Meditation Mondays: Wake Up!
It's normal to have days where you're a little more tired than usual and feel in desperate need of a pick me up. Maybe you're working too hard or running around nonstop, maybe you’re going through something stressful, maybe you ate or drank a little more than usual, maybe you’re not getting enough sleep, (or maybe you're getting too much sleep!).
We all have times when we feel a little lethargic, can't focus our minds, or can barely keep our eyes open. So what can we do to snap out of it or at least give ourselves a healthy burst of energy (in the event a 15 minute disco nap is not possible) for long enough to accomplish something, be productive, and feel better?
Coffee, matcha tea, or other sources of caffeine can help, especially first thing in the morning (I blend my coffee with MCT oil, canned coconut milk, raw cacao powder, collagen powder, and a few drops of organic vanilla extract or peppermint oil…it tastes amazing, helps me focus, and has great health benefits), but if you're like me, anything caffeinated after 2-3pm will keep me from sleeping during the night and that's often the time of day when people feel a lull in liveliness. Energy drinks are a billion dollar industry for a reason, but I think we all know that stuff isn't good for our bodies, and while they might put a little pep in your step temporarily, you pretty much always feel worse once they wear off.
Moving your body can work wonders; dancing, running, yogic stretching, spinal flexes, or a quick workout to get your blood flowing is a great place to start. In college anytime I felt myself falling asleep in class (which honestly, was very often), I'd go to the restroom and do 20 jumping jacks. It really helped! Yes, you can always utilize the restroom as a personal gym if you’re not at home, but if you're in an office, driving, or don't have the physical space to get up and move, we need something we can do anywhere at any time.
This week's meditation is one I have previously included in Meditation Mondays, as it has been used for thousands of years and (in my opinion) is the best and easiest way to make a change in your body immediately! It will wake you up, and increase your stamina, physical endurance, and vitality, FAST. It will enhance your energy, focus, and creativity, cleanse the bloodstream, release toxins from your organs and cells, balance the glandular system and hormones, boost the immune system, reduce anxiety, promote better brain function, the list goes on.
This is a great one to do first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed but of course, used anytime will make an impact. I believe every person on the planet should be doing this for at least 1 minute a day every day…seriously, try it every day and see how your life changes.
Breath of Fire:
Either sit on the floor in a cross legged position (easy pose) or if that's uncomfortable for you simply sit in a chair with both feet on the floor. Straighten your spine and rest your palms on your knees facing up, your first finger and thumb tips touching (gyan mudra: for expansion and knowledge), close your eyes and focus up in between your eyebrows (your third eye point).
Begin an even inhale and exhale through the nose. The breath should be powerful and quick, but even. Make sure that on the inhale your diaphragm extends, on the exhale your diaphragm contracts, but keep the diaphragm relaxed, don't tighten up. The focus of the breathing should be in and out of your nose as opposed to on the belly pumping, which should happen naturally.
Note: If you're pregnant or menstruating don't do breath of fire, do long deep breaths instead.
Do this for 1, 3, 7, 11 minutes.
To end, breath in deeply and hold the breath for 10 seconds, then release.
Our bodies are capable of way more than we are taught to give it credit for. Even the times we think it's impossible, we absolutely have the power to create a little zest from within rather than reaching for something to ingest! This magical source that we have access to anytime we could ever want and costs nothing is our BREATH, it is our life force, so let's use it!
With Love & Gratitude,
"You have an unlimited reserve energy, and once you invoke your energy, there is nothing which is small in you." --Yogi Bhajan