Get hip to faster, easier meditation techniques.

Meditation techniques are a powerful tool in the addiction and recovery fields, as addicts and alcoholics look for ways to live in the world without their previous comforts. According to Kundalini Yoga senior teacher Guru Jagat, founder of the Ra Ma Institute for Applied Yogic Science and Technology1 in Venice, California (students include Demi Moore), that need is becoming ever more universal: “Everyone in this whole culture is looking to get more energy–whether it’s from a drink or a joint or an exercise program. As the world gets increasingly busier and more hectic, people are either going to go for cocktail hour, or they are going to find something else to help them cope.”

Though recovering addicts have been practicing meditation for a long time, its benefits are finally confirmed by scientific research. In a recent article by Scientific American2, researchers discovered that “meditation produces significant changes in both the function and structure of the brains of experienced practitioners. These studies are now starting to demonstrate that contemplative practices may have a substantive impact on biological processes critical for physical health.”

According to Jagat, meditation has the ability to stimulate both the pineal gland and the hypothalamus, releasing chemicals into the brain that create sensations of balance and happiness. She has found that through a 3-minute meditation practice entitled Medical Meditation for Habituation, people are able to use sound therapy along with applied pressure to the temple and jaw to create new attitudes around addictive behaviors. “For some people who are just coming off hard drugs, or even those who are just dealing with addictive thinking–resentment, jealousy, etc.–the meditation exercise offers a shift in behavior,” Jagat explains. “For those who are already sober, they can begin working on all that stuff that lies beneath the addiction.”

So here’s a counterintuitive mantra for those struggling with addiction or maintaining sobriety: Do something by sitting still.