We live in changing times and some people are experiencing noticeable shifts in their energy systems. One potentially dramatic change is the spontaneous arousal of Kundalini energy in the spine. For some this can be a frightening and overwhelming experience. Here I discuss basic self help ideas for coping with the release of this strong energy.
Kundalini is a natural energy that everyone possesses. The Hindu tradition depicts the energy as the serpent Kundalini wound three and a half times around the base chakra. In most people she lies dormant at the base of the spine and stays sleeping throughout their lifetime.
There are spiritual practices developed specifically to awaken Kundalini, such as Kundalini Yoga. These are adhered to because Kundalini holds great primal power and raising the energy can lead to a blissful and enlightening connection with the Divine. Traditionally this is seen as the Goddess energy rising to meet with her consort in Divine union, the cosmic dance of the feminine Shakti with the masculine Shiva.
If woken without proper preparation and cleansing Kundalini can wreak merry havoc, shooting strong energy up the body and causing great discomfort and pain wherever it runs into blocks. These may be at chakra points or elsewhere in the spine.
In an ideal scenario Kundalini would be aroused gently under supervision of a skilled mentor and the spinal nadis, the channels the energy needs to rise through, Sushumna, Ida and Pingala, would have been properly cleansed in preparation, so that any energetic blocks that might cause pain had already been dissolved. As we move into the New Age people are being awakened much more readily than in the past and this may include a sudden and unexpected arousal of Kundalini. This is potentially dramatic enough for those who were aware they were walking a path of spiritual development, but imagine how disconcerting it is for someone who has just been living a ‘normal life’!
Kundalini can cause diverse symptoms that are strong, even overwhelming, such as back pain and headaches, hot flushes, shaking and panicky feelings. Get a medical check up if you feel you need to. Kundalini symptoms vary according to where the blocks are in your system and how the energy is moving. Once awakened it seems quite futile to try to push Kundalini back down the spine and according to several sources it may even be dangerous to do so. This is akin to trying to get the genie back in the bottle! The natural flow of Kundalini is up the spine and out through the crown chakra.
So what can you do if your Kundalini has been awakened and is causing you problems?
As the natural movement of this energy is upwards and outwards you need to incorporate plenty of grounding into your daily routines. This will ameliorate the disorientating effects of the strong upwards movement and provides a natural way to discharge excessive energy building up in your system. Visualise roots growing deep into the earth like tree roots from each foot, go for a walk in Nature, get your hands into earth by gardening, stamp your feet, whatever it takes to build and maintain that Earth energy connection. Using crystals such as lodestone, hematite and smoky quartz can help you stay grounded.
Exercise such as yoga, especially Kundalini Yoga, may help you clear the spinal channels. Belly dance is good for freeing up this feminine energy and I imagine other dance forms such as Five Rhythms could be beneficial too. Any exercise that is good for the flexibility of the spine is likely to help you release blockages and harmonise the Kundalini flow.
One useful principle is that when the Kundalini energy comes up and out through the crown chakra it should then shower down around your body like a fountain, creating a gentle circuit of energy, rather than shooting out into the stratosphere. You can visualise this process for yourself. Most traditional disciplines emphasise the importance of working with the breath, so try visualising bringing energy up the spine with your in breath and allowing it to flow out of your crown and down around your body on the out breath. Start with a few rounds of this breath build up as feels comfortable, always ending on the out breath.
You may want to correct your posture and the physical alignment of your spine. You could ask a qualified chiropractor or osteopath to check your spine as physical misalignments will usually have corresponding energetic blocks. Cranial Sacral Therapy from a skilled practitioner might prove beneficial, especially if you’re getting headaches. If you consult any energy practitioner they really must be experienced in their field. This is not a beginner’s energy to deal with. Check they have at least some basic understanding of the natural flow of Kundalini and are aware this is not a ‘negative energy’ to be repressed.
Try utilising the energy for your well being, laying your hands on areas of discomfort for yourself and consciously running the energy through your palms. You may also enjoy bursts of creativity, so write, paint, dance, sing, cook, express yourself in whatever way takes your fancy.
I wish I’d known more about Kundalini when Steve had his awakening with dramatic, prolonged shaking, a process I describe in Light behind the Angels. I wasn't sure what was happening then, although I sensed he was being purified and felt it was connected with Kundalini. Fortunately he decided to 'go with the flow' rather than resist the changes and I believe this made the process smoother.
If you haven’t got a therapist to work with and are trying to deal with the energy on your own then Kundalini & the Chakras: Evolution in this Lifetime (Llewellyn's new age series) by Genevieve Lewis Paulson is probably a worthwhile investment. Do bear in mind that everyone’s experience will be different, any book can only ever be a guide, however at least it should reassure you that others have been through this transformation and survived to tell the tale!