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Kundalini Serpent

Last Updated: October 19, 2023

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Kundalini serpent refers to a dormant spiritual energy often described as a serpent coiled up at the base of the spine.

The Kundalini serpent represents the powerful life-force energy that lies dormant within all individuals. True enlightenment is attained through a process known as awakening the stagnant Kundalini energy.

In Hinduism, Kundalini is a form of divine feminine energy or Shakti located at the base of the spine in the Muladhara chakra (Root chakra).

Eknath Easwaran, who has interpreted texts like Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, described it as ‘the coiled power.’  It is an essential concept in yoga and spiritual practices.

Kundalini energy

Kundalini plays a significant role in spiritual growth and enlightenment path. The serpent power is fueled when performing various kundalini yoga and meditation activities, resulting in the energy rising through all chakras. This process is called Kundalini awakening.

The representation of the kundalini as a serpent also relies on specific characteristics, such as its coiled shape at rest and its ability to rise when active.

The translation of “Kundalini Shakti” from Sanskrit to English is “Serpent Power,” which coincides with the movement of energy released within your body from the base of the spine up through the crown.

How to awaken and raise kundalini energy

There are several techniques for awakening this divine feminine energy. These include cleansing the Nadis through Pranayama breathwork, strengthening the body through Kundalini yoga, surrendering the mind through Kundalini meditation, tuning the frequency through mantra chanting, balancing masculine and feminine energy through Tantra and instantaneous awakening through Shaktipath.

Kundalini techniques also typically involve the use of mudras or hand positions. For example, try the Gyan mudra by connecting your first finger to your thumb to promote wisdom, openness, and calm. Try the Shuni mudra by placing your middle finger and thumb together to enable patience and commitment.

Serpent symbolism

A serpent is a form that has meaning in many cultures, where it often relates to the same concept. It is often associated with water because its movement is similar to the path of a river. Thus, it was often used with the mother earth goddess as a necessary companion for the land's fertility.

The serpent is among various cultures' oldest and most widespread mythological figures. Early on, it was recognized that a snake’s venom. Similar to certain chemicals of plants and fungi, it had the power to heal, poison, or provide expanded consciousness.

In mythology, literature, science, and religions worldwide, serpents symbolize both negative and positive aspects, including fertility, immortality, renewal, and healing and on the contrary, evil, lust, and danger. Altogether it makes the serpent a fascinating creature, possessing good and bad, light and dark.

When pictured, Kundalini is visualized as two snakes, Ida, and Pingala nadis as two energy channels that run along the spine, starting at the base of the spine with coiled power. These channels are associated with masculine and feminine energies, respectively.

The importance of kriyas and kundalini serpent

Kriyas in Kundalini yoga is a set of postures, breathwork and sounds that help achieve the desired outcome. A kriya initiates changes in a physical, mental and spiritual body. It creates effects like supporting the liver, stimulating the pituitary gland, increasing the spine’s flexibility and making you more radiant.

Kriyas also help balance prana and restore mental and physical power. All movements in Kundalini yoga are referred to as kriyas. They’re meant to release dormant Kundalini energy, which is said to lay coiled at the bottom of the spine until energy is set free.

Freeing the energy is an advanced practice best done with the guidance of an experienced yoga instructor or spiritual guide. When awakened, this powerful energy moves up, profoundly affecting both body-mind.

Benefits of kundalini serpent power

Awakening Kundalini, also known as serpent power, has many benefits. Based on available research and reported experiences, some potential benefits of Kundalini awakening may include:

  • Increased mindfulness and self-awareness
  • Enhanced creativity and intuition
  • More extraordinary ability to manage stress and anxiety
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Vitality
  • A heightened state of universal consciousness
  • Deeper connections with the universe
  • Increase in physical energy
  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Insomnia and headache relief
  • Release of muscle tension
  • Reduction of the risk of physical and emotional disorders.

One most striking Kundalini awakening benefits is that you become magnetic and start attracting the right people and things into your life, make the right decisions and experience a more fulfilling life.

Possible dangers with awakening kundalini shakti

While awakening Kundalini can have many benefits, it’s important to note that it has potential risks — people who practice Kundalini yoga report suffering from psychosis oppression, depression, and other manifestations of symptoms.

Likewise, some people with awakened Kundalini report experiencing sleep paralysis, night terrors, OBE (out-of-body experience) and other forms of demonic torment.

Kundalini syndrome

Kundalini syndrome is a set of unpleasant negative experiences one undergoes when Kundalini's energy is not properly handled and gets awakened suddenly.

In Hatha yoga, the two spiraling snakes are referred to as the nadis (subtle channels) Ida and Pingala and the spinal cord contains the Sushumna nadi.

The main danger during kundalini awakening is that you will rush the process, which can be very counterproductive. Overburdening yourself spiritually can have many adverse mental effects on you mentally.

This is why it’s important to approach Kundalini's awakening with caution under the guidance experienced teacher or spiritual guide.

Kundalini and science

While scientific methods cannot directly measure the existence of the energy, several scientific studies have attempted to explain the physiological and psychological effects of Kundalini awakening.

One theory is that the Kundalini awakening process activates the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to relaxation and increased awareness. Studies have shown that certain yoga practices, such as Pranayama breathing techniques, can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety.

Other studies have focused on the neurobiological effects of Kundalini awakening. Research has suggested that the activation of the Kundalini can lead to changes in brain activity, particularly in the areas associated with perception and self-awareness.

For example, a 2016 study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that Kundalini meditation increased gamma-band activity in the brain, associated with heightened awareness and perception.

While the scientific studies on Kundalini energy are still in the early stages, they provide some evidence that supports the claims made by spiritual traditions about the benefits of Kundalini's awakening.

Frequently asked questions

What is kundalini syndrome?

Kundalini syndrome is a name given to unpleasant negative experiences when Kundalini is not properly handled and gets awakened suddenly, also called the “Kundalini crisis,” a “spiritual emergency.”

It can result in a sudden rise in Kundalini energy due to certain triggers, unexpected stressful life events such as the death loved one fatal accident receiving a severe news shock. Such events may lead abrupt awakening of Kundalini.

What are the two snakes in kundalini?

In hatha yoga, the two spiraling snakes are called the nadis (subtle channels), Ida and Pingala, and the spinal cord contains the Sushumna nadi. A common belief in yoga circles is that opening up unblocking chakras is a key step unblocking kundalini energy.

What does the kundalini-related snake tattoo mean?

In Hindu culture, a snake tattoo can symbolize anything from infinity, desire, kundalini energy misfortune relationship between ephemerality and time. All these different meanings relate to the movement energy body Gods’ relationship with snakes.

 

References

  1. What is the Kundalini Serpent? Serpent Symbolism Explained – Brett Larkin Yoga 
  2. Kundalini Shakti The Serpent Power
  3. Kundalini yoga: a brief study of Sir John Woodroffe's "The serpent power."
  4. Masks of Oriental Gods: Symbolism of Kundalini Yoga | Religious Studies Center 
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