Always Be Dancing

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


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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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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.


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Mindful Tots/Niños Mindful Board Books by Whitney Stewart and Rocío Alejandro

Mindful Tots: Animal Antics…Focus and fun for little ones

This sweet, bright and boldly illustrated board book is a winner in bringing accessible mindfulness to the very young. The dialogue is simple to follow and encourages imaginative play to create a sense of happiness and focus. I found it to be an excellent warm up for tots yoga which led into some wild animal antics of our own. In this day, it transferred very easily as an online activity that I was able to share with my granddaughter,too. I love the straight forward approach using movement and imagination to bring mindfulness and fun to little ones.

Niños Mindful: Rest & Relax/Descansa y relájate

Mindful Tots: Rest & Relax…Sleepy time for little ones

Rituals make bedtime fun and productive. Following a simple routine of relaxing the body, mind and energy patterns can help tots settle down and get ready for sleep. I especially love the bi-lingual version of this story. The simple rhymes in both English and Spanish will assist all children to appreciate diversity and can plant the seeds for a broader worldwide view for peace, love and happiness for all. Three cheers! The illustrations by Rocio Alejandro are so adorable and the children just emanate sensitivity, cooperation and inclusion. Highly recommend!

Thank you to Whitney Stewart for sending me copies of these books. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Meditation: Getting Started

IMG_3994

How does one start to meditate? I started meditating about 5 years ago. I wanted to start before that but just never sat down on my own and meditated. When I started, I had little knowledge of “how-to” meditate. I thought you needed to sit absolutely still, in total silence and think of nothing. Yeah….you can guess how well that went.

But overtime, it seemed to take hook. I was never sure if I was meditating correctly and often felt I was not doing it right or well, but I stuck at it and it stuck to me. First, I found that I needed to meditate in the morning, because if I waited until later in the day, it did not get done. So every morning, after I made breakfast for my son, I would sit on the other sofa and meditate…listening to him munch his bagel and gulp his milk. I felt like a pro! Look at me sitting here, not moving, blocking out the sounds around me….but I still felt like I was not doing it right and it was not “affecting” or “effecting” me correctly.  But I stuck to it. And it stuck to me. It was oddly satisfying and if I did not do it, I felt like I was missing something that I wanted. My brain wanted it. My body wanted it. My soul wanted it.

Enter Kundalini. In Kundalini, everything is organized and makes sense. The exercises have aim and purpose and are felt physically, mentally and energetically. There are physical movements or stillness encased by specific breathing patterns, chants and mudras. This allows for the seeing, the hearing and the sensing of of what’s happening  within minutes of starting a practice. The truth is in the doing. Here form really follow function. Kundlini fits all bodies, all sizes, all adaptations without getting lost in the “what my body should look like” thoughts. 

Also, Kundlini is a gold mine when it comes to varied meditations. Kundalini offers metal, physical and emotional distractions that ope the gateway for meditation that is wholly enjoyable and accessible. 

     Two Meditations to Start Your Journey:

                            Kirtan Kriya/ Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Kirtan Kriya, often referred to as SA TA NA MA meditation, is the most important meditation in Kundalini Yoga. If you can do only one meditation, this is it. It will readjust and align you to bring balance into your body, mind and spirit and thus your life. It is your teacher. It is your best friend. 

The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.

Directions:

Sit with a straight spine. Bring your mental focus to the brow point/3rd eye point.

Chant SA TA NA MA.

While chanting alternately press the thumb with the four fingers. Press hard enough to keep yourself awake and aware of the pressure. Keep repeating in a stable rhythm and keep the hand motion going throughout the whole meditation.

kirtan_2

SA press the thumb and the pointer or Jupiter finger together with pressure.
TA press the thumb and the middle or Saturn finger together.
NA press the thumb and the ring or Sun finger together.
MA press the thumb and the pinky or Mercury finger together.

The Jupiter/Pointer finger brings in knowledge, expands our field of possibilities and releases us from limitations.

The Saturn/Middle finger gives us patience, wisdom and purity.

The Sun/Ring finger gives us vitality and aliveness.

The Mercury/Pinky finger aids clear communication.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

While doing the meditation, you may experience pictures of the past come up like on a movie screen in your mind. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind. If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.

** Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation is becoming scientifically recognized as a powerful tool for preventing or stopping Alzheimer’s disease, increasing all aspects of cognitive function, (perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering) and reducing stress levels while improving short term memory.

                                          Morning Meditation

6 minutes version:

  • 1 min out-loud
  • 1 min whisper
  • 2 min in-head (can add tongue movements) with hand movements
  • 1 min whisper
  • 1 min out-loud.

This meditation can be done for 6-31 minutes. Just keep all the segments equal length (the silent section is repeated twice). It can really be done for as little as 3 minutes (30 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 30 sec, 30 sec)

31 minute version:

  • 5 min out loud
  • 5 min whisper
  • 10 min in-head (tongue moving) with hand movement
  • 5 min whisper
  • 5 min out-loud
  • [1 min listen inside, hear the mantra, experience it. No hand movements.]

                                        Evening Meditation

                                      Sa Ta Na Ma Variation

3-30 minutes

Rest hands in lap. Fingers interlaced with the pads of the thumbs pressing into each other

Rest eyes gently looking at tip of nose; eyes may close.

Sniff in 4-counts, mentally saying Sa-Ta-Na-Ma.

Hold breath while mentally repeating the mantra 4 times.

Breath out through the nose in two strokes while mentally chanting Wahe/Guru. (Wahe/Wow! + Guru/Inner teacher = Cheers to my inner super hero!)

To end: Breath in for the count of 4. Hold breath for the count of 7. Breathe out through a circle mouth, making a whooshing sound, for the count of 8. Repeat 4-8x.

                                          Practice Timing:

3 minutes: Affects your circulation, blood chemistry and stability of the blood. The increased blood circulations begins, distributing enhanced neuroendocrine secretions throughout the body.

7 minutes: Brain patterns start to shift from the static of beta waves, to calmer alpha waves and ultimately to deep relaxing delta waves. Simultaneously, the magnetic force surrounding the body increases in strength.

11 minutes: The pituitary gland, glandular system and the nerves start to learn and change. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems begin to accommodate the increased energy.

22 minutes: Anxiety producing thoughts in the subconscious begin to clear. Your three minds (negative, positive, and neutral) start to work together so your mental integration changes. 22 is the infinite number of longing and gives mastery of the mental realm.

31 minutes: Affects your whole mind and your aura. Endocrinological balance is achieved, as is balance of the chakra’s of the ethereal body. This balance persists throughout the day, and is reflected by changes in moods and behavior.

                                            Amount of days: 

11 days: 11 is the number of Infinity in the material world and conqueror of the physical realm. So it’s like the first step to break loose from the entanglement of the mind.

40 days: Helps to break negative habits that block you from the expansion possible through the Kriya or mantra, if done 40 days straight in a row

90 days: When you practice the Kriya or mantra for 90 days straight it will establish a new habit in your conscious and subconscious mind. It will change you in a very deep way.

120 days: When you commit to practice the Kriya or mantra for 120 days without skipping a day it will confirm the new habit of consciousness. The positive benefits of the Kriya get integrated permanently into your psyche.

1000 days: This will allow you to master the new habit of consciousness that the Kriya or mantra has promised. No matter what the challenge, you can call on this new habit to serve you.