What is kundalini – and how do we awaken it? Does it require sexual abstinence, or can it be done by including sexuality in a tantric context? Get a handle on it with this handy guide.
Hinduism dictates that kundalini is a serpent goddess who lies dormant at the base of our spine, coiled, waiting for us to unlock her energy through a combination of meditation, yoga, and selfless acts of love (among other things). The guru Avdhoot Baba Shivanand prefers to describe this awakening as an expansion of our brain. The dormant spirit uses only six percent of the brain’s potential to see and understand the world around it. The enlightened spirit uses 94 percent of the brain’s capacity, allowing it to enter a transformational journey of spirituality and joy.
While there are many facets of kundalini, I’m going to focus on its role within an intimate relationship. Some gurus will tell you that in order to truly awaken your kundalini, you need to abstain from sexual activity, allowing you to use this energy towards a progression of higher spiritual transformation.
However, for the purpose of most of the population, this is not a viable option, nor a necessary sacrifice to enjoy a portion of this energy that resides in each of us.
The following tips are a guide to awakening your kundalini through mutual intimacy with your partner. These are only basic tips, so I invite you to investigate this practice further if you would like to bring the full benefit of kundalini to both the intimate relationship you have with yourself and that of your loved one.
Tip #1: Practice As You Are, Not As You Wish You Could Be
One of the biggest confusions with yoga and tantric sex, is the belief that who we are naturally is at fault in some way. In this belief, kundalini exercises become an act to heal ourselves and reach a higher plain. The problem with such thinking, is that we’re saying there’s something wrong with how we are now, which isn’t true. Kundalini is simply allowing yourself to relax and fall into the moment with your partner, accepting whatever happens next.
Tip #2: Don’t Use Your Partner as a Vessel
When beginners start practicing tantric sex or kundalini yoga with a partner, they often lose sight of the actual intimate moment, focusing on using the experience as a means to transcend their own sensual fulfillment or spiritual awareness. The problem with this is that it leaves out the fundamental idea of kundalini as a selfless act of love. Sit back and enjoy the moment with your love without presumption or expectation.
Tip #3: Desire Urges Action, Knowledge Completes the Action Correctly
Tantra expert Chandi Devi reminds us that nothing can ever be accomplished in kundalini without desire (iccha), knowledge (jnana) and action (kriya). To awaken your kundalini, you must first have the desire. Desire is of course not enough, as you must have the proper knowledge and understanding of the practices. If you partner does not share this desire, you must provide that desire by sharing your knowledge while urging them to participate. This leads to the final necessity, which is action. Nothing will ever be accomplished without following through with the motions.
Tip #4: Unlearn the Idea of an Orgasm as Your Goal
In tantric sex, there is no final goal of achieving an orgasm. Instead of leading your intimate time with this goal, surrender yourself to the moment and see where it takes you. The idea here is that you cannot achieve a full body orgasm until you have evoked the serpent goddess (Kundalini) to wind her way up each of your chakras, beginning with the Muladhara (base of spine), followed by the Svadhistana (genitals), the Manipura (navel), Anahata (heart, sacred love), Visshuda (vocal chords, communication/expression), Ajna (third eye), and finally the Sahasrara (crown, brain/pineal gland).
Tip #5: Get in “Tune” With Your Partner
Foreplay to kundalini is sitting in a dimly lit room, holding each other, looking into each other’s eyes, and breathing in sync. Start slowly by touching your partner, relaxing in a shallow meditation, and allowing the moment to lead itself. Take your time. Remember, there is no goal (orgasm) to concern yourself with. Your only goal should be to enjoy each other.
Tip #6: Practice Tantric Sex
The idea of tantric sex is enjoying the sexual union, allowing kundalini to travel up the base of the spine uninterrupted. In tantric sex, an orgasm is the release of your sexual energy downward towards the sexual organs, thus inhibiting your chance of building this energy up to your crown (full body/endorphin orgasm). To achieve this, try not to focus so much on the sensations in your groin, but rather the sensation of the energy as it rises up through your spine. Stop stimulation as needed to avoid surpassing the “point of no return.”
Tip #7: Have Fun
Most of all, have fun. The most important part of awakening kundalini is not the destination, but the journey in getting there!