Kundalini Yoga Steps, Safe Practice, and Benefits

Kundalini yoga derives from kundalini, defined in Vedanta (Hinduism) as energy. It lies dormant at the base of the spine until it is activated (as by the practice of yoga) and channeled upward through the chakras in the process of spiritual perfection. Kundalini is believed by adherents to be power associated with the divine feminine, Shakti. Kundalini yoga as a school of yoga is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through a regular practice of mantra, tantra, yantra, yoga, or meditation. Having numerous benefits of Kundalini Yoga, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System also invented Siddha Kundalini Yoga for the benefit of human beings.

What is Kundalini yoga?

The term “Kundalini” comes from the Sanskrit word “kundal,” which means “circular.” It also refers to a coiled snake. And according to practitioners, Kundalini energy is like that coiled snake: It sits at the base of your spine, sleeping and unaroused. Kundalini yoga is practiced to activate this energy, which allows it to move up and through the chakras along your spine.

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Kundalini Yoga: Energy Aura

How does Kundalini Yoga differ from other types of yoga?

Compared with other forms of yoga, Kundalini yoga is a more spiritual practice. It still involves physical movements, but they aren’t the primary focus. This is different from Hatha Yoga or Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, for example, which both revolve around physical poses.

Kundalini yoga is also more precise and repetitive. Whereas other types of yoga flow with your breath, Kundalini yoga combines chanting, singing, movements, and breathing in specific patterns.

Kundalini Yoga: The science of breaking limitations

All yoga in one way is towards that but Kundalini Yoga is particularly towards that. In fact, all life is towards that. In some way, people want to experience life more intensely than they are experiencing it right now. Someone wants to sing, someone else wants to dance, someone wants to drink alcohol, someone else wants to pray – why are they doing all this?

They want to experience life more intensely. Everyone is trying to raise their kundalini but they are doing it haphazardly. When you approach it scientifically with a proper method, we say it is yoga.

Kundalini yoga: Preparation

Nowadays, a lot of books and yoga studios talk about Kundalini Yoga and its benefits, though they don’t know anything about it. Even to utter the word “kundalini” we always bring a sense of reverence and then utter the word because it is so enormous.

If you have to activate the kundalini, the necessary preparation in your body, mind, and emotion should happen because if you pump energy into a system that is not ready for that kind of voltage or volume, things will fuse out.

Is Kundalini yoga safe to practice?

So many people have lost their mental balance and physical capabilities because they tried to do Kundalini Yoga without the necessary guidance and assistance. If the necessary supportive atmosphere is not there, simply attempting to raise kundalini could be very irresponsible and dangerous.

Kundalini yoga, like all yoga, should be practiced with safety in mind. Use caution if you have:

  • Breathing issues,
  • Joint pain,
  • An injury,
  • Balance problems, and
  • Are pregnant.

If you’re not sure whether Kundalini is safe for you, talk with your doctor to find out if there are any precautions you should take or if there’s a safer exercise option to try.

Is Kundalini yoga the most dangerous form of yoga?

Most potent

Kundalini Yoga in its essence is the most dangerous form of yoga. I am saying dangerous because it is the most potent also. What is most potent is always the most dangerous if improperly handled.

For example, there are various kinds of ways in which electricity is being produced. One of the ways we do it is through nuclear reactors. It is the most efficient way of producing energy that we know right now but it is also the most dangerous way, isn’t it? When things are going right, it is the easiest and best way to produce energy on the planet.

Most dangerous

When things go wrong, they go seriously wrong in ways that you can’t fix it. Similarly, with Kundalini Yoga, it is the most potent and it is the most dangerous. Without the necessary preparation, without constant, expert guidance and observation, no one should ever attempt it.

But the problem is books have been written about it and everybody wants to do the highest yoga. Nobody wants to start with “A”, everybody wants to start the alphabet with “Z”. This attitude itself is dangerous.

Which are the steps of doing Kundalini yoga?

