KUNDALINI YOGA MENTAL HEALTH MEDITATIONS

By David Shannahoff-Khalsa

 A TECHNIQUE TO HELP ELIMINATE NEGATIVITY FROM THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 

- GAN PUTTEE KRIYA


  • Sit with a straight spine, either on the floor or in a chair. The backs of your hands are resting on your knees with the palms facing upward. The eyes are nine tenths closed (one tenth open, but looking straight ahead into the darkness at the third eye point, not the light below). Chant from your heart in a natural, relaxed manner or chant in a steady relaxed monotone. Chant out loud the sound “Sa” (the a sounds like “ah”), and touch your thumb tips and index finger tips together quickly and simultaneously with about 2 pounds of pressure. Then chant “Ta” and touch the thumb tips to the middle finger tips. Chant “Na” and touch the thumb tips to the ring finger tips, then chant “Ma” and touch the thumb tips to the little finger tips. Chant “Ra” and touch the thumb tips and index finger tips. Chant “Ma” and touch the thumb tips to the middle finger tips. Chant “Da” and touch the thumb tips to the ring finger tips. Chant “Sa” and touch the thumb tips to the little finger tips. Chant “Say” (sounds like the word say with a long a) and touch the thumb tips to the middle finger tips. Chant “So” and touch the thumb tips to the ring finger tips. Chant “Hung” and touch the thumb tips to the little finger tips.
  • Chant at a rate of one sound per second. The thumb tip and finger tips touch with a very light 2 to 3 pounds of pressure with each connection. This helps to consolidate the circuit created by each thumb-finger link. Start with 11 minutes and slowly work up to 31 minutes of practice. To finish, remain in the sitting posture and inhale, holding the breath for 20 to 30 seconds while you shake and move every part of your body with the hands and arms extended over your head. Exhale and repeat this inhale, hold, and shaking two more times to circulate the energy and to break the pattern of tapping, which affects the brain. Then immediately proceed with focusing the eyes on the tip of the nose (the end you cannot see) and breathe slowly and deeply for 1 minute.
  • The sounds used in this meditation are each unique, and they have a powerful effect on the mind, both the conscious and subconscious mind. The sound “Sa” gives the mind the ability to expand to the infinite. “Ta” gives the mind the ability to experience the totality of life. “Na” gives the mind the ability to conquer death. “Ma” gives the mind the ability to resurrect. “Ra” gives the mind the ability to expand in radiance (this sound purifies and energizes). “Da” gives the mind the ability to establish security on the earth plane, providing a ground for action. “Say” gives the totality of experience. “So” is the personal sense of identity, and “Hung” is the infinite as vibrating and real force. Together, “So Hung” means “I am Thou.” The unique qualities of this 12-syllable mantra help cleanse and restructure the subconscious mind and help heal the conscious mind to ultimately experience the superconscious mind. Thus, all the blocks that result from an extreme traumatic event are eliminated over time with the practice of Gan Puttee Kriya.


MEDITATION TECHNIQUE TO HELP STABILIZE A HEALTHY SENSE OF SELF IDENTITY


 This is a perfect meditation for people who are lost in their neurosis and psychosis and with their sense of self and identity-the condition that manifests when a person becomes delusional. This technique helps to establish a healthy state of mental stability and is most appropriate for the schizophrenic with a weakened identity who is questioning the deep self.)


Sit in chair or on floor with straight spine. Both arms are raised out to the sides and the elbows are bent at 90 degree angles so that the forearms are pointing straight up. (See figure p. 70) The hands face forward. The eyes are open and focused at the tip of the nose (the end point that you cannot see). The mantra “Humee Hum Brahm Hum” is chanted. The mantra is most effective when it is chanted to the rhythm in a CD (Humee Hum and Peace and Tranquility, Kaur, Nirinian). In rhythm with the mantra, touch the top of your head with the left hand while chanting “Humee hum” and blessing yourself. Then return to the original position while chanting “Brahn Hum.” The meditation is continued for 11 minutes. To end the technique, inhale through the nose, hold the breath, and tighten the spine, and also stiffen only the left hand. Pull the energy of the spine into the left hand. Then exhale and repeat the breath holding and tightening two more times, and then relax. In part, the intention with this technique is to also learn to become kind, humble, helpful, and compassionate.

