What Is Kundalini Meditation?
As you go through your day, how much of your behavior is on “auto-pilot” and how much is intentional? If you’re like most people, you probably do a lot of things without thinking, and likely react to your environment most of the time rather than being intentional about your thoughts and behaviors. You might find yourself doing things like driving to work, washing dishes, or eating a meal without really thinking about what you are doing.
However, if you want to live your life on a higher plane, it’s important to “slow down and smell the roses,” so to speak. One way to enter this state of slowing down is to practice meditation. And one specific form of meditation that may be particularly helpful is Kundalini, which means primal energy. Kundalini meditation is a way of channeling your energy and releasing yourself from stress.
Origin of Kundalini Meditation
What is the origin of Kundalini meditation? Its exact origins are not known, although its traditions date back to approximately 1,000 B.C. – 500 B.C. It was popularized in the West by Yogi Bhajan, who developed and introduced his own form of kundalini yoga in the United States.1
Purpose of Kundalini Meditation
Kundalini meditation is part of Kundalini yoga and is meant to move energy through the body. It is thought that energy at the base of the spine (also known as the root chakra) needs to be released through the seven chakras of the body and then out through the crown chakra above the head.
This process of releasing energy from your body has the aim of creating a system of communication between your mind and body to relieve mental, physical, and spiritual issues. This system of bringing awareness to your body by connecting with your breath allows you to be present, establish a new rhythm, and communicate with a higher version of yourself.
Just like taking a shower each day cleanses your physical body, yogis view Kundalini meditation as a way to cleanse your mind. It’s a way to rejuvenate after a stressful day or to manage stress in the moment. It helps to balance your energy and calm your mind so that you’re no longer just reacting to the thoughts that you have.
In this way, Kundalini meditation is not a set of beliefs or religion; rather, it’s a system for evoking energy and creating mind-body awareness.Mindfulness Meditation: What It Is and How to Practice
Benefits of Kundalini Meditation
What are the benefits of learning to practice Kundalini meditation? They can be summarized as bringing more awareness to your daily life; specifically, this can be seen in any of the following different ways:
- Helping you to redirect yourself out of stress and into peace2
- Teaching you the proper way to breathe (into your diaphragm) and expanding your lung capacity
- Aiding concentration and preventing random thoughts from throwing you off balance
- Improved cognitive functioning3
- Creating awareness of the body
- Breaking your automatic daily routines and bringing you into awareness
- Changes to your brain patterns and emotional balance2
- Bringing balance to mind, body, and soul
- May help reduce anxiety4
- Building up your creative energy for projects in your life
How to Practice Kundalini Meditation
How do you actually go about practicing Kundalini mediation? Below are the steps you should follow to begin a very basic practice. Remember that it’s better to start small with something that you think you can follow through on every day than to begin a practice that feels overwhelming.
Even five minutes each day of Kundalini meditation is likely to help you, so don’t underestimate the value of even this most basic practice.
1. Choose a Location
This should be a spot that you find peaceful and where you are not likely to be bothered. It could be a spot where you gather your favorite things. Keep a bottle of water beside you.
2. Choose What to Wear
You should wear loose, comfortable, cotton clothing and potentially a head covering like a cotton shawl. Your clothes should be clean, fresh, and possibly light in color to enhance the feeling of lightness.
3. Choose When to Practice
You could practice first thing in the morning if this is when you are least likely to be disturbed. Or, you could practice before bed at night as a way of winding down from your day. Do not meditate after a big meal, as the blood in your body will be diverted away from your brain at that time.
4. Get into Position
Sit on the floor cross-legged or sit in a chair with your weight resting on your feet. Be sure to sit upright with a straight spine. Close your eyes softly so that they are about 90% closed. You can choose to sit on a wool or cotton blanket or put a pillow underneath you for comfort.
5. Choose the Length of Practice
This could be anywhere from three minutes to two and a half hours. Some common choices of times are 11 minutes, 15 minutes, 22 minutes, 31 minutes, etc.
