Using Meditation to Deal with Stress

It’s been a long while since I recorded and posted some new videos, so I have been thinking about other people in our community who would have something to share. As a result of this I spoke to Gurucharan Singh who agreed to let me record some videos with him on different topics related to meditation, yoga, and Sikhi. I’ll be posting these videos in the coming weeks as I have time to edit them.

Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., is a yogi, psychotherapist, teacher and writer, and a recognized expert in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. He is also the founder and the Director of Training of KRI (Kundalini Research Institute).

 In this video Gurucharan Singh talks about the effects of stress on our mind and body and gives a Kundalini Yoga excercise and meditation to help you deal with this stress.

Download: Video / AudioComplete writeup of the meditation in this video 

In Kundalini Yoga, we use conscious breathing as a tool for balancing mental and emotional states and for increasing vitality in the body. Each breath brings oxygen and life and provides the opportunity to connect consciously to the moment. By breathing slow, deep breaths, we can release tension, bring stillness to the mind, and calm the body physically. Other breathing techniques use a faster, more energized breath (such as "Breath of Fire") to increase energy in the body, bring focus, and build the inner heat of detoxification in the body. Each breath exercise in Kundalini Yoga has a specific purpose and approach to better the health of the body and mind.

Breath of Fire – for Energy, Focus, and Vitality

Breath of Fire is a rapid, rhythmic, and continuous breath that sounds like powerful sniffing. The breath is forcefully exhaled by rapidly contracting the diaphragm and pulling the navel point toward the spine. The inhale occurs naturally as the diaphragm relaxes and air flows effortlessly back in without a sharp intake or effort. The inhale and exhale are equal length and usually occur 2 to 3 times per second. This breath is great as "pick-me-up" if you are feeling lethargic or unfocused. It can be done throughout your day- for 30 seconds to 3 minutes- if you need to increase your energy.

How to do it:

  • Take a deep breath in, through your nose, and feel your stomach relaxing outward. Exhale, through your nose, as you pull the stomach back in.
  • Inhale again. As you exhale out this time, pull the solar plexus (the area above the navel) back toward the spine with a pumping motion. The exhaled air should leave the nose in a forceful sniff.
  • Immediately relax the solar plexus and let the air come back in with a sniff.
  • There should be no pause between the inhalation and exhalation. Continue the pumping motion with the sniffing breath.
  • In the beginning, it may be easier to simply concentrate on the exhale as you pull in on the solar pelxus and let the inhale come naturally as you relax the solar plexus.
  • At no time should the breath of fire be practiced beyond your current level of comfort. If at any point you begin to feel strain, breathlessness, or pain, stop the attempt at breath of fire and relax the breath.
  • If often takes practice and time to become familiar with this breath and, when familiar, there is a sense of joyful rythm and boundless energy. 

Read More about Breath of Fire and Breathing Techniques

11 Responses to “Using Meditation to Deal with Stress”

  1. g says:

    thank you! Thank you for sharing with us. I believe that our sikh scholars should come forward and teach the world about sikhi and meditation. Not to increase in numbers but to educate people so that they can benefit from sikhi way of life.

  2. mandeep singh says:

    Great video and it does make you feel more focused and relaxed. Gurucharan Singh Ji reminds me alot of Guruka Singh Ji :)

  3. Sat Nam!

    Thank you! I loved it and i am sending it to all my stressy friends.
    What a great gift to share this.

  4. Harleen Kaur says:

    thank you, GSK ji. You sure know the stress triggers and its resolutions.

  5. krishanjit kaur says:

    gurcharan singh explained abt breathing and then shabad Does that mean we listen to the shabad kirtan please help reply please

  6. Sat Nam Everyone!

    Firstly, many thanks to Gurucharan Singh Ji for sharing such a beautiful meditation. I shall definitely be trying it!

    Krishanjit Kaur Ji, the Shabad Guru that Gurucharan Singh Ji was referring to is the vibration of essence of the universe, the Naam, that already flows through you, but to which we have no union or relationship to. The idea of all yoga and all religion, is to connect with that inner unstruck Divine Sound Current, the Shabad. Of course, as Gurucharan Singh Ji says, this requires deep inner silencing (Sunia), and continually reciting (Jap) a Mantra like Waheguru or Satnaam allows you to merge with this flow of Divine Sound and allow it to vibrate in every of your 100 trillion cells in your body. That is the perfect state of Yoga. That is the stage of Gurmukh, Khalsa and Samaadhi.

    I hope that clears up the confusion. Satnaam. God Bless.

  7. shanu kaur says:

    Satnaam Sri Waheguru Ji,
    A trully beautiful post. This post has helped me a lot and the breathing techniques not only clear my mann but my tann seems to clear as well…Thank you so much for sharing

  8. Gurucharan says:

    Thank you for all your kind comments. It inspires us to post several more. I just returned from teaching and collborating in research initiatives at Univer of Utah. These breaths show promise for increasing heart rate variation in a particular way we can measure. that seems to strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system and allow stress, pain and the sense of social disconnection to diminish significantly. We are also starting some research that characterizes the impact of music on the same variables for stress and pain relief. We are especially interested in PTSD in veterans.

    There is a rich wisdom in these techniques and the guiding consciousness of the Guru . I remain always grateful to Yogi Bhajan/SSS and to our entire sangat for such generous sharing for all.

    Humbly in Naam,

    gurucharan singh khalsa

  9. Oliver Echeverry says:


    I have only begun to enjoy the benefits and the awareness that yoga brings to the mind, body, and soul. Perhaps we should also see a video on the sudharshan chakra kriya, since there are so many misleading websites misleading its practitioners. I am confident that most of the people using this website may benefit from such a strong kriya.

  10. Oliver, I will be posting the meditation in the near future.

  11. Chris Auger says:

    Gurucharan Singh!
    Very happy to find you, after so many years. I did the breath of fire and the Wahe Guru breath meditation exercise with you over the you tube. It was just like being at the Inman Square Thursday night yoga! I am in N. Carolina, now, and I am meditating that God is in me, and I am in God. (God, Goddess, Spirit). And, All is One, One is All. When I get that, and I also know, ‘I Am, I Am’, Spirit moves, and I take another step, which Spirit takes with me. I can feel it. Then, I set aside fear, anxiety, (or step myself aside from it) and ‘let go and let God’.
    : )
    -Chris, AKA Narayan Kaur