The following practice uses the same mudra in two similar, yet distinct meditations. (Each of these mediations may be practiced individually.) Each meditation addresses pain: physical, emotional, and spiritual. The first arm position and breath pattern for the mudra accesses one’s ability to conquer pain: This meditation must be practiced for a minimum of 3 minutes, ideally 5-7 minutes, and no more than 11 minutes (according to the Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan). Around the 3-minute mark is when you will reach the height of discomfort; at that moment is when you become conscious of your ability to move through and beyond the challenge of pain.
Special note: “Pain,” in this practice, connotes challenge and dis-ease, as opposed to pain that damages and debilitates. To will ourselves to do more than we think we are capable of is the point of these meditations: In so doing, we reach the eternal abundance of health and possibility that lies within each of us; however, as we tend to cease effort when discomfort settles in, we rarely experience the feeling of complete wellness.
The second meditation aspires to relieve one not only of physical impurity, but of spiritual and mental toxicity. The arm position creates a relay between the earthly and heavenly realms, thus opening our subtle bodies to the healing energy within and from without.
To create the mudra that will be used in both meditations, pair the first and second finger, and the ring and pinky of each hand: Split the pairs apart, so that you have a double-fingered V. The thumb of each hand stretches away from the palm. In any comfortable seated position, with your eyes closed and gazing at the Third Eye, extend both arms straight to the sides at shoulder level. The left palm faces the earth, and the right palm faces upward.
Special note: The mudra’s split position effectively yields two mudras in one. The configuration of the index and middle finger stokes the pranic fire in the body, thus charging the entire system. The ring and little fingers together guide the healing energy upward, through the chakras. Thus, a full “burn,” or detoxification of tainted or stuck energy moves through the body.
In the above position, begin breathing powerfully in through the mouth, and powerfully out through the nose. This is a slow, steady inhale and exhale: Each full breath (inhale and exhale) should take about 20 seconds, thus three full breaths per minute. Follow the prescribed timing as indicated above, and really challenge yourself to persevere. To end this meditation, inhale through the mouth again, suspend the breath for 10 seconds while stretching the arms out as far as possible. Exhale deeply and powerfully, maintaining the position; repeat two more times.
Before you move to the second meditation with the mudra, sit quietly and feel the mental and physical effects of having surpassed what you thought you could do. If needed, gently roll the shoulders and head, and shake out the hands and legs before resuming your position for the second meditation.
Special note: If you choose to do these meditations separately, move into svasana for at least 5 minutes after you shake out from the first meditation.
Create the mudra again. This time, however, the right arm extends straight up toward the sky, palm facing forward; the left arm repeats the same position as in the first meditation—straight out at shoulder level, palm down. Breathe normally, fully and steadily. Again, closed eyes focus on the Third Eye. Continue for 3-11 minutes.
To close this meditation, inhale and tighten your whole body as you retain the breath for 10 seconds. Exhale and relax the tension while maintaining the arm and mudra positions. Repeat the breathing, tensing, and relaxing two more times. Then, lie down and move into svasana to allow the mental, physical, and spiritual wellness to permeate your entire being.
Special note: If you, like me, feel compelled to create symmetry, you may practice the second meditation for two 3-minute increments: Once with the right arm overhead, and once with the left arm up, right arm out. In the second instance, the right palm faces down, as opposed to the first mediation, wherein the right palm faced up. You may also move into a 40-day meditation, alternating the arm position from day to day: This will result in a profound experience of the subtle bodies.