Tummo meditation is an ancient practice that originates from Tibet...
But how does it work?
What are the benefits?
...And how can you begin practicing Tummo meditation yourself?
This guide will explain all - including some of the best exercises for Tummo Meditation that you can try at home...
1. What Is Tibetan Tummo Meditation?
Tibetan tummo meditation is an ancient method of meditation that monks in Tibetan Buddhism practice.
This type of meditation is often referred to as “Tibetan inner fire meditation,” “tumo yoga,” or “chandali yoga.”
Consisting of both breathing and visualization techniques, one of the goals of tummo meditation, like other forms of meditation, is to enter a deep state of relaxation.
Although controversial, it’s said you can also gain “inner heat” by partaking in Tibetan tummo meditation.
By enabling your inner heat via tummo meditation, you’re able to control your body temperature.
This is ultimately what separates tummo meditation apart from other forms of meditation.
2. Tummo Meditation Benefits
A plethora of short- and long-term benefits can be gained from engaging in tummo meditation, such as the following.
One of the main goals of Buddhism is to nurture love and compassion both for one’s self as well as for others.
Often, those with low self-esteem have an inner battle with themselves and/or how others view them.
However, via Tibetan tummo meditation, you can grow more confident as you experience warmth, joy, and comfort as you engage in deep breathing and visualization.
But the benefits don't end there:
Because tummo meditation and other types of meditation typically involve advancement, the more you advance, learn, and surpass difficult tasks via meditation, the greater your confidence may be.
In turn, this may give you the confidence you need to take on other difficult, lengthy tasks in your personal life.
Better Mental Health
Via meditation, those with mental health problems like anxiety and depression show improvements in the region of the brain associated with positive emotion.
Those who regularly engage in meditation are also shown to have greater emotional regularity.
Based on the latter research, tummo meditation may be particularly beneficial for:
- Pregnant women
- Those working in stressful work environments
- Those within criminal justice settings (e.g., prisons, jails)
Boosted Cognitive Power
Meditation on a broad scale has been proven to increase cognition and memory.
The concentration, visualization, and relaxation apart of meditation practices each contributes to improved cognitive power.
After all, research shows that an overactive, disorganized, stressed brain is correlated with long-term decreased cognitive performance.
According to the EOC Institute, there are six main ways meditation, including tummo meditation, can improve cognition.
For one, meditation improves the connections between the right and left hemispheres of your brain.
- Boost brainwave patterns
- Increases your brain size
- Improves intuition and insight
- Impacts short- and long-term memory
- Advances emotional intelligence
In a world where you’re surrounded by technology and other distractions left and right, you may find it difficult to concentration on one task at a time.
Although the ability to multitask seems like a great characteristic, research shows that the brain wasn’t truly designed for multitasking.
In fact, the more tasks we take on, the less efficient, less productive, and more prone to error we become.
Mindful states that not only are you more focused during the actual act of meditation itself, but you can have an easier time bouncing back from distractions overall, even when the meditation session is over.
According to the same source, you can also decrease your stress reaction, which in turn can improve your concentration overall.
Likewise, meditation can help those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Improved Physical Health
Tummo meditation and its other meditation counterparts not only have the power to improve our mental health but can also boost our physical health as well.
Various studies show that meditation can improve current conditions as well as prevent or delay certain health problems or ailments.
Research found that meditation is capable of improving blood pressure, reducing menopausal symptoms, potentially aid with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even help people quit smoking.
Likewise, regularly engaging in meditation can reduce pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances in patients with cancer.
Better Breath Control
Breathing is one of the most important processes of life.
Apart from consuming enough food and water, intaking plenty of oxygen is imperative for our mental and physical wellbeing.
With tummo meditation, the breathing exercises and lower stress associated with such are what provide better breath control.
The Mayo Clinic states that breath control can eliminate stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
Not only can you change your body’s physical response to stress, but there are a plethora of benefits that come directly from this.
- Your heart beats slower
- Your muscles can relax
- Your metabolism decreases
- Your blood pressure lowers
- Your nitric oxide levels increase.
Control Over Body Temperature
Intermediate to advanced tummo meditation practitioners are said to be capable of lowering or raising their body temperature on their own.
This is particularly important for athletes or travelers who find themselves in potentially-dangerous outdoor conditions and want to protect themselves.
According to Frontiers Media, research shows that those engaging in this type of meditation were able to boost the temperature of their fingers and toes via tummo meditation by up to 8.3 degrees Celcius.
However, it can take a lot of practice for a practitioner to get to this point.
3. How To Do Tummo Meditation
Unlike many other forms of meditation out there, there’s generally one tummo meditation technique to engage in.
However, there may be some slight variations depending on the book, teacher, or resource you’re learning from.
While there’s only really one way to practice tummo meditation, the length of the breath retentions involved in this practice, as well as the length of each meditation session, often increases as you advance:
- You may find yourself struggling to visualize during tummo meditation at first.
- You may also notice that your breath-holding isn’t very good.
As you practice, both of these things will get easier...
It’s strongly recommended that you find a tummo meditation guru who can guide you along with this practice before trying this technique on your own.
