Ask The Yogi
Kundalini and experiencing ‘the rise of spiritual energy’
Q: What does it mean to be eaten up by the flame in kundalini? I have had shocks of energy at the base of my spine that lead up to and out of my head giving me head aches. What does awaking through all this weird energy mean? Is this something that i should fear?
A) (From D. DiNunzio Posted 4/09):
To be eaten up by the flame of Kundalini is metaphoric for the way the Kundalini energy surges and rises up through your body, cleansing and purifying energetic holdings and limitations within the physical and energetic body. In doing so, old habits and limitations are eaten up or dissolved as veils of the mind and stored habits of the body are removed. It is a true spontaneous letting go that circumvents the mind and ego. All that remains is you in your natural state so that Oneness and discernment of the Divine spirit within is perceived and felt. It is a state of pure awareness resting in itself. This new sense of perception without the veils and clouds and leaves you forever changed.
You ask, Should it be feared? I think not, but in the same vein it should not be taken lightly or ignored. It is a rebirthing process of perception. For many people this can be quite disruptive and sometimes disturbing. In the Yoga Sutras II.17 (as translated by Chip Hartranft) the preventable cause of all this suffering is the apparent indivisibility of pure awareness and what it regards. Or the Sutra as translated by Nischala Joy Devi, The source of these difficulties is the inability to recognize the Divine Spirit (seer) as omniscient and therefore separate from the changing natural world. As you feel this pure awareness anew, there is a new discernment of the self as distinct from the natural world and a new perspective in experiencing the material world. Perception clarifies and causes of old habits and sufferings are seen for what they are, separate from the self and with this new awareness they begin to naturally dissolve.
In Yoga Sutras, II.28 when the components of yoga are practiced, impurities dwindle; then the light of understanding can shine forth, illuminating the way to discriminative awareness. In this way, the Kundalini energy awakens awareness.
The result of this entire process can be a life-altering shift in consciousness. As the unneeded, unbeneficial things fall away, your life becomes different in many ways. This can feel like an upheaval, to see all that was once familiar and comfortable to you as foreign or even counter productive to your growth and development. So all things come into question and are experienced anew. A rebirth of sorts and with it, a great opportunity to rediscover your self and move into the world with new eyes, abandoning old habits not previously in your awareness; seeing them clearly for what they are.
You experienced a shock of energy and want to know what that means. Because Kundalini energy is a purifying force of prana, it physically moves through your body. The resulting changes from the energy purification vary from person to person on the physical, emotional and psychological realms. So the holdings of the individual will dictate which part of the system is cleansed, resolved, and released. Some signs of the Kundalini awakening that occur during the purification (according to Mukunda Stiles Tantra lessons), are:
1) Kriyas (involuntary movements of the body), reaccessing memories and emotions associated with past traumas or memories, spontaneous asana, sensual vinyasa flows.
2) Yogic phenomenon like performing yogic postures or mudras they could previously not do, unusual breathing patterns or not breathing at all for extended periods of time.
3) Physiological symptoms due to the release of toxins stored in the body and that give symptoms of heart problems, pains in the head and spine (the symptoms you mentioned), nervous problems, heightened physical sensitivity, hyperactivity or lethargy, variations in sexual desire, spontaneous orgasm. These symptoms are often worrisome because of the intensity and can last for weeks.
4) Psychological upheavals can occur because the awakening allows you to see your ego and its working so clearly that you are no longer subject to your normal patterns of behavior or your normal reactions. You literally experience each situation anew without old habits and unconscious patterning. This can cause some distress, or leave one feeling unbalanced because nothing that was once stable is there to hold onto. So this is a true blessing to start anew with a new sense of perception, in the same light it can cause the sensation of fear because there is new awareness of the inherent uncertainty in all situations.
5) Extra sensory experiences like seeing lights, symbols, entities, review of past lives, hearing voices, inner sounds or mantras may be experienced.
6) Psychic phenomenon like precognition, telepathy, psycho kinesis, awareness of auras and healing abilities.
7) Shifting into mystical or altered states of consciousness directly perceiving the unity underlying the world and experiencing a deep peace and serenity with a profound knowing and wisdom.
8 ) Heightened sexuality as the prana settles in the genital region. Some side benefits are that you may find are that emotional eating disappears, need for artificial stimulation or distraction disappears (like TV, radio, newspapers, etc.), craving of more whole and nourishing foods increases, and energetic sensitivity increases.
So Kundalini energy is nothing to be feared, yet it is not something to be taken lightly either. Please seek guidance and support through the process so you are not left feeling alone and disoriented. Only those who understand the Kundalini can help you. Unfortunately, traditional western medicine will try to medicate you to dull your newfound profound experience of the world with clear eyes. The energetic process could take weeks or months to fully actualize itself in your daily life. And little bursts of the Kundalini may now more regularly course through your body. So keep watching yourself and find a practicitioner who understands Kundalini and can guide you during this delicate phase of your transformation.
This question was answered by Donna DiNunzio.
A: (October of 2008 by Sarv Varta Khalsa): The kundalini energy or “fire” is definitely not something to be afraid of. We all have kundalini energy constantly flowing through our bodies. There is also a reserve of energy stored at the base of the spine. When this energy is stimulated it rises up the spine to the top of the head, stimulating the pineal gland at the crown chakra, which has the effect of elevating one’s consciousness. This experience of the energy rising is very powerful and some poeple tend to be more sensitive to the flow than others, where it can even spontaneously rise. If the nervous and glandular systems are weak then the rising of the energy can be too intense and may lead to physical problems like head aches.
Doing yoga and meditation to strengthen the nervous and glandular systems is important. Also, learning to properly control and direct the kundalini energy is helpful. That would best be done by practicing Kundalini yoga under the guidance of a certified Kundalini yoga teacher and learning the techniques to channel this wonderful and powerful energy so that it can serve you rather than be a problem.
If you have further questions I can be reached via my website at aznaturalmedicine.com.
Sarv Varta Kaur Khalsa, N.M.D.
KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher
All suggestions are voluntary. Consult a qualified teacher or your physician before you embark on any practice in which you are unfamiliar.