Kundalini yoga consists of six main components, which are done in the following order:

  • Opening chant. Every class begins with an opening chant, also known as tuning in.
  • Pranayama or warmup. You’ll do breathing exercises, called pranayama, and sometimes also movements to stretch your spine. The goal of pranayama is to practice breath control.
  • Kriya. A kriya is a sequence of postures, pranayama, mudras (hand positions), sounds, and meditation. The length and intensity of the kriya depend on your instructor.
  • Relaxation. This allows your body and mind to absorb the effects of a kriya.
  • Meditation. Your instructor guides you through meditation to cultivate awareness.
  • Closing chant. The class ends with a closing chant.

Methods of Kundalini yoga

Kuṇḍalinī awakenings are said to occur by a variety of methods. Many systems of yoga focus on awakening Kuṇḍalinī through meditation; pranayama breathing; the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. 

Kundalini Yoga is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It derives its name from its focus on the awakening of kundalini energy through the regular practice of:

  • Mantra,
  • Tantra,
  • Yantra,
  • Asanas, or
  • Meditation.

The Kuṇḍalinī experience is frequently reported to be a distinct feeling of an electric current running along the spine.

How To Awaken Kundalini: 10 Powerful Methods - SOLANCHA
One of the Methods of Kundalini Yoga

How to Awaken the Kundalini?

Kundalini is a primal energy, which is awakened through meditative and yogic practices. It can be regarded as the source-mother of energies and its awakening unleashes a power that can be transformative. Its awakening opens a gateway to deep meditative states or to powerfully disruptive states. Unlocking the kundalini allows access to the central channel and is best accomplished under the guidance of a guru who is well versed in the process, but you can attempt the journey on your own.

The power unleashed in this process is unimaginable and is not easy to control. Be sure you are ready! Otherwise, enlist a guru to guide your journey and watch over you.

Part-I: Preparation of Kundalini yoga through breathing

1: Relax first and breathe softly. The initial goal is to find the airbags before trying to find the gateway.
2: Adopt soft abdominal breathing. This is the easiest way to look for the hidden gateway.
  • When you inhale, the airbag around your lungs pushes into the airbag around your abdominal and pelvic organs. There is gas inside the tube and loops of the intestines.
3: Let the airbag around your lungs come to equilibrium with the airbag of your abdomen.
4: Find the kidneys. Between the two airbags and a little behind the lower bag membrane named the peritoneum are the kidneys
5: Contact the kidneys with the inhalation and then release both airbags at the same time. This will massage the kidneys. Keep your eyes closed.
6: Put the adrenal glands on the kidneys… like riders on a horse.
  • Chant “Num Mum Yum Pa’Hum”.
  • As you inhale let the two bags make contact.
  • As you exhale and chant, feel for the vibration of the right adrenal, the right kidney, the left kidney, and the left adrenal. 
    • The adrenals are the key organs of the front petals of the Manipura chakra. The name, “city of jewels”, refers to the great power of cortisol which gives five thousand regulatory genes access to the inner body and the world around us. Come into the body and come into the present moment.
7: Rub across your low back and lower ribs with the back of both palms if your kidneys are still aching or feel stuck.
8: Adopt a position of comfort. Remove any discomfort and resist the need to sit rigidly.
9: Lift both arms above your head, stretch the thumbs, and rotate the arms back and out. You should consciously feel your lungs respond to the thumbs.
10: Reach your index finger to the sky and let the large intestine dangle from the side of the ribcage.
11: Lift your collarbones to suspend the kidneys, then press and rotate the ball of each foot.
12: Take your awareness back to the two airbags and the kidney/adrenal sandwich and feel the sensation.
13: Start to release the diaphragm but don’t exhale all at once. Instead, tuck your chin just a little and find jalandhara bandha, a gentle throat position that will help guide you to a slow exhalation.
14: Inhale, touch the two bags, and rest the chin, tongue, palate, and sinuses on top of the stack along with the third bag—the bag of the brain and spinal cord.
15: Exhale slowly, feeling the top of your lungs fill and buoy upwards. Imagine building wings with each exhalation and imagine that the wing lifts the top of your lungs and keeps going.
16: Inhale, touch the pleural bag of the chest to the peritoneal bag of the abdomen and pelvis.
17: Exhale and let the third bag lift above the top of the nose. For this, the third bag should be known to be the dural bag of the brain and spinal cord
18: Breath again, letting the dural bag expand under the dome of the inside of the top of the head.
19: Let the bag of the spinal cord lift off from the bones of the spine and back.

