Is Kundalini Yoga dangerous? I was just at the Kundalini Yoga Festival in Athens this month, and another teacher mentioned an Athens yoga studio was hesitant to add Kundalini Yoga because they were concerned it might be dangerous. A Greek Orthodox priest I meet with asked the same thing when I mentioned I teach Kundalini Yoga. “Isn’t that dangerous?” This question comes up again and again because there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the potential dangers of Kundalini Yoga.
At the core of this misunderstanding is confusion between kundalini energy and Kundalini Yoga.
Kundalini energy is a life force energy that exists in every human being. It is a pool of energy that resides at the base of your spine. While powerful, this energy remains dormant in most people throughout their lives. However, though conscious intention or through a spontaneous event, kundalini energy can be awakened. The central benefit of awakening this energy is an increase in consciousness. Through this, people can experience clarity and find their life’s purpose, feel extreme states of bliss for prolonged periods of time, and have an increase in awareness and being present. And as kundalini energy is so powerful, it also can have some negative effects.
Some of the dangers of awakening kundalini energy for those who aren’t prepared can include feelings of instability, mood swings, and physical discomforts including hot or cold flashes, headaches, etc. Having a kundalini awakening experience for an unprepared body is like plugging a 5000 watt lamp into the wall socket that is wired to take 2400 watts. It blows out the fuse. This is the power of kundalini energy. But this kundalini energy is different than the practice of Kundalini Yoga.
Kundalini Yoga is an ancient form of yoga developed to prepare the body for activated kundalini energy. It includes very specific kriyas (a series of yoga exercises), breathwork and mantras to prepare the body for activated kundalini energy and to allow the body to integrate the kundalini energy. Kundalini Yoga is more focused on kundalini energy that some other yoga forms because it is specifically intended to integrate this energy. As it was taught to me, Kundalini Yoga is generally considered to be one of the best things you can do to prevent a kundalini awakening for an unprepared body. In the 5000 watt lamp analogy, it acts as the adapter to help ensure there are no negative side effects to awakened kundalini energy.
All forms of yoga are essentially helping to awaken kundalini energy, and this increase in consciousness is one of the primary goals of most yoga and meditation practices. Kundalini Yoga is more specific in helping the body to prepare for activated kundalini energy. It is a powerful form of yoga, but if practiced correctly, it isn’t dangerous. And I speak from personal experience. I’ve been doing Kundalini Yoga every day for almost 10 years. For me, the effects have only been positive–I’m happier, more relaxed and at ease, I’m calmer and most importantly for me, it’s given me clarity. I’ve had no negative effects–quite the opposite. I credit my Kundalini Yoga practice for much of the clarity I developed to make my life changes.
Experience is always your best guide so don’t take it from me-try it for yourself. If you are here in Athens, you can join any of my classes here. And if you are outside of Athens, you can google “Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.” There are classes all over the world. 🙂