Kundalini Awakening is for all
Regardless of what religious, spiritual, or meditation tradition one follows, the awakening of this Kundalini energy, by whatever name you call it, is a most innate and essential part of spiritual advancement, unfoldment, or realization. It may seem different when colored by different cultures, but the fundamental experience of the energy is there nonetheless.
Preparation is imperative
It is easy to read the descriptions in the books about Kundalini Awakening and the union of Shiva and Shakti, and to want to have this immediately. This seems to be a natural desire, that is useful if properly channeled into the motivation to do the practices. However, it is imperative that one be prepared for the energy that may be released in such an experience. If one is not ready, it can be like putting too much electricity through a small wire or fuse, and that is not useful in the long rung. It is far better to be prepared, to make the body a healthy vehicle, the breath a balanced channel of energy, and the mind an intellectually and emotionally stable conduit for the experience. This involves diet, exercise, and cleansing practices, including systematic introspection and the various breathing practices.
Mediate and immediate methods
When one questions how to awaken Kundalini, the question usually refers to the specific technique that is used. However, Kundalini Awakening may ultimately occur with all methods, even those that do not seem to be directly related to Kundalini. Thus, we have two general approaches with the various practices, those that are more immediate and those that are more mediate. The specific practices may overlap, or be part of both approaches.
Immediate means direct; not acting through a secondary agency, method, or practice; the quicker, more forceful approach. The immediate or direct approach might involve the various asanas, locks, and breathing practices, as well as more intense meditation practices. It may include Hatha Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Tantra Yoga. With these approaches, it is important to have external guidance so as to learn properly.
Mediate means indirect; acting through a secondary agency, method, or practices; the slower, more gentle approach. The mediate or indirect approach might involve religious rituals, Bhakti Yoga (devotional), Jnana Yoga (self-
Methods of awakening Kundalini
For the intentional, immediate or direct awakening of Kundalini, there are several categories of practices, and these are generally chosen in alignment with one's particular teacher and tradition:
Physical: These methods involve Hatha Yoga postures, Mudras (gestures), and Bandhas (locks).
Breath: Vigorous breathing practices (Pranayama), along with the Bandhas, and breath retention.
Meditation: The intensity of concentration leading to Meditation and various levels of Samadhi.
Mantra: Some of the Mantra schools work with subtle vibrations to awaken the various aspects of latent energy.
Kriyas are signposts
Sometimes there might be bursts of energy, called Kriyas, which cause a jolt throughout the spine (meru danda) and the body. They may be sharp, quick, and mild, or they may come as a powerful jolt that causes the body to jump. Such a jolt may come from time to time in meditation, experienced as a single burst of energy. These often bring varying degrees of fear, as they may seem to be a threat to our existence. Gradually, as the energy is understood and assimilated, the Kriyas come more like a quick wave of reassuring warmth, which brings a wave of peace. They serve as gentle reminders of progress on the spiritual journey.
Kriyas are neither seizures nor Kundalini
When not understood, these Kriyas can be confused with seizures because of the way they cause a jolt in the nervous and muscular systems. Because of the warmth or peaceful feeling that can come with, or after the Kriyas, they can be confused with Kundalini Awakening, which they are not. Once again, they may be pleasant experiences that serve as inspiration along the journey.
Along the way, some of the obstacles may be removed, as well as glimpses of Kundalini Awakening be given through Shaktipat, the gift of consciousness called grace (kripa) or guru, whereby a transference of energy happens, somewhat like a magnet affects some metal objects. It may come in a single, large burst, though more often it comes in smaller experiences along the way. Shaktipat may come after all of the preparation and practices, as means of removing the final barrier.