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What is Kundalini Spirit? (+ Activation Process)

What is Kundalini Spirit? (+ Activation Process)

Have you ever wondered what the Kundalini spirit is? 

In this article, we’ll learn about the Kundalini energy, the benefits of the Kundalini activation process for your chakras, and effective ways to awaken this innate life force so you can start unlocking your chakras in the most harmonious way possible.

Let’s take a closer look at this life force energy and learn how it drives chakra awakening and alignment.

What is Kundalini Energy?

Kundalini is derived from the Sanskrit word “kundal” which means “coiled”, so Kundalini spirit or Kundalini energy, as it is also known, basically means coiled energy. Kundalini is often symbolized by a serpent, and you’ll find it referred to as the Kundalini Snake or Kundalini Shakti which means Serpent Power in Sanskrit.

Just like a serpent, Kundalini energy is said to be coiled around the base of our spine at our Root Chakra. It is typically thought of as divine feminine energy, which gives life and rebirth.

Kundalini is often referred to as an innate, dormant energy within each of us which is waiting to be activated.

According to spiritual teacher Sadhguru:

“Kundalini is that treasure within you which has been left unused, untapped. You could use that energy to transform this into a completely different dimension altogether; a dimension that you cannot imagine.”


Once you’ve awakened the Kundalini Snake and tapped into its power, you will experience an inexplicable feeling of enlightenment as a result of the energy coiling around your chakra points as they open.

What Are the Origins of Kundalini

The concept of Kundalini dates back over 2000 years, although its exact origin is unclear. Kundalini is mentioned in Vedic texts (ancient Hindu scripts) from the 9th century and was also used as a name for a goddess in Tantrism and Shaktism (a form of Hinduism which worships Shakti or Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother) in the 11th century. It became widely used in Hatha yoga during the 15th century and later in the Yoga Upanishads in the 16th century. 

While Kundalini’s origins are tied to Hindu traditions, many spiritual practitioners have embraced its existence as a term for the life force energy within us which motivates our being and supports our spiritual awakening. 

Kundalini activation
The Kundalini Activation Process

Understanding Kundalini and Chakras

The chakras are energy centers within our subtle body (sometimes thought of as spinning vortexes of energy). There are thought to be as many as 114 chakras in the subtle body, but we often focus on seven primary chakras in the physical body:

  1. Root Chakra
  2. Sacral Chakra
  3. Solar Plexus Chakra
  4. Heart Chakra
  5. Throat Chakra
  6. Third Eye Chakra
  7. Crown Chakra

Our chakras are connected by an intricate network of energy channels, known as nadis. There are thought to be 7200 nadis, which transport divine energy around our being. There are three main nadis:

  1. Sushumna Nadi (the central channel of energy)
  2. Ida Nadi (the left channel of energy)
  3. Pingada Nadi (the right channel of energy)

Dormant Kundalini energy is situated at the base of the spine at the seat of our Root Chakra (also known as Muladhara or Base Chakra) in a coiled position like a dormant snake. During the awakening process, Kundalini energy rises up the chakras, through the nadis until it reaches the Crown Chakra situated above our heads. 

Chakras and their physical and emotional associations
The 7 Chakra – System

What is a Kundalini Awakening

Kundalini awakenings are interpreted in a variety of ways by different spiritual healers.

Some people view a Kundalini awakening as a sudden surge of positive inner energy which can result in a wave of intense emotions. Others consider it as a moment of self-actualization – a time when you reach your full potential as a human being.

Another interpretation is that a Kundalini awakening is a more subtle, gradual process which can vary for each person. In her book Transcendence Calling: The Power of Kundalini Rising and Spiritual Enlightenment, spiritual teacher Monique Rebelle describes a Kundalini awakening in the following way:

“At first, I noticed that soul, while timeless, appears on the background of physical reality, as a creator of itself, in a burst what I describe as wakeful, breathless inspiration.”

Monique Rebelle

So while the energetic awakening happens from within, there’s an element of conscious detachment that allows you to witness the event from an outside point of view while experiencing the whole process.

Kundalini awakening manifests differently for different people, and there is no wrong or right experience. However, there are some telltale signs described in yogic tradition which we can use to determine whether we’re experiencing this life-changing awakening.

Kundalini meditation
Kundalini Meditation

What Are the Stages of a Kundalini Awakening?

