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Meaning of Kundalini 2018-05-27T12:35:54+00:00

Meaning of Kundalini

Related imageKundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning either “coiled up” or “coiling like a snake.” There are a number of other translations of the term usually emphasizing a more serpent nature to the word – e.g. ‘serpent power’.The term kundalini is used to refer to the vital force or energy that we all hold within us. Often called the “sleeping goddess” or “serpent power”, it is represented as a serpent coiled around the first chakra or root chakra at the base of the spine.

This is a Sanskrit word meaning “circular power.” Kundalini is known as the life-force, or energy, that flows through us all. If we have blocks, then the kundalini cannot flow as easily. If you were to cut off blood to a limb, it would turn blue and die. This is the same with Kundalini. It needs to flow for us to reach optimal health. The natural flow of energy is upward, starting at the base chakra. Working with your Kundalini helps remove blocks in the process.

The caduceus symbol of coiling snakes is thought to be an ancient symbolic representation of Kundalini physiology.

Related imageThe concept of Kundalini comes from yogic philosophy of ancient India and refers to the mothering intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual maturation. It might be regarded by yogis as a sort of deity, hence the occasional capitalization of the term.

According to the yogic tradition Kundalini is curled up in the back part of the root chakra in three and one-half turns around the sacrum. Yogic phenomenology states that kundalini awakening is associated with the appearance of bio-energetic phenomena that are said to be experienced aromatically by the yogi.

This appearance is also referred to as “pranic awakening”. Prana is interpreted as the vital, life-sustaining force in the body. Uplifted, or intensified life-energy is called pranotthana and is supposed to originate from an apparent reservoir of subtle bio-energy at the base of the spine. This energy is also interpreted as a vibration phenomena that initiates a period, or a process of vibration spiritual development.

Within a western frame of understanding it is often associated with the practice of contemplative or religious practices that might induce an altered state of consciousness, either brought about spontaneously, through a type of yoga, through psychedelic drugs, or through a near-death experience. Kundalini is a Sanscrit term from ancient India that identifies the arising of an energy and consciousness which has been coiled at the base of the spine since birth, and is the source of the life force (pranic energy, chi , bio-energy) that everybody knows.  Yogic science suggests that this energy triggered the formation of the child in the womb, and then coils 3 ½ times at the base of the spine to hold the energy field in stasis until we die, when it uncoils and returns to its source.

The intertwined shape that the serpents form together resembles the design of the double helix DNA. It is said that our DNA contains ancient, universal information, as if it’s a living library for us to access through consciousness. Yogic texts explain that Kundalini energy is present when a fetus begins to form in the mother’s womb, and that it coils at the base of the spine at birth. Kundalini energy can stay coiled at the base of the spine until death, at which point it returns to Source, or it can be awakened.

Kundalini energy can begin to unravel, starting from the base of the spine and working its way up to the crown of the head, as a result of spiritual practices and/or life events affecting your chakras and personal growth. This process can be extremely slow or can occur suddenly and all at once, almost as if it was an explosion of energy.

Related imageThe coiled and dormant ‘feminine’ energy, refers to the vast potential of psychic energy contained within us all. It is normally symbolized as a serpent coiled into three and a half circles, with its tail in its mouth, and spiraling around the central axis (sacrum or sacred bone) at the base of the spine. The awakening of this serpent and the manifestation of its powers is a primary aim of the practice of Kundalini Yoga. The image of coiling, like a spring, conveys the sense of untapped potential energy that will spring into action soon.For now we remember in small doses.

Kundalini can be described as a great reservoir of creative energy at the base of the spine. It’s not useful to sit with our consciousness fixed in our head and think of kundalini as a foreign force running up and down our spine. The concept of kundalini can also be examined from a strictly psychological perspective. From this perspective kundalini can be thought of as a rich source of psychic or libidinous energy in our unconscious.

