Sleep. We know we need it and we could probably use more of it. Managing our lives, taking care of ourselves and the people around us, eating well, creating, focusing, executing, running a business, doing our work, making good decisions, etc. all become more difficult to manage when we're feeling mentally and physically tired.
These days, because of pressure, stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and over stimulation, restful sleep is more challenging to come by. There are plenty of people consistently able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep, but most of us have a fluctuating relationship with the whole thing.
We know that nothing positive usually comes from laying awake in the middle of the night. Of course there are times when you wake up with brilliant ideas (my grandfather taught to always keep a notebook or pad of paper near the bed), but more times than not it's the middle of the night when all of your deep subconscious anxieties, fears, negative thoughts, traumas, limiting beliefs, and replays of conversations or arguments that happened or never happened, rise to the surface to play a wicked non-reality horror movie right there in our own minds.
How are we supposed to fall back to sleep or feel rested and energized in the morning when our negative thoughts are draining all our energy overnight? How are we supposed to be productive and happy, or lead, serve, and make decisions from a place of power if we wake up emotionally and physically zapped?
There are many tips and tricks out there for better sleep; the foods we eat, the amount of time we spend using technology in the evening, our physical activity during the day, managing stress, having a routine to wind down...all important factors here. We could also do none of those things and instead try this week's meditation every night and see what happens.
With deeper sleep, we're allowing our organs the opportunity to rest, rebuild, and repair, giving us more physical strength throughout our days and a stronger nervous system. When we have more energy we can more easily train our minds for higher, more productive and constructive thoughts.
"This meditation creates relaxed, restorative sleep patterns; regenerates nerves, and releases the secretions of the pineal gland…after a few days to months of practice, the rhythm of your sleep will be regulated, and this new healthier rhythm will actually stay with you throughout the entire day, which is a very practical side effect." - Guru Jagat, Invincible Living
Shabad Kriya for Deep Sleep and Radiance as taught by Yogi Bhajan
Sit in any comfortable position on your bed with the spine straight. Place the hands in the lap, palms up with the right hand over the left. Your thumb tips touch and point forward.
Focus the eyes on the tip of the nose, and close your eyes almost all the way, leaving the eyelids 1/10 open.
Inhale through the nose in 4 equal parts, mentally chanting the mantra "SA TA NA MA."
Then hold the breath, vibrating the mantra 4 times for a total of 16 beats.
"SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA SA TA NA MA"
Exhale in 2 equal strokes (through the nose) projecting mentally "WAHE GURU" (the sound current of the pineal gland; translates to essentially mean, "the ecstasy of transforming from darkness to light.").
Continue for 11, 15, 22, 31 to 62 minutes, or until you fall asleep which is usually quicker than the suggested times.
Try practicing it every night before bed or if you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, do it until you fall back to sleep.
Happy Meditating (and Sleeping)!
With Love & Gratitude,
"The process of self-healing is the privilege of every being. Self-healing is not a miracle, nor is self-healing a dramatization of the personality as though you could do something superior. Self-healing is a genuine process of the relationship between the physical and the infinite power of the soul."