 

YOGIC PROTOCALS FOR TREATING SCHIZOPHRENIA AND OTHER PSYCHOTIC DISORDERS


  • Sit with a straight spine. Put the hands together at the center of the chest in prayer pose. The eyes are closed and focused at the third eye (imagine a sun rising on the horizon at the point between the eyebrows at the origin of the nose). Chant “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” at least three times.
  • True Glue ( 1 minute relaxation between each exercise) 
  • Flex Spine with the arms extended straight up over the head with the hands facing forward and with the fingers spread wide for two minutes. Begin by pulling the chest up and slightly forward, inhaling deeply at the same time. Then exhale as you relax the spine down into a slouching position. Keep the head up straight, as if you were looking forward, 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 inhalation and exhalation. The eyes are closed as if you were looking at a central point on the horizon, the third eye. Your 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 very rapid movement can be achieved with practice, reaching a rate of 1 to 2 times per second for the entire movement. Two minutes here is the maximum time. Food should be avoided for several hours if possible prior to the exercise set. When finished, inhale and hold the breath while stretching the arms straight over the head and stretching up the spine, then slowly exhale. Then repeat the inhale, hold and stretch, and exhale procedure two more times. 
  • The hands are held in the posture called “gyan mudra”, where the tip of the index finger and the tip of the thumb are touching and the other fingers are held straight up from the hand, and the arms are up with the elbows and forearms forming a 90-degree angle and the spine, torso, and arms are twisted to the to the left with the inhalation to the right with the exhalation. This movement is continued for 2 minutes.  
  • Lay flat on the ground and extend the arms out straight behind the head and the legs are out straight. Inhale through the nose and simultaneously raise the arms and legs up to 90 degrees and perpendicular to the floor. Exhale and then lower both the arms and legs to their original position. Continue for 1 minute.  
  • Inhale through the nose and rise up on the knees with the arms extended above the head, then exhale through the nose and squat on the heels and the knees with the arms extended straight out in front of the body with palms down. Continue this movement for 2 minutes.  
  • Inhale through the nose and come up into camel pose with the head hanging back, then exhale and lower the body into baby pose. Continue for 2 minutes.  
  • Stand up straight and inhale through the nose while twisting to the left with the left arm extended out and swinging toward the back as far as possible with the right arm then crossing in front of the chest. Then exhale through the nose while reversing the posture and twisting around to the right with the right arm then extended back and out toward the back as far as possible and the left arm then coming across the chest. The head also turns with the torso. Keep the hands in lightly closed fists, and continue the movement for 2 minutes.  
  • Get down on the hands and knees and start by extending the left arm directly out in front of the body. The right leg is then also extended out straight back behind the body. Make a right angle with the extended hand so that you appear to be pushing against the wall, and also maintain a right angle at the ankle with the extended foot. The head is raised up and the eyes are open. Visually focus on a point directly out in front of the body and stare at a point off in the “infinite horizon”. Either do Breath of Fire through the nose or do long slow deep breathing through the nose. Maintain the posture perfectly without bending either limb, or losing balance, and continue holding this posture with the breathing for 2 minutes. Rest briefly (1 minute or less) and then reverse sides and continue everything for two additional minutes. Note that the opposite arms and legs are extended in the first part and then they are reversed for the second part.  
  • ( Breath of Fire Explanation: This is practiced where the air is pulled in and pumped out very quickly and rhythmically at a rate of about 2 to 3 times per second, just like pumping a bellows, at the navel point. Make an effort to avoid holding any tension in the muscles of the chest, rib cage, or shoulders, which remain relaxed throughout the breath. The only tension felt is a mild effort by the abdominal muscles when the breath is quickly forced out. Every effort is made so that the sound of the inhale and exhale become nearly equal and indistinguishable and where very little work is being done. The easiest way to understand how to do Breath of Fire is to imagine that you have dirt in your nose and you make the effort to rapidly exhale through the nose to push the dirt out using the breath. When doing this, you need to briefly tighten the abdominal muscles at the navel and force the breath out through the nose. Then the inhalation happens naturally. So this can be one way to help develop the rhythm correctly.)
  • Sit with a straight spine and inhale only through the nose while extending the arms directly out to the sides parallel to the ground while maintaining a lock at the elbows. The hands are maintained with the fingers spread wide and loose. In this position the eyes are closed. Then quickly bring the hands toward eachother meeting about 6 inches apart directly in front of the body without letting the hands touch, and this movement is made while exhaling through the nose The eyes are opened when the hands come close together (4-6 inches apart). Continue to rapidly repeat the movement for 2 minutes and make sure that the eyes and breathing phases are correctly synchronized with the movement of the arms. The pace of the complete movement can approach one cycle every 1 to 2 seconds. This is a brain exercise that mimics the opening and closing of a camera shutter, which helps to coordinate the brain and increases the mental focus.  
  • Stand up with the arms extended and raised directly above the head as if reaching for the sky, and inhale when coming up. Then slowly bend forward at the waist without bending the knees and with the head coming toward the ground in front of the body. When the head comes down, the arms swing up behind the body as if reaching up toward the sky. The exhalation through the nose is produced in this phase of the exercise. Start slowly and eventually speed up the pace. Continue for 2 minutes.
