An Introduction to Kundalini
Yoga Meditation ... - II
By David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa
“Tuning in” to induce a meditative state:
Technique 1 in the OCD Kundalini yoga protocol
“Tuning in” is always included before the practice of any
Kundalini yoga meditation or exercise. This practice helps
establish a meditative state and gives the experience of being
in a “womb of healing energy.”
Description of technique
Sit with a straight spine and
with the feet flat on the floor if sitting in a chair. Put the
hands together at the chest in “prayer pose” (i.e., the palms
are pressed together with 10–15 pounds of pressure between
the hands). The area where the sides of the thumbs touch
rests on the sternum with the thumbs pointing up (along the
sternum); the fingers are together and point up and out at a
60°-angle to the ground. The eyes are closed and focused at
the “third eye” (imagine a sun rising on the horizon).
mantra is chanted out loud in a 11/2 breath cycle. Inhale first
through the nose and chant Ong Namo with an equal emphasis
on the Ong and the Namo. Then immediately follow
with a half-breath inhalation through the mouth and chant
Guru Dev Namo with approximately equal emphasis on each
word. The practitioner should experience the vibrations that
these sounds create on the upper palate and throughout the
cranium while letting the mind be carried by the sounds.
This should be repeated a minimum of 3 times and was used
here in therapy approximately 10–12 times. This technique
helps to create a “meditative state of mind” and is highly
recommended as a precursor to the other techniques.
Spine flexing for vitality:
Technique 2 in the OCD Kundalini yoga protocol
Description of technique
This technique can be practiced
either while sitting in a chair or on the floor in a cross-legged
position. If you are in a chair, hold the knees with both hands
for support and leverage. If you are sitting cross-legged,
grasp the ankles in front with both hands. Begin by pulling
the chest up and forward, inhaling deep at the same time.
Then exhale as you relax the spine down into a slouching
position. Keep the head up straight without allowing it to
move much with the flexing action of the spine. This will
help prevent a whip action of the cervical vertebrae. All
breathing should only be through the nose for both the inhale
and exhale. The eyes are closed as if you were looking
at a central point on the horizon, the “third eye,” or otherwise
described as the notch region on the nose exactly midway
between the eyes. The mental focus is kept on the sound
of the breath while listening to the fluid movement of the
inhalation and exhalation. Begin the technique slowly while
loosening up the spine. Eventually, a rapid movement can
be achieved with practice, reaching a rate of 1–2 times per
second for the entire movement. A few minutes are sufficient
in the beginning; later, there is no time limit. Food
should be avoided just prior to this exercise. If an unpleasant
feeling of light-headedness develops, stop momentarily
and then continue. Be careful and flex the spine slowly in
the beginning. Relax for 1–2 minutes when finished.
Shoulder shrugs for vitality:
Technique 3 in the
OCD Kundalini yoga protocol
Description of technique
While keeping the spine
straight, rest the hands on the knees if sitting in a crosslegged
position or with hands on the thighs if on a chair. Inhale
and raise the shoulders up toward the ears, then exhale,
letting them down. All breathing is only through the nose.
Eyes should be kept closed and focused at the third eye.
Mentally listen to the sound of the inhalation and exhalation.
Continue this action rapidly, building to 3 times per
second for a maximum time of 2 minutes. This technique
should not be practiced by individuals who are hyperactive.
Technique for OCD;
Technique 8 in the OCD
Kundalini yoga protocol
Description of technique
. Sit with a straight spine in a
comfortable position, either with the legs crossed while sitting
on the floor or in a straight back chair with both feet
flat on the floor. Close the eyes. Use the right thumb tip to
block the end of the right nostril, other fingers point up
straight, allow the arm to relax (the elbow should not be
sticking up and out to the side creating unnecessary tension).
A secure plug can also be used for the right nostril. Inhale
slowly and deeply through the left nostril, hold in long, exhale
out slowly and completely through the same nostril only
(left nostril), hold out long. The mental focus should be on
the sound of the breath. Continue this pattern with a maximum
time of 31 minutes for each sitting. Initially, begin
with a comfortable rate and time, but where the effort presents
a fair challenge for each phase of the breath. Holding
the breath in or out long varies from person to person. Ideal
time per complete breath cycle is 1 minute where each section
of the cycle lasts exactly 15 seconds. This rate of respiration
can be achieved within 5–6 months for the full 31
minutes with daily discipline. Yogic experiments (Yogi
Bhajan, personal communication) claim that 90 days of 31
minutes per day using the perfected rate of 1 breath per
minute with 15 seconds per phase will completely eliminate
all OC disorders.
