Kundalini remains a mainstay of my practice because it is one of the most powerful forms of yoga and meditation I have found - I've practiced it almost every day since early 2013 (even if just for a few minutes) and the effect it has had on my life has been profound and observable.
Kundalini combines breath, hand position (mudra), eye focus, meditation, asana (posture) and sometimes mantra, and so it has a more potent effect on our physiology and neurophysiology than mindfulness meditation or other types of meditation. It strengthens our nerves, repatterns our brain wiring, helps balance the glandular system, develops a sense of will, strengthens our mind, and does a whole host of other things. It's changed my life in a PROFOUND way and I recommend anyone in some mode of recovery find a way to incorporate it into their life.
This meditation was the second Kundalini meditation I did for a forty-day practice. It's a powerful meditation with immediate effects and it remains part of my regular practice (and part of my "crisis toolkit").
Similar to the Siri Gaitri, I was drawn to it because it is a balancing meditation (it balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain), and because in those early days I so desperately needed to feel a sense of balance. I was also drawn to it because I'm an EXTREMIST, I need to feel something is actually working, and the effects of this meditation are powerful and immediate - it goes straight to the fight or flight response and brings you into an almost sedative state.
It's perfect to use as a consistent practice if you are looking to truly shift your energy and cultivate a sense of deep calm and balance (I recommend anyone do this for 40 days), and it's also perfect to learn if you are looking for powerful coping mechanisms to self-regulate. In other words, it's great to use over time to cultivate lasting change, but it's also great to use if you are ever in a state of stress, panic, anxiety, fear, craving, etc. - as a coping mechanism on this path. I've many times excused myself and used it in private to self-soothe and manage myself (think bathroom stalls).
You can watch the video, or read the instructions below to practice on your own.
Meditation for Tattva Balance Beyond Stress & Duality
Sitting Position. Sit in an Easy Pose (cross legged), with a light jalandhar bandh (chin is pulled in to neck).
Mudra. (Hand/arm position). Raise the arms with the elbows bent until the hands meet at the level of the heart in front of the chest. The forearms make a straight line parallel to the ground. Spread the fingers of both hands. Touch the fingertips and thumb tips of opposite hands together. Create enough pressure to join the first segments of each finger. The thumbs are stretched back and point toward the torso. The fingers are bent slightly due to the pressure. The palms are separated.
Drishti. (Eyes focus). Fix your eyes at the tip of the nose.
Breath. Create the following breathing pattern: Inhale smoothly and deeply through the nose. Exhale through the rounded lips in 8 equal emphatic strokes. On each exhale, pull the Navel Point in sharply.
Time. Continue for 3 minutes. Build the practice slowly to 11 minutes. Practicing longer is only for the dedicated and serious student.
To End. Inhale deeply, hold for 10-30 seconds, and exhale. Inhale again and shake the hands. Relax.
Yogi Bhajan Comments. The five elements are categories of quality that are based in the energetic flow of your life force. If all the elements are strong, in balance, and located in their proper areas of the body, then you can resist stress, trauma, and illness. You also do not get confused in conflicts between the two hemispheres of the brain as they compete for the right to make and direct decisions. This meditation uses the hand mudra to pressure the 10 points in the fingers that correlate to the zones of the brain in the two hemispheres. The equal pressure causes a kind of communication and coordination between the two sides. The deep inhale gives endurance and calmness. The exhale through the mouth strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system from a control band of reflexes in the ring of the throat. This calms reaction to stress. The strokes of the exhale stimulate the pituitary gland to optimize your clarity, intuition, and decision-making capacities. This meditation resolves many inner conflicts, especially when the conflicts arise from the competition between different levels of your functioning, e.g. spiritual vs. mental vs. physical or survival needs.
Notes. You can also try this Kia Miller video and practice it with her for 11 minutes.