You know that meditation helps to relieve stress and anxiety, but did you know you can make your self-care regime even more effective by meditating based on your Enneagram type?
The Enneagram describes nine different habits of attention and nine distinct personality styles. It provides a framework that explains how we do not all experience the world the same way. It also helps to clarify why people have different meditating challenges. For example, someone with a “monkey mind” whose thoughts are scattered and unfocused has a different meditation block than someone who can’t control their negative self-talk.
Fortunately, Kundalini Yoga meditations offer very specific meditations for very specialized effects. In my work over the last eight years, I’ve mapped these Kundalini Yoga meditations to each of the nine Enneagram types.
What are Kundalini Yoga meditations? Sometimes described as “medical meditation” Kundalini Yoga meditations incorporate breathwork, mudra (hand and finger positions) and mantra to elicit very specific effects. Described as “the yoga of awareness” Kundalini Yoga is a technology for energy management and focuses a lot on the breath. It teaches that the breath is the steering wheel of your thoughts: if you can control your breathing, you can control your thinking. Because the meditations are so specific and effective, they work quickly, and you can get benefit from as little as a three-minute daily practice.
Below is an overview of the meditations for each Enneagram type, and you’ll find instructional videos of them all here so you can try them at home.
Type 1 (Perfectionist/Reformer)
Type 1s subconsciously repress anger in their quest to “be good,” and this can lead to anger blockages resulting in ongoing feelings of annoyance. The Meditation to Burn Out Inner Anger is powerful and works to release anger at a cellular level leaving the practitioner feeling more at ease and peaceful.
Type 2 (Helper/Giver/Lover)
Type 2s take care of everyone except themselves, and this lack of self-care can lead to mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. The Meditation for a Calm Heart is a simple, pure meditation that connects the practitioner back to themselves and reminds them of the goodness of their own heart.
Type 3 (Achiever/Motivator)
Type 3s can get overly focused on achievement and how they look in the eyes of others. This cuts them off from their heart center. The Meditation to Change the Ego leaves the practitioner in better alignment with their soul’s true path.
Type 4 (Individualist/Artist)
Type 4s can become overly absorbed in their ever-changing emotional world which may leave them feeling confused and conflicted. Through the Inner Conflict Resolver Reflex Meditation, this type will gently but powerfully cultivate neutrality and equanimity.
Type 5 (Investigator/Thinker/Observer)
Type 5s often have a blocked throat chakra and can have difficulty sharing themselves and their physical and metaphorical voice with the world. The Wahe Guru Meditation uses mantra to help open the throat chakra, activate inner power and encourage a sharing mentality.
Type 6 (Loyalist/Skeptic)
Type 6s have difficulty connecting to their own inner wisdom and trusting their inner guidance. This leaves them feeling anxious and unsure. The Meditation for Caliber of Constant Self-Authority cultivates the ability to calmly and consistently connect to one’s inner guide.
Type 7 (Enthusiast/Adventurer)
Type 7s experience “monkey mind” and have a difficult time focusing on a single topic for extended periods of time. Their thoughts are like a monkey swinging from tree to tree, and this leaves them scattered and diffused. The Caliber of Life Meditation incorporates challenging breathwork and a challenging physical position, thereby cultivating focus and grit.
Type 8 (Leader/Challenger/Protector)
Type 8s can overreact with their anger response, particularly when they feel vulnerable. Overexpressed anger can damage their relationships with others. The One-Minute Breath meditation helps them to “act, not react” and can be beneficial both for anger management and to access deeper emotions.
Type 9 (Peacemaker/Meditator)
Type 9s can be very passive in pursuing their goals and priorities. Their extreme conflict-avoidance means they often miss out on things that are important to them and “sleepwalk” through life. The Breath of Fire Meditation helps to wake them up. It also builds the nervous system so healthy conflict feels less overwhelming.
While these are the meditations mapped to each Enneagram type, you can do any meditation that resonates with you. The Enneagram system is complex and even if a meditation you like doesn’t align with your main “type,” there may be a connection, and you can still get great benefit.
For example as a Type 7, I go to Type 1 in certain environments, and I benefit very much from the Type 1 meditation. And even though I have no connection to Type 4, I sometimes use the Type 4 meditation when I am feeling emotionally confused. You can think of these meditations as tools to add to your “self-care” toolbox.
The best way to do these meditations is in 40-day increments. Commit to a meditation for 40 consecutive days and see how you feel at the end of that period. Why 40 days? Yogically, this is how long it takes to break an old habit and begin to establish a new one. The meditations can be practiced for a range of times from three to 31 minutes, but I recommend people start with three minutes daily. Why three minutes? These short “bite-sized” meditations are more accessible, and the small time commitment makes it easier to be consistent. And yogically, three minutes of meditation is enough time to affect the electromagnetic field, the circulation and the stability of the blood.
To learn more about how Kundalini Yoga unlocks the power of the Enneagram, you can read either of my two books on the topic.