Always Be Dancing

The Art of Movement for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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The Groove & Flow Experience March & April 2021

Please sign up today for The Groove & Flow Experience

The Groove & Flow Experience March & April 2021

The Groove and Flow Experience is my special blend of yoga, dance, Qigong, and meditation styles where the participants can explore and experience the joy of movement and freedom of expression within a supportive, creative environment, regardless of experience and/or abilities. This class is balanced with movement, relaxation and meditation and participants can be on a mat or in a chair. All abilities welcomed for this one of a kind experience.


Classes will remain fully online.

For classes through the Common Street Spiritual Center, you must email me (AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com) to register. I am asking $10 for these classes. Please email me if assistance is needed.

Payment options:

Venmo (@Eve-Costarelli; Cell-1643)

Paypal  (Please use friends and family)

Checks: Eve Costarelli, 16 Porter Road, Natick, MA 01760

March 2021

Mondays 7PM: 1, 15 & 29 Common Street Spiritual Center (email me to register) 7PM

Mondays 7PM: 8 & 22 Morse Institute Library (Registration is open) @ 7PM

Saturday 7PM: 20th. Vernal Equinox Embodiment with Paula Spina. Tickets available on Eventbrite. Details to follow. 

April 2021

Mondays 7PM: 5 & 19 Morse Institute Library (Registration is open) @ 7PM

Mondays 7PM: 7 & 26 Common Street Spiritual Center (email me to register) 7PM

Tuesday 5:27-5:52PM: 6th. CCTV. Details to follow. 

Sundays 11:00AM: 11, 18, 25 & 5/2: BCCA/CCCA. Info & registration details here.

Bio: Eve Costarelli is passionate about bringing the joy of movement to all-bodies. Through her interactive, self-designed mindful movement program, Always Be Dancing: The Art of Movement, Eve uses yoga, dance & social consciousness to create a healthy, diverse, inclusive environment. Eve is the yoga coordinator for the Common Street Spiritual Center and facilitates all-inclusive yoga and dance programs throughout Massachusetts. Eve’s programs are fun, upbeat, and wholly inclusive. Focus is on abilities not disabilities.

What is The Groove & Flow Experience? What makes it unique? How does it fit in?

It is…

  • Somatic practice
  • Embodied movement
  • Bioenergetic exercise to realize potential for happiness, gratitude, inner peace, self-worth, joy
  • Qigong
  • Yoga bodywork
  • Kundalini
  • Meditation
  • Breath-work
  • Housemusic
  • Dance
  • Flamenco
  • Duende/spirit
  • Mindfulness
  • Peace
  • Self care
  • For EveryBody
  • Connection
  • Community
  • Creativity
  • Personal interpretation
  • Imagination, innovation, creativity

Goal? happiness, gratitude, inner peace, self-worth, joy, balance, mindfulness, peace, self care, connection, community, creativity, health


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GROOVE & FLOW starting 1/11/2021

GROOVE & FLOW is back starting 1/11/2021

Please send me an email to register. A link will be sent to you. Save time and register for 1/18/2121 at the same time.

Classes will remain fully online 7PM Monday nights.

I request $10 for these classes, but welcome all regardless.

Payment options:

Venmo (@Eve-Costarelli; Cell-1643)Paypal
AdamAnt_Eve@hotmail.com
Checks: Eve Costarelli, 16 Porter Road, Natick, MA 01760

Thank you so much for being part of the ever growing Groove & Flow community.

Sending much love and light for the New Year!

Eve

BTW! Do you know I have a Facebook group for a shared mindful experience? Please check it out! 108 Days Of Everyday Mindfulness

#yoga #dance #accessible #embodiedmovement #mindfulmovement #music #Qigong #onlineyoga #online #instruction #groove&flow #grooveandflow #alwaysbedancing #alwaysbdancing #iameve #meditation #groovy


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Groove & Flow: Reducing Stress & Fortifying The Mind & Body

Groove & Flow Playlist 11/30/2020
Walk On Air (Sun & Moon Mix) by Holy Ghost
After Sunrise by Sergio Mendes
Let’s Get It On (Step Remix) by Marvin Gaye
Apple Tree by Erykah Badu
Soul Shakedown Party by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Steppin’ Out by Steel Pulse
Ain’t No Half Steppin’ by Big Daddy Kane
2 Step remix by DJ Unk, T-Pain, Jim Jones & E-40
Yes, Yes Y’all by Sergio Mendes (ft. Black Thought, Chali2na, DebiNova & Will.I.Am)
Makambo by Geoffrey Oryema
Humme Hum by Mirabai Ceiba

