What causes these kriyas? Most of the literature I've found says that when the prana -- lifeforce
-- is increased in the body, it's crudely analogous to water pressure being increased in a hose. If the pressure
is radically increased and the hose is narrow, the force of the water will make the hose whip around furiously.
In order for high vibration energy to flow smoothly through our systems, we need to be enlarged and unobstructed.
This expansion and clearing takes place on many levels: physically, mentally, psychologically, emotionally. The
activated Kundalini produces kriyas when it comes up against inner blockage. This blockage may be in the form of
stored physical or emotional trauma, limiting beliefs and attitudes, or psychic debris from collective toxins,
past lives, astral dimensions, and other arcane sources. The externally evident kriyas, visible as uncontrolled
movements of the body, signify a great inner healing process. It's unnecessary for us to be consciously aware of
the exact nature of our blockages. As the shakti engages these blockages, it works to dissolve them. While this
dissolution is occurring, lots of previously frozen, unconscious material becomes available to us. This may arise
as thoughts, physical sensations, or emotions. At this stage, we often feel physically sick and emotionally unstable.
Without warning or apparent provocation, we plunge into fits of rage or chasms of grief or despair. These erratic
and overwhelming feelings are simply ancient energies which were locked within us. As the shakti empties us of
these trapped energies, we temporarily relive them. This also happens on the physical level. Old injuries and illnesses
are temporarily reexperienced. Although it can be painful and difficult to tolerate these physical and emotional
states, they are not harmful. To the contrary, they are signs of deep, forgotten, festering wounds which are at
last being opened, drained, and healed. Some of the texts refer to inner blockages as "resistance." Unfortunately,
this word has been misinterpreted to mean that kriyas occur if one has a resentful or resistant attitude toward
the transformational process. Some "experts" insist that those who maintain a positive attitude toward
their Kundalini awakening have very few and mild kriyas. From my own case, I know this is untrue. Even though my
personal experiences have been intense and often painful, since I became aware that I was having a Kundalini awakening,
I have accepted this process as a great gift. I can't imagine how I could have been more surrendered to it than
I have been. I've trusted Kundalini more than I ever trusted anything in my life. When my kriyas began, they were
initially painless tremors and twitches. Then they developed into agonizing spasms. This again changed and for
awhile, every kriya was preceded by a sensation that felt like an electrical shock. Then the shocks came less often,
though I could usually feel a telltale tension in my body -- similar to the way it feels before a sneeze -- when
a kriya was coming. By the time the kriyas had been going for a year, something wonderful happened. They began
to be enjoyable! In and of themselves, the spontaneous jerking movements caused neither pleasure nor pain. But
they would be immediately followed by waves of sensual energy surging through my body. These were my first continuous
sensations of physical bliss since my Kundalini awakening began. For me, the kriyas seem to intensify when Kundalini
is amplifying the energy in my body. Every night when I first lie down, surges of energy flash up from my feet
into my spine. These energy rushes make me shake all over, and start my body jerking and my legs kicking and thrashing.
Depending on how strong the energy is, and how much blockage it comes up against, these nocturnal kriyas can last
anywhere from a half hour to most of the night. Sometimes they go on so long and so vigorously that sleep is impossible.
Other times, they subside, then became active again and awaken me from sleep. I still frequently have kriyas in
the day as well, but rarely are they as racking or as relentless as they were in the early stages of my Kundalini
awakening. Now, the daytime kriyas are generally concentrated in areas of my body where the energy is working through
blockages. For instance, for many months, the Kundalini was most active in my chest and neck area. I had all kinds
of physical symptoms in this part of my body: coughing, throat problems, chest congestion, deep muscle pain in
my neck and upper back, sharp, shooting pains in my chest, arthritic stiffness and soreness in my cervical spine
area, and much more. During this same time, my shoulders would automatically hunch up and down for long periods
of the day. These shoulder kriyas released bursts of soothing energy that circulated the afflicted area. While
the kriyas may involve any part of my body, the mudras occur primarily in my hands, fingers and arms. The kriyas
are often spasmodic and jerky, but the mudras are always very graceful and precise. The mudras still occur for
me, but they've gone through various permutations. Now, I rarely have the finger mudras, though the arm and hand
movements that began with the temple dancing continue. In contrast to the finger mudras, which were generally held
in certain positions for long periods of time, the arm and hand mudras are usually rapid and continuously in motion.
This may be part of what is being represented in the Hindu statues of many-armed deities.
