The Kundalini Awakening and the Kundalini Rising are beautiful and deeply humbling spiritual experiences.
What is the Kundalini and what does it mean when it awakens or begins to rise?
The kundalini is sometimes described as an energy serpent that is coiled at the base of your spine (sitting snuggly in the root chakra). Its journey and goal is to ascend through the levels of your consciousness and each of your chakras.
It is a symbolic representation of your growth and development on your spiritual journey to learning and mastering all of your lessons and ultimately your enlightenment.
As the kundalini rises from the root chakra, it must pass through ‘gates’ to be able to continue to ascend. These ‘gates’ are the spiritual lessons for you to master. Once you master the energy of each of these chakras and their lessons, the kundalini can pass through and continue its journey to the higher parts of your being.
Hindu culture and the story of the Kundalini journey
The Kundalini is a representation of the goddess Shakti, who is on a journey to reunite with her counterpart, Lord Shiva.
Shakti represents physicality, the material world and creation (manifested reality) and Shiva represents pure consciousness and lack of matter. The union of the two creates a complete being, wholeness and inner peace within each of us.
Shakti is a representation of our consciousness and spiritual evolution, unfolding at every stage of our spiritual development until we reach ultimate enlightenment and the crown chakra & pure consciousness.
The Gates and the Archetypes
The seals/gates that the kundalini must pass through are the lessons or parts of yourself that you must master.
Each chakra has a set of archetypes that best determine what the health of that chakra is. Imagine that the negative and positive archetypes are the parts of yourself that you need to master in order to have a healthy and balanced chakra and to become more enlightened.
Once this has been done on a lower chakra, the kundalini can continue its journey up the body and vibrations to the higher chakra.
Though each chakra has an archetype and an element of yourself to master, not every chakra has a gate for the kundalini to pass through. There are actually only 5…
The first is called Annamaya: This is where we gain all of the wisdom and teachings from having a physical body in a physical experience. By honouring and respecting our physical body, we open ourselves to be able to be in a state of physical balance and spiritual growth.
The second is Pranamaya: This is where we begin to master our subtle body/energy body and the connection our breath and vital life-force gives us to attuning that to our physical body. By mastering this connection and our breath as part of our vital force, we unlock the second gate and the kundalini continues to rise.
The third is Manomaya: This gate provides the bridge between mind and body. It connects to our nervous system as an expression of our thoughts or awareness. By mastering the mind-body connection and the way our thoughts and consciousness creates our reality, we open ourselves to connect to higher-vibrations and deeper knowings of consciousness itself.
The fourth is Vijanamaya: This is where we begin to fully master illuminating the truth of ourselves, others and the world. This gate is also known as the wisdom body as we come into full activation of it once we master our physical, energetic and mental selves. Passing through this gate requires us to be unemotional and unjudgemental of the truth, seeing it with the clarity and unfiltered rawness that is its true essence.
The fifth is Anadamaya: The term “I AM” is fitting for this gate. Once the kundalini reaches here, we are no longer seeing ourselves as separate from everything else, we see ourselves as a part of everything. Existing everywhere at once, we begin to feel wholeness, oneness and integrated.
To better understand how we come to create these connections, heal these woundings and pass through each of these gates – you may like to look further into the archetypes of each chakra in more detail.
The kundalini awakening is a journey that can be as liberating or uncomfortable as you chose to make it. Remember: this is your journey to enlightenment and you can choose to stay put and push against the growth, or you can choose to gently follow the current upstream and unfold like the wings of a newly transformed butterfly.
Keeping the same metaphor of the caterpillar to butterfly transformation. Unlocking and mastering each gate is like the metamorphosis of the caterpillar in the cocoon. Every cell in its body is changing, re-arranging and growing into something truly transformational. It is shedding and letting go of the DNA configurations that it no longer needs and replacing them with new patterns and sequences, in order to leave it’s former self behind and to complete its transformation.
Benefits of Kundalini Awakening
The benefits of the Kundalini awakening and rising is that you are becoming less and less affected and ruled by beliefs and conditioning shaped by other people and outside influences. You are becoming bit by bit, more and more, ever closer to your true and natural nature. Inching ever closer to peacefulness and inner wisdom that has always been available to you, waiting for you to clear the energetic clutter and claim it.