KUNDALINI YOGA MEDITATION
TECHNIQUES SPECIFIC FOR OTHER
The following sections include techniques for addictions,
depression, grief, learning disorders, phobias, and sleep disorders.
There are more than 500 different phobias and thus
together constitute the most common psychiatric disorder.
The techniques taught in this publication
are not meant to be a substitute for medical care and advice.
Patients are advised to consult with health care professionals
with regard to matters relating to health, including matters that may
require diagnosis or medical attention. In particular, if one has been
diagnosed with OCD; addictive disorders; depression; grief; or
learning or anxiety or phobic or sleep disorders; or if one is taking
or has been advised to take any medication, one should consult
regularly with a physician regarding any changes in medication
use. The author, publisher, Yogi Bhajan, or any related
institutions are not liable for any effects based on information here.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA; 1994) claims
that the lifetime prevalence rate of phobias is 10 percent–11.3 percent;
no number is provided for all substance abuse disorders
combined, however, alone, noninstitutionalized adults
(15–54 years of age) had a lifetime prevalence rate of alcohol
dependency of 14 percent according to the APA. Rasmussen
and Eisen (1990) state that phobias are the most common
psychiatric disorder, followed by substance abuse disorders,
the major depressive disorders, OCD, schizophrenia, and
panic disorder. The selection of techniques for inclusion here
are based in part on the prevalence of each psychiatric disorder
and they are described here in alphabetical order.
must be noted, that to date, only OCD has been studied systematically
using Kundalini yoga under randomized controlled
conditions compared against other meditation techniques.
The following techniques may also show substantial
clinical efficacy under proper trial. However, no medical
claims are made here, only descriptions of the techniques
and what the ancient yogic teachings claim are included.
Nonetheless, the precedent set by using Kundalini yoga
meditation techniques for treating OCD may stimulate interest
for others to study the clinical efficacy of this wide
range of meditation techniques.
In addition to the meditation techniques listed in the introduction
above (Shannahoff-Khalsa and Bhajan, 1991), others
have also been published in peer-reviewed scientific texts
that are not listed here. These include: (1) “A Meditation to
Help Understand, Focus, and Create a Clear Consciousness”
(also called Ganesha Meditation); (2) a “Technique for Healing
Nervous Disorders—A Pratyhar Meditation Technique to
Create a Silent and Stable Mind—Toward A State of
Thoughtlessness”; (3) “When You Do Not Know What To
Do”; and (4) “Meditation for Inducing Normal and Extra-
Normal Brain Function: A Tantric Meditation Technique,”
all published in Shannahoff-Khalsa (2003a). Everyone of the
these four meditation techniques would be useful for treating
any anxiety-related disorder, and have been taught to patients
with OCD and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In Shannahoff-Khalsa (2001), the following techniques have
been published: “A Left-Nostril Unilateral Forced-Nostril
Breathing Technique to Strengthen the Immune System,”
which is reported by yogis to be effective as an antiviral and
antibacterial therapy, and “The Ultimate Pranayam—So
Darshan Chakra Kriya,” which is reported to give the capacity
for attaining transcendency and enlightenment. Numerous
other techniques that all include the use of mantras
are published in Shannahoff-Khalsa and Bhajan (1988,
1991), Shannahoff-Khalsa (1996).
TREATING ADDICTIVE DISORDERS
The medical meditation for habituation:
to cure any addiction
In the early 1970s Yogi Bhajan taught this meditation technique,
which is claimed to be specific for treating addictive
disorders (Khalsa, 1988). “It is excellent for everyone but
particularly effective for rehabilitation efforts in drug dependence,
mental illness, and phobic conditions (Yogi Bhajan).”
Note the claim of efficacy in treating phobic and other
mental disorders. This meditation technique would best be
included in a protocol that included the first three techniques
listed above in the OCD protocol. Others would also help to
increase the ease of performance here. The most difficult aspect
of use for this technique is the requirement to keep the
arms up for an extended period of time. Individuals with addictive
disorders usually find this aspect most challenging.
