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:

    Dear Lauren,

    I just finished writing an article on the power of prayer (will be publishing it next week) and lo and behold I see your wonderful comments on the same subject.

    It is certainly Kundalini Awakening and I am glad you have the friend to confide in and guide you as well.

    Please keep us posted on your progress, it will benefit many who are experiencing similar awakening and are looking for knowledge regarding it.

    All Good Wishes,

  2. Laurel Watson
    Laurel Watson says:

    Thank you for this thread! These posts really helpful.

    I am pretty sure I am going through a kundalini awakening.
    I’ve been around many spiritual masters who have worked with my charkras and most recently Mother Meera.

    I was praying in earnest about a month ago, praying for the divine presence to be in the very center of my being as my being, so it is present everywhere, in every cell, in every intention. Praying for enlightenment to end that which causes suffering in this world and renouncing anything within me that perpetuates suffering.

    I renounced all negative levels of consciousness and asked forgiveness for any harm I have done to other beings for all time and prayed to forgive everyone. The prayer was for all of my incarnations to the foundation of time.

    At the point of renouncing any relationship I have ever had with spiritual darkness, I put holy oil on my hand and laid it on my forehead. I asked for my creator to lay hand on me. From that point it was like a bolt of lightening through my muscles. They started going though spasms and I could feel energy like snakes coming up from what seems like my bones. I could feel the energy circuit open in the trunk of my body and down my legs as if I there were a river of water rushing through the center of my body.
    It spread out through my limbs, arms first if I recall then legs.
    I had the visual sensation as if looking through my whole body as if I were being burned alive wholly and completely, but without pain and this lasted for possibly an hour. I was under the impression it was burning anything that was not of divine energy. I prayed for about 4 hours straight. The muscles of my face were trembling, even my eyelids.
    At times if felt like bubbles going through my body. By morning my body felt so peaceful as if I were a clear pool of water that had no ripple. When I looked at my face in the morning all I could see was beauty.

    By nighttime it started again.
    I have taken to doing salt baths to calm the muscles, holy oil to remove all negative thought forms.
    I can feel forms come up off of entire muscle groups like my thigh for instance and they release.

    My body has bee moving into automatic positions without the conscious mind. It moves the energy into different parts of the body as if an unseen hand is moving me. Sounds weird but even weirder when your body moves without you doing it. Cool though because I can stop the process by conscious intention so it is not like being like a robot or something. I am not enlightened enough to understand fully what I am experiencing.

    The energy runs down my feet, gets stuck and curls my toes. It’s not painful but I can imagine it could become so.

    My heart rate is faster at times, probably twice as fast and it feels like my heart is purring. Like the energy is reconfiguring me. My heart feels heavier, but I feel it will be that way until I have removed all negativity that’s trying to escape or possibly retakeover my body.

    Sometimes when I close my eyes at night now if appears like a light is behind my head. It’s a bit hard to sleep with that going on so I have taken to sleeping with the light on so it is not really noticeable.

    There have been some darker entities but I will need to pray those off of me. It may be old genetic thought forms, old body memories or even astral entities. Either way, a total surrender to God will manage anything that is not for my higher good.
    I am going in for prayer on Sunday to help remove more of this stuff faster.

    The palms of my hands are buzzing so I think my hand charkras may fully open. I hope so.

    I keep doing jappa, calling on Creator God, Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha and all angelic beings who are here for the higher good.

    I am using this time to draw close to my creator and put 100% trust in unconditional love. I am asking God to remove anything that does not work, and help my will be divine will. Total surrender.

    I called a friend who went through this, he is considered by many a saint and has prayed for hundreds of people and has great healing skill.
    He said he went through this for about a year. From what he told me there are genetic thought forms and our own negative mental forms we create that have been with us for a long time and they aren’t too keen on leaving. So you will be dealing with your own mind, all of the dark corners and brining in God into all of that darkness. I also think it draws out some astral stuff and I won’t even bother saying why I am under this impression. All I can recommend is to pray, allot.

    I have found some people who relate kundalini to demon possession. To that I say, we shall see. It seems to be the purifying power that drives out all that is not divine. All I do lately is pray. Guess I’ll know more when this process is over.

    I look forward to doing more good work in the world, being one with my creator and being able to be of more service. :)

    It will be great to be like that peaceful pool of water. It will be worth it, to let all of this stuff go.
    And all of us sound crazy. Only a crazy person would sincerely seek enlightenment. In the West it is not well understood. To connect the heart and mind is the greatest human achievement. It is worth the struggle.

  3. Louissa
    Louissa says:

    This is the first time I have heard about Kundalini Awakening – but I think it has been happening to me for quite some time, perhaps over the past year. What has prompted me to post these comments has been my most recent (and extremely painful) experience. I had a very sudden head and spine pain that I can only describe as a extremely severe migraine. Because it has been going on for over 9 days, I sought medical help. The doctors have given me pethadine, morphine, codine etc and nothing has worked. They also did a CT scan which came up normal and a spinal tap/lumbar puncture which also had normal results. The doctors sent me home with codine, nurofen and panadol and said they couldn’t find anything and that they suspect it will go away on its own. About 7 months ago I woke up to find my entire body filled with white light – it looked as though my skin was transparent. I also experience hyper sensitivity to sound and have an almost constant chiming in my ears. I also experience increased spiritual awareness, in the form of premonitions and awareness of other entities. I have had recently experienced body twitches and involuntary movements – much like those when the doctor hits a nerve point. I am lucky that one of my friends is a Chiropractor and also does Reiki. She has made me more comfortable and able to move and has told me about the possibility it could be some sort of spiritual awakening. I hope I don’t sound crazy.

  4. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Eh?

    Thanks for your input and for adding to the discussion.

    Not sure if western medicine has the knowledge yet of the workings of Kundalini to categorize the symptoms.

    All Good Wishes,

  5. eh?
    eh? says:

    a lot of this sounds like night terrors (the sleep paralysis) or mania from manic depression. if it comes infrequently it could be slow cycling. is that possible?

  6. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi MichelleSmith,

    That certainly is a very strange experience. There are such accounts of death, after-life, etc that are sometimes found in the pages of Kundalini Tantra. Very interesting stuff.

    Glad to hear you have re-started your meditation. There is nothing in the world quite like it in my view.

    All Good Wishes,

  7. MichelleSmith
    MichelleSmith says:

    People reading this may think that this some crap. But it did happen with me. This is some 6 months back. I need not induce myself with anything to fall asleep whether it is day, noon or night. One night when I was fast asleep, I found myself transported in a very large hall fully crowded with different types of people around. The room was divided into various sections. Till date I have never been to any court room or personally seen jails other than what they show in the movies. This room had people seated in various sections. Some standing as if awaiting their turn, some wailing and many seated. All looked alike, only holes in place of their eyes and all as if dressed in black. They all were formless. It looked as if some hearing or trials were going on like those that happen in courts. Suddenly I met a female whom I had known asking me what I was doing there. She said that this place was for people who are dead and interrogations are going on for the same. I said I did not know how but somehow I was transported to this place. And that was the end of it as I immediately opened my eyes. I did not want to think of this situation again but this fact & that scene which I had never experienced before has not erased from my mind.

    Like this many miracles have happened in my life.

    I have been into deep meditation and experienced bliss but a time came when I wanted to take to sanyas & leave everything behind and never come back.

    Now I have re-decided to start off doing meditation as it helps me de-stress and remain calm & cool all the time.

  8. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Jane,

    Glad you are enjoying the website. Yes, your experience is in line with Kundalini energy and kundalini activity. There is no difference in my view between those terms (awakening vs. syndrome).

    Good idea to take up some yoga and prepare the body to help the body cope with this increased energy.


  9. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Andi,

    There is much that can be said of the pressure between the eyebrows. Few unusual thoughts from my personal experience below….

    1. This pressure can expand to proportions which are in my view unhealthy. In this event one needs to back off from whatever practice was creating the situation. This expansion is extremely intense and you will know when it happens.

    2. The pressure is modulated by the intensity of one’s spiritual practice is general.

    3. In some cases peering into this region and the pressure leads to incredible direct insights into the True nature of things.

    4. The pressure can also expand (more gently) to the entire head region.


  10. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Topaz,

    Kundalini awakening is easily distinguished if it is coupled with mystical experiences, void of that it is not easy to tell if it’s just a one off symptom.

    Having said that, look deep within the symptom you are having and let it tell you it’s story. Ask for guidance from within and be open to answers that arise.

    Shocks are consistent with Kundalini and so is any such unexplained activity in the lower back region.

    All Good Wishes,

  11. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Hope you are doing better.