6. Choose a Mantra
While you breathe, you will be chanting a mantra to help you focus. One good example for beginners is the mantra “Sat Nam” which means “truth is my identity.” Chant “Sat” when you inhale and “Nam” when you exhale. You can choose to chant out loud, in a loud whisper, or silently in your head. The purpose of chanting is to direct your energy. Actively listen to yourself if you are chanting out loud, or visualize the mantra being written down if you are chanting silently in your head. You can also call on your mantra at other times of the day if you are feeling stressed. The point of a mantra is to break out of old patterns, so the mantra should always reflect the state that you want to be in rather than the one you are in now.
7. Start to Focus on Your Breath
Notice your breathing and gradually start to slow it down. Your goal will be for one round of inhaling and exhaling to last about seven to eight seconds. Break your inhale and exhale into segments, such that you do short inhales or exhales broken up by pauses. You can do this so that there are four segments of both inhales and exhales during a complete breath. Breath through your nose the entire time. If you feel dizzy at any point, then stop the practice.
8. Feel the Breath Moving
As you are practicing your breathing and chanting, focus on how your breath is moving through your body and helping you to feel more relaxed.
9. Finish the Meditation
Complete the mediation by inhaling deeply, pushing your palms together or raising your arms in the air, and then relaxing and exhaling.
10. Gradually Increase Your Meditation
Gradually, you should find it easier to increase the length of time that you meditate. As you practice, focus on letting thoughts come and go, and watch for a feeling of energy move along your spine and a feeling of euphoria in your body.
Research on Kundalini Meditation
Overall, research on Kundalini meditation is in its early stages. However, researchers see the potential for using Kundalini yoga with other treatments to help people who are managing high levels of stress related to chronic conditions such as:
Kundalini Yoga Meditation
Meditation – what is it?
The first thing to know is what it isn’t. It isn’t magic, and it isn’t a belief or a religion. It is simply a technology – a set of simple techniques that use what you have (your mind, senses, and body) to create a communication between you and your mind, and between your mind and your body.
Meditation is a time to be with yourself. Meditation is a time to connect with your breath, a time to be present to the life force in your body, a time to re-establish your own rhythm, a time to talk to your higher self, a time to be in love with your unique life. Meditation is between you and YOU.
Just like a daily shower cleans your body, a daily meditation cleans your mind, to help you focus your energy, avoid mistakes, stay healthy, and become more kind and prayerful. It helps you clear your subconscious, and to stay fully present.
It is an opportunity to create a stillness within yourself where you do not react to the unceasing flow of the mind. You can quickly and comfortably process all sorts of feelings and thoughts, and easily rejuvenate and relax yourself so you can handle stress and create rapport with those around you.
Where do I do it?
Any place where you can be undisturbed for a while, preferably someplace that is neither too hot or too cold. Sit on something supportive, but soft – most Kundalini Yoga practitioners like a wool or cotton blanket, or a sheepskin. For people who are stiff, a firm pillow (4-6 inches thick), placed under the buttocks, relieves pressure on the lower spine. If you can’t sit comfortably in a cross-legged position on the floor, then sit in a chair, making sure that your weight is equally distributed on both feet. The goal is to ensure that the spine is erect and reasonable straight (the spine is the central channel of nervous system energy).
Many people like to create a special spot in their home that they set aside for the purpose of meditation, often putting some objects in the spot that uplift them and remind them of their spirit, or of nature.
Any time you are ready to try it and are feeling alert is a good time. Experienced meditators prefer the early morning hours, between 4 and 8 am (called the ambrosial hours). Nothing much is going on at this time, so you are unlikely to be disturbed by the energy or activities of daily life.
Many people like to meditate before bed. This helps to clear away the worries and troubles of the day. preparing you for deep sleep and to build your energy for the new day.
It is best not to meditate after a big meal, since all the blood is in your stomach, leaving little for your brain.
How long should I do it?
Each meditation is different – they work on different aspects of the mind and body, so the time varies with the technique, anywhere from 3 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. The common times used are 11 minutes, 15 minutes, 22 minutes, 31 minutes, 62 minutes, 1 1/2 hours, and 2 1/2 hours.
Start with what is comfortable for you. Even 5 minutes will bring benefits. The first benefit is the chance to simply stop your automatic routine, the unconscious patterns leading you through life without even noticing that you are alive.
How should I dress? Any way you like, and find comfortable and non-restrictive. There are several aspects of dressing to consider. The first is comfort. Some meditations use physical activity, and many people like to do some yoga or similar exercises to prepare, so you should dress in a way that will allow you to relax and freely do any exercises.
