News > Swaying during meditation


  • Swaying during meditation

    Posted on: February 9, 2009

    I have been wanting to ask this for a long time but didn’t want to bother you until had exhausted other sources. Anyhow, for the past year and half have been experiencing something that I haven’t been able to find an explanation for.

    When sitting in meditation (i was doing healing bowls then, now chakra cleansing).I began experiencing a side-to-side swaying movement in my upper body–like a pendulum–which I couldn’t control without some effort..that lasted 6 months or so (I thought it was a spirit communicating with me :-)
    Also asked stu wilde about it (did a course with him) and he said side-to-side was a good movement because the body was trying to slip out or something ..which I didn’t understand.

    Since then it has been like a spinning + spiralling kind of movement. you know sometimes can feel something like a butter-churning stick in centre of me, which is spinning and around it a spiralling energy–sometimes the spiral stays with the lower 2-3 chakras, sometimes goes up and down. And my upper body moves with it.
    and now it’s become so weird that I can feel this spiralling movement if I sit motionless for even a few seconds, like right now in front of laptop! or if standing and chatting at a party or something..what I mean is I think the movement is going on all the time but when I am motionless it becomes obvious..i think.
    so what is going on and what am I supposed to do with it?
    thanks for any help

    This sounds like a simple matter of the body moving as a way of facilitating the release of some old blockage. It is a manifestation of Kundalini energy moving up the body as a result of your spiritual practices. It really is nothing worth bothering about. It will subside on its own as soon as the underlying issue is cleared. What you want to be careful about is not giving it your attention and interest. Because as we know, what you put your attention on will become stronger. That means that if we become overly fascinated in something like this, and determined to discover the deeper significance of it, then that attention in itself is likely to make it persist even beyond its natural course. A simpler and more effective approach is to take the position that the swaying motion is not absolutely necessary to the release process. And if, in spite of this attitude, the rocking continues, then you know it is serving a real purpose, so be neutral with it until it is done.


neo pachisia | February 9,2009

hi deepak,

thanks so much for your reply. Need a little clarification. are you saying that the rising kundalini
energy is clearing blockages (i assume in the chakras). Kundalini is Kali, rising to meet shiva at
the crown, so shouldn’t I be helping it along in some way? why is it nothing to bother about then?


YogaMaYam | February 9,2009

Buoyancy is the phenomenon (discovered by Archimedes) that an object less dense than a
fluid will float in the fluid. More generally, Archimedes’ principle states that a fluid will exert an
upward force on an object immersed in it equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

Swaying in meditation is also known as ‘buoyancy’ and often transmutes into advanced spiritual
energy. This is usually the result of certain Yoga meditation practices and merits of the heart
based on karma, and devotion of practice. Dr. Chopra’s suggestion to not give this your
attention and interest is very wise. When the mind and ego begin to try and figure things out,
and when we talk and give too much description to spiritual experiences, this can inadvertently
lead to expectations and grandiosity of the ego.

I noticed your question above “shouldn’t I be helping it along in some way?” Absolutely not … In
the grand scheme of things, we are a mere grain of sand in comparison to the super-
consciousness of Shakti. We do not ‘help along’ a force that is universal. We become an
instrument of peace and allow this energy to work through us, its sacred healing in our lives.
If the spiritual energy wants to move up, then be like a buoy on the sea. Simply BE and allow
the energy to run its course without thought. Float on the currents and ripples of the waves.
A buoy does not control the sea. When we fight, we sink. In relaxing, we float.

