Kundalini can refer to a specific school of yoga and to the life force that pervades all yogic and spiritual practice. Practitioners describe Kundalini life force as the energy of the soul or consciousness and as the dormant energy within someone. While prana is defined as the universal life force, Kundalini is the life force that resides in each individual.
Many experts and gurus encourage visualizing Kundalini as a serpent coiled at the base of the spine. The goal of awakening Kundalini is to achieve enlightenment by uncoiling this serpent and drawing it up through each of the seven chakras. This style of yoga is not only about the postures and physical movements of a typical yoga practice, but it has a strong mental and spiritual component as well. Kundalini yoga combines movement, breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting. When practiced regularly, this form of yoga can improve both physical and emotional well-being. According to Kundalini yoga expert Shaka Kaur, both Kundalini and Hatha Yoga will bring you to the same spiritual place, but Kundalini yoga will bring you there at an accelerated pace. Sometimes a few minutes are all it takes to begin to feel the positive effects of Kundalini yoga.
Dangers of Kundalini Life Force
Meditation expert Bharat Cornell likens the power of the Kundalini life force to that of a fire: it is capable of both help and harm. He cautions that Kundalini can become dangerous if used for the wrong reasons, or if you try to progress too quickly or forcefully. Your practice may become detrimental if you try to awaken Kundalini solely for personal gain. If your Kundalini life force begins to feel too intense and out of control, follow these recommendations to regain control:
- Do not perform exercises or breathing techniques that over-stimulate the spine
- Speak to a spiritual counselor who can guide you through your practice
- Avoid self-involvement; help others
- Maintain a daily routine of fresh air and exercise
- Ground yourself in nature
- Surround yourself with mental images of light
Beginning a Practice
If you're just starting out on your spiritual journey, educate yourself about Kundalini life force and Kundalini yoga to ensure a safe practice. The most intensive, thorough, and safe way to begin to awaken the Kundalini life force is through a Kundalini yoga master. Find a certified teacher to learn from, or go on a retreat. The International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association offers a worldwide listing of studios that teach this type of yoga
Awakening Kundalini Life Force
The Ananda Sangha spiritual movement suggests the following techniques for awakening your Kundalini life force:
- Learn to see the world and everything in it as an expression of the divine
- Dedicate yourself to serving others
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Affirm your higher nature and consciousness
- Live your life with awareness. Avoid activities and habits that dull the mind.
- Meditate using the techniques of traditional yoga
- Follow a program of gentle breathing exercises, yoga poses, and exercises for energy
- Practice devotional chanting
- Embrace the situations you encounter in life
- Practice correct posture. Center the spine.
- Draw Kundalini life force up from the base of the spine, rather than from the top downwards
Once awakened, Kundalini life force can bring peace, harmony, and stability to your life. When harnessed with care, Kundalini will hasten your spiritual journey.