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12 Ways To Activate Kundalini | Living As A Tantrika

living as a tantrika

12 Ways To Activate Kundalini From Serene To Sensual

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15 minutes

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Practicing Kundalini Activation for one hour per day starts your awakening journey towards infinite love and wisdom. Kundalini can be activated in many ways. First gain knowledge to avoid pitfalls, then trust your heart and inner guidance.

Kundalini Awakening: Don't Think About It

Kundalini awakening happens and you feel totally alive, aware, and present. Compared to your previous state where you only thought you were alive, but were actually just living on auto-pilot, in a sleepy haze.

I was highly skeptical about concepts of Kundalini and chakras. No surprise given I was from an academic background. I gave Kundalini Yoga a shot because of its promise to reduce stress and improve health. Who wouldn’t try the fountain of youth?

It wasn’t just talk. After completing a Kundalini Teacher Training Course, I returned home from India feeling a brand-new person.  Friends and family commented on my youthful glow.

Feeling a surge of Kundalini energy running through my chakras (energy centers), was the real eye opener. I was bathed in a swirling rainbow of northern lights, an experience so profound it completely undid my skepticism. From then on, I have been a firm believer in the power of the Shakti force. I practice everyday and this has meant profound changes in my life.

I would not categorise my experience as Kundalini awakening. Rather it was an experience of chakra energies moving in my body. Many people have such kundalini activation experiences during their journey. Real awakening changes you completely to become a reborn person. When Kundalini awakens you are living life from the heart without fears, always staying in the present movement and meeting the world with intuitive wisdom.

Initial research suggest that Kundalini Activation starts in the brain. It suggest that awakened people have increased seretonin, endorphins, oxytocin and melatonin. Other that an activated brain show more activity in certain areas, like the front part and the amygda.

Origins of Kundalini Awakening

Kundalini energy and its activation must be understood from its roots in Classical Kashmiri Tantra. Ancient tantric texts first introduce the energy body and related terms such nadis, bindus, and chakras. Awakening is not unique to Kundalini Yoga; it is similar to Buddhism or Vedanta. The difference is that Kundalini Awakening focuses on the power of the energy body as a path to awakening.

While many think of Kundalini activation as raising the energy, classical tantric texts describe it as a balance between the upward and downward energy flow. Kundalini activation can move the energies suddenly but awakening is usually a slow process. Tantric philosophy talks of koshas, which are: physical, energetic, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human being. Spiritual awakening affects all these aspects, improving physical health, energy flow, emotional balance, mental stability and pushing our awareness into the realm of soul and spirit.

Kundalini activation changes your brain; you get deeper focus and more available energy. However, it’s not a quick miracle that happens during a weekend retreat as some modern gurus claim. The Buddha’s enlightenment came after years of regular practice, and it is often the same with awakening by Kundalini awakening.

Some people are awakened by birth, for example of both parents are Kundalini Awakened.  An example of an awakened person by birth is Krishna Murthi, an Indian philosopher from the 1960’s who, though not explicitly a tantrika, draws much of his wisdom from its philosophy.

Ways To Activate Kundalini

Activating Kundalini takes long dedicated practice for most people. It’s not just a goal to achieve or a check mark on a list, but a journey. The intention you set for that journey is critical to achieving the result. If Kundalini awakening happens, that’s great! Enjoy its happiness. If it doesn’t, the journey itself is worthwhile as it is both beautiful and giving. So, just try to live with a kind heart and without hurting others.

1. Tantric Meditation: Merging Universal Consciousness

Tantra has an almost infinite number of meditations. An important tantra text, the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, offers 112 such meditations. Many more tantra texts exist and over 3,000 are still to be translated.

Tantra meditations calm a busy mind and help you reach a higher state of energy and consciousness. This takes practice. Dealing with an overactive mind is the main challenge, at least to begin with.

Tantra meditation is powerful because of its focus on the energy body. Once that energy is active, you can push on to a higher state of meditation where the mind becomes still. This state is referred to as Bhairava in Classical Tantra, or Samadhi in yoga, Purusha in Patanjali’s Sutras, Brahman in Vedanta, Shunya in Buddhism. We can also simply call it our true nature.