As the kundalini rises, your awareness, consciousness and physical vibration rises too. You become more connected, in flow and in control of your life and your reality.
You can let go of what is weighing you down and embrace simple spiritual truths that reunite you with your higher-self and the universe/god/consciousness.
This should come with an energy warning label too because as the Kundalini rises, it unleashes all of the unhealed and unresolved issues being stored in your energy body. Forcing them to the surface for you to acknowledge and clear. The kundalini encourages us to purge those issues from the body and creates a new energy pattern in its wake. Once that re-attunes you and your energy body, once you decide to let those old issues go.
The problems faced as I mentioned above are only as ‘problematic’ as you make them. As growth can be as easy or uncomfortable as you make it. Giving either resistance or embracing flow and moving with the current will give you a feeling of ascension and enlightenment or it will give you that ‘growth is hard’ mentality.
As kundalini rises from one chakra to the next, it stirs the energy there and therefore the unresolved traumas. This can cause uncomfortability and a re-living of any particularly traumatic experiences as it reawakens the energy and reactions. We can either push them further down and repress them, choosing to stay right where we are… or we can unpack and embrace them, choosing to let them go and finally resolve them.
What does the Kundalini Awakening feel like?
There is no such thing as a typical or normal kundalini experience because everyone is different and experiences energy differently.
For some of the new children coming through at the moment, their kundalini is already activated, for others, it unfolds and develops as they age and develop, for some, it can take focus, intention and attention to consciously evolve past their comfort zone and for others who aren’t as far along in their development journey, it may not be in this lifetime for them.
Some people will find it easier to let go and heal than others. They may already have tools at their disposal or be further along in their development journey or have less unresolved issues or traumas.
Interestingly, a serious trauma can be the exact thing that awakens the kundalini and sets it on it’s path to enlightenment. Sometimes, that traumatic experience can be one of the biggest teachers and catalysts in the kundalini’s journey. These events can be anything from a car accident to the passing of a loved one.
The journey it takes can be seemingly seamless or it can be ‘jolty’. For example, we can experience a root chakra awakening and the kundalini is able to rise to the sacral chakra, but may stay there for years before we are able to heal and transform the pent up sacral centre energies for the kundalini to continue on its path.
Another interesting point about how you change during the kundalini awakening is that nothing in your outer reality shifts too drastically as you adjust. You have a deep and true connection to the Divine/Consciousness, feeling clear and fluid in your existence. There is no judgement, only observation and ‘being’. But the changes this brings to our outer life are ours and ours alone to decide and make happen.
Whatever we were doing before we awakened is what we will return to, it is our inside that has shifted to reflect this awakening. Though now we are in a better position and a higher vibration to be able to create tidal shifts if we chose to. A higher vibration creates a more powerful manifestation, not to mention to the congruence of your energy now that it has, at last, been cleared, aligned and lifted.
Exercises to work with Kundalini
There are many ways we can engage, work with and awaken the kundalini energy. Practices that are yogic or tantric are naturally inclined to help us remember our oneness and dissolve the illusion of separatism. The chant ‘OM’/’AUM’ is designed to encourage the union of Shiva and Shakti as it is the word of creation/primal vibration.
One of my favourite ways to stimulate the kundalini rising is by doing what I call a kundalini breath…
This is done by laying flat on your back on the floor. As you inhale you arch your back and fill your stomach with air. As you exhale you press your back into the floor so the arch of your lower back presses flat into the floor and your belly is emptied of air and falls naturally inward.
This not only stimulates your kundalini but also your whole energy flow and psychic senses.
The kundalini rising and awakening is the path to physical, mental, emotional and energetic well-being, balance and harmony. To even start on this path and make any progress is to know yourself infinitely better. To develop at every stage is to go deeper into the enigma of who you truly are and into discovering the deeper truths within you that are reflected in the universe and in the whole of creation itself.
The kundalini path unravelling gives us greater wisdom and power that we might be able to illuminate the path for others and bring ourselves harmony and inner peace.
If you’d like to begin your journey by clearing out and connecting to your roots, click here to download my grounding guide and learn how to release and regulate your energy and begin to unlock the first gate.