Kundalini Yoga: Beneficial or Dangerous?

Sadhguru looks at the dangers and benefits of Kundalini Yoga. He explores how this powerful spiritual process should be approached with utmost responsibility and reverence.
Kundalini Yoga

Sadhguru speaks about what kundalini is, and looks at the process of Kundalini Yoga. He explores how this powerful spiritual process should be approached with utmost responsibility and reverence.

Sadhguru: In the yogic culture, the snake is a symbolism for kundalini – the unmanifest energy within you. The nature of kundalini is such that when it is still, you do not even know it exists. Only when it moves, you realize there is so much power within you. Till it moves it is almost non-existent. Because of this, kundalini is symbolized as a snake because a coiled-up snake is so hard to see unless it moves. Similarly, you do not see this coiled-up energy unless it moves. If your kundalini is aroused, miraculous things that you cannot believe possible will happen with you. An unleashing of a completely new level of energy begins and your body and everything behaves in a completely different way.

Kundalini and perception

Heightened states of energy are also heightened states of perception. The whole yogic system is aimed only towards enhancing your perception. A spiritual process essentially means just that – to enhance your perception because you know only what you perceive. This is the reason for the symbolism of Shiva and a snake. It indicates that his energies have reached the peak. His energies have reached the top of his head and so his third eye has opened.

Kundalini and the Third Eye

The third eye does not mean someone’s forehead has cracked and something came out. It simply means another dimension of perception has opened up. The two eyes can see only that which is physical. If I just cover them with my hand, they cannot look beyond that. That is how limited they are. If the third eye has opened, it means another dimension of perception which is inward looking, which looks at life completely differently, has opened up and everything that can be perceived is perceived.

Kundalini Yoga: Preparation first!

Nowadays, a lot of books and yoga studios talk about Kundalini Yoga and its benefits, though they don’t know anything about it. Even to utter the word “kundalini” we always bring a sense of reverence and then utter the word because it is so enormous. If you have to activate the kundalini, the necessary preparation in your body, mind and emotion should happen, because if you pump energy into a system which is not ready for that kind of voltage or volume, things will fuse out. So many people have come to me who have lost their mental balance and physical capabilities because they tried to do Kundalini Yoga without the necessary guidance and assistance. If the necessary supportive atmosphere is not there, simply attempting to raise kundalini could be very irresponsible and dangerous.

Kundalini Yoga is the most dangerous form

Kundalini Yoga in its essence is the most dangerous form of yoga. I am saying dangerous because it is the most potent also. What is most potent is always the most dangerous if improperly handled. For example, there are various kinds of ways in which electricity is being produced. One of the ways we do it is through nuclear reactors. It is the most efficient way of producing energy that we know right now but it is also the most dangerous way, isn’t it? When things are going right, it is the easiest and best way to produce energy on the planet. When things go wrong, they go seriously wrong in ways that you can’t fix it. Similarly with Kundalini Yoga, it is the most potent and it is the most dangerous. Without the necessary preparation, without constant, expert guidance and observation, no one should ever attempt it. But the problem is books have been written about it and everybody wants to do the highest yoga. Nobody wants to start with "A", everybody wants to start the alphabet with "Z". This attitude itself is dangerous.

If the necessary supportive atmosphere is not there, simply attempting to raise kundalini could be very irresponsible and dangerous.

In classical yogic traditions, there is a certain type of yoga we teach for people who live in family situations. There is a certain other type of yoga we teach for ascetics. We never teach those in family situations the ascetic form. That is the most potent way to do it but it will demand a certain dimension of discipline and focus, which your regular lives will not allow. If you do that kind of yoga, it will dismantle your outside life instantly.

This doesn’t mean there is something wrong with Kundalini Yoga. It is a very fantastic process but it needs to be done properly because energy has no discretion of its own. You can make your life out of it or you can burn your life out of it. Electricity is making our life. But if you stick your little finger into it, you know what will happen! Energy has no discretion. How you use it is how it is. Kundalini is also like that. You are using it right now but in a minimal way. If you maximize it you can raise beyond your limitations of existence.

Kundalini Yoga: The science of breaking limitations

All yoga in one way is towards that but Kundalini Yoga is particularly towards that. In fact, all life is towards that. In some way, people want to experience life more intensely than they are experiencing it right now. Someone wants to sing, someone else wants to dance, someone wants to drink alcohol, someone else wants to pray – why are they doing all this? They want to experience life more intensely. Everyone is trying to raise their kundalini but they are doing it haphazardly. When you approach it scientifically with a proper method, we say it is yoga.

Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Sadhguru’s discourse at the Isha Hatha Yoga School’s 21-week Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity to acquire a profound understanding of the yogic system and the proficiency to teach Hatha Yoga. The next 21-week session begins on July 16 to Dec 11, 2019. For more information, visit www.ishahathayoga.com or mail info@ishahatayoga.com

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3 years 7 months ago

Dear Sadhguru, I have a family and live outside India. But I have a burning desire to raise my spritual levels. Right now I try to do meditation repeating the Gayathri mantra imagining the form of Mata Gayathri between the eyebrows. I am also exploring about opening the Mooladhara Chakra with nose tip gazing and moola bandha. Are they also dangerous?