Kundalini Kriya for the Nervous System & Glandular Balance

  • Simulates the pituitary to create balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.
  • Makes the body flexible and strengthens the chest muscles and stimulates the lymph nodes in that area.
  • Balances the parathyroid gland and stimulates weight loss.
  • Balances Prana & Apana and sets the navel point, the seat of your inner power.
Humme Hum Tumme Tum
Wahe Guru
I am thine in mine myself
Wahe Guru

*I am you, in the core of my own being. Yahoo.
Recognize that the other person is you.
*You can find harmony between opposites.
*We have a shared essence beyond our physical selves.
*We can reconnect to the essence and experience oneness in the moment, within ourselves, with others, with the universe.

Humme Hum Tumme Tum moving meditation video


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This Is Something Special 4 U

Opening breath sequence: 

*Sit comfortably. Make an antenna w/ R hand and block R nostril with thumb. Long Deep Breathing thru L nostril. 2 min. Inhale hold for 10 seconds. Relax.
*Repeat blocking L nostril. 2 min. Inhale; hold 10. Relax.
*Inhale L, exhale R. 2 min…
*Inhale R, exhale L. 2 min …
*Gyan mudra (the “ok” sign in both hands). Begin Breath Of Fire (this is a type of breath that you pump from the center of your navel to expel your breath. It’s the same as long deep breathing; it’s just at a much faster pace. So it’s in, out, in, out… and each time you breathe out, you pull your stomach in. The breath should be powerful and strong and through your nose). Totally center yourself at your brow point. Powerful, rhythmic breathing. 2 min…Inhale, circulating the energy. 
*Meditate on your personal intention for today. What brought you here. Think of something that will help propel you forward through the next week.

This is the set of “U.” It invigorates you by adjusting your internal and external energies. These are called the 4 U’s and they are “for you.”

“The ‘4 U’ kriya sets the nervous system to withstand pressures of society and challenges of times.  Do each posture without moving a muscle and this is said to create nerves strong as steel—’stainless steel forever.’ This kriya also works on eliminating fear and developing greater spinal flexibility. Different people will function at individual levels of development and capability.  Please refer to this post for poses and modifications

  1. Lie down flat on the back. Raise the legs and arms straight up to 90 degrees. Palms face each other. Point the toes. Knees and elbows are straight. Hold steady and think about what good you have done since you have come to the planet Earth. Reconcile activities with your beautiful intelligence. We are moving the life force energy today and without any movement. Keep yourself in the posture no matter what. The energy will adjust itself. Let the energy above you hold your legs and arms up. Float effortlessly.
  2. Still lying on the back, bring the hands straight up over the head on the ground. Then raise the lower body up into a modified Plow Pose, with the legs straight over the head but parallel to the ground. This is a simple flow of energy, a simple way of just being. Be a river.
  3. Come sitting up and stretch the legs out in front; the arms extend toward the toes, palms down and parallel to the ground. The back is straight and steady, like a statue. The pain and disturbance comes in the adjustment of the pranic energy. You feel the pressure of the muscles adjusting themselves. Some call it “chi”, some call it prana. Some call it “qi” energy, and we call it “ji energy. They all mean the soul, the inner Self, the being. Meditate, chant and recite anything mentally or verbally, but keep the posture perfect. Sat Nam, I Am, My Truth, Light-Bright. Say it strong and say it sweet.
  4. Stand up straight and bend over at the waist so the torso is parallel to the ground. Keep the back and neck straight. The arms will hang loosely down towards the ground. Form a “U” with your body. Don’t bend down to the toes. You can chant or meditate to keep yourself going. Be bold; be soft. Be bright; be light. Be earth; be air. 
  5. Deep Relaxation. Relax flat on the back. Listen to a gong, if available.
Meditation for Developing an Attitude of Gratitude:
An attitude of gratitude is the highest form of yoga. Finding abundance of gratitude in yourself will open the floodgates for what you have to be grateful for.