Most Kundalini Yoga practitioners consider meditation a special time, a time to connect with yourself, and choose to dress in a way that honors this. They choose clothing that is clean, fresh, and often light in color and composition. Many practitioners also use cotton head coverings of various types, such as prayer shawls, turbans, yarmulkes, and so forth. Like long hair, these coverings have been found to maximize the source of etheric and solar energy entering the body. Whether or not you choose to use a head covering, tying your hair up and back aids in concentration.
Is there a special diet?
It is recommended that mediators eat lightly and with the goal of good health in mind. Many practitioners have become vegetarian, choosing the lightest diet that allows the mind to be calm and focused. Lowering the protein and acidity from meat helps. There are some meditations, particularly for healing, that do have a special diet to work on a specific gland or organ, but in general, there are no requirements. Avoiding drugs, other than those prescribed by a doctor, is also recommended, as psychoactive drugs may imbalance your body and mind.
3 Kundalini Yoga Meditations to Release Anxiety
Meditation is a procedure of cleansing the mind and taking out the garbage in the subconscious. These three Kundalini practices passed down by Yogi Bhajan will help you release conscious and subconscious fears that cause stress, worry, and anxiety.Ashlee Davis Updated:Jan 4, 2019Original:Oct 5, 2016
Meditation is a procedure of cleansing the mind and taking out the garbage in the subconscious. These three Kundalini practices passed down by Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga, will help you release conscious and subconscious fears that cause stress, worry, and anxiety.
Meditation for Emotional Balance
This meditation is particularly good for women and essential at times of worry, unease, and irrationality. Normally, we breathe at a rate of 15 breaths a minute, but when we’re able to rhythmically slow down our breath to only 4 breaths per minute, we have indirect control over our minds. This eliminates obnoxious behavior, promoting a calm mind regardless of our surroundings. This is a very effective method of balancing the functional brain.
How to Do Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
Kundalini yoga is said to be the most powerful yoga and it can generate results much faster than other types of yoga. Kundalini is considered to be a large pool of potential that exists in everyone and is often not used. Visually it is seen as a coiled or sleeping serpent normally at the base of your spine. Using Kundalini yoga helps to ‘awaken’ this serpent so your body can take advantage of its power. Eventually you’ll notice a beneficial difference in yourself.
Know when and how often to do this breathing exercise. This breathing exercise can be done when you’re feeling tired or drained emotionally. The result of doing this exercise should be that you feel revived, re-energized and ready-to-go.
Kundalini Yoga for Beginners: 5 Tips for Successful Meditation
When you are beginning a Kundalini yoga meditation practice, you may never have spent much time meditating before. You might sit and fidget, all the while thinking “Am I done yet?” and “I can’t possibly be doing this right.” You check the clock. You’ve only been meditating for 2 minutes?!? This is a very common scenario. It doesn’t mean you can’t meditate. It doesn’t mean you aren’t doing it right. The mind, like any muscle, must be trained to do your bidding rather than its own. You are selling yourself short if you think that because you can’t instantly quiet your mind, you can’t meditate. Just as you don’t walk into a gym and bench press hundreds of pounds, you can’t sit down and meditate like a Buddhist monk. You must work on the development of your meditation muscle.
When it comes to meditation, nothing replaces consistent effort. Meditating even for 11 minutes every day will add up, and your mind will relax more and more. Developing a consistent sadhana is the most important tool a Kundalini yogi has. The more you do, the better you get. Sadhana, and we’re not overstating this, is everything.
But…for those moments when your mind is spinning like a top, remember that you aren’t your thoughts, and the “you” thinking inside your head is actually not “you”. It’s an amalgamation of several parts of the minds (positive, negative and neutral), subconscious and conscious minds, and many (and I do mean many) combinations of projections and aspects. (Read “The Mind” for more information on how your mind really works.)
If you are a Kundalini yoga beginner, and you are attempting to sit for a meditation, the following tips can help you settle into your body to support your mind on this journey. Your body will ache and distract you, and these tips help to prepare the body (and thus the mind) for sitting for long periods of time and focusing on a Kundalini yoga meditation.
