Types of awakening.
There are many different types of spiritual awakening, not all of them technically involve Kundalini, as far as K. is defined as root chakra activation. Kundalini awakenings themselves, can take many forms, from quiet awakenings to thunderous awakenings.
The classic Kundalini awakening experience is the feeling of intense vibrations and energy surges, often described as a freight train running up your spine, and often accompanied by transcendent experiences of white light, oceanic cosmic unity and rapturous love. Equally often, the subject of the experience is terrified thinking they are going to die! Angels say, "Fear not" when they show up because the Divine can be darn scary!
Awakening can be a quiet experience, especially awakening via Shaktipat. Shaktipat awakenings are often felt as feelings of joy, peace, bliss, with a gentle warmth ascending the spine.
Triggers for awakening vary; many people take Yoga classes for health, not realizing that they can lead to awakened Kundalini.
Trauma is also a factor. My Grandfather used to say, "There are no atheists in the trenches." It is often when we are between a rock and a hard place, that we turn to God for help. Abuse, car accidents, health crises, and personal crisis can often lead to an unanticipated awakening.
Those who suffered difficult or abusive childhoods often seem to become awakened; perhaps because they turn inward to find the love and support they cannot find externally. Children are very adaptive, and need can lead to awakening or continuing psychic abilities that are natural for children, but usually get culturally repressed early in the maturation process. The hyper vigilance that is a symptom of post traumatic stress, can extend the senses into the sixth power.
I believe that awakening is always asked for, on some level. Many different sorts of prayers and rituals ask for the individual life to be turned over to serving the Divine, which in a way is requesting Kundalini activation; the imperative of Kundalini, once awakened, is surrender to Divine Will. The old song "Amazing Grace" could be considered a request for surrender, as is the prayer of St. Francis: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace." Prayers of all religions ask for Divine guidance, even atheist religions like Buddhism ask to be guided by the Buddha nature within. Further reading: