7 Kundalini Awakening Symptoms To Look Out For And What They Mean

Helping you navigate the often bumpy journey to different states of consciousness.

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Kundalini awakening is a process of unleashing the dormant vital life force energy that lies within us, leading to an expanded state of consciousness and deeper connection with ourselves.

Once only known to a select few, this ancient tradition is now practiced around the world and spread to the western world fueled by hopes of tapping into the power of kundalini to unlock our potential, connect with our divine essence, and reach new heights of creativity, vitality, and spirituality.

Kundalini awakenings prove a popular and sometimes controversial topic in the yogic world, yet many who experience it are not aware of what is happening to them, as the signs can be confusing.

Whether you are just beginning or have been on this path for some time, understanding the Kundalini awakening symptoms can help you to make sense of your experiences and navigate your spiritual journey with more clarity and confidence.

In this article, we’ll be looking at:

a woman practicing kundalini yoga in the woods

What Is a kundalini awakening?

According to Tantric philosophy and kundalini yoga, it’s believed that kundalini energy is inside all of us, and lies dormant at the base of the spine, coiled up like a snake. This divine feminine energy can be awakened – leading to our true nature and a new world of spiritual experience.

Whilst some individuals have experienced spontaneous awakenings, they occur most commonly through prolonged engagement with spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, tantra, pranayama, and connected breathwork.

Some individuals also believe it can also be induced by entheogenic drugs like LSD, however, this route is widely viewed as being unpredictable and inherently transitory.

When awoken, this energy is released and flows upward through the seven chakras. These are energy-dense centers that lie at different points along the spine up to and above the crown of the head.

Each chakra is responsible for a different aspect of our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. When the divine feminine energy flow through each is open and balanced, this flow results in an expanded state of consciousness – also known as a kundalini awakening.
a coiled white snake

The Role Of the Chakras in kundalini awakening

Think of the chakras like gates to different ways of seeing and experiencing the world. When they are healthy and open, energy flows between them freely and equally, meaning our perception and experience of the world is clear and balanced.

However, our chakra system is delicate and can easily be disrupted, meaning the amounts of energy, stimulation and nourishment are not evenly distributed between each chakra.

This uneven distribution leads to some chakras being over-active, some under-active, while others may even be completely blocked. This in turn leads to an unbalanced experience and perception of the world.

For example, the solar plexus chakra is associated with our sense of power, self-esteem, and confidence. If imbalanced, it can cause controlling behavior (overactive), feelings of powerlessness (underactive) or inability to take action towards their goals (blocked).

Most chakras also relate to a particular physical experience. For the solar plexus, this is the experience of our digestive organs, meaning that when unbalanced, we will likely experience some problems with our digestive system.

In summary, when kundalini rises, it helps with activation. We can clear, balance, and nourish the chakras with an unobstructed energy flow. The balanced chakras, in turn, result in balanced experiences and perceptions, leading to unprecedented clarity, insight, and awareness.

This culminates in the emergence of new levels of consciousness and experience, commonly referred to as a kundalini awakening.

a graphic of someone meditating with chakras highlighted

Is Kundalini Awakening the same as spiritual awakening?

Many people confuse Kundalini awakening and spiritual awakening, also known as enlightenment, moksha or bodhi. While Kundalini awakening is related to enlightenment, the terms are not synonymous.

As mentioned above, kundalini awakening is the process of unlocking the Kundalini energy at the base of the spine, which fosters an expanded state of consciousness.

This expanded consciousness does not equate to full spiritual liberation.

Enlightenment, on the other hand, is a state in which an individual experiences a profound and permanent shift in consciousness, that leads to a complete sense of unity with all things; a spiritual liberation that means the transcendence of suffering and desire.

In simpler terms, Kundalini awakening is like unlocking a door to a new level of consciousness, while enlightenment is like stepping through that door and experiencing a whole new way of being that is free from entanglements of self, suffering and desire.

In this sense, Kundalini awakening can be a step on the path to enlightenment, but it’s not the same thing as being enlightened.

a woman meditating in white clothes with her hand on her heart

Is a kundalini awakening safe?

A kundalini awakening is a deeply transformative experience and holds the potential to bring about profound positive change in one’s life. However, the awakening process can be overwhelming, leading to negative physical and emotional experiences in some people.

These potential dangers and discomforts were recognized by the original Tantric texts, which prescribed continual purifying and strengthening of both the body, mind, and nervous system, to equip one to handle the spiritual and emotional demands of an awakening. 

Everyone’s kundalini experience varies vastly based on the individual’s past experiences, current lifestyle, and other factors. While many individuals experience only positive effects, others can encounter less favorable consequences, such as:

  • Uncomfortable physical and emotional symptoms: Kundalini awakenings have been reported to be accompanied by intense physical and emotional symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, anxiety, emotional instability, and even psychosis in rare cases.
  • Disorientation and confusion: During a kundalini awakening, it’s not uncommon to feel disoriented and confused, which can be overwhelming and difficult to manage for many yogi practitioners. 
  • Potential for negative experience: While kundalini awakenings can be transformative and very positive, some say it can feel like a bad drug trip, leading to negative experiences, such as feeling unsafe or even traumatized.