Therefore, other techniques can frequently help by first establishing
a relaxed mood for practice.
Description of technique
Sit either in a chair or on the
floor. Straighten the spine and make sure the first six lower
vertebrae are locked forward. This means the lower back is
pushed forward as if you are “at attention.” Make fists with
both hands and extend the thumbs straight. Place the thumbs
on the temples and find the niche where the thumbs just fit.
This is the lower anterior portion of the frontal bone above
the temporal-sphenoidal suture. This place is usually sensitive
to touch, so do not apply strong pressure. Lock the back
molars together and keep the lips closed. Vibrate the jaw
muscles by alternating the pressure on the molars. A muscle
will move in rhythm under the thumbs. Feel it massage
the thumbs and apply a very light pressure with the hands.
Keep the eyes closed and look toward the center of the eyes
at the brow point—the “third eye”—the point where the top
of the nose meets the forehead. Silently vibrate the five primal
sounds Sa Ta Na Ma at the brow point (the fifth sound
here is the sound “ah” that is basic to the other four sounds).
The effects of the mantra are the following. The sound Sa
gives the mind the ability to expand to the infinite; the sound
Ta gives the mind the ability to experience the totality of
life; the sound Na gives the mind the ability to conquer
death; and the sound Ma gives the mind the ability to resurrect
under all circumstances—so it puts your consciousness
through the cycle of—infinity, life, death, and rebirth.
This mantra cleanses and restructures the subconscious mind
to help live in a conscious state that is merged with the infinite.
Continue 5 to 7 minutes. With practice the time can
be increased to 31 minutes maximum.
This meditation is one of a class of meditations that
will become well-known to the future medical society.
Meditation will be used to alleviate all kinds of
mental and physical afflictions, but it may be as many
as 500 years before the new medical science will understand
the effects of this kind of meditation well
enough to delineate all of its parameters in measurable
factors. The pressure exerted by the thumbs triggers
a rhythmic reflex current in the central brain. This
current activates the brain area directly underneath the
stem of the pineal gland.
It is an imbalance in this area
that makes mental and physical addictions seemingly
unbreakable. In modern culture, the imbalance is pandemic.
If we are not addicted to smoking, eating,
drinking, or drugs, then we are addicted subconsciously
to acceptance, advancement, rejection, emotional
love, etc. All these lead us to insecure and neurotic
behavior patterns. The imbalance in this pineal
area upsets the radiance of the pineal gland itself. It
is this pulsating radiance that regulates the pituitary
gland. Since the pituitary regulates the rest of the glandular
system, the entire body and mind go out of balance.
This meditation corrects the problem (Yogi Bhajan
cited in Khalsa, 1988).
Here two meditation techniques are described. Either independently
or together, they can have a major impact on
depression and yield quick relief. Again, the first three techniques
from the OCD protocol would be a great asset to therapy
here. In fact, the technique called Spine Flexing for Vitality
in that protocol has been known to have substantial
effects on depression alone if it is practiced for 11–15 minutes.
The first technique listed here was also published previously
in Shannahoff-Khalsa (2003a).
Meditation to balance the Jupiter and Saturn
A technique useful for treating depression,
focusing the mind, and eliminating self-destructive behavior†
Description of technique
Sit with a straight spine. The
hands are facing forward with the ends of the Jupiter (index)
and Saturn (middle) fingers pointing straight up near
the sides of the body at the level of the eye. Close the ring
and little fingers down to the palm using the thumbs. The
Jupiter finger and the Saturn finger are spread open in a “V”
shape (or closed). The eyes are closed. For 8 minutes open
and close the Jupiter and Saturn fingers approximately once
per second or two. Simultaneously image the planets of
Jupiter and Saturn coming together and then again going
apart in synchrony with the finger movement. Continue this
movement (imagery) for 8 minutes. Then, while continuing
exactly the same exercise, now begin to inhale and exhale
through the nose with the movement (inhale as fingers are
spread, exhale as fingers close). Continue this part for 2 minutes.
Then for the last minute spread the two fingers wide
and hold them wide apart (which requires some effort) while
making the mouth in to an “O” shape and breath in and out
of the mouth only using the diaphragm (not the upper chest
wall). After 1 minute inhale, hold the breath in, and tense
every muscle tightly (including the hands, fingers—everything)
in the body for 10 seconds, exhale and repeat one
time for 10 seconds. Relax.