Posture: Sit in a comfortable posture, with a straight spine and neck.
Mudra: Cup your hands together as if you are gathering water from a stream and in this position, place them approximately 6 inches in front of your heart centre. Relax your arms at your side and feel every other part of your body relaxing and releasing.
Eyes and Mental Focus: In this posture, simply sit with your eyes closed and visualize all the blessings of your life falling into your cupped hands.
Breath: Breathe deeply and feel yourself merging with the light of all of those blessings.
Time: Continue for 3, 11 or 31 minutes (or however long it feels comfortable to do so).
*Bountiful Blissful and Beautiful by Kamari and Manvir
*Say Saraswati by White Sun
*Give Me the Sunshine by Leo’s Sunshipp
*Everybody Loves the Sunshine by Takuya Kuroda
*Heal Me by Nirinjan Kaur
*Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake 
*Thank You by Sly & The family Stone
*Wishing On A Star by Rose Royce
*Guru Ram Das Lullaby by Bachan Kaur
Playlist for Groove & Flow 11/23


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Groove & Flow 11/16/2020: Light-Bright!

Tonight starts the mantra of Light-Bright. We need to be the brightness that conquers the darkness of the winter months and to allow the good in us to conquer the evil. We all have the proverbial devil and angel on our shoulders it is just how we react to them is what separates us. We need to be the light and shine as bright as possible to lead the way into a more positive time of growth for us, personally, communally and globally.

To keep your vibration bright, light and at a high frequency, make time for self care every day. Yoga, meditation, clean food, positive affirmation, kindness, Qigong…..set aside time each day-in a routine-for a formal practice and then encourage as much mindfulness into your daily life as possible.

Seated Breathing Sequence:

  • Gyan mudra. Breathe in 4 sniffs; breathe out 4 sniffs. Last sniff in, ends the full inhale/Last sniff out, ends the full exhale. (1min.)
  • Clasp hands. Leave a space for a diamond to form. Powerful inhales and exhales. (1 min.)
  • Press hands together very hard. Make a diamond. Press the piece of coal so tightly a diamond forms. Continue powerful breathing. (1 min)
  • Inhale & Squeeze as hard as you can. Hold breath-tighten every part of the body as tight as possible. Breathe out & release.

Today’s set is for spinal flexibility and the release of pent up stagnation so we will become lighter and brighter.

Playlist:
Myopia by Moby
Circling by Four Tet
Sea Of Stars (Remix ft. Amanda Giacomini) by MC Yogi
Keep On Movin’ by Soul II Soul
River by Ibeya
Synchronize ft. Jarvis Cocker by Discodeine
I Want To Be Free by Ohio Players
Rude Movements by Ahsford & Simpson
Can You Feel It (Instrumental) by Mr. Fingers
The Ancient Gong by Guru Terath Kaur Khalsa
Sweat (Sweat the Club) by Jay Williams
Groove & Flow playlist 11/16/2020

Ayurvedic Tips for Autumn

Fall is a time of transition. Trees, shrubs, animals and birds are preparing for the winter. They are all gathering the energy, including nutrition, that they will need to survive the winter. Temperature is dropping and the wind is slowly gathering strength, carrying with it a hint of winter on its breath. Autumn is windy, erratic and cool.

These are all qualities shared by vata dosha (vata-wind/dosha=energy) 

Vata is one of the three energetic forces of the subtle body, the inner happenings of the life inside your body.. This particular dosha corresponds with the elements of air and ether (space). Thanks to the airy and mobile qualities of vata, it plays an integral part in healthy bodily functions such as digestion, the flow of breath, and communication between the mind and the nervous system. Vata types tend to have creative personalities and are often inquisitive in nature.

Excess vata can cause the body, mind, and emotions to feel scattered like the wind. This type of imbalance can happen to anyone, regardless of their Ayurvedic constitution or body type.

Ayurvedic tips to balance Vata this fall:

1. Enjoy warm cooked foods. Foods made with a little olive oil or ghee have a wonderful soothing effect that immediately calms down restless Vata. Root vegetables, hearty grains, soups, and stews are recommended. Cooked grains – like oatmeal, tapioca, cream of rice, and cream of wheat – and most nuts and seeds are also beneficial.

2. Use warming spices like ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin, but not extremely hot spices like cayenne pepper.

3. Enjoy warm beverages such as chai or golden milk.

4. Eat less cold and raw foods. 

5. Take extra care of your skin with a warm sesame oil self-massage. 

6. Increase stillness in your day to connect with yourself. Vata is aggravated by feelings of fear and insecurity.

7. Get enough sleep; nap when you need.

8. Reduce stress by consciously practicing yoga, meditation, long deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing.

