The word tadan means ‘beating’ and kriya means ‘technique’. Therefore, a direct translation is ‘the beating technique’. A more descriptive name is ‘beating the kundalini’.
This is a very simple yet powerful kriya. It brings almost instant bliss, but it must be practised in the correct sequence of kriya yoga.
This is the last of the kriyas that are intended to induce pratyahara (sense withdrawal); the next group of kriyas are intended to induce dharana (mental one-pointedness).
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes tadan kriya but under the name of maha vedha as follows: “Just as a beautiful woman is useless without a man, so also are maha bandha and maha mudra fruitless without maha vedha (tadan kriya).
The sadhaka should sit in the maha bandha pose (padmasana) and do pooraka (inhalation) with a concentrated mind. The breath should be retained inside while doing jalandhara bandha. Placing both palms on the ground on each side of the body, the sadhaka should slowly raise himself off the ground. The buttocks should be gently beaten on the ground. By this practice, prana will enter the sushumna. The ida, pingala and sushumna become united; this leads to freedom. The body becomes like a corpse. At this stage inhalation should be recontinued. This practice bestows many siddhis (psychic powers), prevents old age, removes wrinkles and prevents white hair. It is a practice that is highly respected by the sages.” (v. 3:25-29)
This is a reasonable description of tadan kriya, except that it is called by a different name and the technique used in kriya yoga does not utilize jalandhara bandha. The details given are still insufficient for a person to practise by himself.
To do this kriya you must sit in padmasana4. There is no good alternative sitting position. People who cannot sit in padmasana can sit with their legs stretched out in front of the body; this, however, is nowhere near as effective.
Throughout the practice the hands should rest firmly on the floor on both sides of the buttocks. There are two alternatives:
- Palms flat on the floor, fingers pointing forwards.
- Fists on the floor with knuckles downwards. In the accompanying picture we have shown only alternative 1, but you can experiment and find the method that you like best. Both are equally good.