Kundalini Meditation: Benefits, How To Try, and Dangers (2022)

Kundalini Meditation: Benefits, How To Try, and Dangers (1)Share on Pinterest

“Kundalini” is a Sanskrit term meaning “coiled,” and it refers to a specific type of meditation that’s believed to have the ability to fully awaken your potential for awareness.

According to the theory behind Kundalini meditation, life energy lies at the base of your spine (root chakra), coiled like a snake — and that’s where its name comes from.

In Kundalini meditation, you can work to awaken this energy and achieve enlightenment through a combination of techniques, including:

  • deep breathing
  • mudras (hand movements)
  • mantras (phrases)
  • physical movements

These exercises are said to rouse dormant energy in your body and move it along your chakras (energy centers) until it reaches the point of release at the seventh (crown) chakra, your head.

This release of energy promotes internal balance, awakening, and enlightenment.

First, some cultural context

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Kundalini practices are at least a few thousand years old, though scholars don’t have an exact date of origin.


Kundalini teachings first appeared in The Upanishads, a collection of Hindu religious texts. Estimates suggest composition of these sacred writings began somewhere around 800 to 500 B.C.

This is the first known record of Kundalini meditation, but it’s widely believed oral descriptions of Kundalini meditation and yoga predate these written ones.

In its early stages, Kundalini was a private philosophy. Only students who had spent years studying meditation and spirituality were given the opportunity to learn from Kundalini teachers.

Even when Kundalini evolved from meditative teachings to include physical practices (yoga), it remained unknown outside of these select teachers and students.

This was the case for thousands of years, until Yogi Bhajan began teaching Kundalini yoga, which involves Kundalini meditation, in the United States.

Introduction in the West

In 1968, Yogi Bhajan ended the secrecy around Kundalini by introducing Kundalini yoga — of which Kundalini meditation is a big component — to the Western world.

He believed this would help people see improvements to their life and overall well-being by giving them the opportunity to experience a different type of consciousness.

Over a period of more than 30 years, he taught thousands of meditation and yoga techniques and founded the Kundalini Research Institute, where he trained other students to become teachers of the practice.

(Video) 10 reasons you should never start kundalini meditation

In the news

In 2020, several people who’d previously practiced under Bhajan or worked closely with him came forward with allegations of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse against him. While many practitioners still believe in the benefits of Kundalini yoga, there are questions about what the future of Kundalini yoga should look like.

People who practice Kundalini meditation report experiencing a range of benefits. These include:

  • increased mindfulness and compassion
  • improved communication with self and others
  • inspiration
  • a clear mind
  • a more developed sense of self
  • greater purpose and intent in your actions

Some of these benefits are supported by research that looked at Kundalini yoga, which typically involves Kundalini meditation:

  • Reduced stress. A small study in 2017 suggests that Kundalini yoga may offer immediate stress relief. The authors add that Kundalini meditation might be helpful for conditions linked to high stress, including cardiovascular disease and insomnia.
  • Reduced anxiety. A 2018 study suggests that Kundalini yoga may reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Improved cognitive function. A 2017 study compared Kundalini yoga and memory enhancement training as potential treatments for cognitive impairment in 81 older adults. Results suggest that while both interventions appeared to help improve memory, Kundalini yoga seemed to help improve executive functioning as well.

How to do it

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With thousands of techniques to choose from, Kundalini meditation can get a bit complicated. If you’d like to use it to address a certain concern, a teacher can offer guidance on specific techniques.

Kundalini meditation is a comprehensive approach, so if you’re new to meditation, it may help to try it first with a practitioner or follow along with a guided meditation.

