Kundalini. This word means “coiled up like a snake”.
Our ancient yoga defines the human body is essentially a machine which is pushed around by “prana”. This life giving prana is essentially moving along the entire body in forms of electric pulses.
The human body is made up of many sheaths or layers of pranic movement channel.
A yogi initially concentrates on the body gross or the physical aspect of the prana in terms of breath etc [ Annamaya Kosha].
The yogis next plane is observing the movement of subtle energy at various points in his body[ Pranamaya Kosha]
This is followed by [ Gnanamaya Kosha] mental aspects where good/bad thoughts keep getting generated.
[Vignanamaya Kosha] In this plane the yogi observes the merging of forces.
[Anandamaya Kosha] This is complete bliss where in all the negatives and positives get cancelled out.
The goal of every athma is to achieve this eternal bliss and the ultimate ananda.
To understand the same we need to get some basic idea of Chakras in the human body. Swami Dayanandha Sarswathi actually cut open ( post mortem) a dead body and could not find the defined chakras. They are not physical but phsycic.
There are 7 chakras which are ganglions are joints of prana carrying channels.
The first chakra is Muladhara chakra representing the earth quality of the soul. This represents ones instinct, survival and security aspects of life. The representative color is RED. The root manthra is LUM
The second chakra is Svadishthna chakra representing the water quality of the soul. This represents emotion, sexual energy and creative aspects of life. The representative color is ORANGE. The root manthra is VUM
The third chakra is Manipura chakra representing the fire quality of the soul. This represents mental functioning, power, control, freedom to be oneself and career aspects of life. The representative colur is YELLOW. The root manthra is RUM
The Fourth chakra is Anahatha chakra representing the Air quality of the soul. This represents devotion, love, compassion and healing aspects of life. The representative colur is GREEN. The root manthra is YUM
The Fifth chakra is Vishuddha chakra representing the Life/Sound quality of the soul. This represents speech and self-expression of life. The representative colur is BLUE. The root manthra is HUM
The Sixth chakra is Ajna chakra representing the Time/Light quality of the soul. This represents intuition, Extra-sensory perception aspect of life. The representative colur is INDIGO. The root manthra is OM
The Seventh chakra is Sahasrara chakra representing the space/ Thought quality of the soul. This represents connection to the divine aspect of life. The representative colur is WHITE or VIOLET. The root manthra is OM
An aspiring yogi under the able guidance of a guru first learns the basic postures are asanas , Pranayama which is essential for learning and practicing concentration for durations with later emphasis on breath control – directly achieves the mind control.
After considerable amount of the above which form the basis for kundalini practice learns the other essential ashtanga yoga facits the yama, niyama , dhama, prthyahara, dhyana for the all round mental development of a personality as the yogi is trying to first understand the worldly life to later on disregard it !!
The Guru then initiates the yogi to hatha yoga which is a series of asanas with breath control, meditation and supreme concentration. You would be astound to know that about 72 asanas, 2 types of pranayamas, 7 root beejaksharas ( mentioned above) are used in conjunction to put pressure, twist and push the dormant kundalini shakthi above the spinal chord ( sushmna nadi) in all a matter of 9 minutes. With warm up excercies for modern man – the whole capsule is a mere 14 minutes only.
In the beginning its quite tough as the practioner would forget the breath, cant hold on to the asana, cant remember the right chakra or forgets to even concentrate. With constant and consistent practice sessions and guided by the guru, one shall be able to reach the arousal stage.
The movement of kundalini is involuntary and independent of individuals. Some body may get arousal of this pranic energy in first attempt itself and some may not get it for his entire life time – all depends on the karmic good and bad things accumulated and carried forward in the current incarnation.
The movement of kundalini is not without side effects. If done wrongly, the yogi would land up with physical ailments of all sorts and there are some documented features of such yogis going astray in Sri Ramakrishna Mutt but were helped out by the Gurus. That is why the presence and guidance of a able guru is foremost.
The side effects too are individual in nature. Some may get irritated and see RED colour whilest meditating on the muladhara with lots of bandhanas or attachments to worldly life. Those on detachment would observe BLUE and there is no said pattern as such.
The very essence of the kundalini experience is eternal and encapsulates the fact that the journey of the soul joining the supreme and enjoying the bliss.