Kundalini Yoga Training
Kriya: Bedtime Meditation
© 2003 - Guru Rattana, Ph.D.
people have difficulty going to sleep even though they are tired.
There are many reasons for insomnia. When the mind is too active,
we have a hard time going to sleep or even if we do go to sleep,
we are restless and do not sleep deeply. There are many theories
and opinions about how much sleep a person needs and it certainly
varies according to state of health, activity and circumstances.
But most of us would agree that the deeper and more peaceful the
sleep, the more rested we feel the next morning.
There are several things that we can do to promote deeper and
more restful sleep.
(1) SLOW DOWN Before going to bed, start to slow down.
Walk slower. Stop heavy mental activity. Write down what you need
to do the next day and leave the list in the other room. This
allows you to clear your mind and lets the energy start coalescing
to get what you want done accomplished. If there is something
on your mind that you have not been able to resolve, make a special
list for the angels, for the Divine or whoever might to around
to help and turn it over to a higher, unemployed power that needs
an activity for the night. Feel complete about the day. Acknowledge
yourself for what you accomplished and lessons learned. Forgive
yourself for anything that bothers you. Heh, no one's perfect.
And list five things you are grateful for. In other words, prepare
yourself to devote the next hours to peaceful, unpreoccupied sleep.
You not only deserve, you need to rest.
(2) EATING HABITS Eat your last meal at least 2 1/2 hours
before you go to bed. When we eat just before going to bed our
energy is tied up with digestion and it is hard to sleep deeply.
Eat lightly for your evening meal. Definitely no animal protein,
fried or heavy foods. Any dairy at night will make it more difficult
to get up the next day. I used to have a small yogurt snack before
going to bed. It was so painful to try to wake up in the am. When
I eliminated the yogurt, it was like a weight was lifted off of
me. I was so much clearer in the morning. Soups, salads, stemmed
vegetables or other easily digested dishes are the best for the
(3) LEFT NOSTRIL BREATHING The two nostrils are associated
with two very different energies. When we breathe through the
right nostril, we are energized and stimulated. When we breathe
through the left nostril, we relax and calm down. Our breath naturally
changes dominant nostrils approximately every 2-1/2 hours. After
eating our nostrils will change to the left to accommodate the
energy needed to digest our food. That is one reason why we feel
like sleeping after eating.
You can tell which nostril is your dominate one at any time simply
by blocking off one, then the other. The dominant one is easy
to breathe through and the less dominate one feels like it is
It is useful before going to bed to sit quietly, block off the
right nostril and breath long and deeply through the left nostril.
Slowing down the breath to 4 or less breaths per minute also facilitates
Lying on the left side facilitates digestion and opens the right
nostril. If you do need to digest your food, lying on the left
side with help. However, to get to sleep, lying on your right
side with help open the left nostril. You can also close off the
right nostril with the right thumb to open the left nostril.
In both exercises, mentally inhale SAT and exhale NAM. The mental
focus on the mantra and the breath are very soothing.
KRIYA- BEDTIME MEDITATION
Bhajan has given us the following meditation to practice before
going to bed. If practiced on a regular basis, once a week or
even every night, your sleep will be deep and relaxed. The control
of the rhythm of the breath strengthens the nervous system and
regenerates the nerves. After a few months, the rhythm of your
breath will be subconsciously regulated and eventually you will
internally chant the mantra while you are sleeping. You may wake
up to the internal chant of the mantra and hear it in your daily
activities. You will think better, work better, share better and
love better. "There cannot be enough praise of the meditation's
effect on the personality. It gives the mind the power to stretch
to infinity, promotes radiance, patience and practical universality."
and Renew p. 118)
This is a good meditation to do to recover from fatigue caused
by normal daily stress, travel and even jet lag.
Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Hands are in the lap in
Buddha Mudra: palms up, right hand resting on top of left. The
thumbs touch and face forward.
The eyes focus at the tip of the nose with the eyes about 9/10th
closed. There are several ways to facilitate looking at the tip
of the nose. Bring your forefinger in front of your face and look
at it. Keep looking at the forefinger and slowly bring the forefinger
to the tip of the nose.
To facilitate the concentration at the tip of the nose, do the
following exercise. Bring the arms out to your sides parallel
to the ground, palms up. Do breath of fire for 1-3 minutes. This
exercise balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain,
which makes it easier to maintain the focus of the two eyes.
The eyes focused at the tip of the nose causes the optic nerves
to cross at the third eye. Thus it is easier to bring your mental
focus to the third eye while the eyes are directed at the tip
of the nose. Both the pineal and the pituitary glands and the
area between them are stimulated by this eye posture, which has
the effect of breaking old habits and creating new ones.
BREATHING AND MANTRA
Inhale 4 equal parts through the nose, i.e. the inhale is divided
into 4 sniffs. Mentally vibrate SA
TA NA MA with the four parts of the inhale breath.
Hold the breath and mentally repeat 4 repetitions of SA
TA NA MA. This will be 16 counts
SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA SA TA NA
MA SA TA NA MA
Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE
WAHE GURU means ecstasy.
WAHE GURU is the result
of integrating SAT NAM
into the psyche. When we experience the Truth, we feel ecstasy.
Continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation
will often put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.
This meditation was originally taught by Yogi Bhajan April 1,
(* 1) From
and Renew by Guru Rattana Ph.D. and Ann Marie Maxwell,
Yoga Technology Press, 1988.
© 2003 - Guru Rattana, Ph.D.