While I hesitate to classify the mudras by category, they do seem to serve several purposes. At points, I was given to understand the meanings of specific mudras. For example, when both arms extend outward with palms parallel to each other and facing upwards, non-attachment is symbolized. Specifically, I was inwardly told that this mudra means: "I come to God empty-handed." Another mudra is both hands suddenly flying up over my head, with hands open and stretched back, palms upward. This would occur frequently during the day, and always when I sat down for a meal. Another woman had this same spontaneous mudra occur when she went to a restaurant with her friends. The friends, embarrassed, told her to stop it. She felt humiliated and "out of control", with no idea why her arms had shot up like this. When I told her that I'd experienced the same thing, she felt relieved. And she was deeply touched when I told her that this mudra signifies gratitude and consecration. "Your body was saying grace," I assured her. Specifically, this mudra means: "Everything belongs to God." Other mudras have a distinct effect on my system. I can physically feel these movements smoothing and stabilizing my energy. These are the aura balancing mudras. The arms and hands move in automatic, graceful and often rapid configurations. The chakra areas are particularly influenced by these mudras. Conversely, whenever one of my chakras is unbalanced, my hands will fly into motion to redistribute the energy there. This happens often when I am in the presence (even through telephone contact) of someone in mental or emotional pain. For instance, people who are angry or worried (even if they are not outwardly expressing these feelings) frequently have third chakra (solar plexus) disturbances. If I am with them, my own third chakra resonates distress. This is felt as "butterflies" in the stomach, or as nausea and sharp pains in this area, or even as a sudden sensation of being punched in the stomach. In the presence of someone sad, a heavy feeling will weigh on my chest. This automatically triggers the mudras. There is a mudra which seems specific to calming the heart chakra. One hand, held vertically, fingers pressed together, is brought up and held with the thumb side against the center of the chest. There have been occasions when my hands would move spontaneously to cleanse my aura. My fingers would appear to be grasping a length of something and extricating it from my body. From my previous study of metaphysics, I knew the "something" was psychic cords. Sometimes these would be short, and quickly removed from my body as if my fingers were plucking out porcupine quills. Other cords were so long my hands would turn round and round as though twirling a long strand of spaghetti. Though I could always feel a sensation when this happened, rarely was it unpleasant. Once, a cord was pulled from inside my mouth that seemed to be rooted somewhere in my abdomen. I gagged several times during this operation. A woman who knew nothing about auras or mudras told me that at times her hands would seem to be gathering something up from around her body and then forcefully throwing something away. This throwing away motion is familiar to body workers and psychics, who are taught this as a means of eliminating foreign and undesirable energies. My own hands would also do these expelling motions on occasion. I was also able to do some healings on others at this time by working on their auras. I say that "I" was able to do this, but in truth, I have no idea what I did. It was the Kundalini moving through me and automatically moving my hands and arms that brought about these healings. Likewise, I have no formula for detecting cords or doing anything else to balance my own or anyone else's energy. How the Kundalini directs my hands to do this remains a great mystery to me. My husband and I have become so accustomed to the mudras and kriyas that we think nothing of them. But other people, having no exposure to or understanding of these phenomena, are very uncomfortable around anyone manifesting kriyas or mudras. The kriyas resemble neurological problems, and are less likely to be criticized than the mudras. People have trouble believing that these are automatic, uncontrolled movements since they are so graceful and seemingly deliberate. For this reason, my on-going kriyas and mudras make me feel very self-conscious in public or in the presence of others. While not everyone undergoing a Kundalini awakening experiences kriyas or mudras, most do, to some degree. Even mild kriyas and mudras can be frightening when do we not realize that they are a natural response to greatly heightened energies in the body. Psychics or other healers who are unfamiliar with Kundalini may interpret these energies in a negative and sometimes terrifying way -- for instance, suggesting that some evil force is causing these uncontrollable body movements. Doctors who are ignorant of this phenomena may regard it in pathological terms, as signs of neurological dysfunction or somatized psychological disturbance. Dangerously addictive drugs, such as the benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Paraflex, Clonopin, etc.) are frequently prescribed. (While these medications may be needed during the most physically painful part of the process, withdrawal after extended use will dramatically intensify the kriyas.) While those who haven't had personal experience with mudras and kriyas may find my case fantastic and stretching credibility, I haven't written this to thrill readers with a strange tale of sci/fi/spiritual adventure. I'm telling my story for the sake of others who are experiencing similar things, and who may find reassurance in learning that these manifestations are not a sign of insanity, brain damage or demonic possession. They are simply part of an amazing and mysterious transformation of consciousness.
-- El Collie
© El Collie 1995