There are three primary stages which are commonly found in a Kundalini awakening —Arambha, Ghata, and Third-Eye Awakening.

Stage 1 – Arambha – Starting Point

This stage is known as Root Chakra cleansing or healing and is associated with physical, mental, and emotional discomfort.

As the first energy point, our Root Chakra (Muladhara) symbolizes stability, balance, and strength, and it’s where the dormant snake resides. During a Kundalini awakening, cosmic energy starts to cleanse and unblock this chakra point.

Some people report painful side effects from Arambha, and this can be particularly true if you’re suffering from a blocked Root Chakra. That’s why many energy healers recommend unblocking and balancing your Muladhara before attempting a Kundalini awakening. 

Kundalini believers see these pains as manifestations of past life traumas that must be experienced to begin the healing process.

Again, it’s important to understand that pain levels vary. Not all who start their awakening journey experience pain and discomfort, but some common symptoms include:

  • Feelings of vulnerability
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle twitching
  • Depression
  • Feelings of helplessness

Arambha is considered a preparatory phase. While it can be the most unpleasant of the three stages, it also represents the beginning of the spiritual process towards harmony.

Stage 2 – Ghata – Cleansing

Ghata means elimination in Sanskrit and it marks the end of the pain from the initial stage and the beginning of renewal. During this stage Kundalini energy moves through your Sacral Chakra and Solar Plexus Chakra.

This is the stage when you start recalibrating your thought process subconsciously. You start questioning some of the pre-existing beliefs you have acquired from your childhood and environment.

Individuals who experience this stage often report a deeper, more profound, and divine connection. As you start seeing the correlation between your negative actions and their impact on the physical world, you increase your innate desire to elevate your spiritual awareness.

This increased awareness propels you to drop anything holding you back from realizing your true potential.

Stage 3 – Third-Eye Awakening

This is the last stage of Kundalini awakening and is often described as a blissful experience. It involves the Kundalini energy moving through the Heart Chakra and Throat Chakra to the Third Eye Chakra.

After dropping all the negative habits and limiting beliefs from the previous stage, you’re now reaching a phase of complete mental and spiritual clarity.

People who reach this stage don’t only have a renewed sense of self-worth, their presence literally feels different.

As the female serpent unblocks your Heart Chakra, you no longer get confused with the duality of your true essence. You’re a physical being as much as you are spiritual. You gain profound insights from being able to tap into the universe’s wisdom in daily life decisions.

From an outsider’s perspective, any person experiencing this Third-Eye awakening exudes a deep sense of calm.

This stage is also marked by your brain’s natural ability to enter a meditative state at will. Focusing comes naturally, which helps you set daily, realistic priorities.

Heart centre
You may experience blissful feelings as Kundalini Spirit moves through your heart centre

The Benefits of a Kundalini Awakening for Your Chakras

The Kundalini activation process is a powerful experience with proven benefits, especially for people who continue to practice yoga and chakra meditation.

For chakra practitioners, the essential benefit is energy harmonization – life force energy will flow equally through all your chakras, removing energy blockages and supporting harmonious well  energy flow results in a healthy well-being.

Let’s look at the benefits of a Kundalini awakening in four areas – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Kundalini Awakening Physical Benefits

This can be the most apparent manifestation of energetic awakening. Common physical benefits include:

  • Strengthened immune system
  • Increased physical energy
  • Greater sexual energy
  • Better sleep
  • Less physical pain and aches
  • Improved posture

Kundalini Awakening Mental Benefits

During a Kundalini awakening, your upper chakras are activated (your Third Eye Chakra and Crown Chakra) and this elevates your thought processes. Benefits include:

  • Better decision-making skills
  • Improved communication skills
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Enhanced focus
  • Improved memory

Kundalini Awakening Emotional Benefits

As much as you see improved mental health, the awakening also boosts your emotional intelligence. Other emotional benefits include:

  • Higher self esteem
  • Improved mood
  • Greater connection with others
  • Less self-doubt
  • Greater empathy
  • Increased resilience to criticism
  • Greater compassion

Kundalini Awakening Spiritual Benefits

Perhaps the most important of all the benefits, is the spiritual aspects which include: 

  • An understanding of your life’s purpose and true nature.
  • A sense of oneness with the universe
  • Access to divine wisdom
  • A better understanding of life’s divine cycle
  • An ability to practice deep meditation
  • Psychic experiences

A Kundalini awakening has multiple benefits, but they don’t always manifest at once. They show up gradually as the energy flows from one chakra point to another, and the symptoms may manifest differently for each person.

