kun·​da·​li·​ni ˌku̇n-də-ˈlē-nē How to pronounce kundalini (audio)
often capitalized
: the yogic life force that is held to lie coiled at the base of the spine until it is aroused and sent to the head to trigger enlightenment

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Kundalinī is the feminine form of the Sanskrit adjective meaning "circular" or "coiled." In yoga, the word applies to the life force that lies like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine and that can be sent along the spine to the head through prescribed postures and exercises. On the way, the kundalini passes through six chakras, or points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body. At the seventh chakra, the yogi is said to experience enlightenment.

Examples of kundalini in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That proved true for many spiritual influencers and platforms: A Venice kundalini yoga teacher who has worked with pop star Alicia Keys interviewed a conspiracy theorist for an hour on YouTube. Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2021 The cemetery, which schedules a daily hour-long kundalini yoga and meditation class, will offer one at 9 a.m. on its Fairbanks Lawn (pay by donation). Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2020 With 45-foot walls plus bouldering and yoga (acro, kundalini, and ashtanga are just a few of the special options), there’s always a buzz here. Sunset Magazine, 26 Feb. 2020 The Spirit Voyage channel features various kundalini greats to guide you through unique classes and meditations. Hannah Chenoweth, SELF, 5 May 2019 While ashtanga has a reputation for being physically demanding, kundalini is considered to be a style of yoga that’s more spiritually focused. Hannah Chenoweth, SELF, 5 May 2019 Born to an American mother from Long Beach, California, and a Swedish father, Westman briefly lived on a kundalini ashram in Los Angeles as a child and moved to Sweden at age 10. Florence Kane, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2018 Gentle kundalini yoga For beginners to advanced practitioners. Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2017 Gentle kundalini yoga For beginners to advanced practitioners. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kundalini.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Sanskrit kuṇḍalinī, from feminine of kuṇḍalin circular, coiled, from kuṇḍala ring

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kundalini was in 1897


Dictionary Entries Near kundalini

Cite this Entry

“Kundalini.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kundalini. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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