Juice bars? Pseudo-Eastern spirituality? Tight pants on skinny girls pre-brunch? Yoga today is an urban trend, growing quickly in popularity since the turn of the 21st Century. The irony of yoga's "now" status as a popular workout is that the practice is among the oldest rituals known to man.
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Is it dangerous? What do I do if my kundalini energy is waking up? Having owned a Kundalini Yoga studio and being a psychotherapist, I get a lot of phone calls and questions around these topics. Kundalini energy is just the basic force of life, the energy of awareness, that exists in all of us. When that happens, we can become who we are meant to be and wake up to our destiny. The soul has taken a body and come here for a reason, and if you are not living out that purpose, kundalini can show up as disruptive so you can change course.
My own awakening started in , grew in intensity through , and has been continuing on, if a bit more gently, ever since. Below are eight signs of a kundalini awakening.
In , it became clear that I needed to let go of a dependency on alcohol. This was not at all easy, but I see it as the early stages of my system clearing out old habits that would not serve me in my life, and not allow my kundalini to awaken. After getting sober, my life as I knew it really started to fall apart. My job was so stressful that I had insomnia due to anxiety, my marriage was disintegrating, and I was contemplating how I might escape the whole disaster.
The structures that I had put in place to prop up my unhealed self were no longer functioning, and I was becoming aware that the whole thing was a lie. This part of the process can look similar to a mid-life crisis, or a Saturn return in your astrological chart, where everything that you had committed to previously begins to dissolve or be taken away. Old habits and addictions, relationships, family connections, diet, work and career — everything comes up for review.
We can resist this process out of fear, but usually that only makes the changes more painful. This is the beginning of a journey that will take courage, discipline, and support to make it through. Some people will experience physical and energetic symptoms at this point.
Mine tended to be emotional rather than physical anxiety, depression, despair , but many people speak of very obvious signs shaking, visual disturbance, inability to relax, a major rush of energy, a near-death experience.
The nervous system is unable to handle the amount of energy that is wanting to move, and this can show up in a myriad of ways. The important thing is not to obsess over the symptoms, but find ways discussed below to allow the energy to move by healing the body and opening up the channels of energy. People seek changes in diet, seeking out healers, leaving relationships, changing jobs, all done in an attempt to respond to what is happening on the inside.
For me, I was shaken up enough to call in sick from work, go for a hike in the middle of the day, and try a form of yoga I had never attempted before. That Kundalini Yoga class ended up being the breadcrumb that I followed which would change my whole life. Once we are desperate enough to be willing to try new things, we become available to receive support and miracles from unexpected sources.
For me, it started with that first Kundalini Yoga class. Soon, I had the courage to request to work part-time. Giving myself more downtime to heal my nervous system, allowed me to get in touch with what was truly going on underneath my anxiety, stress, and despair. Within months of practicing this form of yoga, I saw very clearly that my marriage was ending, and I had the courage to let it go. Gurmukh , a Kundalini Yoga teacher, came to my town to offer a workshop, and I was given a 40 day meditation, which gave me the daily support to accomplish all these changes.
We meet the right people, attend the right workshop, stumble across the right book, find the right yoga studio…whatever we need ends up showing up at the right time in the right way. Once we start to make these changes, we can expect to become more sensitive to things that we used to be able to tolerate.
No more hot dogs and frozen peas for me. I learned how to cook wholesome, vegetarian food, and became more aware of the media and entertainment that I was consuming.
Perhaps we realize we need to move out of the roommate situation and find our own apartment, so that we have space to take care of ourselves, do our work, eat right, and minimize chaos. The nervous system is undergoing changes to be able to handle more energy, and this leads to increased sensitivity. We know when our old habits are starting to sound enticing, or when our heart is beginning to shut down.
We pay more attention to our intuition, and begin to develop a relationship with our soul, our Inner Teacher. What other people say or think about us becomes less important to us, because our inner compass is more reliable and clearer.
Perhaps we become aware of areas of the body that need some attention, especially in the lower chakras. If we feel ungrounded, we tune in to what we need to feel more stable and connected to our body and the Earth.
If we feel a lot of shame, and that our creativity is blocked, maybe we need to work on past sexual trauma or wounding. If we feel blocked in moving forward with our life, maybe we need to work on our core, our navel area, to feel more connected to our personal power. We become our own healers by becoming aware of what we need in the moment, and learning the skills to take care of ourselves. We need time on a daily basis to work with our own energy, clear blocks, quiet the mind, and give ourselves an opportunity to look beyond ego and personality, to our deeper selves.
