Kundalini is a Sanskrit term relating to the energy flow that stems from the base of the spine, interacting with each chakra in turn and then coming to full force at the crown.

There is a yin/yang aspect to the flow, so the Kundalini is often represented as two intertwined snakes wound round a staff, ancient in origin and, interestingly, the symbol widely used in allopathic medicine. When the twin flow is equal it merges balanced and complete, enlightenment and the realisation of the highest potential results. When the Kundalini is awakened, it will begin a great change in your life, enabling you to live to your highest potential, awakening insight, creativity and energy. This encompasses a strong sensual sense of the self, with balanced esteem and self-worth, a release of ego and unconditional love of self and others, coupled with deep spiritual understanding.

Kundalini is explained by some as ‘the fire of the Holy Spirit dormant in the human body’. It awakens in purity and climbs up to the Tif’eret (heart), where it becomes light, moving up to the Keter (crown), at which point it is transformed into a full awareness of the divine, or, as some sources put it, the awareness of the sacred presence of God connecting ‘All That Is’.

As Kundalini can be considered the life force that drives the everyday functioning of our bodies and minds and, in a greater sense, the one that supports our spirits, it only makes sense that unlocking it would help practitioners unveil their true potential and creativity. The practice developed in India over 1 000 years ago; the west, however, has only experienced Kundalini since the late 1960s. This introduction into the west was facilitated by Harbhajan Singh Khalsa, also known as Yogi Bhajan. Following his migration to Toronto, Canada, he began teaching at YMCAs and founded his own Yoga centre.

While Yoga was originally taught as a route to enlightenment, more and more practisers today gravitate towards Yoga for anxiety relief. Those who are on the path to enlightenment in enlightenment, however, seek out Kundalini as their Yoga practice of choice.

Instead of a singular focus on body, mind or spirit, Kundalini Yoga seeks to incorporate all of these into a holistic practice that leads to energy release. In the physical aspect of the practice, poses focus on key energy meridians in order to bring awareness to and activate areas like the spine and the navel. In addition, the use of key breathing techniques like pranayama helps practitioners control their breath and unlock their inner energy.

These physical steps taken to achieve a sense of higher awareness can be linked to Kundalini Yoga, but the awakening of the energy itself and the higher consciousness that results can be considered Kundalini Meditation.

There are many ways to awaken your own Kundalini energy; herewith some practices to help you develop your Kundalini practice:

focus on your breath: Controlling your breath is at the heart of both yoga and meditation. Try to begin by focusing intensely on the way you breathe. Focus your breath to the base of your spine, directing it upward, toward the crown of the head.

sit up straight: It’s much easier to breathe correctly if your spine is straight and the crown of your head is pointed towards the ceiling.

practise positivity: Your practice will definitely be improved by a focus on the positive aspects of each day’s session and on the more positive aspects of your life as a whole.

adjust your diet: If you’re trying to awaken your infinite internal energy, power your practice with whole, healthy, plant-based foods. It makes a difference and can help determine your mood and general wellbeing.

get moving: Be sure to move your body through exercise that you enjoy every day – whether it be a long walk or a series of stretches or a fun team sport.

observe your thoughts: We all have ‘bad days’ – you will too. Instead of getting wrapped up in resultant negative emotions, acknowledge their presence and let them pass.

vibe with your tribe: Choose to be with peaceful people and those who mirror your desire for self-awareness and peaceful practices.

pursue happiness: More often than not we engage in activities not out of enjoyment but a sense of duty. Set aside an hour a day to pursue tasks that you feel connected to, whether it be art, music, gardening, writing or sports. Make whatever it is that you get enjoyment from a daily priority.

be present here and now: Throughout your day, make an effort to remain aware of the present moment. Mindfulness always helps a Kundalini practice and can leave you feeling more satisfied and grounded.

flow with life: Allow space in your life for free-flow living. Remove unnecessary deadlines and limiting habitual practices from your schedule and experience the joy of the journey.

take electronic breaks: Turn your phone off and put your devices away for a set time each day or make a commitment to checking them periodically only.

We live in a goal-orientated world and it can be tempting to want to rush from point A to point B, especially if point B is spiritual enlightenment and an intense connection to our internal energy. Kundalini is a practice and it does not happen overnight.

“When we are trying to make change in our lives, it’s important to focus on progress, not perfection; the journey, not the destination.”