I heard from many people in yoga domain that spinal cord is important for an yogi. And it is extremely important for a Kundalini practitioner to keep her spinal cord in proper and erected position.

Does it mean a crooked or damaged spinal cord person can never awake Kundalini in total?

  • I don't think spiritual life can by physical health. May 7, 2021 at 4:53
  • 1
    Yeah @DarkKnight, but this question is particular to the aspirants of yoga marga. God directly helped people like kubja and others. But, wondering whether the awakening is possible by oneself or not in yoga domain.
    – hanugm
    May 7, 2021 at 4:55
  • Although the spine is not Nadi, there is still a rule of performing yoga in sitting position (I.e. in an Asana). Damaged spine will affect attaining the perfection in Asana(s). Not sure if this is to be taken as a symptom to conclude 'No Kundalini Awakening'.
    – Second
    May 7, 2021 at 7:57
  • 2
    For a practitioner of Raja yoga, keeping the spine straight is a help as it frees the mind for concentration. For a practitioner of Jnana, Bhakti, or Karma yoga, not so much. As the Mundaka Upanishad III.ii.3 says " This Atman is not to be attained by the study of the Vedas, nor by the highest intellect, nor by much learning. Whom the Atman seeks, he gets the Atman, unto him He discloses His glory." A deep hankering, yearning for realization attracts the Lord, all physical defects are overcome by real yearning. May 7, 2021 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


The spine (Meru Parvata) is very important for any Yogi. The Meru is a metaphor for the spine. It is called the axis of the world for a very specific reason. In Vedic terminology, the physical body is very much equivalent to the Earth. This is because whatever the body acquires (food) is from the earth. So it is a part and parcel of the earth itself. And Meru is the center because without this Merudanda there is no world. This is because without the spine connected to the brain, there's no experience of the world (as can be seen in paralytic patients).

Kundalini progresses when the spine is erect (in Padmasana) because that is when the energy centers (chakras) are aligned vertically. Pillar (page 181 in the book)

But when the spine is crooked, still attainment is possible only if the individual is able to remain in a posture for more than two hours (Asana Siddhi) without his attention drawn to his physical body. Otherwise, it is extremely difficult because his mind cannot dwell on any thought or topic for long (Nidhidhyasana) because the body keeps moving and distracting his attention.

Ramana Maharishi on the Definition of Asana and related quotes below:

Page 10: (D -> Devotee; M-> Maharishi)

D.: Which posture (asana) is the best? M.: Any asana, possibly sukha asana (easy posture or the half-Buddha position). But that is immaterial for jnana, the Path of Knowledge.

D.: Does posture indicate the temperament?
M.: Yes.

Page 11:

D.: Does Maharshi advise any physical posture for the Europeans? M.: It may be advisable. However, it must be clearly understood that meditation is not prohibited in the absence of asanas, or prescribed times, or any accessories of the kind.

D.: Does Maharshi have any particular method to impart to the Europeans in particular? M.: It is according to the mental equipment of the individual. There is indeed no hard and fast rule.

Page 196:

A Muslim visitor asked about asana (physical posture).

M.: Abidance in God is the only true posture

Page 351:

D.: What is the need then for pranayama? M.: Pranayama is meant for one who cannot directly control the thoughts. It serves as a brake to a car. But one should not stop with it, as I said before, but must proceed to pratyahara, dharana and dhyana. After the fruition of dhyana, the mind will come under control even in the absence of pranayama. The asanas (postures) help pranayama, which helps dhyana in its turn, and peace of mind results. Here is the purpose of hatha yoga.

Later Sri Bhagavan continued: When dhyana is well established it cannot be given up. It will go on automatically even when you are engaged in work, play or enjoyment. It will persist in sleep too. Dhyana must become so deep-rooted that it will be natural to one.

Page 537:

D.: There are several asanas mentioned. Which of them is the best?

M.: Nididhyasana (one-pointedness of the mind) is the best.

Edit 1: I missed mentioning that Kundalini auto corrects so many abnormalities when it begins to rise. Because innately it is energy and energy determines the memory surrounding it and memory determines the physical entities (body) surrounding it.

Edit 2: Added some references for para 3. Though no direct references are potentially possible, there are a lot of contextual references.

PS: I had Chronic back pain for many years due to disc bulges. It rendered me physically very weak and with a crooked posture. But it also taught me how to sit erect. Now wherever I sit and whenever I sit, my spine is naturally erect (even while sitting on a chair) and I don't lean against the back rest either.

  • 1
    Can you quote sources for 3rd paragraph?
    – The Destroyer
    May 20, 2021 at 13:50
  • Added some references. Also qualified my statement in para 3 with "Nidhidhyasana" which RM talks about copiously in his brief discourses. Tx.
    – Siv
    May 21, 2021 at 16:25

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