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How to add the inner fire to your life!

“Laugh my friend, for laughter ignites a fire within the pit of your belly and awakens your being” – Stella McCartney.

Like Stella, other writers and public figures, such as Richard Branson and Stephen Covey, have addressed the notion of “a fire within” – we hear it all the time, and you may have used it yourself! What does it imply? How do we incorporate it into our lives? And how can it benefit us?

Buddhist monks have known the key to discovering “the inner fire” through an old meditation technique known as “Tummo Meditation.” It is a form of tantric yoga that originated in the Himalayas thousands of years ago. This meditation is believed to burn away negative thoughts! It will help you think more clearly by refocusing your thoughts.

Tummo is a Tibetan term that signifies ‘fierce’ or ‘inner fire’. 

What is Tummo Meditation?

Thousands of years ago, Tibetan Buddhist monks were the first to invent Tummo meditation as a part of their 6 Yogas or Dharmas [ultimate truth, sometimes referred to as life purpose in modern days]. This profound Tibetan Buddhist tantric practise which is also known as the Six Dharmas of Naropa. Naropa however wasn’t the only one inventing the practice, but it was his sister, and the lineage he was a part of.

Herbert Benson, a cardiologist, watched Tibetan monks practising tummo in the Himalayan mountains in 1981, with support from the fourteenth Dalai Lama. Benson noted that the monks were able to raise the temperature of their fingers and toes by  46.9ºF.

“The inner fire,” as shown by an increase in core temperature, is the underlying focus of Tummo meditation to let the heat purify the body, in order to reach a profound state of meditation. The fundamental premise is that you may transform your “psychic heat” into physical heat by tapping into your own internal energy through a series of breathing exercises and mental imagery.

Some yogis take it so seriously to the extent that they would go up the mountains in -30 Celsius degrees at night to practice Tummo after careful disciplined preparation and could even heat wet clothes up with their body, just by raising their own temperature in those cold circumstances.

Tummo, also known as Chandali yoga, is a Tibetan meditation style that combines breathing and visualisation exercises. In this article, we will learn more!

Tummo Meditation Techniques

  • Visualization: When practicing Tummo, practitioners picture a faint inner fire ball, just above the navel, at the centre of the body. This mental image aids in concentrating the mind on producing inner heat that can be spread through the body with the right kind of breathing.
  • Controlled Breathing: The central practise of Tummo meditation centres on certain breathing techniques. A mix of exhalations, deep inhales, and breath retention is practised by meditators. It is said that this regulated breathing rhythm awakens the inner fire and produces an elevated state of inner heat.
  • Energy Circulation: Meditators also focus on circulating the inner heat throughout the body, allowing it to flow along the pathways known as energy channels or meridians. This energy circulation helps to distribute warmth and help reaching a meditative state of being.

You can watch the techniques here or here.

Since this is a spiritual practice, it is best to do it with a guru or a qualified practitioner.

There are many similarities between Wimhof’s breathing method and Tummo’s. However, Wimhof clarifies that Westerners will gain more from his technique. He doesn’t say why he believes it’s better, but he explains how and why his method differs from Tummo’s. His method is meant to improve our health and potential, while Tummo is an old way of awakening.

Benefits of Tummo Meditation:

  • Increased body temperature: One of the most amazing effects of Tummo meditation is that it can raise and keep your body temperature higher and supports the energy flow in our body. Practitioners have been known to greatly raise their body temperatures, even when they are in very cold places.
  • Enhanced focus and concentration: Tummo meditation necessitates intense mental attention and concentration. Regular practice can enhance your general attention span and your capacity to be present in the moment. This advantage may be extended beyond the meditation couch and used in various facets of daily life.
  • Emotional balance and stress reduction: The deep focus and controlled breathing techniques employed in Tummo meditation can calm the nervous system, promote relaxation, and reduce stress levels. Engaging with this practice regularly may help individuals better manage their emotions and experience increased emotional stability.

Challenges of Tummo Meditation:

  • The need for proper guidance: Tummo meditation is a complicated practise that requires expert instruction from a qualified instructor. To guarantee safety and maximise benefits, it is critical to master the methods correctly and have a grasp of the complex nuances of the practise.
  • Physical discomfort and risks: The production of interior heat might be considerable, causing physical discomfort or severe tension. Tummo meditation should be approached with prudence, listening to the body’s indications and not straining beyond individual boundaries. Practitioners with specific medical issues should get medical advice before pursuing this practise.
  • Dedication and consistency: Tummo meditation is not a quick remedy or an instant repair. To reap the maximum advantages, effort, consistent practise, and patience are required. Commitment to a daily practise is crucial for success and personal transformation.

This is a simple exercise that you do to introduce yourself slowly to the practice of Tummo Meditation:

To start with, sit in a comfortable position and exhale forcefully to clear any stagnant energy from the lungs.

  • Bring your hands together and rub them energetically.
  • Place your warm hands over each other on your navel.
  • Inhale deeply while pulling your shoulders back, expanding your rib cage.
  • Exhale loudly and bring your shoulders forward.
  • Repeat this inhale-exhale 3 or 4 times.
  • For a few seconds, switch to gentle breathing.
  • Start again with inhaling deeply.
  • Hold your breath a few seconds while keeping your shoulders square.
  • Exhale, relax your shoulders, and push your abdomen out.
  • Repeat this inhale-exhale 2 or 3 times.
  • For a few seconds, switch to gentle breathing.
  • Repeat the first sequence 5 times.
  • When you exhale for the last time, hold your breath for 2 seconds, and then exhale slowly.

Tummo meditation reveals not only the interesting capacity to produce inner heat, but also the profound impact we have on our mind and body.

The benefits that Tummo meditation offers, such as increased body temperature, enhanced focus, and emotional balance, all stem from the mind-body connection. The visualisation of the inner fire and the focused breathing patterns serve as a bridge, allowing individuals to access deeper levels of awareness.

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