This blog already has a dedicated page of kundalini/ascension symptoms, but I have a special place in my heart for an extraordinarily generous woman named El Collie, who was one of the first people to share openly about her severe kundalini experiences online.
She experienced a ‘blitzkrieg’ of K symptoms, documented them in detail, shared what she knew in forums that supported so many… and then, in 2001, she died. Whether of ‘natural causes,’ or a ‘natural’ Kundalini event that went beyond where her body could follow, or by her own hand… has never been made public.
Once, when my experience became so unbearable [as it did periodically] I wondered if I’d survive it – or if I wanted to – I emailed her husband asking what had happened to El. No response… which led me to suspect even more strongly that her departure was her choice. She left behind a wealth of information about kundalini in the form of an unfinished book, which one can peruse on the website her husband leaves up to this day: www.elcollie.com
Kundalini is not something to pursue because you want the “goodies” that might come in the aftermath. That’s the exact wrong reason to seek enlightenment, tho it’s understandable, especially regarding spiritual “newbies.” Kundalini is a serious matter that, once unleashed in a body, takes over the wheel of the life – and the ride can become far more than ever bargained for.
If it is “your destiny” so to speak to experience a kundalini awakening, it will find you! ~ Perhaps while you are under the tutelage of someone who has personal experience and much wisdom re: kundalini. Please do not try to force the movement of this energy upon yourself. However, it’s my belief that kundalini awakenings will become increasingly “set off” in response to the higher frequencies now pouring through our solar system.
If you or someone you know begins having unimaginable “symptoms” such as these, you will be called upon to be as gentle, understanding, and tolerant (with yourself or the other) as you are able, as a life-altering journey has begun. It may be very brief; it may last years. Each awakening is tailored to the person experiencing it. Mine was difficult and went on for years. For someone else it might be blissful right out of the gate. It depends on your trails (throughout lifetimes and also family lineages) up to the awakening and the blockages accumulated along the way that kundalini will set about clearing.
The remainder of this post features experiences shared by El Collie in her unfinished book, Branded by the Spirit.
The transformational process creates all kinds of havoc in our systems, and can have a powerful somatic impact. If you are experiencing physical symptoms, it’s wise to get a medical checkup. In the case of psychospiritual illness, it’s unlikely that doctors will be able to diagnose the cause of your symptoms. Unfortunately, when medical examination and clinical tests detect no pathology, doctors are apt to declare our symptoms psychosomatic or neurotic. Medical science is still largely in the dark about psychospiritual illness, and doesn’t understand that a process such as a Kundalini awakening produces very real metabolic and neurological changes in the body. The following is a list of the blitzkrieg of physical symptoms encountered in my own awakening process and/or in the experiences of others who have been in psychospiritual transition. I have roughly categorized these into two groups: Outward Manifestations, which can be “objectively” observed, and Sensory Manifestations, which are internal sensations.
1. Tremors, shaking or convulsions
For me, this began gradually, first noticed as an uncontrollable tremor which caused my head to shake rhythmically back and forth, even when I was lying down.
2. Rhythmic, jerking, spasmodic or graceful involuntary movements
These are called kriyas and mudras, and may be mild and infrequent or very vigorous.
3. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Many of these symptoms come on suddenly, and last a short while – a few minutes or hours, or a day or two, then just as abruptly, they vanish.
4. Unusual breathing patterns; cessation of breath for short periods This is known as automatic pranayama.
5. Reddening, blackening and loss of toenails or fingernails
6. Skin cracking or peeling (or turning red)
7. Skin eruptions: blisters, warts, cysts. pimples or boils
8. Loss of hair; hair standing on end
9. Weight changes (which may or may not correspond to food intake)
10. Nose bleeds
11. Menstrual changes (more or less pain than usual; lighter or heavier bleeding, longer or shorter cycles) Women undergoing Kundalini awakenings often find that the symptoms intensify during the time of their periods.
12. Compulsive running; automatic dancing, or automatic posturing of the body (often in yoga asanas)
13. Involuntary vocalizations (or inability to speak)
14. Increase in metabolism, causing weight loss; faster growth of hair and nails
1. Sensation of great heaviness in the body.
I felt as though hundred pound weights were hanging from all my limbs and an elephant was sitting on my chest!
2. General physical weakness; partial paralysis.
For me, this symptom occurred in the early months of my process, in the wake of the sensations of heaviness in my body. My ankles turned to rubber and my feet dragged and flopped sideways when I walked. My arms became increasingly useless, and it was hard to move my fingers. I couldn’t pick up small items, and I had no gripping strength. Just trying to hold a spoon was a formidable feat. I became so weak I could no longer lift my arms. At the crux of this condition, I was a bedridden invalid, unable to use my hands even to dress or feed myself. My walking was reduced to a faltering shuffle.