Kundalini may unravel and arise from the base of the spine (or sometimes from the feet) due to spiritual practices, or in response to life events, and when this happens it may move gradually, uncoiling like a snake, or quickly and explosively, into the gut, the heart or the head.  This event can be startling and chaotic, frightening or blissful, and it usually triggers months and years of new sensations and changes in the person who awakens it.  It may feel like the body’s wiring has moved from 110 to 220, and it takes time to adapt to it.  It is understood in the eastern tradition to be a significant adjunct to spiritual realization, but it is rarely recognized as such in western traditions, although Christian mystics have often been said to have intense energetic or physical problems.

Related imageTo start the flow of Kundalini, lay down flat on your back, body straight (no pillow). Concentrate on the area around your base chakra (behind the vicinity of your genitals). Begin to breathe deeply and then tighten and release this area a few times. Visualize the Kundalini coming into the end of your spine (your tailbone area). Because the Kundalini is coming from the root area, it is reddish orange in color. Use this in your visualization as you move it up your spine and out the top of your head (through the crown chakra). You may experience heat (Kundalini fire) so don’t be surprised. I get this unintentionally during deep remote viewing and it gets so hot I feel like I’m about to ignite! If you feel the Kundalini stop somewhere it is because of a block. Let it be! It is actually working on the block. After you feel it start to move again, continue bringing it up the spine as mentioned before.

As with chakras, there are side effects from this as well (as it is unblocking your chakras during the process). Another side effect from Kundalini release is an increased sex drive.

According to yogic terminology the force of Kundalini is supposed to be raised through meditative exercises and activated within the concept of a subtle body, a body of energy and finer substance.

Kundalini is mainly associated with Hinduism. However, Kundalini as a spiritual experience is thought to have parallels in many of the mystical and Gnostic traditions of the world’s great religions.

Many factors point to the universality of the phenomenon. The early Christians might have referred to the concept as ‘pneuma’, and there are some recent parallels in contemporary Christian Charismatic ‘Holy Ghost’ phenomena.

 

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According to yogis, the two nerve currents that move up the spine represented by serpents are a combination of masculine and feminine energy. Ida is the left channel, or the serpent pictured on the left, representing white, feminine, cold, and the Moon. Pingala is the right channel, which is red, masculine, hot, and is associated with the Sun.

In the middle, there’s the Sushumna, or the central channel, which the Kundalini moves through and upwards, from the root chakra or the Muladhara chakra, all the way up to the crown chakra or the Sahasrara chakra. The energy runs from the base of the spine, from what Yogis refer to as Mother Shakti all the way up to the spine to Lord Shiva, the crown. Once the Kundalini energy reaches the brain, or the upper chakras, the Yogi soul is said to be free, the divine masculine and feminine energies merged and enlightenment is achieved or experienced.

Kundalini-experiences are often understood in terms of the Hindu chakra system, the understanding of psycho-spiritual energy centers along the spine . According to Hindu tradition the Kundalini raises from the root-chakra up through the spinal channel, called sushumna, and it is believed to activate each chakra it goes through.

Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics. In raising Kundalini, spiritual powers (siddhis) are also believed to arise, but many spiritual traditions see these phenomena as obstacles on the path, and encourages their students not to get hung up with them (Kason, 2000). Although the opening of higher chakras are believed to mark advanced spiritual unfoldment, it is important not to measure spiritual growth solely by the opening of higher potentials. According to this view chakras might be under- or overdeveloped, and lower chakras are thought to be just as important as higher.

Related imageAccording to yogic terminology the force of Kundalini is supposed to be raised through meditative exercises and activated within the concept of a subtle body, a body of energy and finer substance.

Kundalini Yoga is a meditative discipline – or a system of meditative techniques and movements – within the yogic tradition that focuses on psycho-spiritual growth and the body’s potential for maturation. The practice of Kundalini Yoga consists of a number bodily postures, expressive movements and utterances, characterological cultivations, breathing patterns, and degrees of concentration.

The movements and the body-work should not – according to some scholars of religion – be considered mere stretching exercises. The concept of life-energy – pranotthana – is central to the practice and understanding of Kundalini Yoga. It also gives special consideration to the role of the spine and the endocrine system in the understanding of yogic awakening. Recently, there has been a growing interest within the medical community to study the physiological effects of meditation, and some of these studies have applied the discipline of Kundalini Yoga to their clinical settings.