In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, this time is called Sadhana, meaning a daily personal practice or discipline. Knowing the tools that lead to inner transformation is a first step, but in order to actually heal and evolve, we need to use them regularly.
When we become more aware of ourselves, we become more aware of the world around us. Our energy has healed through the lower chakras, and now it can move into our Heart Center.
Our compassion for our self leads to compassion for others. We wake up to the suffering of others, and because our heart has been opened, we feel it more intensely. The age-old truth of the interconnectedness of all beings becomes an inner knowing, instead of just a thought. Knowledge has become wisdom through our experience, and we desire to use our wisdom and compassion in the service of others. Once we feel more settled into our own body, we feel a closer connection to Mother Earth, that which supports our bodies and lives in every way.
We can no longer turn away when we see injustice or environmental degradation. The task becomes, how do we continue to practice self-care, while we also act to protect and preserve what is sacred to us. The final indication of the kundalini awakening, is a growing sense of purpose. The master of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, called it destiny. We can express who we are, and feel our connection to the Divine more and more.
We can begin to do what we came here to do. Maybe that means we become a yoga teacher. Or we write. Or we create art. Or we run a non-profit organization. Or we become a great parent. Or we volunteer in our community.
And the Universe tends to support us in doing this, giving us opportunities to share what we have learned and experienced. To become who we were meant to be. To live in integrity with our own spirit. Try out a Kundalini Yoga class. This ancient technology was designed to clear out the energetic blocks and stimulate your own healing potential. If you are experiencing anxiety and uncomfortable symptoms, stay in the body, not in your the head. Pay attention to what bothers your nervous system, and avoid those things, especially before bed or upon waking.
Increase self-care. Take it easy. Decrease stress. Find ways to serve others. Trust the process. Find others who are like-minded, either in person or through a virtual community.
Develop your daily practice of yoga and meditation. Eat well, let go of old habits and addictions. Know that you are not alone, and that more and more people are being called to leave their old lives behind them, and step forward into the life they are meant to live.
Rachel Zelaya Surinderjot Kaur has been practicing yoga since she was 12, but her life changed dramatically when she began practicing Kundalini Yoga at age She has since dedicated herself to making the practice more accessible to more people.
Upon her return, she devoted herself to the task of opening up a community-based Kundalini Yoga Center in Boulder, with the help of dozens of other teachers and students. Her mission is to make this life-changing practice available to all who are interested. She is a Registered Psychotherapist and has certifications in the Yoga of 12 Step Recovery combining yoga and 12 Step meetings , and SuperHealth Kundalini Yoga for addictions, trauma and stress , as well as specialty Level 2 trainings in Authentic Relationships, Conscious Communication, and Lifecycles and LifeStyles.
Log In Sign Up. Gaia Staff. December 12, Test Alert message found here and some really long text to go with it in case of wrapping I want to see it Kundalini Meditation for Beginners. Want to learn more about Kundalini Meditation?
Watch this full-length video free! I would like to sign up to receive emails from Gaia. Eight Signs of a Kundalini Awakening My own awakening started in , grew in intensity through , and has been continuing on, if a bit more gently, ever since. Physical, Emotional and Energetic Symptoms Some people will experience physical and energetic symptoms at this point.
Courage, Willingness and Desperation to Try New Things The intensity of these experiences will often be enough to drive people to try new things. Miracles and Synchronicities Appear and You Receive Support From Unexpected Places Once we are desperate enough to be willing to try new things, we become available to receive support and miracles from unexpected sources.
Increased Sensitivity to External Things Food, Media, People and Places Once we start to make these changes, we can expect to become more sensitive to things that we used to be able to tolerate.
Introduction to Kundalini: The Yoga of Awareness
The free flow of energy flows up through the chakras leads to an expanded state of consciousness—but is it safe? According to Tantra, kundalini energy rests like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. When this dormant energy flows freely upward through the seven chakras energy centers and leads to an expanded state of consciousness, it's known as a kundalini awakening. For some, the experience can be blissful and filled with feelings of love and a sense of the interconnectedness of all things. For others, it can feel more like a bad drug trip, or even a psychotic break, where practitioners go through altered sleep cycles, changes in identity, or depression.
Is a Kundalini Awakening Safe?
Is it dangerous? What do I do if my kundalini energy is waking up? Having owned a Kundalini Yoga studio and being a psychotherapist, I get a lot of phone calls and questions around these topics. Kundalini energy is just the basic force of life, the energy of awareness, that exists in all of us. When that happens, we can become who we are meant to be and wake up to our destiny.
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