  • Sat Kriya is the final exercise in this set. It is practiced by sitting on the heels with the knees brought together in front, and the tops of the feet are then flat on the ground under the buttocks. The arms are positioned straight up over the head with the upper arms pressed lightly against the sides of the head. The elbows are locked in an effort to keep the arms straight, and the hands are brought together and the fingers of the right and left hand are interlocked with only the two index fingers pointing straight up. For males, the right thumb crosses over the left thumb in the interlocking of the fingers and the left little finger is the last finger on the outside with this interlock. For females, the interlacing is reversed, with the right little finger on the outside and the left thumb dominating over the right thumb. The eyes are closed and focused at the third eye point where the eyebrows meet at the root of the nose. The bij mantra Sat Nam is chanted out loud with this exercise. While maintaining this position, the navel point is pulled in toward the back of the spine and simultaneously the muscle between the rectum and sex organ is tightened in what is called root lock. When the navel point is pulled in, the effort will also lead to what is called diaphragm lock. During the simultaneous pulling of the navel point and tightening of the lower muscle, the sound “Sat” is chanted quickly, almost like a cracking sound, and then the abdominal muscles and muscle between the sex organ and rectum are briefly relaxed while the sound “Naam” is chanted quickly. Yogi Bhajan helped to clarify the fine details of this practice by explaining: “Often when you try to do Sat Kriya from the Navel Point, you incorrectly try to apply one of the locks instead of starting with the navel. If you do Sat Kriya and just apply the root lock you temporarily raise your blood pressure. If you do Sat Kriya just with the diaphragm lock, you temporarily lower the blood pressure. Actually in Sat Kriya the locks come from an automatic involvement”. So the Corrective guiding statement is “Do Sat Kriya only from the Navel Point and the two locks should become little helpers automatically in balance.” When chanting “Sat” the mantra sounds more like “Sut”. When the sound “Sat (Sut)” is chanted mentally visualize healing energy and light coming in the navel point and traveling up the spine to the center of the head. While chanting “Nam”, visualize the energy and light traveling out from the center of the head and out through the third eye point. This entire exercise is fairly rapid and rhythmic and is repeated eight times in 10 seconds. It should not be chanted faster or slower and there can be a tendency to either chant too fast or too slowly. Be careful not to flex the spine during the exercise, although sometimes the shoulders will rise up slightly during the practice. The practice time here is 2 minutes. Frequently a student will ask about when to inhale and exhale. The best answer here is that the breath regulates itself and it is not necessary to focus on the breath. By pulling and releasing the navel rhythmically, the breath only leads to confusion on how to practice this exercise. Also, it is important to note that the spine stays still and straight. The rhythmic contraction and relaxation produces waves of energy that circulate, energize, and heal the body. This is neither a spinal flex nor a pelvic thrust. The practitioner should remain firmly seated on the heels throughout the motions of this exercise. To end the practice at 2 minutes, inhale and gently squeeze the muscles from the buttocks all the way up along the spine. Hold the muscles tight for 5-10 seconds as you concentrate on the top of the head. Then exhale completely. Inhale, exhale totally, and hold the breath out as you contract the lower pelvis, lift the diaphragm, lock the chin to straighten the cervical vertebrae, and squeeze all the muscles from the buttocks up the neck. Hold the breath out for 5 to 20 seconds according to your comfort and capacity. Then inhale and relax, and immediately proceed to the rest, exercise 11.
  • If this technique is practiced by itself, then one should also rest and relax on the back for two times the practice time. Sat Kriya can also be practed for longer times – 11, 31, or 62 minutes, or the maximum time of 2 hours and 31 minutes. When there is an effort to practice for longer times, focus your attention on perfecting the form, rhythm, and the visual and mental concentration efforts. When building up the time, start with rotation cycles of 3 minutes of Sat Kriya with 2 minutes of relaxation. This 3 minute-2 minute cycle can be repeated 3 to 5 times and then the cycle can be increased to 5 minutes of rest. Then times of 3 to 5 minutes can more easily be added to the kriya, depending on the practitioner’s ability. Sat Kriya is the master exercise in Kundalini yoga. It works to heal the nervous and glandular systems, and it helps to correct, open, and balance all eight chakras. The ultimate result of this technique is that it can lead to “a nervous system that is as strong as steel and steady as stone” when practiced consistently for the 31 minute and greater times. This is an excellent technique for people who are trying to recover from the ravaging affects of substance abuse and addiction, which have a destructive effect on the nervous system and chakras.
  • When finished with Sat Kriya, relax on the back while maintaining the arms relaxed by the sides with the palms facing up and both legs straight out in front of the body with the heels kept together. This posture is called corpse pose or shavasana. Deeply relax in this posture for 10 minutes.
  • When finished with Sat Kriya, relax on the back while maintaining the arms relaxed by the sides with the palms facing up and both legs straight out in front of the body with the heels kept together. This posture is called corpse pose or shavasana. Deeply relax in this posture for 10 minutes.


These meditations can be found in these books written by David Shannahoff-Khalsa:


Sacred Therapies: The Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Hand Book for Mental Health (2012)


Kundalini Yoga Meditation: Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy and Personal Growth (2006)


Kundalini Yoga Meditations for Complex Psychiatric Disorders: Techniques Specific for Treating Psychosis, Personality, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders ( 2010)




 

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