Kundalini is derived from kundala, meaning a “ring” or “coil.” This cosmic energy is symbolized as a sleeping serpent with three and a half coils. The three coils represent the three states of the mind:
1. Jagrat, awake
2. Svapna, dreaming
3. Susupti, deep sleep
The half coil represents the fourth state of the mind, Turiya, which is the transcendence of the other states, or the enlightened state.
Source: Light on Pranayama: The Yogic Art of Breathing, B. K. S. Iyengar