Please respond.



2 years 1 month ago

No, they don't.

3 years 7 months ago

Shambho!!! Thanks Sadhguru, a very good article..

5 years 8 months ago

I am reading "Gnanathin Brahmandam"..All Bliss!

2 years 11 months ago

Sadguru, I have uttered om namah shivaya mantra for 500 times and I got my third eye chakra activated. Can I know how to use this chakra and empower it

3 years 7 months ago

I've been victim to this kundalini yoga.. since then there is no respite to my health conditions sadhguru ..In the first I felt like heaven for a few days of my practice. don't know during the bandh what happened .. I just felt depreciated and disgusted, since then I've not been able to practice even the easiest of yoga or even pranayam for that matter. The moment I try any exercise.. I begin to sweat and my body starts trembling. Please do reply Sadhguru . I'm waiting for your reply.. In deep trouble.

2 years 1 month ago

I want to come and meditate . my mom dad doesn't wants me to go in that direction.. I am Reading and listening and applying what ever and whereever my reach and sources r ...
M listening osho and Reading isha also..

But your post seems like purchasing books ..

I am not having money

And i can arrange somehow some money to purchase books

Please guide me what should i read first then second then afterwards so that i can do something effectively

Please help me

7 years 1 month ago

Nice and simple example. Sadhguru talks on how to activate Kundalini I would be grateful!

3 years 7 months ago

Indeed, explicit. Specially regarding The Third Eye of Lord Shiva. As regards Kundalini yoga, it is attained in real sense, when one is above all worldly perceptions. Am I right, Sir? Pranam Sadguruji

5 years 8 months ago

what a simplest wonderful way of explaining ! thanx

2 years 9 months ago

really? lol. people have uttered mantras hundreds of thousands of times within themselves and have yet to realize anja. To think you did it with 500 utterances and no sadhana? usually people take lifetimes.. I suggest you take the sadhana program with isha. it's a great start.

3 years 7 months ago

Keep enlightening us..Most essential for today's generation in the world..when we read and assimilate your teachings...I am sure we will b wiser and more evolved..Thank you

2 years 1 month ago

Please read the "Three Truths of WellBeing" and in December 2016, the Indian edition of "Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy" is going to be released. Please read that as well.

7 years 1 month ago

Wow......Beautiful explanation by SADHGURU....Namaskaram

3 years 7 months ago

Dear Anand, Kundalini yoga is a generic term and there is many different teaching of it. I teach Kundalini yoga from Yogi Bhajan School since over 10 years. I also happen to be a BodyTalk system practitioner with a speciality on dealing with Kundalini energy. Indeed this school will help you prepare/harness that energy with no harm. How did you got it activated? If forcefully then yes it is a pathological awakening and there is danger; but if it is natural dont worry, trust your innate wisdom; it knows what it does. Read books about the effect, and you will realise that it can differ from a person to another. And yes once it is activated it runs its show... I have several people with Kundalini energy activated and they go through different phases. The trembling can be impressive but eventually they will subside.

5 years 8 months ago

Guruve sharanam, thiruvadi sharanam, the explanation about kundalini is very clear and simple but realising the kundalini or connecting to it does not look so simple and clear, why ???

2 years 6 months ago

I dont think you have so, at least not in the right way. If you've really activated your Ajna in proper, you should already know how to use it and/or control it.
Pls go back to a Guru for guidance.

3 years 7 months ago

Darshan Sadhguru, Thank you ! reading bits and pieces but always substantial is making me more hungry .. ...but the clarity and ability hasn't come yet !!!

1 year 7 months ago

A human being can practice Shakti Chalana Kriya.

7 years 1 month ago

Sadhguru....I am just connected to you...you are my powerhouse....i get charged every day....just by connecting to you. 

3 years 3 months ago

A great article for a curious newcomer, thank you!! :)

5 years 8 months ago

Most beautiful & simple explanation I have read till date!

2 years 5 months ago

sorry for interupting. i need help and fast! i had electric powers around me even touching me! all machines, tv computers are reacting on me. this was one month ago. no it is even more insane, in the nicht sounds and energy coming my way. its like the whole world is talking 2 me. one time 1 lived in israel for one year, and a kabbalist did some strange things behind my back and all people looked at me., please mail me at groundwar@live.nl (i am a sadhguru fan and i wud deticate my life to him, corse there is more in me than i can imagine and i am thirsty 2 learn! but please mail me fast. i am in a dangerous position wright now. x love and whisdome

3 years 7 months ago

Sadhguru, what are your thoughts on Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan? Do you feel what was written in this article applies to this method?

7 years 1 month ago


3 years 2 months ago

Hey!Christine once i unconsciously opened my crown chakra but now its okey, is there any chance it can open without my consciousness ? Waiting for your reply :)
Thank you.

5 years 7 months ago

Wonderful articles and information. Is it possible to have these articles available in EPUB format to help readers read wherever they are?