9. The colors we wear can greatly contribute to how we feel. To help us feel light, be sure to wear bright colors, such as a camisole, a scarf or a pair of sox. Choose the color that makes you feel the lightest and brightest you, you can be. Its a sure fire way to add the perfect color splash into your day to keep you light and bright and uplifting.

10. Try to stick to a regular routine: go to bed at the same time, meditate daily, yoga every morning.


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Welcome to Eve’s House!

All About Eve

I am Eve. I was born and raised in Brookline, MA in a beautiful, yellow Victorian mansion atop the 2nd highest hill in Brookline. My mother was a paper sculptor and surrounded me with art my whole life. I found self-expression in the art of movement through sports and then through bodybuilding, tap dancing, flamenco, yoga, and Qigong as an adult. Just like my love for cutting paper, learned from my mother, I have created a personal movement style, based on cutting and piecing together different movement styles. I works with all ages and finds delight in adapting my programs for all ages and all abilities.

I love reimagining myself all the time and finding unique and creative ways to fit what I love to do into other people’s lives. I focus on sharing this source of inner freedom with people, to inspire them to feel happier, healthier, more wholesome and for them to be able to withstand the pressure and fluctuations of time.

Thank you all for embarking on this journey of self-discovery with me!

You cannot be in stress and gratitude at the same time. Choose gratitude!

Today’s breathing exercise: Tattva Balance Beyond Stress and Duality

This meditation balances the brain and relieves stress. It takes only three minutes but can have a profound effect.

Posture: Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Raise the arms with the elbows bent until the hands meet at the level of the heart in front of the chest. The forearms make a straight line parallel to the ground.

Mudra: Spread the fingers of both hands. Touch the fingertips and thumb tips of opposite hands together. Create enough pressure to join the first segments (counting from the tip) of each finger. The thumbs are stretched back and point toward the torso. The fingers are bent slightly due to the pressure. The palms are separated. (I realize I did the wrong mudra in class.)

Eyes: Fix your eyes at the tip of the nose.

Breath: Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose. Exhale through the rounded lips in eight equal, emphatic strokes. On each exhale, pull the navel point in sharply.

Time: Continue for 3 minutes. You may build the practice slowly to 11 minutes but note that longer times are only for the dedicated, serious practitioners.

To End: Then inhale deeply, hold for 10-30 seconds, and exhale. Inhale again, and shake the hands over the head. Relax.

Group meditation: Mantra for Creativity: Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru

The mantra for creativity Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru is in four parts and represents the cycle of creative activity. Har represents the seed potential of Infinite Creativity. Haray represents the flow of the Creative Force. Hari represents the manifestation of the Creative Force. Wahe Guru is an expression of joy and wonder at the beauty of this process.  It’s like saying “Idea. Flow. Here it is. Wow!” Here is a video of the movements.

Groove & Flow Playlist 11/2/2020:

Ancient Love by Anoushka Shankar

Voice of the Moon by Anoushka Shankar

Everybody Loves the Sunshine by Roy Ayers Ubiquity

So Lo Que Soy by Monogem

River by Ibeyi

Give Me The Sunshine by Leo’s Sunshipp

Har Hare Hari Wahe Guru by Paramjeet Singh and Kaur


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Wanna sleep like a baby?

My granddaughter, Aubree

Wanna sleep like a baby? Tonight’s groove and Flow is the kriya for Conquering Sleep, plus foot massages and the perfect bedtime meditation.

Kick the sleep aids and conquer sleep on your own (disclaimer…this is not an easy set)The resulting sleep is blissful!

If sleep is a constant problem for you, practice this kriya regularly for 90 days. It can be done before bed at night or in the morning. We waste billions of dollars on sleeping aids and stimulants when a much safer and more stable approach exists in exercise and meditation. Unfortunately, the exercises take effort; a pill doesn’t. If you choose to put the effort into this kriya, it will eliminate sleep disturbances and give you alertness throughout the day.