Still, you can try the basics on your own:

  1. Dress for comfort. Wearing light, loose clothing can help you feel most comfortable while you meditate. Kundalini practitioners often use shawls or other cloth to cover their heads, since this is believed to protect and promote energy flow.
  2. Begin by tuning in to get into a meditative frame of mind. Sit upright in your chair or on the floor, keeping your spine straight. Position your hands in a prayer pose by pressing your palms together at your chest. Close your eyes but not completely — let in just a crack of light.
  3. Focus on the third eye chakra. Many practitioners find it helps to focus on their third eye while tuning in. Keeping your eyes closed, turn your gaze to the space in the center of your forehead between your eyebrows.
  4. Use a mantra. Mantras, which help direct your focus, are an important component of Kundalini meditation. It typically involves mantras in Gurmukhi, a sacred Indian language. But don’t worry too much about choosing the right mantra on your first try. You’ll likely see the best results with a mantra that feels right to you. Say it aloud or repeat it silently, whatever works best for you.
  5. Begin focusing on your breath. Inhale and exhale through your nose only, focusing on the sensation of breathing. Then, begin to slow your breath. Each inhale and exhale should last 3 to 4 seconds, so each breath should last about 8 seconds. Pay attention to how your breath flows through and energizes your body.
  6. Add mudras. Kundalini techniques typically involve the use of mudras, or hand positions. For example, if you want to promote wisdom, openness, and calm, try the Gyan mudra by touching your first finger to your thumb. To promote patience and commitment, try the Shuni mudra by touching your middle finger to your thumb.
  7. Divide your breathing into equal segments. Instead of taking one long inhale for 4 seconds followed by a long exhale, divide each inhale and exhale into four parts. In other words, breathe in 4 times, without exhaling in between. Then breathe out in the same way. With each inhale and exhale, draw your navel (belly button) toward your spine.
  8. Return your attention to your breath when it wanders. Even long-term meditators don’t stay focused all the time. Whenever you notice a loss of focus, turn your thoughts back to your breath. If any wandering thoughts come up, acknowledge them and then let them drift away.
  9. Continue for 3 to 5 minutes. If you’re new to meditation, there’s no need to jump right into a lengthy practice. It’s generally recommended to start with a shorter session and increase the length of your meditation as you get more comfortable.
  10. End your session. Complete your meditation with a deep complete breath (inhale and exhale). Breathe in once again as you raise your arms to their full length. Relax as you breathe out.

Meditation beginner? These tips can help make any meditation practice more successful.

People often practice Kundalini meditation specifically to experience the release of energy known as a Kundalini awakening. Many people find this somewhat of a spiritual experience, but it might sound a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect.

During a Kundalini awakening, people report physical sensations, such as warmth or tingling, disorientation, and some temporary discomfort.

(Video) Are there any Dangers of Doing Kundalini Yoga? - 53

If a person isn’t fully prepared for the experience, some people claim they may experience long-term negative effects. While meditation can certainly be a powerful experience, there’s no evidence to support such long-term negative effects.

All that aside, Kundalini meditation does involve deep breathing exercises and slowed breathing. If you aren’t used to this, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded.

Take breaks when you need to, and drink plenty of water before and after meditation.

Kundalini meditation can have benefits, even when it doesn’t lead to a full-blown awakening. In fact, some practitioners consider it one of the most powerful forms of meditation.

You may notice some improvements in wellness right away, but patience and dedicated practice can help you achieve the most benefits.

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

(Video) Kundalini = The Most Dangerous Form Of Yoga | Awakening | 114 Chakras | Sadhguru | Adiyogi


What is Kundalini good for? ›

There are several science-backed benefits of Kundalini yoga. According to research, it may help ease stress and anxiety, improve cognitive functioning, and boost self-perception and self-appreciation.

How do I know if my Kundalini is awakened? ›

Common features of kundalini awakening

Sensations of 'energy' moving or trapped within certain parts of the body, often involving the chakra points. This process may become in some way 'visible' to the experiencer. The energy feels unbearably strong or painful, often accompanied by shaking, jerking, or spasms.

