A Kundalini Awakening in simple terms it is the awakening of dormant spiritual energy in the base of the spine (between the coccyx/tailbone and the anus if you want to get technical about it). This energy works it way up the spine to the top of the head, eventually making a circuit of energy through the midline of your body.
Just to clarify- there are actually a lot of different types of Spiritual Awakenings. Kundalini is perhaps the most infamous, and the modern day New Age community has appropriated the term Kundalini awakening for any type of spiritual awakening or spiritual growth. Classically, this is not true.
There are discrete symptoms that a Kundalini awakening has that are completely different than the different types of awakenings (Shamanic, Psychic, Pranic, Top Down Awakening, for example) and must be worked with differently due to the typically intense and life-changing symptoms. You can find what the different awakenings are and how to work with them in my book, The Spiritual Awakening Guide (available through Amazon and other retailers)
So what are the symptoms of Kundalini awakening?
• Intense heat– typically starting at the base of the spine, but can occur throughout the spinal cord or throughout the body. Some people actually feel intense heat and cold
• Kriyas and Mudras spontaneously occurring– body twitches and movements- spontaneous finger, hand gestures and yogic body postures
• Awareness of Energy Flows through the body– sudden realizations and knowledge about acupuncture channels, chakras, and how energy flows through the body, feeling of energy circulating the spine
• Disassociation and Feeling Separate From Oneself– typically a trauma response. Feelings that there is so much going on in the body that you are unable to mentally or physically comprehend so you disconnect from the physical body
• Near Death Experiences, Extreme Physical Symptoms- A near death experience can be a reason why Kundalini begins to rise, but it can also be caused by Kundalini rising as well. Typically these physical symptoms are not explainable by Western Medicine (although I encourage you to see a physician). I will explain what to do if you are having Kundalini issues in another blog post in the near future.
• Huge Spiritual Shifts within a short period of time- increase in psychic abilities, or developing psychic abilities that you did not have before. Understanding the spiritual nature of things. Seeing grids, patterns, snakes, huge shifts in your own spiritual understandings.
• Extreme Personality Changes and Mental Imbalances- it is fairly common for people undergoing a Kundalini awakening to get divorces, separate from family and friends, move, feel waves of depression as well as bliss, and in general feel a lot of fear about what is going on with them. A total personality and life change often occurs. Who you were and who you are now are totally different, which causes a lot of confusion, grief, fear in yourself and family/friends.
• Waves of Bliss, Spontaneous Orgasms, Feelings of Oneness- a Kundalini awakening allows for you to feel divine flows of energy as well as see through the illusion of separateness.
• Headaches and Migraines
• Intense Back and Spine pain
• Extreme Energy Fluctuations- feeling extremely energized, almost manic with insomniac tendencies to chronic fatigue issues with extreme body heaviness and depression
• Slowing and Speeding of Heart Rate
• Digestive Issues & Vomiting– issues with nausea, limited ability to eat foods (except for bland, simple foods), bloating, diarrhea or constipation.
• Hormonal Imbalances
• Inability to Function
• Individual Chakra Related Dysfunctions– this occurs as kundalini fire begins to rise and the individual chakras begin to open. For example, it is not unusual for someone with a Kundalini Awakening in their first chakra (until it has opened the chakra) to experience a sensation of constant fire around the genitals and anus, sexual arousal, tailbone and low back pain, heat going into the legs, UTI’s, visions of ancestral, safety, and fear (first chakra emotional issues), digestive dysfunction, etc.
As you can see, this is a huge list. It is not uncommon for those undergoing a Kundalini Awakening to have all the symptoms listed, but for it to be truly a Kundalini Awakening (as opposed to something else), diagnostic criteria would include: intense feelings of fire and heat (or rarely cold), huge energy shifts, extreme personality changes, inability to function for a period of time, waves of bliss, spontaneous body, hand, and finger movements, and huge leaps in spiritual understandings. I cannot decide for someone if they are undergoing a Kundalini Awakening, and if you are having extreme physical symptoms, check in with a doctor.
The most important thing to remember in this process, if you only remember one thing, is to SURRENDER. It truly makes all the difference.