Part-2: Accessing the central channel with Kundalini yoga

1: Begin the hunt for the hidden entrance to the central channel.
2: Find a vibration at the tip of the coccyx.
3: Close your eyes and chant “Vum Vum Vum Vum.” This will access the front petal of Muladhara which “Bestows mobility and the ability to make others as sweet and pure as water.”
  • Your anchor, the coccyx, will feel mobile, floating along in the shallows, barely touching the sand.
4: Feel the vibration move up the bones of the spine as you chant “Vum.”
5: Imagine you are a musical instrument that spreads sweetness and you are surrounded by kindness from everyone.
6: Chant “Shum Shum Shum Shum.” You should find the vibration in the entire bone of the sacrum.
  • Feel the craniosacral wave start rising up the spine and rocking the occiput.
  • Feel the third bag, the craniosacral bag, full of fluid, surging upwards and settling back down.
7: Let the brain sink down into the water and float.
8: Imagine a large balloon the size of the airbag of the abdomen and pelvis.
9: Let the air out slowly, holding the neck of the balloon and stretching it just a bit. This will allow you to point the little jet at whatever you want.
10: Lift your pelvic area a little bit and squeeze the anal sphincters just enough to feel or visualize a ring. These are the muscles that control the nozzle and stream of air as you exhale.
11: Let the two airbags touch with a soft inhalation.
12: Feel the kidneys in the sandwich and let the chin rest on air.
13: Draw the third bag of the brain and spinal draw forward a bit and lift the spinal cord just a bit.
14: Lift the pelvic floor, engage the sphincter rings and start the slow exhale. The nozzle of the belly-bag-balloon points backward and the little jet blows the dust off the stone column of the front of the spine.
15: Blow the jet of the abdominal balloon backward from the hollow of the front of the upper sacrum, along the convexity of the lower lumbar spine.
16: Search for the hidden door to the central channel. Search all the way to the inside of the belly button and back down.
17: Put both palms over your belly and feel for a tingle.
18: Push in and send a full exhale cloud in after it if you think you’ve found a hidden latch. When in doubt, with your eyes closed, look up!
  • If you see a wall, push through it.
  • If you see the main road, drive on it.
  • Look up!
19: Inhale and rest the three bags.
20: Engage the pelvic muscles and this time, from the left side exhale towards the midline, just below the navel.
21: Repeat.
22: Chant ” Bum Ba’Hum Mum… Yum Rum Lum.” These are the sounds of the six lotus petals of Svadhisthana chakra. From the right ovary to the appendix to the right kidney; the left kidney left descending colon, and the left ovary. 
23: Pray “Lum Lum Lum Lum” for the grace of God, Savior of the universe.
24: Inhale and, from the left side, exhale towards the centerline.
25: Inhale and let the three bags rest.
26: Descend your awareness down the spine. Imagine the sound of a silent “H.”
  • When you exhale, let your lower abdominal move back quickly. Imagine flipping a pancake.
27: Exhale forward, up, and loop it back around with the jet blowing from in front of the abdominal wall, through the wall, and all the way back to the front of the spinal column.
  • If you feel an itch, exhale again right at it, millimeter-by-millimeter, drilling towards the goal.

Signs and symptoms of an awakening Kundalini

There can be many different signs that your kundalini is awakening. When we experience kundalini “symptoms,” that energy is knocking on the door to get our attention and awareness so that we can make the changes our soul desires. When that happens, we are able to become who we are meant to be and live our highest calling. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Experiencing a heightened awareness of intuition,
  • A deep sense of purpose and destiny,
  • The urge to make life changes, and
  • Physical and emotional changes like sleep disturbances, anxiety, surges of energy, and shaking.

Whatever symptoms you are experiencing, try not to fixate too much on whether or not it is kundalini and why it is there. Instead, focus on allowing the energy to move through you and working to heal any uncomfortable symptoms coming up on a holistic level. The less you resist these feelings, the quicker they will pass.

