“Free your mind… and your ass will follow.” This Funkadelic album title makes a pretty spot-on description of what happened to me when I got into Kundalini yoga. This dynamic style of yoga combines breath, movement, mantra, and meditation in a powerful way that has been credited with a wide range of benefits, from spiritual awakening to spontaneous orgasms! My personal experience with it completely changed everything about my life, from the way I feel in my body to the way I use my mind. And yes, the orgasm rumors are totally true. It’s time to share my Kundalini yoga love story.
So what is Kundalini yoga? Hindu tradition describes Kundalini as the serpent-like divine energy that is coiled at the base of the spine. When this energy is aroused during a “Kundalini” awakening, this vibrant creative force that has lain dormant within will uncoil and undulate up the spine, opening up a powerful flow of energy that is believed to lead to spiritual liberation and even enlightenment. The concept of this spinal energy source has been woven throughout yoga’s history from the very beginning, but Kundalini yoga as we know it today was first popularized in Western culture in the 1960s.
The goal of a Kundalini yoga practice is to facilitate a spiritual awakening that allows those who practice it to actualize their Highest Self and fulfill their greatest potential on Earth. Pretty awesome, right? Although I recently realized I have been practicing this style of yoga in some way since high school, I only recently discovered how powerful this practice is and how incredibly it can change one’s entire experience of life.
My first introduction to Kundalini yoga came with my experiences with Art of Living seminars over a decade ago. While it was not referred to specifically as Kundalini yoga at the time, the undulating movements and mantras combined with a specific form of meditation called a Kriya are the building blocks of a Kundalini-focused practice. Kriya, a Sanskrit word meaning “action,” refers to a style of meditation in which certain repeated movements are combined with specific breathing patterns. The intensity of the cyclical movements induces an incredibly calm and elevated state of awareness. Okay, let me be totally honest about this: it feels absolutely psychedelic. Years before I had ever smoked weed or knew what psychedelics were, I experienced soaring emotional “trips” that made me feel a deep sense of unity and belonging, coupled with incredible mandala and fractal spiked visuals during the savasana that followed each session. (Years later, when I discovered there were other means to get to this end, a big lightbulb went off in my head. “Oh, THIS is why meditation is compared to psychedelics…”)
While yoga in many forms has remained a part of my life since, I did not “rediscover” Kundalini yoga until a little over two years ago. I had been regularly attending Vinyasa classes and wanted to mix things up by branching out in my practice a little. I was intrigued by the concept of Kundalini and sought out a few in-person classes. They were not as easy to find or to get to as Vinyasa sessions, but each time I participated, I left in absolute awe of the psychedelically ecstatic bliss I cultivated during practice. I eventually came across Gaia‘s selection of Kundalini classes, and started incorporating about an hour of Kundalini yoga into my daily routine at home. I have maintained this practice pretty much every day for the past two years, and all I can say is, holy shit has it changed everything.
What I love about Kundalini yoga is that it perfectly balances its physical and spiritual elements. While a variety of different intensity levels exist within this style, it tends to be an excellent full-body workout, incorporating squats, cardio, and challenging core work. But the amazing thing about it is that it never feels like “I am working out right now,” it feels like casting a spell! The movements are combined with breath and mantra in a particularly groovy flow that feels both spiritual and sexy. Repeating these movements in particular ways causes changes in your body that you can actually feel; moving through the cycles, you feel the direction of your bloodflow and the tingles that accompany it. You can feel where the energy buildup is becoming intense in your body, and you are guided through moving it where it needs to go.
During a Kundalini yoga practice, you are shown the why behind your movements. Certain movements are tied to stimulating certain glands or systems in the body. You are also guided through movements that feel physically as if they are mirroring what they do emotionally, as in certain postures where you are releasing and letting go of energy. You are encouraged to do as much as you can with the eyes closed and gazing upward to the third eye, cultivating a deep sense of inner awareness.
When I first started consciously giving Kundalini a try, I did it just to try something fresh and fun and challenging. I did not know about the changes it could cause to my mind and body. But it wasn’t long before I started experiencing them for myself! About six months into my first year of celibacy, I was so crippled with post-breakup depression that for the first time in my life I felt completely disconnected from my body and sexuality. Just for kicks, I tried a “sensuality” focused Kundalini practice. I was feeling anything BUT sensual at the time. About halfway through the practice, I felt the strangest physical sensation; although I was in a very well-insulated room, I felt a sudden gust of very cold air suddenly rush between my thighs. (No, it was not a fart. Or a queef. Ha ha.) It was a very strong sensation I could not ignore; it was like some old cold drafty stuck energy was being released from my body. While I still had a lot of emotional / physical / sexual healing work ahead of me, that moment marked a huge leap in progress as it allowed me to feel an inner warmth and connection to my body that I had previously assumed I’d lost forever.
Surprised by this unexpected effect, I started to do more research, and that’s when I found out about Kundalini yoga’s ability to induce a powerful energetic awakening that often comes with a spontaneous orgasm. I’ll be honest, I rolled my eyes. While I consider myself very woo, I figured it was just an over-the-top claim made by enthusiasts who wanted to sound cool. I kept up my daily practice, but my particular intention was to gain was mental clarity, emotional health, and spiritual well-being. And I began to receive it! Each practice left me feeling stronger emotionally and physically, and more connected to the magic of the universe.
And then a few months ago, the day came. I wasn’t doing anything different. I had just settled into a very calm, focused, meditative state, breathing and performing the spinal undulations called Sufi grinds, when… something happened that I could not ignore! I became aware of a warm, then hot sensation near my tailbone. This heat began to wind slowly up my back, spreading throughout my body, and my skin began to tingle. An incredible state of energetic bliss washed over me, and uh… I got there. As soon as I caught my breath again, I paused the class to take a moment. Did that yoga class really just give me an orgasm? The emotional effects that followed were indescribable; the sense of calm and oneness with the universe I achieved that day has yet to leave me. Holy shit, I have to tell everyone.
But I got a little shy about it, so it took me a while to work up the courage to start spilling the beans. Here we are, and I am telling you: do yourself a favor and try Kundalini yoga ASAP. It has done wonders for my physical, mental, spiritual, and sexual health. Plus, it’s honestly really fun! I wasn’t kidding when I said it felt like casting a spell.
My two favorite teachers on Gaia are Gloria Latham and Zain Saraswati Jamal. They radiate amazing wild woman goddess energy that you are then able to channel through the dynamic practices they offer. (And by the way, you do not have to identify as a woman to enjoy some quality goddess energy. Just sayin.’) Now that many of us are at home and feel limited, this opportunity to expand body and mind is more liberating than ever.
Please give this magical practice a try, and let me know what you think!