Kundalini mudra
Kundalini mudras are a useful tool for awakening your life force energy

Common Symptoms of a Kundalini Awakening

As we’ve discussed, a Kundalini awakening can be subtle or intense. Either way, you’re bound to experience some profound effects from this spiritual awakening process.

As mentioned earlier, the signs vary. They can be a mix of both uncomfortable emotions, physical symptoms, blissful feelings and everything in between.

Here are some common symptoms (sometimes referred to the Kundalini syndrome) people experience during the Kundalini activation process:

  • Heightened sensitivities: Everything feels amplified, and you  may feel more than usual.
  • Muscle spasms: You can experience sudden, intense, and involuntary muscle twitches.
  • Letting go of past trauma: You are able to process past trauma and negative emotions.These experiences may remain in your memory but they no longer hold you emotionally captive
  • Sleeping problems: You can struggle with getting a good night’s sleep during this awakening process. 
  • Surge of creativity: You may feel this unexplainable desire to create and build something as a form of self-expression
  • Pain in the spine: Pain in your backbone can accompany the Kundalini energy as it works its way up your chakra points
  • Kundalini headaches: Increased blood circulation to the brain as well as energy vibrations can result in Kundalini headaches. You can combat this with deep breathing or alternate nostril breathing. 
  • Physical heat and vibrations: You could feel some internal heat and vibrations flowing around your body that come and go without warning.
  • Lucid dreams: Dreams may become more frequent and more detailed.
  • Emotional fluctuations: You could feel hyped one time and feel down minutes after. This emotional release can leave you feeling tired and depleted.
  • Anxiety and depression: You may suddenly fall into a depressive state for no obvious reason.
  • Food cravings: You may have unusual cravings for food you don’t often eat. Or you may suddenly go off some of your favorite foods. 
  • Increased focus: On the other hand, some people experience increased focus during an awakening. They no longer have issues completing one task at a time, and find it easier to zone out as they work on a project.
  • Feelings of freedom: Ego no longer has a place in your daily life. Material things become inconsequential as you become more concerned with your spiritual growth.
  • Blissful feelings: Some people report a profound sense of bliss, with pleasurable sensations surging through the body as the chakras align.

These symptoms may not make sense at first glance. They don’t have patterns and can appear all together or one at a time. At times, their intensity is so low that you’ll only realize you were experiencing these symptoms once you reach the last stage of the awakening.

Sustainable Non-Slip Yoga Mats from Complete Unity Yoga
Sustainable Non-Slip Yoga Mats from Complete Unity Yoga

What Causes a Kundalini Blockage?

It’s clear that Kundalini can have profound benefits for our physical, emotional and spiritual health. So why aren’t we all awakening our Kundalini so we can reach our full potential?

The short answer is not everyone can.

Many of us have energy blocks which prevent us from tapping into our internal power, and often we may not even be aware of them. Common causes of a Kundalini blockage include:

  • Past life trauma
  • Negative lifestyle choices (e.g. poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, addictions)
  • Limiting family values
  • Cultural systems and traditions

If you’re familiar with the chakra system, then you will notice that many of the issues that can block our Kundalini are the same factors that can cause our chakras to become unbalanced our blocked – that’s because our whole energy system is connected, so a blockage in our chakras will inevitably prevent Kundalini from passing through the nadis to our other chakras. 

Overcoming these blockages isn’t always straight forward. They’re often so engraved in our subconscious that we fail to realize that they are even holding us back in the first place. There are however some healing practices that can help.

symptoms of a root chakra blockage
Symptoms of Root Chakra Blockage

How to Awaken the Kundalini Spirit

Don’t lose heart if you feel like you’re struggling to tap into your Kundalini spirit. As with most spiritual endeavors, you can’t just turn it on simply by thinking about it – it takes time, practice, and patience.

There are several theories about activating the Kundalini spirit, but the following practices are widely used by chakra healers to support the flow of spiritual energy and support Kundalini awakening.