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Signs of Awakened Kundalini

Kundalini yoga in Shaiva Tantra

The innate intelligence of embodied consciousness

Kuṇḍalinī arose as a central concept in Shaiva Tantra, especially among the Śākta cults like the Kaula. In these Tantric traditions, Kuṇḍalinī is “the innate intelligence of embodied Consciousness”. The first possible mention of the term is in the Tantrasadbhāva-tantra (eighth century), though other earlier tantras mention the visualization of Shakti in the central channel and the upward movement of prana or vital force (which is often associated with Kuṇḍalinī in later works). 

According to David Gordon White, this feminine spiritual force is also termed Bhogavati, which has a double meaning of “enjoyment” and “coiled” and signifies her strong connection to bliss and pleasure, both mundane physical pleasure and the bliss of spiritual liberation (moksha), which is the enjoyment of Shiva’s creative activity and ultimate union with the Goddess.

Goddess Kubjika

In the influential Shakta tradition called Kaula, Kuṇḍalinī is seen as a “latent innate spiritual power”, associated with the Goddess Kubjika (lit. “the crooked one”), who is the supreme Goddess (Paradevi). She is also pure bliss and power (Shakti), the source of all mantras, and resides in the six chakras along the central channel. In Shaiva Tantra, various practices like pranayama, bandhas, mantra recitation, and tantric rituals were used in order to awaken this spiritual power and create a state of bliss and spiritual liberation.

Main forms of Kuṇḍalini

According to Abhinavagupta, the great tantric scholar and master of the Kaula and Trika lineages, there are two main forms of Kuṇḍalinī:

  • An upward-moving Kuṇḍalinī (urdhva) is associated with expansion, and
  • A downward moving Kuṇḍalinī (Adha) is associated with contraction. 

According to the scholar of comparative religion Gavin Flood, Abhinavagupta links Kuṇḍalinī with “the power that brings into manifestation the body, breath, and experiences of pleasure and pain”, with “the power of sexuality as the source of reproduction” and with the force of the syllable ha in the mantra and the concept of aham, the supreme subjectivity as the source of all, with an as the initial movement of consciousness and m its final withdrawal.

How to safely practice Kundalini yoga?

Below are the steps you should follow to begin a very basic Kundalini yoga practice. Remember that it’s better to start small. Pick a manageable meditation commitment that you think you can follow through on every day.

Avoid trying to do too much too quickly, which could feel overwhelming and derail your efforts. Even five minutes each day of Kundalini meditation is likely to help you, so don’t underestimate the value of even this most basic practice.

Choose a location

Kundalini mediation can be done anywhere. Ideally find a quiet, distraction-free space that’s a comfortable (not too hot, not too cool) temperature. This should be a spot that you find peaceful and where you are not likely to be bothered. It could be a place where you gather your favorite things. Keep a bottle of water beside you.

Choose what to wear

Dress in whatever feels right to you. Many practitioners choose to wear loose, comfortable, cotton clothing and potentially a head covering like a cotton shawl. Your clothes should be clean, fresh, and ideally light in color to enhance the feeling of lightness.

Choose when to practice

You could practice first thing in the morning to set your intentions for the day—or to take advantage of a time you are least likely to be disturbed. Or, you could practice before bed at night as a way of winding down from your day. Just about any time works, but try to avoid meditating after a big meal, as your body will be busy with digestion.

Get into position

Sit on the floor cross-legged or sit in a chair with your weight resting on your feet. Most importantly, choose a position that is comfortable for you where you can sit upright with a straight spine. Close your eyes softly so that they are about 90% closed. You can choose to sit on a wool or cotton blanket or put a pillow underneath you for comfort.

Choose the length of practice

This could be anywhere from three minutes to two and a half hours. Some common choices of meditation length are 11 minutes, 15 minutes, 22 minutes, 31 minutes, etc. Whatever works for your schedule and goals is perfect.

Choose a Mantra

While you breathe, you will chant a mantra to help you focus. One good example for beginners is the mantra “Om“.

