What is Kundalini Depression?

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Page last updated: 19/09/2022

What is Kundalini Depression?

In this blog we discuss what kundalini depression is.

We will also discuss what steps you can take if you are experiencing Kundalini depression. 

The blog also presents to you a brief description of Kundalini meditation, the history of its origins, and potential benefits of Kundalini meditation. 

What is Kundalini Depression?

Kundalini depression refers to the potential side effects that one experiences after a spiritual awakening, in this case, Kundalini awakening. 

It is the sense of hopelessness and disillusionment that one experiences after an experience of spiritual awakening when they are unable to integrate their new awakened self to their reality.

This conflict causes one to find themselves displaced from their old life leading to a loss of belongingness and longing for another taste of spiritual awakening can lead an individual to lose ground in the present. 

This can lead to various behavioural and cognitive changes such as:

  • Inability to focus and concentrate
  • Loss of interest in things going on in their life
  • Hopelessness and despair
  • Low moods
  • Social withdrawal
  • Disinterested in maintaining and keeping up with responsibilities such as parenting, going to work, maintaining their relationships etc.

Kundalini awakening refers to a release of energy that many people refer to as a spiritual experience where individuals report physical sensations, such as warmth, or disorientation and is generally considered a positive experience. 

However, when one is not prepared for this experience, they do face negative side effects of spiritual awakening. 

According to Bruce Davis, a retreat leader at Silent Stay and a Contributor for Huffpost writes that the disparity between the real mundane world of the individual and the exquisite, almost supernatural experience of a spiritual awakening can lead to depression when one returns back to their real life. 

He writes that the main reason why depression occurs after a spiritual awakening of Kundalini awakening is due to 

“…the inability to integrate how human we are and how divine we are can lead to a state of depression.”

He writes that it is after a person has experienced a spiritual awakening and then finds themselves back in their old life, with their old problems and they are unable to integrate their awakened self to their world, it causes a sense of disappointment and disillusionment can lead to kundalini depression. 

Davis also writes that 

“…The contrast between Heaven and Earth for those who have experienced both can be too much.” and that “the weight of this world and weightlessness of who we really are, can lead to depression.”

Along with these factors in play, it is often the case that after a kundalini awakening, people tend to question their own lives and their own priorities and this can lead to changes in goals, priorities, beliefs, world views etc which can profoundly turn life upside down.

Due to the vast distance between managing one’s own life and being in touch with their spiritual self, a person might choose to tend to their real life and let go of the idea of becoming spiritually awakened.

When this happens, there is no chance of inner peace or well being because an individual is unable to strike a balance between their spiritual life and that of their real life leading to Depression.

What is Kundalini Depression?

What to do if you are experiencing a Kundalini depression?

Here are a few things that you can do if you are experiencing a kundalini depression:

Seek out advice

The first thing that you can do if you are experiencing kundalini depression is to seek out advice from your teacher or spiritual guide. 

It is likely that they have come across many of their students who have also faced this issue as you are currently facing and it is likely that they have helped them through it. 

So, seek them out and ask them for advice, be honest about what you feel, and ask them to help you through it. 

Join a support group

Another thing you can do for yourself is to join a support group of people struggling with spiritual depression so that you can experience emotional support first hand within these communities and over time learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other. 

It is possible that people with depression can also struggle with a sense of worthlessness, a feeling that you have nothing of value to offer. 

By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey. 

In most cases, a group that targets discussions and support related to spiritual depression will most likely be connected to your local religious bodies. 

Actively seek positive experiences

According to positive psychology research, positive feelings are an important aspect of well-being. 

For a person to engage in activities and other experiences that help them feel positive feelings such as love, belongingness, achievement, and a sense of hope is important.

This could be as simple as watching a movie, petting your cat, taking your dog for a walk, eating ice cream. Do what makes you happy without judging yourself for these choices.

Spend time with supporters

Once you feel like you are up for it, take time to seek out support from your friends, family, and loved ones. Positive relationships are also important for wellbeing. 

You can connect with supportive spiritual guides or spiritual friends who can help you develop a sense of meaning and joy as well as help you develop a sense of self love and care for yourself. 

Talk to them about how you are feeling- let them know that you feel alone or lonely. Let them provide you company when you do not want to be alone- take effort to reach out to them. 

Allow yourself to feel loved by people who genuinely care for you and seek out new meaning from these positive and healthy relationships. 