From your description above, you also expressed some discomfort about having spontaneous
expression of this energy occuring in front of the computer, etc.. Grounding will help you with
this. Some ways to ground would be to suspend practice for a few days or weeks, eat
heavier, grounding food, increase sleep, and cut down thought analysis and chatter.
Refrain from excessive spiritual study and just enjoy life. Then proceed to practice at a set
time of day. Sit in Siddhasana and keep the spine straight. Be a quiet observer. If you have a
deeper Yoga asana and meditation practice it is safest to be under the direct guidance of an
advanced teacher (or Guru). Ultimately, the following words of Chuang-Tzu helps us to be
respectful guardians of ancient practices: “The operations of heaven and earth proceed with
the most admirable order, yet they never speak. The four seasons observe clear laws, but
they do not discuss them. All of nature is regulated by exact principles, but it never explains
them. Thus the perfect man/woman does nothing … he/she merely contemplates the universe.”

neo pachisia | February 9,2009

hi YogaMa Yam,

thank you very much and sorry I’ve taken so long to reply. Everything you’ve said makes sense. My
intent in ‘helping it along’ was more out of impatience to see where it leads–as this buoyancy has
been going on for almost two years. there has been an interesting change in the swaying. It
used to happen when I meditated or did ‘japa’, doing three rounds of a rosary with mantras. Now
I’ve stopped meditating for the past two months and just doing the rosary and feel the swaying
less intensely–so this may be the grounding happening as I am more focused on the mantra.
and I am looking for a guru–someone who could teach me about tantric healing–just in case
you know someone. warm regards and thanks again. Neo

safeandlearning | February 9,2009

May I ask a similar question that may or may not be related to the buoyancy talked about on this
I am 42, do not meditate, (may change in future) but have always rocked too and fro, rythmically
as a way of self soothing.
I was chastised for doing this when really young, as I was told something along the lines of it
looking retarded. Maybe my folks wanted to stop me developing a ‘bad habit’

Could this rocking, be the ‘buoyancy’ talked of on this thread, or could it be energy wanting to be
released, even though I wasnt formally sitting in meditative practice?

If so, would I have been better placed to just ‘let the rocking happen’ rather than trying to stop it, due
to fear of looking odd or crazy?

If this is not related to the concepts raised on this thread, I am sorry for the derail.

I look forward to another perspective on it, because although it looks retarded, it is soothing.

Thank you for the thread, all who are on it.

shuchi | February 9,2009

Re. the above topic, i also expereince the swaying of body after my kriya.
I read in one pranayam book that if swaying starts ,pls stop the meditation as it can lead to
mental imblance. I felt dissappointed reading that coz I really enjoy that swaying
expereince of mediation. I need to know is this correct?

chris | February 9,2009

sorry I do not know the answer to this quesion, but
it seems an interesting question.
Have you found the answer? if so, did it help?
If not, maybe you could pose a question?

The nearest thing to meditation that i can feel is if I use an analogy.
I am a valley, with water flowing through it.
Whatever is in that water, I just let it flow by.
If it rocks me, I do not fight it, but I do not focus on it neither.
I keep my focus on the whole of me, the valley, while the water, and
whatever is in, flows through.

Please note I am no expert though.

Paula Cappa | February 9,2009

I too experience this swaying and spiraling when practicing Reiki energy. I’m a bit frightened by it. Is it a good idea to resist it or not? Sometimes I feel quite dizzy while it’s going on. How do we know it’s safe? Thanks

robinsyogi | February 9,2009

I have been experiencing this swaying phenomenon for what I would estimate to be more than a year. I have been practicing yoga for approximately 7 years and this gentle swaying started happening during a group retreat session with a practitioner who was visiting my yoga studio. Ever since that point, I have experienced a gentle swaying motion during meditation before and after yoga practice every time. The movement is comforting. The practitioner of the workshop did not have any answers for me in regard to why it was happening.

I do feel that the sway sometimes leads to a counter- clockwise movement.

My general thought is that there are spirits with me and they are helping me work through issues of the day, or life, and also hopefully this means that I have advanced in my practice.



Paul | February 9,2009

I feel it too while meditating. I just notice it and let it pass. I do not allow myself to fear any process of meditation – this is the time to relax, release if necessary and allow processes well beyond what my mind could imagine. Yes…it feels like some spirit(s) doing a deep clean or stirring of blockage, yet it could just be another part of myself that has a higher purpose for initiating this process. The analogy that just came to mind is “wind blowing through the soul that moves the limbs of my tree” – yep – that’s it.

