When I was first practicing yoga, I heard about a yoga that could awaken the serpent at the base of the spine and that it took a qualified teacher so that energy wasn’t raised too quickly. That idea was intriguing.
When the time was right to begin my journey with Kundalini last year, I eased my way into it with short kriyas (sequences of postures, mudras, and breath patterns) that I performed right before bed. I would often experience a sense of light headedness. Other than that, I had the sense that it would take dedication before I saw results.
With Kundalini meditations/mantras, a continuous 40-day sequence is the requirement to clear the unwanted mental patterns that are contributing to issues. If you miss a day, you start over. As rigid as that sounds, it motivated me to make it part of my daily practice. After my first 40-day sequence, I embarked on a slightly more intense one.
Around the same time, I was working with a great energy coach (MaryShackelford.com) who talked about how as “stuck” places in the energy field are released, the chakra can have a corresponding and unexpected corollary. She taught me that after something is released, I should refocus and see if anything else needs work. It’s temping to view it as one-and-done. You find an area, release it, and then stop. But, that’s not how it always works. You can, for instance, do heart chakra work and have a response in your shin. It’s all connected, pay attention and be willing to release what needs to go without judgement.
I had all of that freshly in mind as I worked with the kriya to release childhood anger. I experienced quite a bit of light-headedness during each meditation and as I lay down afterward to breathe through my chakras and release any frozen energy, I felt over and over again that there was a “stuck” place below my right shoulder. For 2 weeks, I placed my hands over it and breathed into it.
I grew accustomed to the sensations and surrendered myself to the process. In that 3rd week, I felt something break off from below my shoulder and work its way to the center of my chest. I immediately thought of that ST:TNG episode where there were insects that were infiltrating Starfleet command to perpetrate a conspiracy. It was a horrifying visual of this big bug with pincers crawling down someone’s throat and bulging at the neck as it attached to its host.
I thought, oh my gosh (that’s not true—I actually thought, ‘holy sh*t’), I’ve got a Star Trek energy bug in me. The next thing I flashed on was that it was moving near my heart and working its way up my chest toward my throat. I wondered if this would be the crackpot way I would die—if energy work could actually choke me.
After those silly and paranoid thoughts, I remembered that the whole point of energy work is to remain present and to trust your body and spirit to know what to do. I focused on my breathing and told myself to be present, that there was no cause to panic. As I opened to the sensation and stopped resisting, it dissipated in-between my heart and throat chakras. It went from wiggling and vibrating on its way to my throat to nothing. It was gone.
I like to think the resentment I’d been holding onto had finally released. After that episode, I was no longer drawn to send energy to the place below my shoulder and the rest of the 40-day program passed without event.
In my current mantra to connect with intuition (the one that I’ve been doing for 10 months now), I experience what feels like a corset around my ribs—not in a constricting way but rather, in a way that feels supported. If during the 7 to 11 minutes that I’m holding the posture my arms start to feel tired, I can feel that invisible support guiding me. It feels like I can’t fail, that the Universe is holding me and telling me that I’ve got this.
After the corset-like feelings, I’ve been experiencing tendrils of energy moving up my spine. They’ve slowly moved higher, as if blockages are being dissolved in stages. They’re not energy bugs—they feel like awakenings, little slivers of electricity that are waking me up bit by bit. It doesn’t hurt, but it does feel strange.
Again, the key for me has been to trust and surrender to the process. That’s when I’ve experienced transcendent moments.
Kundalini is a powerful yoga. The ability to change your state of mind and create more space inside your body simply by how you breathe, what sounds you make, and the way you hold your body is fascinating to me. There are mantras that feel as though a bell has rung through me—a clarion call to peace.
In my conversations and readings so far, I’ve not heard of anyone else sharing these types of experiences. I was never hurt, but they can be disconcerting if you’re not prepared for them. If anyone is interested in Kundalini, I’d recommend what I learned at the beginning of my yoga journey over 20 years ago—it’s intense and should be done with someone who can guide you through it.
Whether you end up with an energy bug of your own, here’s to being present, trusting your process, and breathing—most of all, breathing. It will all come and go. You are the part that remains.