El Collie (3), in her article, “Kundalini signs and symptoms” lists an entire array of symptoms that occur when the kundalini is aroused. I quote her list in its entirety below:
“The following are common manifestations of the risen Kundalini:
Physiological and Behavioral Markers
- Muscle twitches, cramps or spasms.
- Energy rushes or immense electricity circulating the body
- Itching, vibrating, prickling, tingling, stinging or crawling sensations
- Intense heat or cold
- Involuntary bodily movements (occur more often during meditation, rest or sleep): jerking, tremors, shaking; feeling an inner force pushing one into postures or moving one’s body in unusual ways. (May be misdiagnosed as epilepsy, restless legs syndrome (RLS), or PLMD.)
- Alterations in eating and sleeping patterns
- Episodes of extreme hyperactivity or, conversely, overwhelming fatigue (some CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] victims are experiencing Kundalini awakening)
- Intensified or diminished sexual desires
- Headaches, pressures within the skull
- Racing heartbeat, pains in the chest
- Digestive system problems
- Numbness or pain in the limbs (particularly the left foot and leg)
- Pains and blockages anywhere; often in the back and neck (Many cases of FMS [Fibromyalgia syndrome] are Kundalini-related.)
Emotional and psychological markers
- Emotional outbursts; rapid mood shifts; seemingly unprovoked or excessive episodes of grief, fear, rage, depression
- Spontaneous vocalizations (including laughing and weeping)—are as unintentional and uncontrollable as hiccoughs
- Hearing an inner sound or sounds, classically described as a flute, drum, waterfall, birds singing, bees buzzing but which may also sound like roaring, whooshing, or thunderous noises or like ringing in the ears.
- Mental confusion; difficulty concentrating
Spiritual or Mystical markers
- Altered states of consciousness: heightened awareness; spontaneous trance states; mystical experiences (if the individual’s prior belief system is too threatened by these, they can lead to bouts of psychosis or self-grandiosity)
- Heat, strange activity, and/or blissful sensations in the head, particularly in the crown area
- Ecstasy, bliss and intervals of tremendous joy, love, peace and compassion
- Psychic experiences: extrasensory perception; out-of-body experiences; past life memories; astral travel; direct awareness of auras and chakras; contact with spirit guides through inner voices, dreams or visions; healing powers
- Increased creativity: new interests in self-expression and spiritual communication through music, art, poetry, etc.
- Intensified understanding and sensitivity: insight into one’s own essence; deeper understanding of spiritual truths; exquisite awareness of one’s environment (including “vibes” from others)
- Enlightenment experiences: direct Knowing of a more expansive reality; transcendent awareness”
Some of these experiences are ecstatic, some are dysphoric—and they certainly interfere with the functioning of your personality if they are occurring out of your control.
Karin Harrington cites Bonnie Greenwell (1990) in her article.  Greenwell details seven categories of symptoms observed during kundalini awakening:
(1) Pranic movements or Kriyas – includes a variety of involuntary muscle movements, and emotional catharsis
(2) Yogic phenomena – individuals may perform yoga postures or hand gestures (mudras), or they may spontaneously chant mantras
(3) Physiological symptoms – Greenwell lists a variety of psychosomatic symptoms that appear for many individuals undergoing the awakening of kundalini
(4) Psychological upheaval – kundalini awakening effects an emotional maelstrom as the ego’s dominance is supplanted by emergence of the individual’s authentic spiritual core
(5) Extra Sensory Experiences – various altered perceptions of the visual, auditory, olfactory and proprioceptive [sense of the body in space] senses arise as perception expands outside consensus reality
(6) Psychic Phenomena – Greenwell lists precognition, telepathy, psychokinesis, and the awareness of auras and healing abilities arising with the awakening of kundalini.
(7) Mystical States of Consciousness – a perception of union with the cosmos, with a profound sense of peace and wisdom accompanying this state
There are three major types of phenomena that occur when the kundalini won’t come back down:
(1) Your personality shuts down. When this occurs, you cannot function normally. Your will doesn’t work. Your sense of self is distorted, ranging from feeling you are a witness viewing your body and life from outside (depersonalization) to feeling you are an omnipotent godlike being (grandiosity). You can’t think logically. You cannot form normal relational bonds with others. Your attention is locked or fixed in an altered state of consciousness and it is difficult, if not impossible, to return to the ground state of awareness. This state is frightening and overwhelming.
(2) You experience emergence phenomena. You may experience any of the physiological and behavioral, emotional and psychological, and spiritual and mystical markers described by El Collie (see citation 3). This experience is also frightening and overwhelming.
(3) You may enter samadhic trance. In samadhic trance, you are in a complete state of catatonia without; you are in ecstasy within. You cannot function, because your personality is shut down. You cannot communicate the ineffable beauty and majesty you are beholding. You may experience union with one of the higher nuclei of identity or ensouling entities in your Superconscious mind [for more information on this, see our description of these higher octave experiences in Reflections on Kundalini Shakti.]
You may find, however, that you cannot terminate this experience when you wish—you are trapped or locked in an ecstatic state of consciousness from which you cannot escape or emerge. This experience is both euphoric and terrifying. It is euphoric when you are immersed in the vistas of supernal bliss. It is terrifying when you can’t come back.
There seem to be several helpful measures that we have noticed may assist you with grounding the kundalini energy. If you are at the stage Gopi Krishna describes where you are completely swept away, there may not be much that can be done; you just have to ride with it until the energy stabilizes at a deeper level.
You may wish to try these methods to help bring Kundalini back from a highly aroused state:
(1) Do a visualization: see the kundalini energy is drawn down to the base of your spine and is drawn down into the center of the earth.
(2) Bring the attention down to waking awareness and keep it there [at the medulla center where attention rests in the waking state of consciousness]. Stop meditating or altering your awareness until the kundalini is fully grounded again.
(3) Do some physical activity such as exercise, dance, or do heavy lifting to get yourself fully grounded in the body.
(4) Look at pictures of people that you love on the physical Plane (no Gurus or saints, please—the objective is to help you connect your emotional seed atom with your human relationships).
(5) Do some analytical work that engages your reason. Solve a puzzle. Read a technical book. Take apart a watch or fix something that is broken.
(6) Focus on just being a human being in your present body in your unique human life. Reflect upon what you have experienced in your life, and how blessed it is to have this human form. Appreciate your body, your ability to feel, your ability to move your body, to think. You need to draw the energy back down from the state of higher consciousness into your egoic state.
Once you have grounded the kundalini
- Stop doing striking of the chakras or squeezing them (bandhas)
- Stop doing any hyperventilative breathing (breath of fire, holodynamic breathing, rebirthing, Bastrika, etc.)
- Stop doing any mantras on the breath; avoid watching the breath as a technique until the kundalini fire subsides—this can be several weeks to months
- Stop doing any mantras that awaken the chakras (chakra bijas)
- Stop doing kundalini yoga (3HO) if you are practicing it