Laura | February 9,2009

I have experienced body movements during meditation. It is because you are gaining energy in the body. I’m not concerned about it. Nothing is gonna happen. I even do yoga, and it feels like my body wants to move a little. I usually let it happen unless i’m doing a standing pose. It is a natural state of awareness that the body provides. The energy facilitates healing throughout the body. It is nothing a person should be concerned about. They should be more focused on stilling the mind becoming more intune with the innerself and the devine.

Laura | February 9,2009

I also do a healing mantra that is very calming. I once smelled a beautiful scent. It smelled like the insense the catholic priest use. The scent lasted a long time. I woke up the next morning smelling the scent. Smelling scents during meditation is a sign of spiritual awareness.

Ginette | February 9,2009

Systematically for the past 3 weeks, I have experienced rocking while in meditation. The rocking has tremendously evolved over time, up to a point where the strength of the motion makes my whole body advance, move forward on the floor. While soft rocking is not distracting, strong motions can be irritating. While I’m more detached about it now, as opposed as how I felt the first few days, I’m still hoping I could understand what is going on. I read of kundalini, but I’m still unsure that this is the appropriate explanation. I welcome any comment or insights

AlsChill | February 9,2009

I have been meditating now for over 2 years and I felt this kind of sensation last night for the first time. I was meditating with a quartz crystal. I feel that the crystal may have had some kind of pull on me. I’d maybe try a grounding crystal like black tourmaline to bring you back down. My circular clockwise motion was in the higher chakras and seemed to really process something. My wife felt it too. It was very strange but worth sitting with. I wouldn’t worry about it, simply enjoy it and allow it to process whatever energy it is trying to ‘turn around’.

    adm222 | February 9,2009

    Stay away from going down that path. Look up kundalini syndrome. It will ruin you life. They are not “blockages”/”kriyas” or something of spiritual significance. You are kindling seizures in your brain by overstimulating your vagus nerve. It is a shame that this is always shrugged off. Speaking from experience stop meditating if you are to that point. Find other enjoyable ways to develop your attention/ relieve stress instead of chasing the dopamine hit induced through reckless meditation going down the road of mental illness. Think for yourself if your body is acting abnormally it is.

      AlsChill | February 9,2009

      Interesting! This has not happened again since, so I should be all good. But I appreciate you taking the time to bring this up. Thank you.

      zin | February 9,2009

      We are all spirits that’s having a human body experience. Kundalini awakening is a part of life. Everything you perceive from within, that’s what created you. If you think spirituality can ruin your life, then that’s what you’ll get. Remember, it’s your soul that makes you conscious, without your soul, you’re body is useless. Good luck to you. Namaste

adm222 | February 9,2009

Listen to yourself. Does that seem healthy??? Stop reading all the books and watching all the videos. The ‘greatest’ yogi knows nothing more than you. You do not want to trigger mental illness and epilepsy. Going too far down that path will

    zin | February 9,2009

    Listen to your self. Listen to what you’re saying. Can you hear your self?

David Scott | February 9,2009

Thanks for sharing, sounds familiar! Having meditated for 17 years and gone through two kundalini awakenings, a couple of weeks ago I felt this same movement you describe, beginning with Stevie Wonderlike side-to-side movements and bowing out into large gyroscopic clockwise movements, while sitting before a shrine of my guru for the first time in Taos. I suspect it’s kundalini related as it feels serpentine and of its own intelligence. It feels good, really, and suggests a Taoistic yielding… Look forward to any further insights the group may have, thanks…

    Minel Powe | February 9,2009

    It’s nice to know its ‘kundalini’ related.. I’ve ad the same thing except mine wasn’t as strong as this persons :)

Mart Martus | February 9,2009

When you meditate you open the door to your mind, negative energy beings(demons of that great serpent Satan) want to come in. It starts with the swaying, the voices in the head until full possession is achieved which may lead to mental illness(demonic possession). Had them in my head but I prayed them out in Jesus name, took a while but they are out now and my heads my own.

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