1. Kundalini Meditation

Kundalini meditation is one of the most popular and accessible forms of spiritual practice. It’s a mindful exercise that involves deep breathing techniques, mantras, and mudras (hand movements).

Even if the goal isn’t to awaken the Kundalini spirit, meditation has research-backed benefits, which can benefit people from all walks of life. 

Consistent Kundalini meditation is seen as an effective means of cultivating a spiritual practice that enriches your inner world. Experts believe this stable energy flow creates an ideal realm for the Kundalini energy to arise.

Here is a simple Kundalini meditation flow to practice at home:

  1. Sit on the floor or on a chair with a straight back.
  2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  3. Begin by chanting a Kundalini mantra such as “sat nam” which means “truth is my identity”. When this mantra is chanted it is said to clear the mind and awaken the soul. As you inhale, say “sat” and pronounce “nam” on your exhale. 
  4. Return your attention to the breath (also known as Pranayam). Slow your breathing down so you inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds. There are lots of other Pranayama techniques to choose from so experiment with what feels good to you. 
  5. Visualize your Kundalini energy rising from your Root Chakra and spreading up through your chakras to the Crown Chakra, filling you with light and spiritual truth. 
  6. You can begin by meditating for just 5 minutes and then increase the time as you become more comfortable. 
How to do Nadi Shodhana

2. Kundalini Yoga Poses

Kundalini is a central concept in Hatha yoga but it can also be found in other types of yoga traditions. It typically involves six distinct steps:

  1. Opening chant
  2. Pranayama (breathing exercises coupled with spine stretching)
  3. Kriya (postures, mudras, sounds, and meditations)
  4. Relaxation
  5. Meditation
  6. Closing chant

Kundalini yoga poses are particularly interesting as each posture represents a chakra point. Practicing them in sequence, along with their corresponding chants, helps activate the chakras.

Let’s take a closer look at how they’re done.

Posture No. 1 – Tree Pose or Vrikshasana for the Root Chakra

Vrikshasana is a classic standing pose in yoga which is meant to improve balance and stability. You start by standing comfortably, bending your right knee, and putting your right foot against your left thigh.

Then you raise your arms, placing your palms together in a praying position. You must keep your spine straight and ensure your body is balanced. Start taking in deep breaths and releasing them slowly.

Repeat the steps with your other leg.

Tree Pose for the Root Chakra
Tree Pose for the Root Chakra

Posture No. 2 – Goddess Pose or Savasana for the Sacral Chakra

This posture is associated with female power and strengthens the lower part of the body, including the glutes, calves, and ankles.

Start by standing in a wide stance. Turn your toes out and bend your knees to bring your body in a wide-legged squat. Put your palms in a praying position. Hold this position for a minute before returning to a relaxed, standing position.

Goddess Pose for the Sacral Chakra
Goddess Pose for the Sacral Chakra

Posture No. 3 – Boat Pose or Navasana for the Solar Plexus Chakra

Navasana is for strengthening your core and helping improve digestion. It’s also an excellent yoga posture for strengthening the spine.

Begin by lying on your back, feet together, and arms by your sides. Simultaneously lift your chest and feet off the ground, creating a V-shape formation with your body. Ensure you keep your arms stretched toward your feet. Hold the position for about two minutes while taking steady, deep breaths.

Boat Pose for the Solar Plexus Chakra
Boat Pose for the Solar Plexus Chakra

Posture No. 4 – Camel Pose or Ustrasana for the Heart Chakra

Ustrasana is a powerful Kundalini yoga pose which reduces back or spine stiffness which can often come from prolonged slouching.

Start by kneeling on the floor with your soles pointing upward. Keep your knees and shoulders aligned. Slowly bend your back and grip your ankles with your hands for balance.

Camel Pose for the Heart Chakra
Camel Pose for the Heart Chakra

Posture No. 5 – Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana for the Throat Chakra

This posture strengthens the legs, back, chest, and neck. Start by lying flat on the ground. Bend your knees, bringing your feet closer to your hips.

Keep your arms on your side as you slowly lift your body, creating an arched position. Hold this posture for around 30 seconds.

Bridge Pose for the Throat Chakra
Bridge Pose for the Throat Chakra

Posture No. 6 – Easy Pose Or Sukhasana for the Third-Eye Chakra

This is an all-time favorite and a vital base posture in Kundalini yoga practice. You sit cross-legged and try to arrive at your most comfortable position without slouching.