For these reasons, it’s super important to approach any pursuit of a kundalini awakening with caution. Try to stay attuned to your body and mind, heed any warning signs, and proceed at a pace that feels safe and comfortable for you.

It’s also advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher mentor who can provide support and help you navigate your journey so that it’s as safe and effective as possible.

a woman meditating with chakras over her

7 kundalini awakening Symptoms and what they mean

Kundalini awakening is a powerful, transformative process that can bring about a range of physical, emotional, and spiritual indications. We’ve compiled 7 of the most common kundalini awakening symptoms:

#1: Physical sensations:

One of the first signs of awakening is the experience of physical sensations, which may be pleasant or unpleasant.

Common amongst the kundalini awakening physical symptoms is the feeling of energy moving around or trapped within certain parts of the body, often at chakra points. This process can sometimes be visible to the experiencer in the form of moving light or colors.

Many will also experience sensations of intense cold or heat, particularly along the spine, which can be an indication of rising Kundalini energy. If very intense or uncomfortable, this can be an sign of the rising Kundalini energy not flowing properly.

Sensations of intense waves of bliss and bodily pleasure may also be felt, and will indicate that your energy is flowing clearly.

a woman meditating with chakras over her

#2: Involuntary movements:

Involuntary actions are also amongst the kundalini awakening symptoms, and can manifest in various ways.

Shaking, spasms, and tremors are common and can indicate that the rising kundalini is clearing blockages in your energy centers and opening up your chakras.

However, if these spasms are very strong or persist for a long time, it can indicate that the blockages are strong and that the energy may not be flowing correctly, leading to shaking or trembling in the body.

In some cases, individuals may also experience the involuntary performance of certain asanas or mudras, or even involuntary vocalizations, such as speaking in tongues.

#4: Altered sleeping pattern:

Another sign of Kundalini awakening is changes in sleeping patterns, usually manifesting as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, vivid dreams, or nightmares.

These changes can indicate that your energy centers are becoming unblocked to allow for improved energy flow and release around the body, increasing alertness and reducing the sense of need for sleep.

hands in prayer with mala beads

#3: Peacefulness and resilience to trauma:

Experiencing greater peacefulness and resilience to past traumas often accompanies a healthy kundalini awakening, believed to indicate a purification and healing of energy centers and the release of old patterns, allowing for a free flow of energy.

Feelings of profound joy and peacefulness can be an indication of the alignment of energy centers or chakras, facilitating the free flow of energy throughout the body. This euphoric peace can be transformative, contributing to greater resilience in dealing with past traumas.

#4: Increased creativity:

Experiencing a surge in creative thought and expression may also be a sign of kundalini awakening, due to its effect on the chakras.

When the Kundalini energy rises, it can stimulate the sacral, solar plexus, and throat chakra, which govern creativity, confidence, and self-expression, respectively.

As a result, individuals who experience a Kundalini awakening may find that they have a renewed sense of creativity and inspiration, leading to new ideas and artistic expression, while deeper levels of intuition and spiritual insight, can further inspire their creative work.

#5: Love and compassion:

Experiencing a greater sense of love, compassion, and empathy for all beings is another sign of a healthy kundalini awakening.

This comes from a feeling of unity with all beings, which signifies a heightened awareness of the interconnectedness of all life and a deeper understanding of the divine nature of all beings and god.

This greater awareness and connection to the world around them can also lead to a greater sense of empathy, as the awakened becomes more attuned to the emotions and experiences of those around them.

a shadow of a person with a bright light over the chest with an eye in the middle

#6: Better insight and observation:

Kundalini awakening symptoms also include improved quality of observation and insight.

Attributable to energy flowing to third eye and crown chakra, individuals may experience greater awareness and discernment, enabling them to observe their thoughts and emotions more objectively and without becoming attached to them.

Kundalini awakening can also lead to profound insights into one’s life and spiritual journey, fostering a further expansion of consciousness and understanding of one’s purpose and path.

This could suggest that the energy centers are becoming aligned, allowing for a more powerful flow of energy throughout the body right up to the top chakras.

#7: Freedom from ego and material realm:

Last but certainly not least, less attachement to ego and the material realm can be one of the life-changing signs of a Kundalini awakening.

Kundalini energy can trigger a release of past traumas, fears, and limiting beliefs, which can contribute to a dissolution of the ego or individual ‘self’, instead fostering a profound sense of unity with all things.

Similarly, as the focus shifts towards spiritual growth and inner development, the pursuit of material possessions and worldly pleasures may lose their appeal, with the person finding more fulfillment in nature and during spiritual practices such as yoga practice.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed this article on kundalini awakening symptoms, why not check out our other guides on the power of kundalini below:

Photo of author
Tish Qvortrup is a Brighton-born Yogi, with a passion for living intentionally. A Yoga Alliance registered 500hr teacher, she found her calling in Yin and Yang yoga. In her spare time, she loves exploring the outdoors and cooking plant-based goodies.

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