If you find meditating calming, try mindfulness in nature. Spend time with a tree, go for a walk in the forest after rainfall, or sit by the sea. Pay close attention to the waves moving or the sound of wind blowing through leaves. Observe this way until you are completely absorbed, and then dive deeper into meditation using the senses.

2. Kriya Yoga: Purifying Body and Mind

Kriya Yoga is a sub-form of Tantric Meditation. Kriya Yoga is a particular meditation that combines breath and mind control: ‘Breath control is self-control. Breath mastery is self-mastery.’ When the breath is mastered you approach the higher state.

Think of Kundalini Kriyas like an orchestra. It’s not just one instrument, like the violin or drums, that makes the magic of the music. The real magic happens when all instruments play together. Similarly, the magic of Kundalini Kriyas comes from a combination of different tantric practices. This involves using postures (Asana), breath control (Pranayama), energetic seals (Mudras), energy locks (Bandha), visualization, and or sound (Nad Yoga). When chakras are active and the central channels (Ida and Pingala Nadi) are balanced, the Kundalini energy begins to rise.

The magic of Kundalini energy begins by the combination of these practices. It does not happen overnight and requires patience. But the effort is always worthwhile because even if the Kundalini energy remains still, you’ll experience more harmony, energy, and bliss in your everyday life.

3. Karma Yoga: Intentional Living

Your intention is crucial when it comes to Kundalini activation. If you’re not careful, you may end up with the opposite of what you seek. Karma yoga is like a cleanse for your mind and heart. It prepares you for the journey of awakening.

For me, it meant shifting my focus from myself to helping others. When I did that, I felt more love from people around me. Karma yoga is about doing your duties without putting yourself first. First take care of yourself so you can help others more effectively.

When you do your duties, give them your best effort. Selfless action is a big part of karma yoga. It means helping others without thinking about your personal return. Try not to get attached. Do your duties whether you like them or not, and treat everyone the same way. For example, as a teacher, you treat all students equally, without favoritism.

4. Mantra Chanting: Balancing Energies

Repeated mantras chanting can lead to awakening. Mantras help connect the upper and lower parts of Kundalini energy. In ancient texts like the Netra-tantra from around 800 CE, it is said that when you chant the Kundalini sound with enough intensity, it becomes like a ‘sound needle’ that can pierce the psychic knot at the center of the head, opening the experience of the true unity of existence. As a result, the upper Kundalini merges with the lower Kundalini, until the energy moves up in the Sushumna channel, leading to awakening.

Tantra Meditation | Kundalini Awakening: From Serene to Sensual
Kundalini Meditation | Kundalini Awakening: Serene or Sensual

5. Secret Tibetan Kundalini Rites: Focussing your Chakra Energy 

The Secret Tibetans, originating from Tibetan monastic culture, are less known in the yoga community compared to the ‘5 Tibetans’. These kriya meditations were kept secret until recently when they were shared with the world to protect Tibetan culture. Unlike the 5 Tibetans, which focus on the physical body, these rites focus on the energy body emphasizing the meditative aspects. They can greatly benefit people with an overactive mind.

Monks kept these practices hidden because they were the ones entrusted to communicate with the divine. Using the secret Tibetans to activate their chakra energy they would meditate intensely for up to three sitting in a small box of hay that would not allow space to sleep.

My former students attest to the transformative power of these rites. Integrating them into your daily yoga and meditation routines enhance inner strength,  resilience and vitality. It is like a shield towards the negative energy of the outside world.

Sharing these practices preserves Tibetan culture and provides a means for individuals to access their power and begin their awakening journey.

6. Tapasya: Meditation in Austerity

Tapasya literally means generation of heat and energy. Kundalini awakening is achieved through the purification of samskaras through deep meditation and austerities, a path less fitted to modern lifestyle and mostly chosen by Siddhis and Monks. It involves discipline, and efforts to reach realization through methods such as fasting, silence, isolation or meditation in frost. Although popular because of the fame of the Wim Hoff, dipping into an ice bath is not considered Tapasya.

