Need help understanding the mechanics of kundalini awakening


Hey. This is my first post. I need help answering a few questions in regards to kundalini awakening, not as a method or technique, i.e. locks, breathing, meditation, etc., but rather kundalini awakening strictly from technical standpoint. Or in other words, not how does someone purposefully go about awakening kundalini, but rather what exactly takes place in the subtle body from A to Z. The chain of events so to speak.

Here's what I understand so far.

Prana vayu moves up from the navel area, and apana vayu moves down from the navel area. (for sake of argument, the details are so scattered here)

Something causes them to reverse and meet. When they do, they create intense heat in the samana vayu at the navel.

The heat from the samana vayu then somehow stimulates the dormant sushumna nadi -- hence somehow leading to the awakening of kundalini.

What I don't know is:

  1. Do the prana vayu and apana vayu flow in both the ida and pingala? Or does apana flow in one, and prana in the other?

  2. What causes prana and apana to reverse and meet in the first place? Especially in the case of spontaneous kundalini awakening? (Note -- I know this can be caused by different yoga techniques, but what I'm curious about is more the spontaneous variety of kundalini awakening; i.e. do they just reverse spontaneously at times, or is there always a mechanism behind it?)

  3. Where in the subtle body does prana enter and then differentiate into the 5 vayus?

  4. What vayu is it (if any) that travels down the sushumna to activate kundalini? Is it the samana vayu itself? Or some sort of combo of apana and prana which converge? Or is it does the heat itself awaken kundalini without having to first travel down the sushumna at all?

  5. Is the agni (the fire in the samana) a nadi or chakra or something else?

Thank you that is all for now. This is for a paper. I just want to get my facts straight.


what I know is, that prana can flow upwards or downwards, its interesting for example in this exercise: that you can activate prana flowing from the manipura cakra upwards to the hips and this is a very particular direction because normally you activate the energy from the manipura cakra, and its the same of prana, upwards, to the head.
My experience is, that activating prana in this inverted direction is very healthy and regenerating.
Good practice with the different energy flows.... :slightly_smiling_face:


There is a book that I would HIGHLY recommend to answer your questions.. it's called Kundalini Vidya: The Science of Spiritual Transformation by Joan Shivarpita Harrigan, Phd. She writes extensively about the mechanics which you are asking about, but also does a beautiful job of connecting this to the entire Kundalini process.

I see you're wanting this for a paper and so the process of reading the book might be more exhaustive than you'd like, but it's the only text I have found that goes into the technical aspect of the process... and there is a LOT to it so I couldn't possibly begin to explain it here.

Best of luck to you!