Many thanks

3 years 7 months ago

Guru ji. Are you teaching kundalini at Isha in a proper way..if so..what is the the time frame I have to spend and what is the charges for it. I am very much wanted to learn..I am single..so family life won't disturb me. Pls reply.

7 years 1 month ago

Dear Sadguruve, very deep and minute explanation with simple example... thank you

3 years 1 month ago

There is knowledge and there is non knowledge! Sad "Guru " is full of non knowledge because he isn't realised! Sad, Yes. ..a guru, no!

5 years 7 months ago

I had heard the explanation in my inner... prog on your video and this revised it again , everytime i read or hear you i feel touched again. Thanks for transforming my thinking,life.

2 years 5 months ago

i am from the Netherlands omg, no isha moderator there. o when there are people around me the strange energy leaves me alone, it also got something to do with the computer i think.

3 years 7 months ago

Does leaving your family behind and dedicate yourself to yoga and self enlightenment is sin

7 years 1 month ago

I am practising Shakthi Salana Kriya daily.  I want to know the effects of all kiryas involved in SSK. How can I get to know that...? - RAMACHANDRAN

3 years 1 month ago

What did he say, exactly? Not that the Kundalini is the 'Pure' Desire within..She is a reflection of the Holy Ghost, wiithin....She is our 'innate' Mother and that She has been waiting patiently for many lifetimes to give us our Second birth! It's Sahaja yoga is different from other yoga's because it STARTS with Self Realisation! Instead of that being an unobtainable goal of a false practice / ritual! The only way it can be awakened is by a realised soul, likened to One candle enlightening another! see 'Free meditation (.com)

5 years ago

Every day every day switching on the Isha way! I love you Guru! Shambho Shambho Shambho Shambho

3 years 7 months ago

All value occured fact happen & dedicated actual sensed electrification attach made power within me submitted to H experienced here, In today Commercial world, braham & Samohan & Mohini, used to catch personal & comm benefit, all around attracting & distracting pupils, lost concentration, reaching Kundalini A (Om) reading books can never be got, it fr the 2nd time i meet (baba) yr self through Internet, written uttered words, previously was a video, Agree Shambhu Sadu, Sadu, red image seem blue, Now

7 years 1 month ago

Dear Sadguru,
thankyou so much for everything you do for us.  I have always wondered about Kundalini and how it works, but now you have made it so clear. 

We love you so much,

Sai Ram


3 years 1 month ago

The Kundalini is our innate Mother...She is the ' Pure ' desire of God almighty! and She has been waiting patiently for many lifetimes to give us our Second birth! ( Self Realisation ) Sahaja yoga is different from other yoga's because it STARTS with Self Realisation! Instead of that being an unobtainable goal of a false practice / ritual! And is ALWAYS free! Because Self Realisation is our birth right! Besides it's a ' Living ' process, how can you pay a seed to sprout? see ' free meditation (.com)' or YouTube 'Shri Mataji - Self Realisation' the only requirement is an open heart and a ' Pure ' desire to be One, with the divine!

4 years 11 months ago

Thanks for this aesthetic artical.

2 years 1 month ago

i do shambhavi pranayama and isha kriya at home regularly and also chant om namah shivay and brahmananda swarrupa..do these have any side effects??

3 years 7 months ago

sadhguru..how to identify whether a person's kundalini has started to rise from muladhara..

7 years ago

Namaskaram Sadguru....lovely explaination, very simple and very clear....thank you so much ....
Love you....

3 years 1 month ago

Dude he knows nothing about kundalini, because he isn't even realised himself!!! Go to YouTube and check out 'Shri Mataji - public programmes' she gives Self Realisation (kundalini awakening ) at the end of most talks! 1 <3

4 years 10 months ago

With immense respect, Sadhguru, only you can explain the most profound things in the most simplified manner. Thank you. You are a light in the darkness . . .

2 years 1 month ago

Please let me know whether in dubai any isha yoga centre is available for yoga classes.

3 years 7 months ago

Namaskaram Satguru.Recently only started to read Satguru's articals. They are amazing. This is one of them. I'm getting a lot of knowledge from Satguru. Thank you.

6 years 7 months ago

Very nicely written article. So simplistic yet such an enlightening message

3 years ago

Dear Srividya I am raju from chennai. I came thru u r posting I like to give u piece of advice if u still not initiated to kundalini.

3 years 7 months ago

Namaskaram Sadhguru there are two snakes on sarva dharma sthamba , what does that mean ?

2 years 1 month ago

We have a center in Lebanon. But Isha Yoga classes are also held in Dubai. Please contact Dubai Isha volunteers for more details: MIDDLE EAST
If you're interested in Isha Yoga classes happening in other countries of Middle East, here are the details:

961-3-789-046, 961-3-747-178

00974-3384-0201, 00974-3306-1596

+968 96331505

3 years 7 months ago

I am sticking to you dude! I like your point of views.

5 years 8 months ago

omg, awesome explanation !!!

3 years ago

Dear Hema I am raju from chennai. I came thru u r posting I like to give u piece of advice if u still not initiated to kundalini.