What happens when you have a Kundalini awakening? ›

A Kundalini awakening can bring you to self-realization, or as Rebelle explains, "self-realization of the soul as an immortal being." You may reach a state of bliss and resounding love. You may have a quiet mind.

What are Kundalini symptoms? ›

The following are common manifestations of the risen Kundalini:
  • Muscle twitches, cramps or spasms.
  • Energy rushes or immense electricity circulating the body.
  • Itching, vibrating, prickling, tingling, stinging or crawling sensations.
  • Intense heat or cold.
25 Oct 2020

Which chakra is related to anger? ›

For those who believe in chakras, the solar plexus chakra is the center of self-esteem and emotions like ego, anger, and aggression. It is thought to present itself on a physical level through digestive problems, liver problems, or diabetes.

Where is Kundalini located in body? ›

In Hinduism, Kundalini (Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी, romanized: kuṇḍalinī, lit. 'coiled snake', pronunciation (help·info)) is a form of divine feminine energy (or Shakti) believed to be located at the base of the spine, in the muladhara.

Can Kundalini yoga change your life? ›

After practicing Kundalini Yoga, my life started to change. It changed in part because Kundalini Yoga strengthened my nervous system and enabled me to handle feeling good! I then began experiencing the life I had been searching for. Kundalini Yoga is a technology that comes out of thousands of years of yogic science.

What is Kundalini called in English? ›

"Kundalinī" is the feminine form of the Sanskrit adjective meaning "circular" or "coiled." In yoga, the word applies to the life force that lies like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine and that can be sent along the spine to the head through prescribed postures and exercises.

How do I know if I'm spiritually awaken? ›

The spiritual awakening.

You begin to clear certain things out of your life (habits, relationships, old belief systems) and invite new, more enriching things in. You may feel like something is missing, but you haven't quite figured it out yet. During this phase, it's common to feel lost, confused, and down.

What are the physical symptoms of a spiritual awakening? ›

In some cases, they may be accompanied by strong physical sensations, as appears to be more typical in what are usually referred to as kundalini awakenings, including but not limited to: sensations of heat or energy rising or “shooting up” in the body, typically in and around the spine; bursts of tingling, tickling, ...

How do you know if you are spiritually awakened? ›

“When we have a spiritual awakening, we have an awareness — oftentimes seemingly sudden — that there is more to being here than the life we were living.” Agro says that this occurrence can often come with an internal call to action to change your life or to course-correct.

What religion is Kundalini? ›

Kundalini yoga as a school of yoga is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of mantra, tantra, yantra, yoga, laya, haṭha, meditation, or even spontaneously (sahaja).

How do you clear your chakras? ›

You can unblock and balance your energy centers using various chakra healing techniques. Meditation, yoga poses (also known as asanas), reiki, mindfulness, healthy eating, and healing chakra stones are all powerful ways to get stagnant energy flowing.

What is Kundalini method? ›

Kundalini meditation is part of Kundalini yoga and is meant to move energy through the body. It is based on the concept that energy at the base of the spine (also known as the root chakra) needs to be released through the seven chakras of the body and then out through the crown chakra above the head.

What is Kundalini breathing? ›

Breath of Fire is a breathing exercise used in Kundalini yoga. It involves passive inhales and active exhales that are quick and powerful. As a form of breath control, this breathing technique is associated with stress relief. It may also improve respiratory health, concentration, and mindfulness.

Which chakra is blocked by fear? ›

Panic attacks and chakras

The root chakra is connected to the adrenal medulla, the inner part of the adrenal gland that's involved in the fight-or-flight response. “Feeling unsafe and in fear for your life… will shut down the root chakra, blocking any movement of energy from the root chakra through the body,” she says.

Which chakra is ruled by which God? ›

Association with other Yoginis
4 more rows

What chakra is blocked by stress? ›

The fifth chakra is the Throat chakra, located in the throat area and associated with the color blue. It is connected to the thyroid gland and regulates our sense of security, leadership, expression, and fluid communication. When this chakra is out of balance, we feel anxious, paralyzed, and insecure.