I Am by Nirinjan Kaur
Rock On Hanuman (Omstumental) by MC Yogi
Adi Shakti by Benjhamin
Hari Har by Jai-Jagdeesh
Har Haray Hari Wahe Gurut by Kamari & Manvir
Be Still by Beautiful Chorus
Sa Ta Na Ma by Jiwanpal Kaur
Playlist for 10-26-2020

Mimi and Aubree

Many people have difficulty going to sleep even though they are tired. Most of us would agree that the deeper and more peaceful the sleep, the stronger, more focused, more kind  we feel the next morning. There are several things that we can do to promote deeper and more restful sleep:

  1. Slow Down: Before going to bed, begin to slow everything down. Put down your phone. Move slower. Stop ruminating. Make a list of what you need to do the next day and leave the list in another room. This will allow you to clear your mind and also allows the energy to start balancing so you will be able to accomplish what you want to get done, but be free of it for the night. If there is something on your mind that you have not been able to resolve, make a special list turn it over to a higher power (an angel, a god, whatever you relate to) for the night-this power will focus their activity on the list through the night and free you of it.
    Feel complete about the day. Acknowledge yourself for what you accomplished and lessons learned. Forgive yourself for anything that lingers. No one’s perfect, so let it go. Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Prepare yourself to devote the next hours to peaceful, un-preoccupied sleep. You not only deserve it; you need to rest.
  2. Eating Habits: Try to eat your last meal at least 2 1/2 hours before you go to bed. When you eat just before going to bed your energy is tied up with digestion and it is hard to sleep deeply. Eat lightly for your evening meal. Definitely try to not eat animal protein, fried or heavy foods. Soups, salads, steamed vegetables or other easily digested dishes are the best for the evening meal. Eating dairy at night will make it more difficult to get up the next day (so skip the ice cream, yogurt or large glass of milk before bed).
  3. Left Nostril Breathing: The two nostrils are associated with two very different energies. Breathing through the right nostril, we are energized and stimulated. Breathing through the left nostril, we relax and calm down. Our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils approximately every 2-1/2 hours. After eating our nostrils will change to the left to accommodate the energy needed to digest our food. That is one reason why we feel like sleeping after eating.
Grandpa and Aubree

You can tell which nostril is dominant at any time simply by blocking off one, then the other. The dominant one is easy to breathe through and the less dominant one feels like it is blocked.

It is useful before going to bed to sit quietly, block off the right nostril and breath long and deeply through the left nostril. Slowing down the breath to 4 or less breaths per minute also facilitates sleep. You can mentally chant Sat Nam while you breathe to help your mind “erase”.

This meditation below has been a life saver for me.

I do this meditation for 5 minutes every night before bed, plus I usually add on at the end, 4-8 repetitions of the 4-7-8 Breath (see below) just to seal the deal. I sleep through the night now. I do not take any sleep aides.

Breathing and Mantra: Inhale 4 equal parts through the nose, i.e. the inhale is divided into 4 sniffs. Mentally vibrate SA TA NA MA If you do not connect with this chant, you can substitute with something like “I AM So Calm” or “I Will Sleep Deep” with the four parts of the inhale breath.

Hold the breath and mentally repeat 4 repetitions of SA TA NA MA (or your chosen chant). This will be 16 counts

SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA*

I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm*

I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep*

Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE GURU (Wonderful/Inner Sage; Wonderful/Inner Guide)

Time: Set a timer for the length of time you want to meditate. Start with a few minutes and work up. I find 5 minutes is a good reset for myself. You can continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation will often put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.

4-7-8 Breath (you can also try this as a stand alone bedtime meditation):

Breathe in with your nose for the count of 4.

Hold breath for the count of 7

Breathe out through rounded lips, making a gentle whooshing, for the count of 8

Repeat this 4-8 times; or set a timer and practice for 5-10 minutes before bed.

https://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/health-and-healing/healing-yogic-foot-massage


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Groove & Flow: Flexibility of the Spine no.1

A flexible spine is the key to youth!

Groove & Flow is only getting groovier!  

We are focusing on flexibility of the spine for the next few weeks.

A flexible spine is the key to youth! Please join me.

Groove: Swimming Dragon

Flow: (Based on) Basic Spinal Flexibility Kriya

Groove and Flow is a specially blended style of embodied movement where participants explore and experience the joy of movement and freedom of expression within a supportive, creative environment, regardless of experience and/or abilities. This class is balanced with movement, tranquility and meditation and participants can be on a mat or in a chair. All abilities welcomed for this one of a kind experience. 

Get creative! Build connections! Create community!

Playlist for G&F 10-19-2020

Garth in a tux in the snow.

Garth Stevenson (All songs are from his album Flying. I highly recommend buying this album. It’s truly magnificent, made even more special if you order a hard copy, as you will receive a beautiful hand made CD envelope. Both of his albums are glorious!)


