A Yoga Technique Specifically For OCD Symptom Relief


The Kundalini yoga tradition includes meditation techniques discovered to relieve symptoms of specific psychiatric disorders, including OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

One technique that is said to be effective in eliminating OCD symptoms requires a half hour of time with a focus on the breath. Since many obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors take up far more than 30 minutes of time and energy each day, this technique may be worth trying.

Kundalini Yoga: Technique for OCD

This meditation is very easy to learn.

  1. Sit comfortably with a straight spine, either on a straight back chair - both feet flat on the floor - or sit on the floor with crossed legs.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Use the end (tip) of your right thumb to completely cover the right nostril. The remaining fingers of the right hand should point straight up. Keep the right arm and shoulder relaxed, elbow hanging down. (If you have a secure plug for the right nostril you may use that instead of the thumb.)
  4. Slowly and deeply, inhale through the left nostril, and hold the inhale several seconds.
  5. Exhale slowly and completely through the left nostril, and hold the exhale for several seconds.
  6. The mind should be attentive to the sound of the breath.
  7. Continue the breathing pattern, always inhaling and exhaling through the left nostril, for up to 31 minutes per sitting. Ideally, after continued practice, each complete breath cycle (inhale-hold plus exhale-hold) will take one minute.

To start with, do the technique for two to five minutes, and have each complete breath last 12 to 15 seconds (inhale for three seconds, hold three seconds, exhale three seconds, hold three seconds). If that is too difficult, just do what feels comfortable.

Anecdotal reports indicate that doing a full 31 minutes of this yoga technique daily for three months - at one full breath cycle per minute - eliminates obsessive-compulsive disorders. There is no scientific datum to back this claim up. The only way to discover if it helps is to try it.

Those with any medical conditions, especially related to the respiratory or cardiovascular systems, should consult with their doctor before attempting controlled breathing techniques.

Shannahoff-Khalsa, David S., An Introduction to Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques That Are Specific for the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004, 10/1.

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