7. Chakra Awakening: Asana Yoga

Practicing yoga poses and sun salutations every day can prepare your body and help activate the Kundalini energy. To get the best results from your yoga practice try to do it as a meditation.

Close your eyes and focus on your breath as you flow through the poses. Take slow, deep breaths for at least 5 seconds, filling up your lungs and belly. During the practice, use ujjayi breath, which means gently closing the muscles around your throat to make a sound like the ocean. Always keep your attention on your chakras.

Similarly, when you do sun salutations, focus on your chakras and move through the poses smoothly, like a moving meditation. Once you get used to practicing yoga this way, it will change how you experience it.

8. Tantra Philosophy: Everything is Connected

Tantra philosophy teaches us to let go of our ego and attachments, so we can see that everything is connected. By meditating, chanting mantras, and focusing on your energy centers, tantric practitioners feel more love and fulfilment. Deep inner peace comes from understanding ourselves better, not from chasing after external things. Being more aware of ourselves and questioning our attachments to things and people we can feel real love instead of just seeking short-term thrills such as social media likes, porn or drugs.

You may have heard stories about fake gurus who used their power to transgress boundaries of other people and in other ways take advantage of their position. Because tantric kundalini yoga is powerful, the intention matters a lot. It’s like walking in a garden full of roses. You see their beauty and smell their wonderful scent, but you don’t feel the need to take them for yourself.

At the core of tantric philosophy lies the concept of non-duality, suggesting our interconnectedness with the universe as vibrational energy. This principle finds resonance in quantum science. In practical terms, it underscores the imperative to safeguard all living beings, recognizing that disrupting the life force within the ecosystem disrupts the balance of existence.

In simpler terms, if we harm the life energy in forests, oceans, and deserts, we’re essentially harming ourselves too. It’s like cutting off the branch we’re sitting on.

9. Pranayamas: Chakra Activation through Breath Control

The practice of pranayamas (breathwork) has a profound impact on your energy body. It increases the Shakti energy through breath control. Some Pranayamas increase the fire in the body and others are balancing and calming. Together they balance the different Koshas of the body: the physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects.

By practicing kumbhaka (breath retention) the chakra energy is concentrated in the chakras which over time raises the Kundalini through the sushumna nadi (central energy pathway). Be careful with raising the Kundalini solely with breathwork because it may activate the energy too fast. Your Koshas may become unbalanced, with the risk of Kundalini Madness (in modern terms psychosis). Thus, after intense fire breath, always end with calming and stabilizing pranayamas such as Nadi Choaden (alternate nostril breathing).

10: Activation through Samavesa (secret sexual unification rite)

In classical tantra, only those who have reached the highest level of spiritual growth are eligible for sexual immersion (Samvesa). This stands in contrast to the new tantra movement where sacred sexuality, swinger sex and sexual promiscuity is mistakenly advertised as tantric. In the Neo-Tantric sex market, sex in all forms and shapes (often with the teacher) is seen as a quick route to  awaken the Kundalini energy. But it’s important to understand that this is not what we’re discussing here.

In classical tantra, only those who have reached the highest level of spiritual growth are ready for samavesa. To be eligible for the secret sexual rituals they must fully recognize their spiritual identity, spent years of tantric meditation and overcome their desires. Only then can they participate in rites of  deep immersion and penetration (samavesa). These practices are not for ordinary people and never for a weekend retreat.  Here an excerpt from a tantric text (cited from the renowned scholar Christopher Wallis, author of Tantra Illuminated: What is the Original Kundalini, 15 August 2015, Hareesh.org.

Through the co-penetration of the siddha and yogini, the great celebratory unification arises...through the melting away of the duality of Siva and Sakti ...which is the supreme fusion in identity (maha-samarasya) of the two.

