My Not-So-Secret Weapon to Rewire Our Chronic Stress Response

Every time I pick up to write, at first, I always imagined talking about the Adrenal-cortisol pathway, or Leaky gut syndrome,  like many of my peers, in order to educate my readers about these common themes that I see daily in my practice.  Instead, I want to go straight to offering you these effective, precious tools that were taught for thousands of years, and shared by my teacher Yogi Bhajan.  They are so simple in addressing the ultimate underlying root cause – our burnt out Nervous System, our Autonomic Response that are stuck in FLIGHT or FIGHT mode, and unable to trigger the RELAXATION response at will.

Kundalini Yoga sets are designed to reprogram our nervous system using breath, movements, sound currents and mental vibrations in short amounts of time.

This is the no.1 set I share with my patients who have fatigue and low mood.  Do it 1st thing in the morning, for 40 days, starting at the shortest time (1 minute each) and work up to full length.

A Yoga Set to Build and Stabilize your Energy – Surya Kriya

General Kundalini Yoga Rules:

  • Always tune into this practice with reciting the mantra “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” 3 times. A traditional practice for you to tune in deeply to the consciousness of this ancient practice.
  • If necessary, you can sit in Easy Pose (simple cross-legged position), instead of Rock Pose.  But feel free to use pillows and socks to prop and support your ankles and hip.
  • You can always cut down the times specified proportionately, but not make longer.  E.g.  3 mins  –> 1 min  (1/3)  or —> 1.5 min (1/2) for rest of the exercises.

1. Right Nostril Breath.

Come sitting up in easy pose with lower back tucked in, the chest high and the chin parallel to the
ground and slightly tucked in.  Raise the left hand and block off the left nostril with your thumb.  Take long slow deep breathing through your right nostril.  (3 minutes)

2. Sat Kriya.

Sit in Rock Pose.  or easy pose if need to.  Arms held up overhead with the upper arms hugging your ears.  Fingers clasped together with index fingers pointing straight up and palms touching.  Chant the word ‘Saat’ (sounds like Yacht) as you pull your Navel Point in and up.  Chant the word ‘Naam’ as you relax your Navel Point.  Let the breath regulate itself.  Eyes closed and focused at the center of your brows.  (3 minutes)

Then inhale with your nose, hold your breath, squeeze your pelvic muscles and navel point up. Then Relax.

3. Rest.

Remain in Rock Pose, or easy pose.  Rest with eyes closed and focused at Brow Point.  Breathe normally.  (1 minute)

4. Sat Kriya.

Repeat exercise 2 for 2 minutes.

5. Rest.

Remain in Rock Pose, or easy pose.  Rest with eyes closed and focused at Brow Point.  Breathe normally.  (1 minute)

6. Spinal Flex.

Hold your shins with your hands firmly.  Inhale through your nose as you lift your chest high, and tilt your pelvis forward.  Then, exhale through your nose as you collapse your chest down, and tilt your pelvis gently the opposite way.  Continue this fluid movement, and keep your chin level without bobbing it up and down. Like riding a horse.  (3 minutes)

7. Frog Pose.

  1. Come standing up slowly and place your feet close together with heels touching, and feet pointing out at an angle.  Squat down on tiptoes with fingertips touching the ground in between the legs. Knees apart, and heels remain touching.  Head is up.
  2. Inhale with nose, and straighten your legs, keep fingertips touching the group.  Bring the chin to the chest.
  3. Exhale and move to a. position again.
  4. Repeat 26 times.

8. Head Turns.

Come into Rock Pose.  Rest a moment.  Fold your hands on your lap and turn your head to the Left as you inhale with your nose slowly.  Then, turn your head to the Right and Exhale with your nose slowly.  Low Slow Deep Breathing.  (3 minutes)

9.  Side Bends.

Remain in Rock pose.  Bring your hands to your shoulders, and thumbs in back, fingers in front. Without twisting, inhale as you bend to the left and exhale as your bend to the right. Like a pendulum.  Slow Deep Breathing.

10. Slow Meditative Breath.

Sit now in Easy Pose.  Hands on your knees in Gyan Mudra – touching your thumb with index finger.Keep a firm concentration at your Brow Point.  Apply a light Root Lock, pulling your pelvic floor muscles and navel point muscles in and up. Begin Slow Deep Breathing. (6 minutes)

11. Deep Relaxation.

Come lying flat on your back, and your arms by the sides with palms facing up.  Your eyes gently closed, and breath soft and normal. (7 minutes)



 

Set taken from Master’s Touch Teacher training manual.

Better Mood, Naturally: Mindful Eating with the Brain in Mind

It’s all about Food As Medicine.

If you live in the East bay, check out this wonder group class on How Food can improve your Brain chemical run by a wonderful colleague who use Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in her groups.

http://www.centerforstressreduction.com/better-mood-class-oakland.html

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Meditation for Balancing Nervous Energies

This meditation teaches you to become aware of your breath.

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When you are paying attention to your breath and practicing control of your breath, whether you are holding it in, or holding it out, you bring your nervous system into balance.  When you have control over your breath, you have control over your emotions, hair trigger reactions, addictions and apprehensions.  

Practice this every day for 3 minutes.  Build it up to 5. Do it first thing when you wake up, or right before you go to bed, or both.  Try doing it for 40 days, and see what effects you feel.

Posture:   Sit in a chair with a straight spine and both feet touching the ground, or sit in easy pose, a simple cross-legged position on the floor.  Place the palm of your right hand against the back of the left hand.  Press the thumb tips together.

Raise your hands up until they are a few inches in front of the heart. Hold the hands, forearms and elbows in a horizontal line, parallel to the ground.

Eye focus: The eyes are nine-tenths closed.

Breath: Inhale deeply through the nose. Calmly, hold the breath IN for 15-20 seconds.

Exhale deeply through the nose. Then calmly, hold the breath OUT for 15-20 seconds. Concentrate on the breath.

Time: Continue for 3 minutes.  
This meditation “Balancing the Nervous Energies” is taken from from The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan.  For more information about Yogi Bhajan and his teachings, check out www.3HO.org.

Fist of Anger: Meditation for Releasing Anger

8037828855_8016f84c2d_zHave you ever felt so overcame with emotions and anger that you just can’t stop turning and turning inside.  This is a great tool for just that.  It channels this uncontrollable and disturbing energy through your breath, and release it. Try it for as little as 1 minute and build up to 3 minutes.  

You body position:

Sit in Easy Pose (sitting on floor with legs crossed) or in chair, with a light neck lock (tilt your chin gently down and lengthen your neck upwards). Eyes are closed.

Your hand position:

Touch each thumb to the base of the pinky fingers. Close the rest of the fingers over the thumbs to form fists. Raising the arms, begin a backstroke type movement over the head, alternating each side (right/left) as you swing up, over and back around again.

Your breath:

Make an O-shaped mouth and breathe through it with a strong, rhythmic inhale/exhale that is in sync with your arm movements.

Begin the backstroke movement and the coordinated breath with a strong and continuous movement. Intentionally think about anything and everything that makes you angry. Continue this laser focus on bringing up the anger throughout the meditation, increasing the movement and breath.

To End:

Interlock the fingers, stretch the arms up over head, palms facing up, deep inhale through the O mouth- picture yourself surrounded in white, healing light- exhale out the O mouth.

Repeat 3 times.                      Time: 3 minutes.


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This meditation is learned from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan©.  For more infomation visit the Kundalini Research Institute.