Effects of the meditation
The mind becomes focused and
clear, the brain becomes energized (few other short 11-
minute techniques compare). This technique will help eliminate
depression. This meditation is said to help increase a
person’s intelligence (help enhance math skills) when practiced
daily over several months. Also, when the Jupiter and
Saturn energies are coordinated/balanced, a person is less
likely to engage in self-destructive behavior. And in addition,
when the Jupiter and Saturn energies (functional brain
region areas related to the index and middle finger, respectively)
are balanced, this helps an individual to overcome
A Meditation for Fighting Brain Fatigue‡
This technique has been used to help prevent depression
and to treat depression. When practiced correctly, it can be
a powerful antidote to depression, especially if combined
with the technique above and the first three techniques from
the OCD protocol.
Sit with a straight spine with your elbows bent
and your upper arms near your rib cage. Your forearms point
straight out in front of your body, parallel to the floor. The
right palm faces downward and the left palm faces upward.
Breathing through your nose, inhale and exhale in eight
equal parts. On each part or stroke of the breath, alternately
move your hands up and down. One hand moves up as the
other hand moves down. The movement of the hands is
slight, approximately 6–8 inches, as if you are bouncing a
ball. Breathe powerfully. Continue for 3 minutes and then
change the hand position so that the left palm faces downward
and the right palm faces upward. Continue for another
3 minutes and then change the hand position again so that
the right palm faces downward and the left palm faces up
for the last 3 minutes (total time here is 9 minutes).
Part 2. Begin slow and deep breathing (again only
through the nose) stopping the movement and holding the
position. Close your eyes and focus on the center of the
your chin. Keep your body perfectly still so it can heal itself.
Keep your mind quiet, stilling your thoughts. Time
for this is 5.5 minutes.
To finish, inhale deeply, hold your breath, make your
hands into fists and press them firmly against your chest for
15 seconds; exhale. Inhale deeply again and hold your breath,
this time pressing both fists against your navel point for 15
seconds; exhale. Inhale again and hold your breath and bend
your elbows, bringing your fists near your shoulders and
press your arms firmly against your rib cage for 15 seconds
and exhale. Now relax. This exercise balances the diaphragm
and fights brain fatigue. It renews the blood supply to the
brain and moves the serum in the spine. It also benefits the
liver, navel point, spleen, and lymphatic system.
Many individuals suffer from grief, including those with
PTSD. Yogis claim that grief, anger, and anxiety are major
factors in the onset of a wide range of diseases. This technique
would be most beneficial when practiced with the first
three techniques listed in the OCD protocol.
Meditation for grief §
There are three separate parts for this therapy to maximize
the benefits, however, part 1 can be done alone. The suggested
music for each part is optional, however, the benefits
of the musici will only add to the therapeutic value. (Note:
This meditation technique is best done in the evening after
having eaten as many melons as possible during that day.)
1. Siddh Shiva: Whenever you have grief, do this exercise.
It gets rid of centuries-old grief.
In position A; Sit with a straight spine in a crossed legged
position. The eyes are wide open (do not meditate). The elbows
are bent by the sides, and the upper arms are by the
sides and the forearms are parallel to the ground and they
are just above each leg, with the palms open and facing up
and placed right above the knees.
In position B; Sort of curve the arms up so the hands bounce
up to the shoulders. As you do this, the tongue goes out as far
as possible (this is important because it affects the subconscious
mind and helps get rid of the grief). Then return to position
A, and the tongue goes back into the mouth, and the
mouth closes, and the arms go back down to the position just
above the legs. Do this powerfully with the breath. Inhale
through the nose as you go into position A and exhale through
the mouth as you go into position B. Breathe heavily. Listen
to the tape: Se Saraswati by Nirinjan Kaur and Guru Prem
Singh. Do it for 7 minutes total. To end, inhale and hold the
breath in and press the tongue against the upper palate as hard
as you can for 20 seconds. Exhale. Repeat this tongue process
two more times (3 times total) then relax for 3 minutes.