Rituals described in ancient tantric texts are very different from what you might see at modern tantra festivals, where people gather to dance and explore sexual liberation, Kink and Bondage. If you are interested in tantric sexuality, I suggest practicing with your partner under the (non participant) guidance of a coach who understands classical tantric principles.

The last 2 methods are experiences that give a short insight into Kundalini awakening and therefore aspire the students to follow the path of Kundalini activation.

11. Shaktipat: Instant awakening experience

“Shakti” refers to the life-giving energy of the Goddess Shakti, and “pat” means “to descend.” Shaktipat is when this special energy, called “grace,” arrives, marking the start of the awakening journey. Some people see Shaktipat as a transmission given directly from a guru to a student, or from someone who is already Kundalini awakened. Kundalini energy may also come down suddenly and without a clear reason, usually only recognized later by its effects. For example, feeling drawn to find a spiritual teacher suggests that Shaktipat has already happened. Without it, the desire to seek would not arise.

Sometimes, Shaktipat happens suddenly and deeply, leading to a realization that changes one’s way of seeing the world. In other cases, it happens gradually over time. According to the Kaula, an early text of tantra, you don’t need a Guru or a God to achieve awakening. It can just be an ordinary teacher who knows tantric  teachings well. I have quite frequently experienced students who left my place inspired to follow the tantric path to awakening, because they experienced its benefits in their own lives.

12. Auyshadhi: Activating Kundalini through Herbs

Auyshadhi is a “hidden method” that uses plants. Some of these plants will put you into a deep state of meditation, where the nervous system and metabolism slow down. This is a method practiced secretly in India. In other parts of the world, psychedelic plants, like Ayahuasca, are used for their psycho-spiritual effects. They can cause hallucinations or even near death experience that resets the nervous system.

Activating Kundalini using psychedelic plants can be risky, especially when given by untrained people. It might lead to a Kundalini psychosis, and should definitely not be tried by those with a history of mental health issues.

Taking psychedelic plants will give you a genuine or pemanent Kundalini Awakening, but can give a brief glimpse of what it is like. This does inspire many to explore Kundalini yoga more deeply. Several of my students were so inspired by such brief experiences that they joined courses  to persue the Kundalini yoga path. One student told me  of an experience with Ayahuasca, which made him realize the real battle lay within. After attending a course, he found a more lasting connection with his inner state of peace.

Summary

An awakened person has clarity of vision, high quality of thinking and philosophy. It’s like waking up from a half-aware state to true awareness. When awakened you will experience being present in the moment, connecting with your inner energy source and reaching a higher consciousness.

You need to get knowledge on Kundlini awakening methods and assert caution before choosing the path that connects with your heart. Each method offers a unique path, but all require dedication and patience. Setting an intention of compassion, love and selflessness is crucial throughout this journey.

Kundalini methods, such as tantric meditation, Kriya yoga and pranayamas focus on energy control and chakra awakening. Living by tantric philosophy, practicing mindfulness, and letting go of ego and attachments also play significant roles in Kundalini activation.

Ultimately, Kundalini activation is a multi-dimensional process that requires commitment and inner exploration. Sharing these ancient practices empowers you to enhances all aspects of your being, from physical health to spiritual wellbeing, and follow a journey of personal self-discovery and growth.

References

  1.  Kundalini Awakening: A study of psychological aspects, Mishra Satyanarayan, 2017, 5 (3). International Journal of Advances in Social Sciences.
  2. Kundalini Tantra, Satyananda Saraswati. Oct. 2002, from Malaymura Institute.
  3. The Five Tibetans. Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy and Personal Power, Christopher S. Kilham, 1994, from Healing Arts Press.
  4. Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, Christopher Wallis, August 2013, from Malaymura Institute.
  5. What is the Original Kundalini, Christopher Wallis, 15 August 2015 from Hareesh.org.
Winnie Winnetu
Author
dr. winnie bothe

Winnie has practiced yoga for more than 15 years and lead yoga teacher training retreats in India for 5 years. She is internationally certified in Kundalini, Hath and Yin Yoga and in Yoga Therapy.

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