Much like the “12 Myths about Shamans” blog that you can access here, there is a huge amount of misinformation about Kundalini and Kundalini awakening out there. There is very specific criteria for what is considered a Kundalini awakening, some of which you can read about here (you can also click or search for “Kundalini in this blog).
The reason that so many people are confused about Kundalini is that modern spiritual circles and authors have heard about Kundalini from a teacher or book and then passed on wrong information. It is like a bad game of telephone… where one teacher has formulated an idea about what Kundalini is without reading any classic scripture such as the Vedas, Gopi Krishna, or even Wikipedia, and has not had any sort of direct experience with it… teaching students their ideas about it, and those students go on from the already watered down version of their teacher and add their own pop-culture twist to it, etc.
As a note, before we begin, I sometimes get a lot of flack from people who argue with me that “nobody really knows what a Kundalini awakening is” or that “sources disagree” or that “everybody has an equal, valid opinion”. My general answer to that is that spiritual syndromes, such as Kundalini, are written about extensively through source material (meaning you will have to read something fifty years old or much, much older). There are precise accounts, symptoms, and understandings of what Kundalini and a Kundalini awakening is. You can only argue about something if you do not know what you are talking about. Picture this- you go to your doctor and insist that you have Leprosy. Your skin is not falling off, you don’t have any sores, and you have no muscle weakness. The doctor insists that you do not have Leprosy because you do not have any of the signs. But you insist. The same thing happens all the time with Kundalini and Kundalini awakenings. It is simply the newest, pop culture spiritual “issue” to come about- people hear about it and it seems like an intense experience and so they want it, or think they have it. But most people do not, and never will. And not everyone has an equal, valid opinion about everything. My friend that studies tRNA certainly has a much more valid “opinion” about it than I do.
Now that I am done ranting, here is the list…
10 Myths about Kundalini Awakening
1. A Kundalini awakening is something that happens once or twice. This is a myth. A Kundalini awakening is a permanent condition. People who have awakening Kundalini permanently feel it. It is constantly working, constantly doing things in your body. It may have more active and less active periods, and even periods of relative dormancy, but even in those periods you are still aware of it. If Kundalini is something that happens once or twice, it is likely not Kundalini. It is possible to have a Kundalini stirring, a temporary realization of the energy, but these are low-level, meaning that they are a temporary occurrence and the person can go back to their existence once it is through in relatively the same manner as they entered. For more about the different sensations of Kundalini, such as stirring vs awakening, go here.
2. I can awaken my own Kundalini, or have a guru do it for me. This is a popular myth. It is so popular because people make a large amount of cash from it. I have never met a tantra teacher, Reiki master, Spiritual/Energetic practitioner, or guru of any sort who actually has awakened Kundalini that would promise to awaken yours. It just doesn’t happen, and is a scam perpetrated by people who do not have awakened Kundalini. Because if you do have an awakened Kundalini, you have ethics and have to tell the truth and live a righteous sort of existence, especially if the energy has gone above your third chakra. It literally injures you to lie (this actually can suck sometimes, but I digress).
Any guru or teacher who has an awakened Kundalini knows that whether or not your Kundalini is going to awaken has to do with fate, not with you doing breathing exercises or clearing your chakras. When my Kundalini was still in my lower chakras I blamed myself for “activating” my Kundalini due to Mantak Chia’s Microcosmic/Macrocosmic Orbit. I was very upset with myself for a very long time. Until Kundalini reached my third eye, and I realized that anyone that I have worked with or met who has awakened Kundalini it is a result of it simply being time for their Kundalini to awaken. People can meditate for decades and not have their Kundalini awaken, people can also never meditate and not consider themselves spiritual at all and suddenly be in the midst of a brutal Kundalini awakening. Bottom line… it is not in your control. It is a divine, vital force. Do not spend your money on people who are all too willing to “activate” your Kundalini for you.
3. Feeling of energy moving or twitching hands/feet is Kundalini. One of the biggest symptoms of a Kundalini awakening are kriyas and mudras (hand, finger twitching and body movements happening spontaneously). However there is a huge difference between nervous system activation, qi circulation and feelings of qi, and Kundalini. 99 percent of the time that twitching, energy movement, and even hand/body spontaneous positions occur it is either the body releasing energy or trauma or it is qi, a force that we can all feel if we do some work to, such as through meditation, Reiki, tai chi, martial arts, yoga, etc. Qi is a vital force that creates our world- it flows through it. It is a magnificent thing to feel, to be aware of. But it is not Kundalini.
4. Reiki awakens Kundalini. This is a big one that people really, really want to believe. Most of the people that believe this are Reiki teachers and students who have felt wonderful energy of all sorts and insist that it is Kundalini. In some cases Reiki can certainly be a catalyst to awaken Kundalini (that was already fated to happen). I did something like ten different attunments within a year which was really not a smart idea and possibly caused my Kundalini to awaken a few years before it was supposed to (according to my Vedic astrologer). Even “Kundalini” or “Tummo” Reiki are not guaranteed to awaken Kundalini. I have certainly met plenty of Reiki practitioners, even “Kundalini” ones who would not know the energy if it sat across from them in a bar. I have certainly crossed paths with some who have awakened Kundalini, but Kundalini awakenings are fairly rare, and Reiki doesn’t awaken Kundalini… if anything Reiki allows for us to feel and work with qi and for some practitioners, to channel energy.
5. Kundalini yoga awakens Kundalini Kundalini yoga is one of the biggest fads right now (in the United States especially). I have never actually met or interacted with a Kundalini yoga teacher that actually knew what Kundalini was beyond a very basic, intellectual understanding of the subject. Breath of fire and the type of breathing and environment that Kundalini yoga creates get us in touch with our qi and our yang, our own ministerial fire- the fire of our own bodies. It gets us in touch with our chakra system, allows for us to become more aware, and it may get us in touch with our spiritual and divine natures. But this does not equal a Kundalini awakening. Getting in touch with ourselves is wonderful, exercise is wonderful… but Kundalini yoga is actually one of the most detrimental activities that someone undergoing a Kundalini awakening can do. Heat is not good for the already hot nature of Kundalini (or really anyone who is not of a robust, very health and vitalized constitution), and the breathing techniques can be extraordinarily damaging, particularly if you are having a block in one of your lower chakras and are undergoing a Kundalini awakening. Top this off with a teacher who likely only has an intellectual understanding and no direct experience of Kundalini you can find yourself in a lot of trouble.
Again, no activity is going to trigger Kundalini if it is not going to happen. Feeling heat or qi is wonderful, but someone can go to a Kundalini yoga class once and have a Kundalini awakening, and someone else can be a teacher of yoga for twenty years and not have an awakened Kundalini.
A note about this: I am sure that my bias is showing slightly with these last two categories. I have worked with many people who have gone to yoga classes and had either a temporary experience of Kundalini or a full-blown Kundalini awakening and their teachers had no idea what to do. I also have worked with and interacted with many Reiki masters/teachers and practitioners from all over the globe, many of whom are lovely people, but most have not had any sort of direct experience of Kundalini. These teachers will then teach their students that they are activating their Kundalini, or what Kundalini is, without having any sort of understanding of it. These same teachers will then have students have difficulties and they will either dismiss their students or give them really terrible advice because they don’t know what they are talking about. Although this seems brutal to say, it happens often (and I have the thousands of emails over the past few years to prove the sort of weird, misguided advice and odd behavior that teachers can have when presented with something like Kundalini that is way past their own experience level).