Raising Kundalini is the process of unleashing latent energy hidden within the human nervous system. As we have evolved from a primarily physically motivated animal to a mentally motivated animal, we have lost much of our physical strength and capacity for endurance. It could be that the strength and endurance of our cave-dwelling ancestors still lies locked within our central nervous system (namely, the brain and spinal cord) in the form of potential energy.
Kundalini is symbolized by a snake coiled three-and-a-half times. This symbology of the snake gives us the secret implications of Kundalini. The snake has been a sexual symbol from time immemorial, and this tells us that Kundalini is intimately connected with the sexual expression of humanity. Indeed, sexual activity springs from the stream of Kundalini force and is the most concrete example we have of a latent energy lying within us that has far reaching effects in our life. The orgasm of sexual union is said to be similar to the trembling and bliss of Kundalini rising.
This connection between sexual activity and Kundalini has led to the development of two distinct schools of thought. The Tantra school teaches the rise and release of Kundalini by using the physical act of intercourse as a channel for this energy to express itself. The Yoga school teaches that sexual activity should be curtailed, thus suppressing Kundalini until the pressure becomes sufficiently strong for Kundalini energy to force itself into arousal. Both schools of thought have half the key in their respective viewpoints, and the result has been that both schools have thoroughly confused Westerners who have taken to practising the exercises prescribed by each tradition.
The snake is always shown as coiled. This coiling of a snake is preparation for striking out, and it is in just such a manner that Kundalini lies within us, compressed like a spring, ready to change from potential static energy into kinetic manifestations under the proper conditions. The coil of three represents the three states of energy (positive, negative, and neutral), while the half coil represents Kundalini as always on the verge of changing from static to kinetic manifestation.
It is taught in the East that just as the snake charmer must first become immune to the poison of the snakes, so the student must be prepared for the shock of arousing Kundalini.
The ancient Yogis obtained their remarkable knowledge of the human body largely through a process of introspection. By Raja Yoga they became so intensely aware of themselves that they internally felt and saw, the major blood vessels, nerves and organs.
Kundalini is stored at the base of the spine in the egg-shaped Kanda, from which is said to emanate 72,000 psychic nerves. The object is to arouse the fire of Kundalini so she ascends, awakening various vital centers (chakras) situated along the way, and finally uniting with the top center, Sahasrara, where a union takes place between Kundalini Shakti (feminine receptive) and Shiva Shakta (masculine projective).
This concept may be taken as either symbolic or literal. Each chakra, or psychic center, as it is touched by the ever-climbing flame of Kundalini, has the particular God and Goddess dwelling within consummate. This is the story of the union between the solar (logic) and lunar (emotion) aspects in our life, which takes place upon the ascent into spiritual consciousness.