Exercise to create an inner balance that then helps induce
healing. Stretch the arms up over the head, elbows straight,
palms very flat and stiff, facing forward with the fingers together
and the thumbs extended stiffly to the sides of the
hands. Begin moving the left arm in a clockwise circle overhead
and the left side of the body. Move the right arm in a
counterclockwise direction overhead and over the right side
of the body. The movements of the two arms do not seem
to be related in any fashion. One arm gets into a certain
rhythm of a circular movement while the other arm does the
same. (Note. You can reverse directions if you wish.)
Comment: The idea of the movement is that the armpits
get stimulated, so make the movement of the arms just an
extension of the movement of the armpits and the sides of
the rib cage. Usually we condemn ourselves and we have to
feel guilty to be happy. This completely breaks through that.
The tape: Heal Me by Nirinjan Kaur is played. Do this for
11 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes.
The third part of this exercise is to combine the breath of
life (prana) and to help balance the Ida and Pingala, the major
left and right meridians of the body, respectively.
Begin by inhaling through the left nostril by blocking the
right nostril with the right thumb, then exhale only through
the right nostril by blocking the left nostril with the right index
finger and continue only with this pattern for three minutes
(do not reverse nostrils).
Then, firmly grasp the knees by placing the palms flat
down on top of them. Begin swaying your body forward approximately
1 foot, and then backward approximately 1 foot
in a rhythmic fashion. The grip of the hands should be so
firm that it keeps you from tilting over when you go backward.
It is said that this posture increases the circulation in
the area of the breasts for females so they will not develop
breast cancer. It will develop your automatic concentration,
so you can concentrate whenever you want. It will also help
expel the dead cells out of the physical body. Keep your
spine “tight” while doing the exercise. Tape played: Humee
Hum Tumee Tum by Livtar Singh. Do this technique for 3
minutes. To end, Inhale deep and tighten your whole body
and shake your body as much as possible. Do this five times
total, holding the breath approximately 20 seconds the first
time and 15 seconds the other four times
TREATING LEARNING DISORDERS
While other meditations can be useful and one is specific
for attention deficit disorder (ADD), and a combination of
techniques can be useful for attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD), this technique for dyslexia is likely to
help correct all learning disorders. However, caution is required
when using it for younger people with ADHD because
this technique is powerful and can be overstimulating
if practiced too long in the beginning. Again, whether it is
used for dyslexia alone or for ADD, the first three techniques
in the OCD protocol would be most beneficial ad-
juncts. However, in treating ADHD, the third technique in
the OCD protocol should not be included because it can
overstimulate individuals who are already overly active with
high metabolic rates.
Meditation technique for dyslexia
Sit in easy pose. Eyes are open and focused on the tip
of the nose. The arms are in front of the body and extended
slightly to the sides with the palms ups and the hands are
at approximately the solar plexus level. The fingertips
touch the thumb tip in the following order. First touch the
little finger tip (Mercury finger) to the thumb tip and mentally
chant sa, then touch the index finger tip (Jupiter finger)
to the thumb tip and mentally chant ta, then touch the
ring finger tip (Sun finger) to the thumb tip and mentally
chant na, then again touch the Jupiter finger tip to the
thumb tip and mentally chant ma, then touch the middle
finger tip (Saturn finger) to the thumb tip and mentally
chant wha, then again touch the Mercury finger tip to the
thumb tip and mentally chant hay, then open the hands
completely (no fingers touch) and mentally chant gura. The
tongue tip is constantly touching the upper palate in the
top center where it is hard and smooth during the entire
exercise, the tongue does not move. The breath has a sixpart
broken-breath inhale and one-part exhale, all through
the nose only. The six parts of the broken-breath of the inhale
correspond to the 6 mental sounds of sa, ta, na, ma,
wha, and hay, and the exhale corresponds to the mental
sound guru. You mentally hear these sounds with each corresponding
segment of the breath. The time for this extremely
powerful technique can be anywhere between 11
minutes and 31 minutes as a maximum time. It is fine to
start with less than 11 minutes and most people may have
to do this in the beginning. Slowly build the time up to 31
minutes. Eventually, try to complete 40 days at 31 minutes/
sitting and marvel at the extraordinary effects. End the
meditation by closing the eyes, inhaling deeply, and
stretching the hands up in the air above the head and shake
the arms and hands and fingers vigorously for about 30–60
seconds. Exhale and relax.
The learning curve for this technique is relatively longer
but worth the effort. This technique is stimulating and powerful.
