Tummo meditation works with the inner fire that burns within us all. This Buddhist meditation practice combines the techniques of breathing and visualization to stir this fire inside of us. Have you been seeking how to practice tummo meditation in your life? Or perhaps you are curious about the physical results of tummo meditation where you have control over your body temperature. Perhaps you are seeking tummo meditation as a doorway to your joy, happiness, and bliss?
Whichever avenue brought you here, I feel you are on the correct path. Here we will work through each step of tummo meditation together to help you achieve the results you are looking for from your practice.
Before You Start
Before you begin your tummo meditation I´d like to share a little background into the practice. The inner fire is said to be located below your sacral chakra. Everyone has this inner fire but not many are aware of it. Tummo meditation is intended to increase your awareness of this fire within.
As your awareness and knowledge of this fire continue to grow, so does its strength. You will find yourself able to control the temperature of your body. Even science has proven this! Using primarily breathing and minor visualization techniques we dive deep into our own consciousness and purge the mind and spirit of blockages and impurities.
Tummo radiates throughout the body in peace, love, and bliss. You will find these benefits as you consistently return to your practice, daily. If you are having trouble maintaining the consistency of your practice then I might point you towards our Beginner´s Meditation Handbook to find some pretty great tips on adopting and maintaining a consistent meditation routine.
It will also help you with proper sitting posture!
What You Will Need
You can practice tummo meditation anywhere. There is never a need for anything additional aside from your Self when you are meditating. You can look through our Useful Meditation Gear to get a deeper review on how to build your own meditation space that speaks to your character and expresses your personality.
A few items that help considerably with comfort and longevity of your meditation practice include these items:
- Buckwheat Meditation Cushion – Provides a seating element that provides ergonomic support to your sitting posture as well as added comfort. Or, you might prefer a kneeling (seiza) bench for meditation like the Acacia Wood Meditation Bench
- A Mexican Yoga Blanket or Tibetan Meditation Shawl – To wrap yourself during meditation and remain at a comfortable temperature while you are mastering the Tummo Meditation technique
- A meditation timer like the iHome Zenergy Meditation timer or a useful meditation timer app on your phone!
Everything else, including what you find in the Useful Meditation Gear section, will be things that you may desire to add to your meditation space in due time. These items above will be the most beneficial for you if you have nothing at this moment. Even if you have nothing, you will still learn the practice today!
Tummo has been practiced for thousands of years. Buddhist monks have been using tummo to help release themselves from sinful thoughts that they would not wish to act upon. These could be thoughts derived from sexual pleasure, hatred, jealousy, or other negative thought patterns that the Buddhas are practiced in keeping free from their minds.
Perhaps more importantly, Tibetan monks used tummo to warm themselves through their own body heat inside the frigid caves of Tibet. They would sit within and meditate and minutes later would have visible steam rising from their robes. You will personally find that tummo meditation brings you many of the other benefits such as:
- Stress reduction; and the lessening of any anxiety, depression, or high blood pressure
- Concentration will improve naturally
- You will find new strength and love for yourself, within yourself, giving you organic confidence
- Your physical health will improve over time
Many of you may know of or have heard of Wim Hof. Wim earned the nickname ¨Iceman¨ from swimming underneath a frozen lake. He is most well-known for his trip to the top of Mount Everest wearing nothing but a pair of shorts.
How does he do this? The answer is not quite as eloquent said by me as by Wim, so I will let him answer for you.
In the words of Wim Hof:
“We can do more than what we think. [This is] a belief system that I have adopted, and it has become my motto. There is more than meets the eye, and unless you are willing to experience new things, you’ll never realize your full potential.”
Through meditation, visualization, and proper breathing Wim claims to have trained and overcome the limitations of his own mind to become…well…wonderful.
Now, let´s find out how!
To practice tummo, it is important to hone in on the breathing technique and to effectively master it. You will be using your breath to help clear out negative thoughts. The physical effect of your breath priming and stimulating your nervous system and body will increase the level of your presence within this moment. Let us begin.
Step 1: Exhale ALL Your Breath
First, you will want to FULLY exhale all of the oxygen in your lungs. This is known as the Warrior´s Breath. Just one, quick, exhalation until there is no oxygen left in your lungs. This clears our lungs of stagnant energy as it is rare that we take the time to fully exhale all of the oxygen from our lungs.
