Watch Out For These "Dangers" Before Practicing Kundalini Yoga


Oct. 10 2023, Published 12:11 p.m. ET

crowd doing yoga with hands raised
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Kundalini yoga is an ancient form of yoga involving physical poses, breath, and chants.
  • Some believe Kundalini yoga is a dangerous form of yoga.
  • Although Kundalini yoga may not be physically dangerous, there are spiritual and emotional considerations.
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If you're a practitioner of yoga, you may have heard of various types of yoga via online yoga channels or in-person classes. Differing from the popular styles in the Western world like vinyasa yoga or hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga is more focused on the spiritual aspects of yogic practice.

However, some believe Kundalini yoga is dangerous. Let's dive into whether Kundalini yoga is truly dangerous and why.

woman wearing white in prayer pose by water's edge
Source: iStock

Kundalini yoga can include covering one's head, though it is not required.

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Here's why some think Kundalini yoga is dangerous.

The primary concerns about Kundalini yoga stem from the belief that it can harm the nervous system or other areas if not approached properly. Being a very spiritual form of yoga, people who are not used to this type of breathing and chanting could unwittingly unlock something in the mind.

According to Tantric Academy, Kundalini yoga can lead to a Kundalini awakening, which can cause problems. It says the body must be prepared when practicing this type of yoga or else risk "dangerous outcomes." It warns that "the nervous system can get fried from spontaneous Kundalini awakenings."

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Famous yogi Isha Sadhguru states outright that Kundalini yoga is "the most dangerous form of yoga" because it is the most potent. His guidance is that people must prepare themselves for the energy that you may bring into your body. "If the necessary supportive atmosphere is not there, simply attempting to raise kundalini could be very irresponsible and dangerous," according to Sadhguru's website.

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According to Yoga Journal, it's a myth that Kundalini yoga is dangerous. It can be a "safe and transformational experience." However, some warn that Kundalini yoga is dangerous because it can be very potent in the practitioner's life. Other myths about the "dangers" of Kundalini yoga include that it's frightening to "awaken" Kundalini energy and that it can damage relationships with others.

As Yoga Journal explains, Kundalini yoga can appear dangerous because it may prompt you to make changes in your lifestyle. Proponents of Kundalini believe it opens up channels of energy, and if prompted to stop consuming meat or alcohol to clear those channels, some people may find it challenging. Similarly, relationships can be affected because you may begin behaving differently as a result of regular Kundalini practice.

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Is Kundalini yoga actually dangerous?

It's difficult to say whether Kundalini yoga is actually dangerous physically, but it does seem that it can bring up some unpleasantness in the mind if you're unprepared. As with any type of yoga, it's best to be in good physical health and be aware of any limitations such as breathing problems or painful joints before trying it. You should consult your physician to find out whether you have any specific reasons to avoid Kundalini or any other form of yoga.

The "Kundalini awakening" is something to be particularly aware of when embarking on a Kundalini practice. "Kundalini awakening is an energetic activation and chakra activation," per Tantric Academy. This may happen spontaneously or as a result of regular practice. So while Kundalini yoga is not necessarily "dangerous" in all cases, it's best to have a qualified guide if pursuing Kundalini yoga, and not try to force an awakening.

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