Hand gestures are optional, and most practitioners settle with simply sitting down while regulating their breathing after the previous postures.

Easy Pose for the Third Eye Chakra
Easy Pose for the Third Eye Chakra

Posture No. 7 – Corpse Pose or Shavasana for the Crown Chakra

Shavasana is all about toning it down. You lie down on the ground and steady your breathing while thinking of positive thoughts and focusing on awakening your inner power.

Corpse Pose for the Crown Chakra
Corpse Pose for the Crown Chakra

3. Kundalini Mudra

Mudras (sacred hand gestures) are another popular tool in chakra healing. The Kundalini mudra is a hand gesture which is specifically designed to help awaken our Kundalini. It is believed to bring together our masculine and feminine aspects which energizes both our Kundalini and the lower chakras (the Root Chakra and Sacral Chakra) allowing Kundalini to flow.

To practice Kundalini Mudra:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position and keep you back straight
  2. Extend your hands in front of your stomach.
  3. Make a fist with each hand
  4. Straighten your left index finger and slide it into the right fist so that you have one fist on top of the other.
  5. Place your right thumb on top of the left index finger and wrap your right hand around the left index finger so it is completely covered. 
  6. Hold the Kundalini Mudra for about 10 minutes.

You can practice Kundalini Mudra alongside your Kundalini yoga practice or any of the other awakening tools in this guide. 

Kundalini mudra demonstration
Kundalini Mudra

4. Kundalini Tantra

Kundalini Tantra is all about achieving balance. It draws its practice from Tantra philosophy, which teaches that the universe is divided into two different, inseparable aspects:

1. Shiva – the Masculine aspect

2. Shakti – the feminine aspect

The goal is to achieve unity between these two entities to pave the road for enlightenment and liberation of one’s mind, body, and soul.

Like Kundalini yoga, Kundalini Tantra involves mudras, postures, and pranayama.

The main difference comes in Tantra’s inclusions of rituals, visualizations, mantra recitations, and prayers.

While this practice is often linked to sexual pleasure and practiced by couples, solo Kundalini Tantra is becoming quite popular as well. It’s seen as a meditative practice for cultivating one’s sensuality by loving one’s own body.

This profound appreciation of one’s sensuality helps level the emotions, which is essential in properly activating the Kundalini spirit and supporting our chakras, particularly the Sacral Chakra which is concerned with sexuality and creative energy.

5. Kundalini Reiki

This method fits anyone who prefers a guided awakening. Kundalini Reiki is an energy therapy which is usually conducted by a Reiki master (although you can perform Reiki Chakra Healing at home if you prefer).

During a reiki session, the Reiki master will activate and channel the Kundalini energy while removing blockages so that the Kundalini Serpent can move freely. Like the Kundalini Tantra, visualizations may be involved.

There are usually three stages to Kundalini Reiki:

  • Attunement: This is the preparatory stage where the Reiki master opens up the flow of the Kundalini spirit. It involves unblocking your Root Chakra, which can include physical discomfort, especially if you have a Root Chakra imbalance or blockage. (Learn how to unblock your Root Chakra.)
  • Activation: This stage involves activating the Kundalini energy and enabling it to flow through your Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart and Throat Chakra.
  • Augmentation: Once the energy flow into the first five chakra points is regulated, the Reiki practitioners will move on to the Third Eye and Crown chakras. 

If you would like the benefits of a Kundalini Reiki session but with something a little more hands on then you may enjoy a Kundalini massage.

Kundalini reiki
Kundalini Reiki

Final Thoughts

We all possess the Kundalini spirit, but only some have experienced the transformative process of a Kundalini awakening. Activating it will take time and often involves some physical, mental, and emotional discomfort before you can reap the rewards.

Still, if you have engaged in any kind of chakra healing then you’ll know the importance of harmonizing your energy levels, and the huge benefits it can bring. By using the techniques for Kundalini awakening in this article you can rebalance your chakras and possibly even find that rare connection with your divine self.


  • Clare Smith

    Hi, I’m Clare – writer and publisher of Chakra Practice. I’m a certified chakra energy healer and a philosophy major. I love researching and writing about everything to do with chakras, including trying out new crystals, candles, essential oils – anything that can help me in my practice.