    What I am saying is that, before opening the chakras via direct methods, it is wise to instead build up one’s health and systems and trust the energy to flow as she sees fit. Or at least to supplement any direct chakra opening / kundalini awakening techniques with yoga and purification exercises.

    This will help the body cope with the energy and could reduce the troublesome symptoms of Kundalini rising.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.

    All Good Wishes,

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hi all,
    What I have realized after this experience is that one needs a spiritual guru to excel in this path as without him or her one may not know the particular direction-where to go.He or she is a must.I don’t know exactly whether a spiritual guru finds his disciple or whether the person attains a spiritual guru by the grace of god but without him it’s not possible to go into the right direction.Many of us may never know that in which direction their life is going, and the whole of their life, instead many of their lifetimes come and go without fulfilling the actual purpose of their lives.What I have realized is that a true spiritual guru knows the past and the upcoming future of his disciple and he has the power to change the future of his disciple.Not only the past of this lifetime but he also knows the past of his previous lifetimes.Therefore may god bless everyone with a true spiritual guru.

  13. app
    app says:

    Been a powerful few months re k. awak. -sx. passion even more intensiove with my wife, massive elect. ‘shocks’ im body’ via left hand index finger, heightened hearing, more regular urge to urinate in groin! Fear had abated due to wise awareness from priestess friends.

  14. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Hi Anmol and everyone. I’m very glad to read so many posts. Wow. I feel like I know you all!

    Well, I live in Canada. I often have that pressure in the third eye region. It’s a good thing, for me. It doesn’t get overwhelming. I have it today as I am writing, actually. Also, I get a feeling of energy in each of the chakra areas, and I do hands on healing, so when I do that on my chakras, of course I feel it too. I often do that, especially when I am sick, to clear the chakras and bring them into harmony with each other.

    On Sunday (4 days ago), I was sitting in church doing energy healing on my thyroid, because I was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and besides, it was sore. I was also telling it that I love it, because the problem is that my immune system is turning against my thryoid, so I wanted to counteract the fear.

    At one point, I turned my hand so it was facing downward, to let the energy out. The energy flowed out straight forward and at that point I started to feel shaky. It was right before O Little Town of Bethlehem, and I couldn’t stand up to sing. My voice got all weak too. After church I stumbled out and got some water and lay down on the carpet in the nursery. Then I wend and found my Dad and he took me to my parents’ place. Then my chest started to feel tight and my heart was racing, so we went to the hospital. While I was there, I still felt shaky and weak (as I do still now), but they checked me out and said my heart and everything was fine and I should go home and rest and see the thyroid doctor on Tuesday (yesterday).

    Anyway, also, in my heart – or through my heart – there was a feeling of energy flowing, and intensity in the middle of my back, right where the heart is. I can still feel it, although it stopped for awhile. After the doctor checked me out, I figured, well, my heart chakra must be opening up. So, I’ll just allow it to do that.

    Actually on Monday a healer I know did a treatment on me and she set the intention for my heart chakra to open more, because it is so related to the thyroid… the thyroid is connected to the throat chakra and the throat chakra allows the expression of what is in the heart. So, maybe that is why I felt/feel the energy in my heart.

    Also, I know the thyroid is about creativity and communication. I’m an artist who isn’t making much art, and a teacher and healer, but I’m not expressing myself freely, or doing healing work at the moment, except on myself. Sometimes you have to do it on yourself first, I think. So, anyway, this is my theory on why my thyroid is out of balance. It’s severely high.

    I don’t know if all this is related to kundalini awakening, but it is definitely symptoms of energy imbalances and releases and opening up… that is happening in my body.

    Oh, I had a question, Anmol. Are you saying then, that before you try to have the kundalini rise, you should get physically fit and healthy? Isn’t it sometimes that the symptoms cause you to be what seems to be not healthy? OK, must go. I am ok for 40 minutes at a time and then I have to lie down again.

    Peace and blessings,
    Rachel in Canada.

  15. topaz
    topaz says:

    Hello, I have experienced intense pain in my lower back since almost a month, starting November 15. In the middle of the night it was like I had shocks of energy in my lower back lasting a few seconds, and when I woke up my lower back really hurt. Over the next few weeks it hurt to walk and even to sit up, and I hadn’t even lifted anything heavy. I hadn’t seen a doctor or chiropractor since it’s gotten better since, but at night when I lay on my back I still feel discomfort. Did I hurt my back because it may have been too cold in my room, or could this be a kundalini awakening? I

    Many thanks!

