A month ago, I shared some night-time ritual tips to help with sleep. Here is an excellent breath + silent mantra meditation to add to your practice toolbox if or when you have trouble sleeping. It's called the Shabad Kriya.
The ideal time to practice this is at night right before bed.
The real is when you will be most consistent with it.
A regular, daily practice is best.
Time: 11 to 62 minutes
Posture: seated with a tall spine
Mudra: hands on lap, palms up, right on top of left, thumb pads touching.
Mantras: Sa Ta Na Ma and Wahe Guru
Dristhi: focus your eyes on the tip of the nose
Inhale through the nostrils in 4 segments as you silently chant Sa Ta Na Ma (4 counts).
Suspend the breath at the top of the inhale as you silently chant Sa Ta Na Ma 4 times (for a total of 16 counts). Keep the throat open and relaxed, not clenched shut.
Exhale through the nostrils in 2 segments as you silently chant Wahe Guru (2 counts).
Continue for 15 minutes and up to 62 minutes.
It is taught that the more you make it a regular discipline in your daily life, the better you will sleep and your nervous system can deeply relax, giving it the space to regenerate during your sleep.
Once you have practiced it for a few months, you will have greater control of your breath, and as you sleep, the rhythm of your breath will be synchronized with the rhythm of the mantra. The rhythm of your breath and this internal mantra will become woven into the fabric of your day and you will begin to hear the mantra rhythm subconsciously, diminishing anxiety and stress throughout your day.
This meditation has a 22 beat rhythm [4 count inhale, 16 count hold, 2 count exhale].
This is a multiple of 11. In Tantric Numerology, 11 is the number of Infinity. T
he number 22 is the mastery of the mental realm.
This 22 beat breath gives the mind the power to stretch to the Infinite.
--From Yogi Bhajan's Class: April 1, 1974
Want to practice together?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Meal Planning and how putting a little time up front planning the menu for the week can save a lot of time and reduce emotional stress throughout the week. It takes out the thinking and negotiating of what to eat down to pure execution (bonus if shopping is already done for the week), which is helpful when you are tired and want to choose the quickest, easiest and most cost effective way to fill the stomach.
Similarly, when our core UYC team members talk to each other about the planning of the upcoming week(s), one of us might say something like, "I'm meal-planning my blogs."
Life happens, and front-loading your most important commitments (the stuff that really matter to you) can mean the difference between making them happen and making excuses (legitimate though they may seem). Meal-planning can mean the difference between continuously experiencing a sense of accomplishment or of failure; of experiencing feeling in control of your life or of feeling like life is controlling you; of seeing intentions manifest versus intentions fade. Unintended life occurrences can be looked at as a sign that it "wasn't meant to be," or we can decide that we are our own self-authority, and we can meal-plan what's important to us. It offers us flexibility and a better chance at flow with a lot less emotional stress and drama.
I've learned to value meal planning. It's takes time. You get to think about what you want to eat for the 3 meals a day for the entire week and plan your shopping trip accordingly. Sounds like work you might not want to make time for, but if you've ever done it, you know how much this saves in time, money, and emotional stress, particularly during those times when your schedule is extra busy and you are feeling extra tired and your family isn't making any easier on you. Even if you don't stick to the plan perfectly, it eases up the week, because good Lord, we eat 3 times a day. That's a lot of times to be thinking about food and all of the steps that go with it.
I invite you to think about how you feel after each meal. Food has a direct impact on the experience - of the meal, of course - and even more importantly, of the day. Food impacts our energy level and can affect clarity and focus. It can downright affect how we feel in our bodies. I became vegan, for instance, because I noticed that when I eat something animal-based, my hands and joints feel arthritic.
Jodh took plant-based to a new level and is having a delicious time with it. Check out her Musings, which is, for the most part, a daily journal of what she eats from breakfast to dinner. Her most recent one is called "What I Ate Today: I'm Back to Running." The pasta on this blog looks super YUM. If you're not much of a reader, you probably won't have gotten this far, but if you have, scroll through and see where your eyes land, and click on the link that references that meal for the recipe. These are simple and super delicious vegan meals that are substantial and won't have you wanting to order a pizza or burger afterwards. Eating plant-based doesn't have to mean salad or seitan.
Kundalini Yoga Quotes:
“I’d never felt anything like it; it was just an opening of energy and a feeling of such liberation.” -Marika Bethel, owner, Glowing House