Some believe that it’s dangerous for beginners to engage in tummo meditation without the proper knowledge or help along the way.
According to one source, because tummo involves the mind and body, if it’s done incorrectly, it can induce a psychotic state.
If you do decide to try tummo meditation on your own, it’s advised that you try other types of meditation and breathing exercises first.
Note: Tummo meditation tends to be a little more complex than other types of meditation.
When you feel you’re ready, use the following instructions to get started with Tibetan tummo meditation.
- Start by finding a comfortable and quiet place to engage in your meditation session. Sit down in place, keeping your back upright.
- Begin to relax your mind and concentrate. Eliminate any thoughts running through your head. Take your time as you do this. If you have difficulty with this, try to imagine the inside of your body completely empty.
- Once your mind is clear or mostly clear, close your eyes. Start to visualize the central channel or shushuma running vertically down your body directly in front of your spine. It runs from the top of your head to the end of your spine. Visualize this channel as a see-through, hollow tube approximately the width of a finger in diameter.
- Then start to visualize your right and left lateral channels or nadis. These channels are a little bit thinner in diameter than your central channel. These two channels begin in your right and left nostrils, travel to the top of your head, curve, and then run down the sides of your central channel. They curve inwards and join the central channel about the width of four fingers below the navel.
- Don’t fret if you have trouble with the latter visualizations at first. Patience and practice are important. Once you’ve got the latter visualizations down, start to imagine a hot, red, glowing, seed-sized ball or ember inside your central channel near your navel.
- To increase the heat of the ember, lightly contract the internal muscles of your pelvic floor. Doing this can help bring air from your lowest chakra to your ember.
- Then, take a full breath through your nostrils. Feel and visualize as this air enters your nostrils and then through your left and right channels. The air will eventually enter your central channel near your belly button. The air is now in contact with the heat of the ember.
- Once you stop inhaling, swallow and gently push your diaphragm down to keep the air energy in place.
- For as long as you can, hold your breath. Beginners should hold their breath no longer than 5 to 15 seconds. Refrain from holding your breath longer than your body allows you to. As you engage in breath retention, focus on the ember near your navel. Visualize its heat growing and spreading.
- Once you can no longer hold your breath, slowly exhale through your nostrils as you relax each of the muscles in your body. Visualize the air rising through the central channel and then breaking down. Notice as the hot ember near your belly button is growing even hotter as its heat spreads to clear the blockages of your chakras and warms the energy of your crown chakra.
- As the latter is occurring, keep your focus on the burning ember at your navel.
- After your first exhalation is finished, tighten your muscles once again. Inhale again as you push down your diaphragm, and exhale the air back through your central channel again.
- Repeat this breathing routine seven times in total. The heat of the ember should grow stronger with each breath.
- By the time you come to the seventh breath, you should visualize the ember in flames. These flames should shoot up the central chakra, completely clearing the bad energy from each of your chakras. After the seventh breath is complete, you should feel blissful and completely at peace.
4. How To Practice Effectively
Integrating the following tips into your routine can ensure you get the most out of your tummo meditation experience.
- Reach out to a tummo meditation instructor if you’re a beginner or are struggling with the practice.
- Partake in short tummo meditation sessions in the beginning. As you advance, increase the length of each session.
- Train your brain to forget its surroundings as you focus on the visualization component of tummo meditation.
- To boost your body temperature via tummo meditation, increase visualization, concentrating on images of flames along your spine.
- Don’t hold your breath longer than your body is capable of.
- Slowly make tummo meditation exercises more challenging as you advance.
- Engage in tummo meditation daily to upkeep the results.
- Don’t expect immediate results. The long term benefits associated with tummo meditation may take significant time and practice.
- Ask loved ones to join you on your meditation journey.
- If you find that tummo meditation isn’t for you after you’ve tried it several times, try other types of meditation instead.
5. Tummo Meditation FAQs
How To Breathe When Practicing Tummo?
Breath control is vital in tummo meditation.
In this type of meditative practice, the breathing technique involved is very similar to Pranayama in yoga.
It involves inhalation, full retention, exhaling, and then empty retention.
Inhale and exhale through the tip of the nose.
Pay close attention to the rhythm as you hold your breath.
As an example, you might inhale for eight seconds, hold your breath for two seconds, exhale for six seconds, and then hold for three.
Advanced tummo practitioners are often able to hold their breath for several minutes at a time during retention.
However, as you first get acquainted with this type of meditation, refrain from holding your breath longer than 5 to 15 seconds at a time.
The second you start to feel dizzy, it’s important to resume breathing.
What Is Sadhguru Meditation?
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev or simply Sadhguru is an Indian author, mystic, and yogi.
He also founded a non-profit organization called the Isha Foundation.
Via this non-profit, Sadhguru provides various yoga and guided meditation programs.
Sadhguru meditation is free. You can find his guides and videos online.
What Is G Tummo Meditation?
G-tummo meditation primarily involves controlling inner energy to manually alter the temperature of the body with no resources other than merely the brain.
Thanks to the higher chi or heat provided by G-tummo meditation, advanced practitioners are capable of staying warm and unaffected in below-freezing temperatures.