The yogic definition of dyslexia is the inability to
process information or sensory feedback. Thus, humans are
all “dyslexic” and what this technique can do for the average
person is make the whole brain function at a much higher
level of efficiency. This efficiency will only increase with
practice. This technique can help organize all of the major
and minor brain functions. A patient may not have understood
how “dyslexic” he or she is until that patient learns to
do this technique for some weeks and months.
Two techniques are included here for the treatment of
phobias. The first is a relatively simple one and can be
learned and practiced quickly, and the second is rather difficult.
Note, the one for addictions above is also applicable
to the phobias. Again the first three techniques in the OCD
protocol would help increase the ease and benefits for either
A meditation for removing haunting thoughts
“This meditation can cure phobias, fears, and neuroses.
It can remove unsettling thoughts from the past that surface
into the present. And it can take difficult situations in the
present and release them. All of this can be done in 40 seconds!”
(Yogi Bhajan, personal communication). In addition,
this technique is useful for patients with PTSD. There are
10 steps to it:
1. Lower the eyelids until the eyes are only open one-tenth.
Start by mentally concentrating on the tip of the nose.
Then silently say wha hay guru in the following manner:
wha mentally focus on the right eye, hay mentally
focus on the left eye, guru mentally focus on the tip of
2. Remember the encounter or incident that happened to
3. Mentally say wha hay guru as in step 1.
4. Visualize and personify the actual feelings of the encounter.
5. Again repeat wha hay guru as in step 1.
6. Reverse the roles in the encounter you are remembering.
Become the other person and experience that perspective.
7. Again repeat wha hay guru as in step 1.
8. Forgive the other person and forgive yourself.
9. Rerepeat wha hay guru as in step 1.
10. Let go of the incident and release it to the universe.
These are 10 steps to peace.
An advanced technique for overcoming phobias
also achieving self-mastery and learning to heal
others at a distance
Description of technique
Sit in easy pose. Bring your elbows
next to the ribs, forearms extended in front of you,
with the hands in front of the heart, right over left, palms
up. The hands are approximately 10° higher than the elbows.
There is no bend in the wrists, the fingertips to the elbows
form a straight line. The thumbs are extended out to the sides
of the hands, the fingertips and palms do not exactly line
up, they are slightly offset. The eyes are closed looking at
the backs of your eyelids. For the inhale, pull back on the
navel and inhale through the nostrils and hold. Mentally repeat
the mantra Har Har Wha Hay Guru as long as you are
able to retain the breath. While you are doing this visualize
your hands surrounded by white light. For the exhale, exhale
through the nostrils and as you exhale, visualize lightening
shooting out from your finger tips. When you have
fully exhaled, pull mulbhand (pull in on the rectum, sex organs,
and navel), and hold for as long as you can, again mentally
repeating the mantra Har Har Wha Hay Guru. The
maximum time is 62 minutes.
This technique is called Tershula Kriya (Yogi Bhajan, August
Comments It has been suggested that this meditation be
done in a cool room or at night when the temperature is
cooler, because it stimulates the Kundalini directly and generates
a great deal of heat in the body.
This technique is called Tershula Kriya (Yogi Bhajan, August
The word Tershula relates to the thunderbolt of Shiva,
the ultimate deliverer. Tershula can heal everything.
It is a self-healing process. This meditation is for the
gunas. It brings the three nervous systems together. It
also gives you the ability to heal at a distance, through
your touch or through your projection. Many psychological
disorders or imbalances in the personality can
be cured through practice of this meditation. It is very
helpful in getting rid of phobias and especially “father
phobia” (Yogi Bhajan, August 1989).
This technique is called Tershula Kriya (Yogi Bhajan, August
TREATING SLEEP DISORDERS
The majority of sleep disorders result from the stress and
tension of the day and frequently depression can also lead
to insomnia. Here two different meditation techniques are
included. The second is known to be efficacious for treating
insomnia. However, one caveat of this technique is that
it frequently leads to a worsening of sleep for 2–4 weeks for
some patients and thus can be apparently complicating for
the disorder in the beginning. Disturbing dreams are frequent
in the beginning. However, long-term practice leads
to a deep, healthy, and efficient sleep. Thus, the first technique
that does not have this initial impact is best applied
to help build the habit for a deep and restful sleep. Once this
technique (Yuni Kriya) is learned, the individual may then
find less disruption from the initial practice of the technique
called Shabd Kriya (see below). Here, the first technique in
the OCD protocol would be a very useful adjunct for the
practice of either Yuni or Shabd Kriya if practiced right before
going to bed. However, it is also possible to do both,
or either techniques during the day as a means to gaining
benefit. If the practice of Shabd Kriya is first started during
the day, it has less negative impact on the initial results from
practice, and then all three techniques from the OCD protocol
would be helpful.