Chant “O” when you inhale and “M” when you exhale. You can choose to chant out loud, in a loud whisper, or silently in your head. You can also pick another phrase or sound to repeat. Whatever mantra speaks to you and feels right, is right.

The purpose of chanting is to direct your energy. Actively listen to yourself if you are chanting out loud, or visualize the mantra being written down if you are saying it in your head. You can also repeat your mantra at other times of the day if feeling stressed.

Start to focus on breath

Notice your breathing and gradually start to slow it down. Your goal will be for one round of inhaling and exhaling to last about seven to eight seconds. Break your inhale and exhale into segments, such that you do short inhales or exhales broken up by pauses.

Aim to do this so that there are four segments of both inhales and exhales during a complete breath. Breath through your nose the entire time. If you feel dizzy at any point, then stop the practice.

Feel the breath moving

As you are practicing your breathing and chanting, focus on how your breath is moving through your body and helping you to relax. Whenever your mind starts to wander, consciously return your focus back to your breath and mantra.

Finish the meditation

Continue this cycle of breathing throughout the predetermined mediation time. (Set a timer so you’ll know when to stop.) Complete the mediation by inhaling deeply, pushing your palms together or raising your arms in the air, and then relaxing and exhaling.

Gradually increase meditation

Gradually, aim to increase the length of time that you meditate. As you practice, focus on letting thoughts come and go, and watch for a feeling of energy moving along your spine and a feeling of euphoria in your body.

How beneficial Kundalini yoga is?

Kundalini yoga has several science-backed and anecdotal benefits. Let’s look at them more closely:

Stress and anxiety relief

Like other forms of yoga, Kundalini yoga can help relieve stress and anxietyIn a small 2017 study, participants experienced immediate stress relief after doing Kundalini yoga. This effect continued after they practiced for 3 more months.

Similarly, a 2018 study determined that 8 weeks of Kundalini yoga lowered participants’ anxiety levels. The researchers concluded that Kundalini yoga may be an effective treatment option for people with generalized anxiety disorder.

Improves cognitive function

In a 2017 controlled trial, researchers studied 81 participants with mild cognitive impairment. The participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group practiced Kundalini yoga, while the other group received memory enhancement training for 12 weeks.

While both groups showed significant improvements in their memory at the end of the study, only the Kundalini group showed short- and long-term improvements in their executive functioning. This includes skills such as reasoning, problem-solving, and cognitive flexibility, among others.

In addition to cognitive improvements, the group that practiced Kundalini yoga also had fewer symptoms of depression at the end of the study.

Boosts self-perception

Another small 2017 study found that Kundalini yoga may improve body positivity and self-acceptance. These benefits were observed in nine women diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

According to the researchers, Kundalini yoga may help treat eating disorders by improving self-perception and self-appreciation.

Spiritual enlightenment

It’s believed that as your Kundalini energy awakens, you become more spiritually connected with yourself and others. These benefits have not been scientifically proven but are instead supported by anecdotal evidence.

The purported benefits may include the following:

  • More empathy,
  • Increased creativity,
  • Improved charisma,
  • Increased energy, and
  • Internal peace.

Additional benefits of Kundalini yoga

I’ve noticed over the years many subtle benefits to practicing Kundalini yoga such as:

Nervous System

Kundalini yoga strengthens your nervous system. So when you’re in down dog or plank pose for three whole minutes and your entire body is shaking, have no fear! Your nervous system is toning. And the stronger your nerves are, the more you will be able to act in a cool, calm, and collected matter in the face of any situation, be it a car accident, big presentation, or family drama.


Kundalini yoga awakens your inner willpower right at the core of your solar plexus (Third Chakra) at the navel point. What that means is that you build a strong heat in this region, which helps in digesting not only food but also past memories and self-doubt. We become much more able to process and digest events that happen and take necessary action immediately to eradicate things, people or situations that are causing us more harm than good.

Brain Power

Kundalini yoga clears the fogginess of the mind. When the mind becomes clouded with several thoughts, it feels a little like a cobweb of thoughts has formed and are difficult to untangle and with a few minutes of the rapid breath of fire or one-minute breath, the mind becomes crystal clear, we feel more alert, focused, concentrated, with better memory and the capacity to make sound decisions.