1. Correct alignment
So often when I lead meditations, someone will say their back hurts. Sometimes I even say that to myself. Much of the time it is incorrect alignment of the body while sitting that is the culprit. We slouch. We slack. We never really learn to sit on the ground properly in modern western life. You need to support the natural curve in your spine to maintain a strong core structure. Often something as simple as sitting on a pillow even 1 1/2 inches high to raise your tailbone off the floor can provide the necessary curve in the spine to give you a strong structure. Guru Perm Singh, author of Divine Alignment, is known as the Posture Master. His book can help you to understand the mechanics of your own body and how to support them. It’s also important to note that the stronger your core muscles, the muscles of your navel center, the less your body muscles have to work to keep you erect when sitting. You can do a few minutes of Stretch Pose everyday to help develop your core muscles. Once your body is in a natural position, it will be easier to maintain it during meditation without moving.
2. Support your limbs
Don’t leave your limbs hanging. If you sit in easy pose with your legs crossed and your knees are up in the air, then your hips are tight. You’ll likely hunch your back to help your hips hold up your knees. Support yourself! Put pillows or blocks under your knees to prevent them from dangling and take the strain off your hips and back. If you have severe back problems, try using a backjack, or sitting in a chair. If you do sit in a chair, make sure both of your feet are flat on the floor (and take your shoes and socks off, to maximize the energy flow between you and the earth.) Using a meditation cushion may shift your pelvis into a comfortable position as well.
3. Warm up the body
The purpose of physical yoga is to prepare the body for meditation. Ancient yogis developed kriya and asana not only as a way to keep the body healthy and increase longevity, but also to increase circulation and prana, so that they could sit in meditation for longer periods of time. Ever seen a hyperactive child after they’ve run around all day? They practically pass out. That’s partly what happens to your mind after a particularly strenuous kriya. Your mind settles down and its easier to go into deep meditation. Doing a kriya prior to meditation can also help with leg tingling and other signs of reduced circulation.
4. Cover your spine and head
Keeping the spine warm during meditation helps the Kundalini energy rise and also helps contain the energy you build up during meditation in the body. Covering the head focuses the energy in your body up to the crown chakra and makes it much easier to meditate without mental distraction from outside sources. Our heads are very energetically sensitive. Try different types of head coverings out until you find one that works best for you. Turbans are most highly recommended, but bandanas, headscarves, or head wraps can also work. Try meditating with a shawl and head cover and see if you go deeper.
5. Find music that makes your heart sing
Many Kundalini yoga meditations require music or mantra with them. Find a version of the mantra required for that meditation that really uplifts and inspires you. You might listen to 3 or 4 versions before you find one that resonates with you. The right yoga music can make all the difference in meditation. One personal favorite is Snatam Kaur. If you haven’t heard her music yet, listen and see if it doesn’t move you to the core. Try the Meditation into Thoughtlessness to meditate with Sonata Kaur’s Ada Gray Na meh.
Be patient with yourself! Learning to meditate isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be painful. Kundalini yoga meditations can make your spirit soar! Find a teacher that you trust to guide you through Kundalini yoga meditations, or ask Spirit Voyage questions on our Facebook page. We’re always happy to guide you!
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Kundalini meditation is part of Kundalini yoga, and its primary purpose is to awaken the kundalini energy present at the base of the spine. This power lies coiled like a snake in the triangular sacrum at the lower end of the spine. It has to be summoned from the lower planes through all the seven chakras of the body and finally unleashed in the top most Sahasrara chakra above the head. Evoking this energy purifies your system and brings about complete awareness of your body. It gets rid of any mental, spiritual, and physical diseases ailing your body.
The coiled energy is primal and very powerful. Awakening it will lead to profound consciousness and supreme bliss. It is not an easy task to reach this state. You need to follow an austere mental and physical regimen to get anywhere close to raising your kundalini energy.
How To Do Kundalini Meditation
Kundalini meditation is a slow and prolonged process done in various ways, with slight variations. The purpose of all techniques is to raise the kundalini energy. This meditation must be done holistically and responsibly. Your body, mind, and emotions must be ready to receive a powerful energy through your body. It can get dangerous if the energy is not received well. So, be cautious and well prepared before you delve into Kundalini meditation.