclined people, that early in our journey we usually have some mind blowing spiritual experiences, which yes then tend to disappear for many years as we are left to work through our ego issues and evolve spiritually.

    Initially, as energy pathways open and kundalini is first tasted, these experiences can be very “advanced” and incredible. It should be taken as a good sign though… as an indication to begin the work necessary to complete the journey. Your experience will give you conviction and faith that there is far more to Reality than what meets the ordinary mind.

    I suspect your case is consistent with this. Time to buckle down and get busy with your spiritual practice :-).


  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Anmol,
    Thanks. It’s a relief to read what you’ve written. I often get lost in my questions about this experience. It sometimes feels a bit like a never-ending trip down Alice’s famous rabbit hole.

    I’ve read elsewhere that the beginning of a new life (in spiritual terms) can be marked by the death of a loved one, and the destruction of everything that a person had counted on in life (major attachments, basically). This is certainly the case for me. Is this sometimes related to kundalini specifically? I’ve only seen it referred to in Celtic traditions.

    Secondly, I read your message about the day you felt that you encountered God. I have to say that it seems remarkably similar to a day I experienced last year, right when I was stumbling accidentally into the world of my kundalini experience. This must be the kind of transcendental experience you’re thinking of, as a symptom of kundalini rising? It was as if I knew that everything was perfect, exactly as it was, no matter what. I had a feeling of complete peace and a feeling that I was in the Now, like never before. As I walked around town with this feeling, my senses were completely alive, I was purely happy, and I passed by two homeless men sitting on a bench. I said hello to one that smiled at me. That’s all I said. And as I was walking away, I heard the one say to the other, ‘That was pure loving-kindness, that’s what I’m talking about. That was it!’ He seemed to be describing what he felt when I said hello.

    So I thought I was on a pretty good track. But lately I’m often back in negativity, and people I’m around can really disgust me, to the point where I just want to shut them out completely. I experience this off and on. I don’t want it, but sometimes it’s just there.

    Do you think that once kundalini starts to rise, it’s possible for her to go away and not come back? I guess this is what I’m really concerned about. I liked the experience, it was the best day of my life, and I seriously do not want to jeapordize it, or keep imagining that it was something less than I thought it was. So I’m just trying to keep it alive, and understand it better.

    Thanks for letting me ramble!!


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    […] Anmol Mehta presents Kundalini Awakening Symptoms posted at Mastery of Meditation, Enlightenment & Kundalini Yoga, saying, “Read about what others have experienced with regard to the awakening of Kundalini Energy. Find out if what you are experiencing is actually a symptom of Kundalini rising.” […]

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