Seek out therapeutic care

Engaging with a therapist who is informed in terms of spiritual counselling, being diligent with treatment, and making the lifestyle changes you need to make to get better will determine your prognosis.

You have the possibility of seeking out therapists who are aligned with your spiritual and religious beliefs, who are informed and educated of the same, for example- a theological counsellor- who can understand your spiritual and mental health needs. 

Your therapist will help you understand what is happening to you, might prescribe you medication if needed, and can help you tap into your own strengths that can help you adapt to challenges, changes, and overcome them.

Choose joy

Bruce Davis notes that one thing that you can do to deal with this form of depression is through the act of

“…choosing joy, daily joy, simple joy, yes fun, freedom — moment to moment receiving the beauty in life.”

Here he is referring to the active choice to be present and to choose joy above all else in one relationship, activities, work, and play to nourish the heart and the hearts of others.

What is the history of Kundalini meditation’s origin?

“Kundalini” is the Sanskrit term for “coiled,” and kundalini meditation refers to a specific type of meditation that is aimed to fully awaken your sense of awareness.

According to the theory behind Kundalini meditation, you can work to awaken life energy that lies at the base of your spine (root chakra), coiled like a snake and achieve enlightenment, internal balance, and awakening.

According to Crystal Raypole, for Healthline, this can be done through a combination of techniques, including:

  • deep breathing
  • mudras (hand movements)
  • mantras (phrases)
  • physical movements

Kundalini practices do not have the exact origin date; however, experts believe that it is at least a few thousand years old, first appearing in the Upanishads, a collection of Hindu religious texts around 800 to 500 B.C.

This record is believed to be the first known record of Kundalini meditation, however, historians and experts believe that oral descriptions of Kundalini meditation predate these written records.

Kundalini began, more or less, as a private philosophy that was taught to only students who had spent years studying meditation and spirituality and remained a secret practice even when it evolved from meditative teachings to include physical practices (yoga).

This form of meditation was first introduced in the west by Yogi Bhajan who began teaching Kundalini yoga from the 1960s and introduced the concept of Kundalini meditation. 

According to him, this form of yoga and meditation would help bring improvements in the life of people who pursue it as they experience a different type of consciousness. 

He taught the practice for over 30 years and even started a research institute where he trained teachers for the practice. 

What are the benefits of Kundalini meditation?

Kundalini meditation as a practice is believed to have a lot of positive effects on the mind and body. 

Some of these benefits according to writers at Healthline include:

  • increased mindfulness and compassion
  • improved communication with self and others
  • inspiration
  • a clear mind
  • a more developed sense of self
  • greater purpose and intent in your actions

Along with these benefits, it is also believed that this practice can reduce stress, anxiety, as well as improve cognitive function in terms of memory enhancement and executive functioning. 

Conclusion

In this blog we discussed what kundalini depression is.

We also discussed what steps you can take if you are experiencing Kundalini depression. 

The blog also presented to you a brief description of Kundalini meditation, the history of its origins, and potential benefits of Kundalini meditation. 

FAQ related to Kundalini Depression

What to do if you experience spiritual depression?

The first thing that you can do if you are experiencing kundalini depression is to seek out advice from your teacher or spiritual guide. 

It is likely that they have come across many of their students who have also faced this issue as you are currently facing and it is likely that they have helped them through it. 

If symptoms persist and it is causing your quality of life to deteriorate, seek out medical and professional help. 

Is Kundalini Yoga good for anxiety?

According to various studies, Kundalini yoga can reduce anxiety in adults with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

However, it has to be mentioned that it is not as effective as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic interventions. 

Why does kundalini depression happen?

According to Bruce Davis, a retreat leader at Silent Stay and a Contributor for Huffpost writes that the disparity between the real mundane world of the individual and the exquisite, almost supernatural experience of a spiritual awakening can lead to depression when one returns back to their real life. 

References

Bruce Davis. The Challenge of Depression After a Spiritual Awakening. Huffpost. Retrieved on 11th April 2022.https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-challenge-of-depressi_b_9656658

Sarah Regan. Kundalini Awakening: Signs, Causes & How To Cultivate Kundalini Energy. Mindbodygreen. Retrieved on 11th April 2022. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/kundalini-awakening

Devi SK, Chansauria JP, Udupa KN. Mental depression and kundalini yoga. Anc Sci Life. 1986 Oct;6(2):112-8. PMID: 22557558; PMCID: PMC3331403.

Raypole. C. An Intro to Kundalini Meditation. Healthline. Retrieved on 11th April 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/kundalini-meditation