3. Exhaustion, fatigue (sleeping most of the day)
4. Insomnia, hyperactivity
If for an extended period, this manic phase may lead to temporary psychosis
5. Dizziness, faintness, blacking out
6. Muscle twitches, cramping, aching or spasms
7. Prickling, tingling, itching or vibrating sensations on or under the skin
8. Numbness in the limbs
9. Pain in the solar plexus; sensation of being “punched in the stomach” (especially when confronted by fear, anger or manipulation by others)
10. Sensations of extreme heat or cold. (The heat may be detectable by others.)
11. Pain in the spine or back.
This can be severe and crippling. Although it is not common, in my case, when the Kundalini became active in my spinal column, I suffered a ruptured disk that kept me flat on my back in bed, unable to move, for over four months. I felt a bubbling, liquid sensation in my spine that one healer thought might be the movement of my spinal fluid. At times it felt as if my spine were disintegrating; sometimes I felt sharp pains and internal blockages that felt like chunks of broken glass in my spine. When the Kundalini becomes active in the central channel of the spine, there are usually pulsating, ticking, throbbing, thumping and strong energetic feelings in the lumbar and tailbone region. Powerful energy may rush through the spine–one man said it felt like a locomotive running through him.
12. Feeling or hearing cracking, tearing, popping in vertebrae, joints and tendons (or in the brain).
13. Headaches, intense pressure in the head
14. Constriction around the throat; swallowing difficulties or convulsive swallowing.
My throat stopped working altogether. When I tried to eat, the muscles that contract in swallowing simply refused to move. It was as though my swallowing reflex had somehow short-circuited. I found myself gagging and having to spit out the food. I could only get down liquids, which depended more on the pull of gravity than the cooperation of my throat muscles.
15. Pressure in the chest; breathing problems
16. Stabbing, ripping or burning pain in the chest; “heart attack” type symptoms
17. Heart palpitations, rapid pulse
18. Shooting pains throughout the body
19. Fluctuations in appetite (from none to voracious hunger); craving certain foods.
20. Tremendous surges of “electricity” and/or vibrating energy in the system
21. Pain in the eyes; increased sensitivity to light, dimming of vision
22. Eyes “bursting out of sockets”; rapid eye movements (visible to others); poking, pulling, tugging sensations in eyes
In my case, I felt a horrifying sensation that felt like toothpicks stabbing into my eyeballs. Later, I endured weeks of furious movements of my eyeballs, which even occurred in my sleep.
23. Heat or energy radiating from the ears.
24. Tongue spasming or curling backward into throat.
When I developed this tongue-spasming symptom, it made my speech difficult at times, and I would slur my words or bite my tongue when talking. I also experienced blisters on my tongue. When the tongue curls backward into the throat, there is a tendency to gag. This seemingly bizarre and alarming phenomenon is actually a well known positioning of the tongue in yoga, the kechari mudra.
25. “Migrating” tooth aches (sometimes all teeth aching at once)
26. Acute increase in hearing, taste, smell, touch or vision
27. A sensation of being about to disintegrate or explode
28. Feeling of being “out of body” or expanded into an energy field
29. Sensation of changing size (growing larger or smaller)
30. Conflicting needs: feeling hungry and full, tired and agitated, overheated and cold at the same time
31. Abrupt drops in blood sugar (these can lead to some of the mental and emotional symptoms described below)
32. Floating sensations; actual levitation
33. Swirling or spinning sensations
Emotional turmoil and mental disturbances may also occur during a psychospiritual process. These include:
1. Confusion, temporary amnesia, mentally blanking out
2. Uncontrollable weeping spells, sometimes without definite emotional content
3. Outbursts of temper
4. Feelings of great neediness and clinging to others
5. Sudden episodes of anxiety, fear, rage, grief, guilt, etc.
6. Depression, despair, hopelessness
7. Aggressive and hostile behavior – Very rarely does this carry through to actually harming others.
8. Exaggerated fears; paranoia
9. Feelings of impending doom
10. Terror of, or longing for, death
11. Deluge of memories of events from our past
12. Ideas of self-aggrandizement; interpreting our process to mean that we are now specially appointed saints, messiahs, or extraterrestrials on a mission from God. (Self-inflation)
13. Altered states; episodes of psychosis
14. Terror of going insane; frightening thoughts or visions
15. Disgust and anger with ourselves, the human race, God, the universe
16. Difficulty dealing with the way others are being affected by the higher vibration of our energy – People seem to be inordinately magnetized to, or repelled from, those in transformational processes.
17. Agoraphobia; panic attacks These are often the result of psychic hypersensitivity.
18. Alienation from the external world; emotional flatness
19. Extreme introversion and retreat from worldly contact
20. Losing faith in everything
As miserable as it can feel to go through any (or many) of these experiences, it has always helped me to remind myself that others have endured these same difficulties in their awakening processes. It has been a relief to me to know that these symptoms aren’t indications that something has gone terribly wrong with my process. None of these things are fun to undergo, but all of them can be a natural stage in our inner unfolding.