This release will help deflate and humble you. It will help calm your energy and ground you into this moment. Feel this moment as you are wholly present.
Step 2: Position Yourself
You may sit or stand in a position that is most comfortable for you. It is recommended to start this practice sitting as you can experience light-headedness until you find your rythm. Try and find a position that you are able to stay in for long periods of time without moving. Then you will ultimately be placing your hands over your navel area, on your belly button.
Now, rub your hands together quickly as you would to warm your hands while waiting for the bus on a chilly morning and you have forgotten your mittens. Rub them together and you will feel the heat generate in each of your hands. Rub vigorously! This will also help stimulate both the left and right sides of your brain simultaneously.
Place the left hand over your belly button with your right hand on top. The knuckles of your palm should be flat with your fingers stretched out and flat as well. Have your right-hand rest upon your left hand with your knuckles of your right hand resting on the knuckles of your left hand. Finally, your fingers of your left and right hand should be pointing in opposite directions of each other.
Step 3: Breathe
When you breathe you will breathe through your nose audibly. If you feel any light-headedness simply bring down the volume of the sound of your breath to lighten your breathing. Allow the sound to happen freely and allow your rib cage to be expanded. Hold your breath here. Hold it for less time if you feel light-headed.
You may then swallow the breath or the chi down into your belly as you exhale. You may wish to allow your body to rock back as you breathe in and rock forward slightly as you breathe out.
It is very important to breathe in through your nose. You may breathe out through either your nose or mouth – but ensure to breathe in through your nose. Breathing in through your nose allows allllll the little nostril hairs to cleanse and purify the air of any airborne particles or contaminants before it enters into your lungs.
Step 4: Repeat
Continue this process. After your initial Warrior´s Breath, you will continue to inhale into your chest, expanding your chest. Then release the breath and allow the chi that you are controlling to sink into your belly. Your belly should expand and become firm at this moment. The same as it would become firm if you were to be lifting something heavy.
You may want to push out your belly yourself as you do this, to ensure it expands.
When you breath out, with your belly expanded, purse your lips. Like you are drinking out of a straw! And blow one continuous breath until you are fully exhaled. The idea is to release the breath slowly. If there was a feather in front of your mouth – the feather would not be moved from your breath. Sloooooooow
Step 5: Relax for a Moment
Take a moment here to relax your body. Relax your shoulders down and rub your belly to stimulate and release the tense and straining energies that may have been produced through the practice. Relax and breathe normally, without thinking.
Be very present at this moment. You may notice your awareness of your environment and your surroundings has increased. This is good.
Step 6: Intensify the Tummo
Now, we will move into the magic of this practice! The tummo is the aspect of the practice that Tibetan monks would use to warm themselves and they would dry out damp towels as part of their training. This step will help you engage and utilize your autonomic nervous system which is the part of your system that manages and controls bodily functions.
As you use the breathing techniques up to this step you can now begin to add colder elements to your practice. Practice this breathing and focusing on your inner warmth while holding ice cubes in your hands. Intensify it to sitting on ice cubes. Then to stand up to your neck in ice water.
Keep making it more and more. Intensify the practice and as you gain control over each new experience you will become more confident and able in your practice of tummo.
Step 7: Visualization
Although you will be applying the technique of visualization throughout the whole practice, it is best to put it here. It is important to fully understand and obtain the breathing practice as your own. The Warrior´s Breath, or Vase Breath, is a style of breathing that causes thermogenesis, or the generation of heat, to occur within the body.
Tibetan monks drying frigid cold wet sheets on their back in 40 degree Fahrenheit will visualize a living flame coursing down the length of their spine. This visualization helps maintain and produce body heat.
While you are breathing, throughout your whole tummo practice, you will want to work hard at maintaining this visualization of your inner fire, alive and blazing, down your spine.
Continue working and learning your tummo meditation as the days go on. You will grow in your power and you will become more attuned towards the inner fire that burns within you. Practice the tummo! Know the tummo. As we slow down and control our breath we become present and grounded in our environment.
I hope you enjoyed the practice! Remember – the equipment and meditation accessories are not necessary to begin today but you will find a huge increase in your desire to practice. This is simply because you will reduce the pain and discomfort through building a proper meditation space for yourself! Let it flow together! Be safe and meditate well, my friends.