by Donna Quesada: I remember doing this meditation during a training retreat and feeling like I would die if I held up my arm one more minute!
But I also remember how I felt afterward… softer, and at peace. The meditation couldn’t have come at a better time. I was in New Mexico and had just turned in final grades at the college where I teach and had to respond to the usual round of grade pleas.
One student was particularly demanding and out of line. He hadn’t come to class but a few times during the semester, and consistently turned his work in late. He was challenging his final grade, even though I had already agreed to accept one more assignment, as well as an extra credit, both well after the due date, just to pass him at all. I could feel the frustration in my chest and was aghast at his sense of entitlement.
I was stewing as I walked toward the meditation studio, where that morning’s class was being held. Normally our teacher would begin with a talk, but on that particular morning, as if on cue, we went straight into this meditation. I came out of it feeling quieted and was able to release both the thoughts spinning in my mind and the tension in my body.
Sit on a pillow or meditation cushion while elongating your spine. Extend the index and middle fingers of your right hand while using your thumb to hold down the other fingers. Raise your right arm in front, as pictured, keeping your elbow straight. Place your left hand over your heart.
Close your eyes. Make an “O” of your mouth and inhale and exhale powerfully through your mouth. (2-second inhalation and 2-second exhalation). Continue for 11 Minutes.
To Finish: Inhale deeply, hold the breath 10 seconds, stretch both arms up over your head while stretching your spine as much as you can. Stretch the discs between your vertebrae. Exhale like cannon fire. Repeat exhale like cannon fire two more times.
Further commentary from our Kundalini Yoga manual—
Breathe strongly and powerfully with emotion. Burn your inner anger and get rid of it. Take the help of the breath to get rid of the body’s weaknesses and impurities.