This is a question that has been on my mind and few people keep asking this question from me so I thought to write my latest thoughts about it here.
My latest understanding is that the so-called Kundalini awakening is when the feminine and masculine aspects of ourselves merge and the Shakti energy (which resides in the root chakra or end of your spine) is then released.
Some people experience dramatic Kundalini awakening experiences (I had one in 1997) and some experience a gentler process which is then called Kundalini rising. I believe Kundalini awakening is always an iterative process, even if one experiences a dramatic awakening experience. I believe the Shakti energy is always “rising” as we evolve constantly.
What triggers the Kundalini energy? We really do not know but resolving energetic blocks in one’s body does seem to help. My first Kundalini experience took place when I expressed my truth (which was challenging) against my conditioning and then my spine started shaking violently for 5-10 minutes. I believe this was due to certain energetic blocks being released within my energy body which then allowed Kundalini to awaken.