Breathing alternately through the nostrils brings into balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain. We usually act, analyze and do much more frequently than we feel, visualize and imagine. And that’s because the right side of the brain is usually understimulated. Kundalini yoga awakens our inner creativity by releasing our worries about the little things and opening us up to the infinite possibilities that life has to offer.


Kundalini yoga opens the heart center (Fourth Chakra). Poses as the Tree Pose provide us with security in the root chakra so we feel like strong steady trees planted firmly to the earth, and when our needs are not met we don’t feel like it’s the end of the world. We remain open and trusting that the higher power (God) will provide us with what we need when the time is right.

So the world doesn’t collapse when we don’t get that job, fail that exam or suffer from a breakup or family death. Whatever it is, we gain an attitude of acceptance. Understanding that it’s all OK. It’s all good. We are open to whatever life has to offer.

Compassionate communication

In Kundalini yoga, poses like the Shoulder Stand open the throat center (Fifth Chakra). Add this to an open heart and we become forgiving, compassionate, and nonjudgmental and our lips can bless, give gratitude and kindness to all those around us.

Thus don’t be surprised when you start addressing your boss, cousins, or neighbor by dear, dearest, sweetheart, my love, and so on. More so, when there is something bothering you, you will find the best way to express yourself to bring you to say the absolute truth with all gentleness and tenderness.

Awakened Intuition

We spend so much time stuck in our minds, analyzing the pros and cons of each decision when in reality the answer is always within us. We always have a gut feeling about something but we tend to ignore it.

Yoga gives us the ability to pause and listen to the message behind that gut feeling. It enables us to quiet down the mind to the point that our thoughts become still and we can feel what our heart yearns for, something that will be good for us.

Wise choices

All forms of yoga make us more conscious human beings. So don’t be surprised if you start acting like a wise guy, refraining from behaviors that cause harm to you and the environment like smoking, drinking, drugs, meat, and dairy products, and wastage of water and electricity.

Instead, you will choose to consume fresh vegetables and fruits, whole foods, protect animals and the environment, serve others through charitable giving, and take up activities like singing, dancing, and art that will remove you from the company of people and surroundings that no longer bring the best out of you.

Kundalini Yoga Meditation: A Powerful Blend Of Spiritual And Physical Practices - BetterMe
Benefits of Kundalini Yoga: Better Me

We all are enlightened beings

It is like an express train that shakes and wakes you up. Some kriyas will leave you feeling high and totally blissed out. Other kriyas will really provoke and confront you. What’s important is to stay present and accept pleasure and pain as part of the same journey to health and balance.

Our ego naturally leans toward pleasure and comfort. It takes concerted effort and discipline to begin to release the ego’s grip on our consciousness. It is where we start to make great strides toward living as enlightened beings.

Frequently asked questions

Before posting your query, kindly go through them:

What is the meaning of Kundalini Yoga?

The term “Kundalini” comes from the Sanskrit word “kundal,” which means “circular.” It also refers to a coiled snake. And according to practitioners, Kundalini energy is like that coiled snake: It sits at the base of your spine, sleeping and unaroused. Kundalini yoga is practiced to activate this energy, which allows it to move up and through the chakras along your spine.

Is Kundalini Yoga the most dangerous form of Yoga?

When things go wrong, they go seriously wrong in ways that you can’t fix it. Similarly, with Kundalini Yoga, it is the most potent and it is the most dangerous. Without the necessary preparation, without constant, expert guidance and observation, no one should ever attempt it. Nobody wants to start with “A”, everybody wants to start the alphabet with “Z”. This attitude itself is dangerous.

Who is Goddess Kubjika?

In the influential Shakta tradition called Kaula, Kuṇḍalinī is seen as a “latent innate spiritual power”, associated with the Goddess Kubjika (lit. “the crooked one”), who is the supreme Goddess (Paradevi).

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    1. It’s wonderful to know. You’re lucky to have been trained by Dr. Swami Hardas. Good luck and go beyond the limitations.

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