Kundalini Yoga Tip: How to Keep Your Arms in the Air for a Kriya or Meditation

One of the most challenging aspects of Kundalini Yoga is keeping your arms in the air during a kriya or meditation without letting them drop for a long period of time, such as in this video by Gurmukh.  So much psychological, physical and emotional distress is stored and trapped within our arms.

While most of the challenge is mental and requires a determination to complete the kriya and not identify with the pain, there is a physical aspect of the challenge as well.  As a Kundalini Yoga teacher, I often see people using their shoulders too much in arm meditations.  One of the most useful ways of creating an easier time holding your arms up is creating leverage within your body to do so.  Often teachers will tell you to “engage the navel” when your arms are up.  How do you do that?  How does one use the stomach to hold up an arm?

Leverage.  Clearly explained by Guru Prem Singh Khalsa in his book “The Heart Rules”, leverage allows a much easier time during arm meditations.  Using the hip joint as a fulcrum, apply downward pressure to the navel, pushing it closer to the earth.  This will provide leverage for you to keep your arm up.  Then bring your shoulders up as close to the ears as you can and roll them back and down.  Lock this position.  Keeping the shoulders down and the navel engaged provides a counterbalance to the pressure in your raised arms.  You can also visualize yourself keeping the chest and heart up and open.  Lift the heart; lift the arms!

Keeping up with Kundalini Yoga arm meditations is never easier than when your body is in the right place….it helps your mind get in the right place, too, and things become easier and transcendent.  Keep up and you will be kept up!

Harnam Singh and Ramdesh Kaur keep up in Sat Kriya



  1. Do you switch arms every other day in this particular challenge?

  2. Many years ago, I finally realized that I didn’t have to try so hard to keep my arms up and the following tips really helped me. Give it a try!

    2 tips that I recommend:
    1. Imagine your arms being absolutely weightless, floating in the air in a perfect kriya position.
    2. In a 31 minute or 62 minute kriya with arms up, keep your arms up for at least 15 minutes without bringing them down. After the 15 minutes everything seems much easier.

    Of course your posture is crucial in this. If your aren’t sitting straight, on the correct axis, your body will not support you, and consequently will not support your arms.

    • Brilliant tips Simran Kaur! Thank you for sharing!

  3. @Ramdesh is there any video showing this? When it comes to being in my body, I learn better by being shown, and I’m kind of confused by the idea of pushing my navel down when I’m supposed to be pumping my navel in and up during pranayama like Burn Inner Anger.

    @Donna I’m finding it easier when I relax into the posture rather than struggling to do it right – it’s doing it without judging myself that seems to be the key.

  4. I had a revelation when doing one of the challenging meditations that required keeping my arms raised for an extended period of time. I gave up the struggle…surrendered completely. Suddenly I felt and ‘heard’ the internal message: “It is easier to keep my arms up than it would be to take them down.” I gave it up to ‘the Universe’, to Yogi Bhajan and it WAS revelation.



  1. Kundalini Yoga Spotlight: Meditations Using Your Arms - [...] If you want to give one of these meditations a try, check out Ramdesh Kaur's excellent set of tips …

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