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Bedtime Meditation Ideas

Playlist for 10-12-2020

Groove: 

  • I Am by Nirinjan Kaur
  • Adi Shakti by Ajeet Kaur
  • Adi Shakti by Benjhamin

Flow:

  • Rock On Hanuman (Omstrumental) by MC Yogi
  • Salala by Anglique Kidjo f. Peter Gabriel
  • Sea of Stars MC Yogi f. Amanda Giacomini 
  • Om Namo by Eeday
  • I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow
  • Har Haray Hari Wahe Guru (Meditation for Creativity) by Kamari & Manvir
  • Be Still by Beautiful Chorus

Many people have difficulty going to sleep even though they are tired. Most of us would agree that the deeper and more peaceful the sleep, the more rested we feel the next morning. There are several things that we can do to promote deeper and more restful sleep:

  1. Slow Down: Before going to bed, begin to slow everything down. Put down your phone. Move slower. Stop ruminating. Make a list of what you need to do the next day and leave the list in another room. This will allow you to clear your mind and allows the energy to start balancing so you will be able to accomplish what you want to get done, but be free of it for the night. If there is something on your mind that you have not been able to resolve, make a special list turn it over to a higher power (an angel, a god, whatever you relate to) for the night-this power will focus their activity on the list through the night and free you of it.
    Feel complete about the day. Acknowledge yourself for what you accomplished and lessons learned. Forgive yourself for anything that lingers. No one’s perfect, so let it go. Make a list of five things you are grateful for. Prepare yourself to devote the next hours to peaceful, un-preoccupied sleep. You not only deserve it; you need to rest.
  2. Eating Habits: Try to eat your last meal at least 2 1/2 hours before you go to bed. When you eat just before going to bed your energy is tied up with digestion and it is hard to sleep deeply. Eat lightly for your evening meal. Definitely try to not eat animal protein, fried or heavy foods. Soups, salads, steamed vegetables or other easily digested dishes are the best for the evening meal. Eating dairy at night will make it more difficult to get up the next day (so skip the ice cream, yogurt or large glass of milk before bed).
  3. Left Nostril Breathing: The two nostrils are associated with two very different energies. Breathing through the right nostril, we are energized and stimulated. Breathing through the left nostril, we relax and calm down. Our breath naturally changes dominant nostrils approximately every 2-1/2 hours. After eating our nostrils will change to the left to accommodate the energy needed to digest our food. That is one reason why we feel like sleeping after eating.

You can tell which nostril is dominant at any time simply by blocking off one, then the other. The dominant one is easy to breathe through and the less dominate one feels like it is blocked.

It is useful before going to bed to sit quietly, block off the right nostril and breath long and deeply through the left nostril. Slowing down the breath to 4 or less breaths per minute also facilitates sleep. You can mentally chant Sat or I; Nam or Am (Sat Nam; I Am) while you breathe to help your mind “erase” My mother once told me that she was taught, when she wanted to make a word illegible, that she should, in cursive, write the word apple over the word that needs to be hidden, rendering it illegible. I think of meditation like this. Using a mantra scribbles out our thoughts and makes them “unthinkable”.

This meditation below has been a life saver for me.

I do this meditation for 11 minutes every night before bed, plus I usually add on at the end, 4 repetitions of the 4-7-8 Breath (see below) just to seal the deal. I sleep through the night now. I do not take any sleep aides.

Breathing and Mantra: Inhale 4 equal parts through the nose, i.e. the inhale is divided into 4 sniffs. Mentally vibrate SA TA NA MA If you do not connect with this chant, you can substitute with something like “I AM So Calm” or “I Will Sleep Deep” with the four parts of the inhale breath.

Hold the breath and mentally repeat 4 repetitions of SA TA NA MA (or your chosen chant). This will be 16 counts

SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA* SA* TA* NA* MA*

I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm* I* Am* So* Calm*

I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep* I * Will* Sleep* Deep*

Then exhale in 2 equal strokes, mentally projecting WAHE GURU (Wonderful/Inner Sage; Wonderful/Inner Guide)

Time: Set a timer. Start with a few minutes and work up. I find 5-11 minutes is a good reset for myself. Continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 or even 62 minutes. This meditation will often put you to sleep before you complete the allotted time.

4-7-8 Breath (you can also try this as a stand alone bedtime meditation):

Breathe in with your nose for the count of 4.

Hold breath for the count of 7

Breathe out through rounded lips, making a gentle whooshing, for the count of 8

Repeat this 4-8 times; or set a timer and practice for 5-10 minutes before bed.