What is the fastest way to activate root chakra? ›

How to open your root chakra: 7 methods you can do on your own
  1. Set your intention. ...
  2. Follow online guided visualizations. ...
  3. Rub a metal spoon on your foot. ...
  4. Use grounding crystals. ...
  5. Use grounding essential oils. ...
  6. Spend time in nature. ...
  7. Tell yourself positive affirmations.
9 Mar 2020

How do I know if my root chakra is activated? ›

When the root chakra opens and energy is flowing freely, individuals will feel safe, comfortable and confident. Symptoms of the chakra opening include feeling grounded, connected and secure. You may notice tingling, heating, or healthy changes in eating habits and sleep patterns.

How do you activate life energy? ›

There is no such thing as a small stroke…
  1. Restrict your sleep. If you think you may be sleep-deprived, try getting less sleep. ...
  2. Eat for energy. ...
  3. Use caffeine to your advantage. ...
  4. Limit alcohol. ...
  5. Drink water.

Which chakra is responsible for money? ›

Balance your root chakra and increase your presence, energy, clarity, and focus. Become a money magnet by shifting from a scarcity mentality to an abundant mindset.

Which chakra should I open first? ›

If you're new to chakra work, the root chakra is a great place to start. While there isn't scientific evidence to support the existence of the root chakra, you may find that doing root chakra work helps you feel safe, secure, and grounded in your body and the world.

What foods heal the root chakra? ›

Red foods or foods with a strong red pigment will help recharge and balance your root chakra. Avoid red dyes and artificially colored foods. Instead, opt for whole foods like red fruits (think strawberries, raspberries, pomegranate, and cherry) and red vegetables (red bell pepper, beets).

Which chakra is responsible for laziness? ›

The animal designated to represent the Svadhishthana Chakra is the Crocodile. It symbolises laziness, insensitivity and the danger that slumbers in this Chakra.

What happens when all chakras are open? ›

When our main seven chakras are open and balanced, energy can flow freely through our bodies and minds. When any of these energy centers are blocked, it leads to stagnation and can contribute to a variety of physical and spiritual ailments.

At what age does the root chakra develop? ›

The root chakra forms from conception through age 7, and imbalances in the root typically stem from unconscious fears about safety. Eventually, this energy can manifest as physical or mental illness, particularly if there are areas in our lives where we don't feel safe being authentic.

What foods open your chakras? ›

Foods for Root Chakra

To balance your first chakra, think red. Red apples, beets, tomatoes, pomegranates, strawberries, and raspberries.

How do you know if a chakra is blocked? ›

A blocked root chakra can manifest as physical issues like arthritis, constipation, and bladder or colon problems, or emotionally through feeling insecure about finances or our basic needs and well-being. When it's in alignment and open, we will feel grounded and secure, both physically and emotionally.

What happens when throat chakra opens? ›

The throat chakra opens when creative juices flow freely through an artist's being or when someone can easily express themselves verbally to their peers. The condition of this chakra affects everything from speaking skills to singing abilities. Do you suffer from chronic sore throat, laryngitis, or mouth ulcers?

How do I activate my inner powers? ›

7 simple practices that will help you build inner strength:
  1. #1 Practice self-awareness. Self-awareness represents the first step in building inner strength. ...
  2. #2 Listen to your body. ...
  3. #3 Discover your talents. ...
  4. #4 Invest in your skills. ...
  5. #5 Spend time with like-minded people. ...
  6. #6 Open yourself to new experiences. ...
  7. #7 Be patient.
22 Nov 2018

Can you send energy to someone? ›

Sending energy using crystals

One of the most popular methods of sending positive energy to someone else is through the use of healing crystals. This is known as distance healing. To understand how this works, the first thing to know is what healing crystals actually are and why they're so powerful.


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