Kundalini meditation has earned something of a cult reputation amongst yogis. It is revered as a powerful meditation technique that can fully awaken your conscious awareness. And it is one of the most popular Yoga Meditations.
Kundalini meditation technique is said to do this by awakening kundalini energy, which is a lifeforce energy usually dormant in the base of the spine at the root chakra.
There are many different ways in which we can awaken kundalini energy in yoga, including:
- Breathing techniques
- Mudras (hand and body positions)
- Spiritual mantras
- Asanas (yoga poses)
However, perhaps the number one way to awaken kundalini energy is meditation.
Through a combination of exercises it is possible to shift the kundalini energy from the root chakra to the head, which will increase spiritual awakening and perhaps even lead to enlightenment.
As with meditation in general, the first mention of the Kundalini meditation technique is found in the Hindu religious text the Upanishads, which were written around 600 to 800 B.C.
Originally, the Kundalini meditation technique was only taught to yogis who had reached an advanced level of spiritual awakening, and even today it is not generally considered ideal for beginners. If you are relatively new to meditation I highly advise you to practise simpler techniques and only to practise Kundalini meditation techniques once you reach an advanced level.
In 1968 Yogi Bhajan started teaching Kundalini meditation technique in the West, stating that the method would offer numerous health benefits and help people to lead healthier, happier, more conscious lives. This, of course, was before Yogi Bhajan was accused of sexual, emotional, and physical abuse—which made many people question the legitimacy of Kundalini meditation technique. Despite those allegations, however, very many yogis are interested in learning the method, perhaps because of the promised benefits of Kundalini meditation.
Potential Benefits of Kundalini Meditation
There is precious little scientific research to substantiate the supposed benefits of kundalini meditation. However, those who have practised the method state that they have observed the following benefits:
- Clarity of mind
- Enhanced communication
- Enhanced mindfulness
- Heightened compassion
- Awakening to their true self
- Heightened sense of purpose
- Clearer intentions
There have been a couple of scientific studies into the technique, and those studies do indicate some benefit, although the benefits that are scientifically backed are universal to most other meditations. For instance, a 2017 study showed that Kundalini meditation techniques offers stress relief and could potentially be beneficial for certain health conditions including cardiovascular disease and insomnia.
Another study in 2017 showed that Kundalini can enhance cognitive ability in older adult and improve memory.
A 2018 study showed that kundalini meditation can help with generalised anxiety.
However, the same benefits of seen in other meditations. Therefore, scientifically speaking, there is no evidence that the benefits Kundalini meditation are different to other methods.
Given the rising popularity of the technique, however, you might be intrigued to try it. So let’s look at how to do it.
How To Do Kundalini Meditation Technique
1: Dress comfortably in light clothing. Traditionally, most kundalini yogis wear shawls over the heads to protect energy flow.
2: Spend five minutes performing a basic breathing meditation to relax your mind.
3: Sit up with good posture on a chair or on the floor. Place your hands in Anjali mudra (prayer position) and gently lower your chin as though praying. Close your eyes but leave a very slight opening.
4: Focus on the Ajna chakra (third eyes chakra located between the eyebrows). With your eyes closed, focus on this post.
5: Recite a kundalini mantra, preferably a kundalini mantra, which are written in the sacred Indian language of Gurmukhi. The exact mantra you choose doesn’t matter too much. You can use “Om” if you like.
6: Breath mindfully, inhaling and exhaling through the nose while focusing on the sensation of breathing. Gradually slow your breathing such that inhales and exhales last for approximately four seconds (so one breath will take 8 seconds). Mindfully observe how your breath creates energy in your body.
7: Add a mudra (hand position). For beginners I recommend using Gyan mudra. This is the iconic meditation mudra in which the thumbs and second finger touch and the remaining fingers are held out straight. The hands are placed gently on the lap.
8: Breathe in parts. When breathing in, breathe in in 4 individuals inhales, and then out on another four individual exhales. As you inhale, drawn your naval towards your spine.
9: If your mind wanders, gently guide your focus back to your breath.
10: Continue for five minutes.
11: To conclude your kundalini meditation practise, take one deep inhale and exhale. Raise your arms out at full length and relax.
Potential risks of Kundalini meditation
There are some health risks of Kundalini meditation, especially for beginners. You may notice that you’re feeling uncomfortable or slightly dizzy. If this occurs, stop.