Meditation for deep deep relaxation: Yuni Kriya#
Description of technique
Sit with a straight spine with
both feet flat on the floor if sitting in a chair. The eyes are
open and focused on the tip of the nose (to know where this
spot is, take your index finger tip and touch the end of your
nose, this is a spot you cannot actually see, but it is the point
that you attempt to see; all you actually see is the blurry
sides of the nose and anything else that may be in front of
you but focus only on the tip. If you make the eyes go crosseyed,
the sides of the nose will appear to balloon up—avoid
this.) The elbows are relaxed against your sides and both
hands come up to meet in front of the body at the level of
the solar plexus approximately 1 foot in front of the body.
The line that runs along the sides of the little finger and
along the edges of the hand and then up along the sides of
the thumbs touch, hand against hand. The thumbs point up
and the little fingers point out away from the body. No other
parts of the hands touch each other except along those lines.
The three other fingers (index. middle, and ring are all
grouped together side by side and do not touch the little fingers
or the thumbs) are pointed out and away from the body
and at approximately a 60°-angle to each other forming a
cave structure. The breathing pattern should be slow and
deep—inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth
and then inhale through the mouth and exhale through the
nose and then in the nose, et cetera, continuing the cycle for
11 minutes. However, when inhaling through the mouth
only, purse the lips as in a kiss. In the beginning the hand
posture is a little uncomfortable for most people but in time
it becomes easier to perform. This breath can take you into
a very deep state of relaxation and should only be done right
before going to bed or if you have nothing to do for several
hours afterwards. This technique should not be done for
more than 11 minutes.
Meditation for treating insomnia and regulating
sleep stages: Shabd Kriya (Khalsa, 1974)
Description of technique
Sit with a straight spine with
both feet flat on the floor. Place the hands in the lap, palms
up with the right hand over the left. The thumbs pads, last
joint, touch together and point forward. Focus the eyes on
the tip of the nose with the eyelids half closed. The tip of
the nose is the point you cannot actually see, but if you use
a fingertip to touch the end of the nose, this is where the
eyes are focused. This is not a cross-eyed posture but only
begins to mimic it. The sides of the nose will look blurry
during the focus, but cross-eyed makes the nose balloon up,
which is not correct here. Inhale through the nose only in
four equal parts, mentally vibrating the mantra sa ta na ma
(one syllable per part of the 4-part inhale). While holding
the breath, mentally vibrate the 4-syllable mantra a total of
4 times for a total of 16 beats, then exhale through the nose
in 2 equal parts mentally vibrating the mantra “whahay
guru,” one word per part or beat. This equals a 22-part, or
22-beat cycle. Continue for 11 minutes and work up to 31
or 62 minutes.
In addition to the techniques listed above, this author has
learned different Kundalini yoga meditation techniques for
the following disorders and conditions: abused children,
adolescents, and adults; anger (chronic, “deep long-lasting
variety”); bipolar disorders (one for the manic phase, one
for the depressed phase, and one to resolve the condition in
general); chronic fatigue syndrome; impulsive behaviors;
ADD; multiple complex personalities; mental illness in general;
and nightmares. This ancient system also has many
nondisorder-specific meditation techniques that would also
be great adjuncts to therapy for psychiatric disorders. Many
techniques would be useful for a variety of disorders. However,
those that were described above to be disorder-specific
were the focus of this paper. Many others for depression and
anxiety have also been taught, but because of space limitations
only select techniques have been included here.
Financial support for preparation of this manuscript was
funded in part by The Baumgartel DeBeer Family Fund.
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David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa
The Research Group for Mind–Body Dynamics
Institute for Nonlinear Science (Mail Code 0402)
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0402
This article appeared originally in THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
Volume 10, Number 1, 2004, pp. 91-101, 2004.
© Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Posted here with proper author permission.