Kundalini 101: Is It Really Dangerous? 6 Common Myths—Debunked

Kundalini Yoga is a powerful practice, but should its potency give you pause? Here, Karena Virginia demystifies the common concerns about this ancient practice.
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Are you ready to discover your life’s purpose and activate your fullest potential? Kundalini Yoga is an ancient practice that helps you channel powerful energy and transform your life. And now there is an accessible, easy way to learn how to incorporate these practices into your practice and life. Yoga Journal’s 6-week online course, Kundalini 101: Create the Life You Want, offers you mantras, mudras, meditations, and kriyas that you’ll want to practice every day. Sign up now!

Ever Googled Kundalini Yoga? You may have encountered search results warning of a “dangerous” practice that could provoke apprehension in even the most seasoned yogis. While it’s true that awakening kundalini energy unleashes tremendous power—which can corrupt if it isn’t used properly—Kundalini Yoga as taught and brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan has been honed and tested. As an experienced, certified Kundalini Yoga instructor myself, I teach and practice this style of yoga in a methodical, synergistic manner that guarantees a safe, transformative experience. Here, I dispel 6 biggest myths about Kundalini Yoga.

1. It’s dangerous.

Nobody on record has ever gone crazy from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Kundalini is a naturally loving, healing, and enlightening energy. Through tuning in and warming up, the structured practices taught in my course, Kundalini 101, will prepare you and your body for a safe and transformational experience. You will trust your intuition in a deeper way and connect with your higher self. People from all over the world and all walks of life have practiced Kundalini Yoga and experienced its life-changing power.

2. It’s a religion.

Kundalini Yoga connects you with the energy of your being. No matter what religion you do (or do not) practice, Kundalini Yoga will enhance your sense of spirit. The mantras are universal in nature. In fact, most predate all modern religions. While the word God is used quite a bit in Kundalini Yoga, you do not need to believe in a specific deity. The God in Kundalini Yoga is translated as the "Sustainer of All.” Feel free to use a different word that feels more natural to you, such as sacred, universe, divine, source, spirit, or nature.

3. Awakening this energy is frightening.

To most people, the awakening of natural kundalini energy is like a beautiful wave of divinity that heals and opens new sensations. It can feel like an inner bliss that starts in the spine and spreads throughout the body. Some have said that it feels sensual. Newness is only frightening if you hold onto preconceptions and patterns. When kundalini rises, yogis may be guided to give up meat, alcohol, and drugs to clear energy channels. If someone continues with those behaviors when guided not to, she may face challenges. When you are blocked inside, it may take time to clear the debris of a lifetime—including the previous karma of your ancestors imprinted in your energy field.

4. You have to wear a headpiece.

The covering of the crown chakra is an ancient technique to help contain personal energy and the sacred sensitivity of the tenth gate, which opens to the divine energy of the universe. For this reason, many Kundalini Yoga practitioners choose to cover the top of their heads with natural fiber while practicing. It is optional; there is no need to wear a turban.

5. It’s all about sex.

Working the energy of the spine and removing blocks from energetic systems can open sensitivities that amplify feelings of interconnectivity. Opening up channels in the lower energy centers may result in a sensation of warmth and in feelings of sexual arousal. In Kundalini Yoga, this energy can be drawn inward and converted into personal energy that activates new awareness. The same energy that activates sexuality can be used to enhance healing, intuition, and universal loving consciousness.

6. It will hurt your relationship with family and friends.

When practicing Kundalini Yoga, your frequency shifts. This evolution is a beautiful thing. We may find ourselves more courageous and connected to source energy; we may experience many synchronicities; we may find ourselves uncomfortable in environments that we were once numb to. This enlightened presence actually assists those you love in their healing as well. People who love you for being who you are will be happy to see you so joyful. (They will want to know the secret behind your glow!) Those who leave never understood you anyway, even if you once tried so hard to fit in. 

Want to learn how to tap into your innate kundalini energy to transform your practice and life? Join Karena in Kundalini 101 today! 

Kundalini 101 with Karena Virginia: About Our Expert

Karena Virginia has 20 years of experience as a powerful healer and highly acclaimed yoga instructor. Based in the New York City area, she conducts workshops in the United States and Europe and is a pioneer in bringing positive change to the world through fierce love. She’s co-author of the 2017 book Essential Kundalini Yoga and released the DVD The Power of Kundalini in 2015. Her app, Relax and Attract with Karena, has helped thousands of people around the world to find inner peace and healing. Karena's work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Bravo TV, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.