  16. Andi
    Andi says:

    Hello Anmol,

    What is having the pressure between your brows (the third eye) at all times? How does it feel exactly, and what does this indicate?

    I’ve been doing some other form of meditation for some years now. I notice that I have this tenseness between my brows all the time (or when I’m mindful enough to notice it). But since I’m a big reader, I tend to think that this tenseness is due to eye strains, or some nerves knotting up there.

    I’m posting this question here at any rate. I’d like to hear anything regarding sensations around the third eye.

    Thank you & Love,

  17. jhumki
    jhumki says:

    dear sir,

    these days i have been having of sri hanumanji in my dreams…not only dat i feel as if i have achieved a lot and dat feeling of bliss is following me every night…sometimes i have such horrifying visions dat i get up scared…also i am terribly energetic these days…and also i have actually started foreseeing things….i am not lying sir as they r happening live to me….is this bcoz of kundalini rising?

    plz explain and i am an ardent devotee of sri hanumanji …by the way i forget to mention above,,,dat i am a 15yr old gurl

  18. Serenity
    Serenity says:

    Hi. I had an awakening beginning in June 2008. Believe it or not, I ordered a chakra meditation from audible.com and did it for about 2 weeks and ended up triggering the awakening. It was so scary and intense for the first 1-2 months, where I had many of the symptoms you described above (and more). At times, I did not know if I would make it because it was so intense. I have documented some of my experiences on my website: allaboutpeace.org. I had trembling, visions, intense heat, musical ears, vivid dreams, clairvoyance, out of body travel in my dreams, chakras opening/ activating (throughout my body)…it felt like my whole body coming to life, paralysis, light in my head, geometric images and colored lights in my head at night, intense terror and fear, insomnia, lack of appetite (lost 35 lbs), heightened anxiety, etc. As the cleansing continued, I would have systematic cleansing of chakric areas in the body; the cleansing would transform and change throughout the past 6 months. I have begun to have bliss states ( I started having them in the beginning, but was afraid of them so I fought them). Now that I am not afraid anymore, I am relaxed with most everything. I was lucky also because the energy guided me the entire way….giving me signs and information to help me cope and heal. I have always been reassured in dreams and visions that “I will be fine.” Also, most of the cleansing takes place at night, between 11pm and 3 am.

    Anyway, I have been going non-stop since June. My body and chakras are cleansing day and night (most intensely at night). In the past month, the intensity of the cleansing has picked up. The energy is predominantly in the brain. I have felt the activity and cleansing of the pineal gland, the pituitary, the medulla oblongata, the temple chakras, those right above the ears, the inner ears, the nose, 7 eyes, circle of chakras on the scalp, the crown, the one at the back of the skull, the cheeks, the jaw, roof of the mount, the base of the jaw, the nasal chakras, etc. This whole process is fascinating. I have benefited a great deal from a book that outlines the chakras throughout the body and within the 7 bodies; it is by Genevieve Paulson and I have used it to help guide me through the process, since I did not have a teacher and I did not know anything about what was happening at first….which of course, led to much of my terror.

    Now, I am nearing completion of something. I am told by the energy that I will be splitting open soon. I think I am nervous about what this means (in terms of bodily experience). I have had many times where the energy left my crown, but it always descends and goes right back to work cleansing the remaining bodies. Two weeks ago, I had a dream where the crown gave way and the energy/ light left my head. I was in a trance and scared. For me, the greatest struggle in this whole process has been letting go and trusting. When I enter the bliss states, or when I am taken out of my body at night, or if I go into a trance, I struggle with relaxing and letting it happen. I continue to work on it and allow myself to adapt, step by step. I am fortunate since it seems, the energy progresses in a way that enables me to adapt and prepare for the next steps and stages.

    Have you or anyone experienced the siddhis with the awakening? I have received 5 gifts, but do not understand what this all means? Also, do you know of anyone who has had the full awakening of all the bodies? Are there more than 7? I know different traditions recognize different numbers of bodies, but so far, my experiences are in-line with the 7 body model in Paulson’s book. Are there any books written in more detail about life after kundalini, or about the full-awakening experience in general. I cannot find much about this, especially that matches what I am going through. I am fortunate to receive many answers as I proceed (through the inner guide), however, I am fascinated to know about others who have taken this process farther. I have come across many people’s writings, but none that discuss the cleansing of the chakras, the siddhis, the impact on later life, and of course, what it feels like when the energy breaks through the crown permanently. Thank you.


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