People who suffer from tinnitus, or abnormal ringing in the ears, generally find the constant noise incredibly frustrating and that it affects the normal day-to-day living. Yoga, particularly the form known as Kundalini, can be a powerful antidote. Not only does it help you learn how to breathe through distraction and only tune in to the important sounds around you, it may realign your energy centers to calm the ringing altogether.
Millions of people in the United States have tinnitus that manifests as a nearly constant, ringing, roaring, clicking or hissing noise in the ears. Causes include hearing loss, exposure to loud noises or certain medications. Other health concerns, such as allergies, low blood pressure, tumors, heart or blood vessel issues and jaw or neck problems are other possible causes. Traditionally, treatments have included medication, hearing aids, sound masking devices, and coping strategies for dealing with the constant noise.
Tinnitus can be incredibly frustrating and stressful. The practice of yoga, including Kundalini, is considered to be relaxing and stress relieving. Therefore, the calming effects of practicing yoga may help sufferers cope with this ailment.
A Little Kundalini Background
Kundalini yoga has its roots in Hatha yoga, which focuses on uniting body, mind and spirit. Kundalini yoga is an ancient form of yoga that came to the West in 1969 when Yogi Bhajan founded the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization, or 3HO, with the intention to introduce Kundalini yoga to a broader audience.
Kundalini is Comprehensive
Kundalini means means ‘coiled up’ in Sanskrit; a snake coiled at the base of the spine frequently represents ‘Kundalini energy.’ Kundalini yoga focuses on awakening and releasing the ‘Kundalini energy’ starting at the base of the spine and awakening each of the seven ‘chakras,’ or energy centers that run along your spine as described in traditional Indian medicine. Kundalini yoga, which is one of the more spiritual types of yoga, moves beyond just physical performance and emphasizes breathing, meditation and chanting.
The poses and other aspects of Kundalina have power over tinnitus. For example, chanting the specific mantra or sound, OM or AUM -- the comprehensive sound of the universe -- can cause vibrational changes in your body that calm tinnitus.
Karnidpadasana is a yoga pose, performed in Kundalini and other yoga forms, in which you're on your back, legs extended overhead and knees pressed into both of the ears. In this pose, increased blood flow to the head and muffling of the ears with the knees can gradually improve tinnitus.
The position is moderately difficult and should be done slowly, as there is possibility of injury if performed too quickly. Furthermore, people with high blood pressure or glaucoma should not perform this pose.
Other Potentially Beneficial Poses
Kundalini yoga is a practice that takes into account all aspects of holistic health. While not every pose will directly impact the ears, the practice of yoga is about overall health and well being, and, thus, there are other poses that might heal your whole energy flow to positively affect tinnitus.
Standing poses like Tadasana (Mountain) and Trikonasana (Triangle) and the seated pose of Gomukhasana (Cow Face pose) help balance all your chakras to ease tinnitus. Often the ringing in your ears and other ear pain or concerns are due to an imbalance in your fifth chakra -- the throat chakra. Ustrasana (Camel pose) and Matsyasana, (Fish pose) are powerful ways to stimulate this chakra and quell the unwanted sounds in your ears. Even Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward Dog pose, is likely beneficial as it directs more blood flow to the head.