Week of March 18th

The snake that does not shed its skin dies

Sat Nam All and Happy Spring!

 I love this time of year and feel so deeply connected to the earth. Every day feels so fresh and new; there’s nothing subtle about the changes—growth, opportunity, prosperity are everywhere. Like the snake,  we need to shed our skin and start anew.  This week, we will focus on the 5th body—the Physical Body. The kriyas I will be teaching will be fairly physical—I think this will help the body make this transition from winter to spring more smoothly. Your meditations will be much more subtle; I will be teaching on the topic of “Suniai” which means deep listening. Guru Nanak speaks to this teaching in the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11 pauris of Japji. In these teachings, we learn to develop our spiritual greatness through the technology of deep listening. Take a listen below for more thoughts on this week’s teachings.

- Sukhraj

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“It is most powerful when we chant and listen to our sound at the same time. If we chant only, it has half the power. Chanting and listening to the chant at the same time engages the higher consciousness, the circulatory system and the nervous system. When you develop this listening power, you will be able to analyze what is good for you and what is not whenever another person talks. It is a very simple way to have knowledge” 

-Yogi Bhajan, 2/13/01, Espanola, NM

KRIYA OF THE WEEK

Removing Body Blocks

Taught on March 19, 1986

1. Sit in easy pose and raise your arms up over your head. Move your raised arms in a clock-wise circle. This movement opens up your shoulders. Move fast. Continue for 4½ minutes.

2. Stretch your arms straight up and bend at the waist touching your hands and forehead to the ground. Rise back up and continue for 2 ½  minutes.

3. Stand up and put your hands on the ground. Jump up and down in this "all fours" position. Concentrate on your navel, pulling up on it to power your jumps. Continue for 2 minutes.

4. From the standing position, bend forward and touch the ground. Rise up and bend backward. Continue this sequence for 1 minute.

5. With the hands on the hips, alternately cross and un-cross the legs. Move quickly and continuously for 2 minutes.

6. With your arms overhead, criss-cross your arms and criss-cross your legs. Continue for 2 minutes.

7. Make fists of your hands and hold them about heart center level. Bend your elbows so that the forearms are parallel to the ground. Hunch up your shoulders, pull up on your ribcage and alternately roll each shoulder forward. Continue for 1 minute.

8. Stretch pose for 1 ½  minutes.

9. Lock your knees to your chest and roll back and forth on your spine. 30 seconds.

10. Roll back and forth on your spine in lotus pose or easy pose. 1 ½  minutes.

11. Come into the same position as exercise three (on all fours) and dance to Sat Nam, Wahe Guru Indian Version. 2 minutes. This is a dance to stretch out the body. Move the hips, arch your feet, press down with your hands. Stretch the arms, the rib cage, and the lower back. Turn your head left and right. Move everything.

12. Lie down flat and pull your knees alternately to your chest. Pull one leg in as you stretch the other leg back out straight and parallel to the ground. Continue this movement for 1 ½  minutes. The navel point is balanced by this stretch.

13. Still lying on your back, bring your hands up as if to clap, but make no sound. Open the arms wide and repeat the movement. This kriya exercises the muscles of the chest area. 1 minute.

14. Lie flat with your arms by your sides and totally relax. Project from your brow point. 9 minutes.

15. Stay in the position and sing along with Sat Nam Wahe Guru, Indian Version. 2 minutes.

16. Roll your wrists and ankles, rub your hands and feet, roll on your spine. Wake yourself up.

17. Stand in tree pose. 45 seconds. Change legs and repeat tree pose for 15 seconds.

18. Use both hands to massage your face, scalp and ears deeply and vigorously. 1 ½  minutes. Massage chest, shoulders and armpits. 30 seconds. Massage hands, wrists, and arms. 30 seconds. Flex spine. 30 seconds. Stretch your arms. 10 seconds. Relax.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

This set is published in the manual Self Knowledge, p. 23-24 available through KRI.

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.


Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.

Take good care of yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you at Raj!

Sukhraj

Sukhraj's Weekly Inspiration - Week of March 11th

Week of March 11th

Beware the Ides of March

Sat Nam All,

Tis the season for increased daylight and longer days. Spring energy is raw and can express itself suddenly and powerfully. This extra light changes the chemistry of our brain, particularly the pineal gland. It is a time of heightened mood swings, which, if suppressed, can turn into depression. Take a listen below for more. Also, a big congratulations to all the Kundalini Teacher Trainers who just completed their training. It has been an amazing experience to watch you all transform over these past seven months. I can’t wait to see what you all do with your training.

- Sukhraj

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

"We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, and unbiased."

– Pema Chödron

MEDITATION OF THE WEEK

Kundalini Yoga for balancing the Pineal, Pituitary and Hypothalamus 
(From Owners Manual for the human body)

''These three mantras and these three kriyas are for the trinity of your soul. It will give you the balance of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal.'' Yogi Bhajan.

1) Sit in Easy Pose with your spine straight. Stretch your arms out straight to the sides parallel to the ground, palms up. Touch the Mercury (pinkie) finger to the thumb keeping the other fingers straight. Chant the Guru Gaitri MantraGobinde, Mukande, Udaare, Apaare, Hariang, Kariang, Nirnaame, Akame. (One repetition of the mantra = 10 seconds) 6 Minutes.

To finish: inhale hold the breath 5 seconds and exhale. Then bend elbows bringing the mudra up near the level of the ears and hold for 5 Seconds and then bring the mudra to diaphragm level with the extended fingertips touching and hold for 2 Seconds. Inhale and relax. Twist left and right briefly to ''let the energy stimulate in body".

2) Sit in Easy Pose with your thumb touching the Sun (ring) finger, mudra resting on your knees. Chant the Mul MantraEk Ong Kar, Sat Naam, Karta Purkh, Nirbhao, Nirvair, Akaal Moorat, Ajoonee, SaiBung, Gur Prasad, Jap, Aad Such, Jugaad Such, Hebi Such, Nanak Hosee Bee Such7 1/2 Minutes. (One repetition of the mantra = 25 seconds.) Inhale and hold the breath for 20 Seconds. Relax. Then ''give your energy to every organ'' by twisting left and right and moving around for about 30 Seconds.

3) Remain in Easy PoseTouch the Saturn (middle) finger and thumb and bring the mudra up to the level of the ears, elbows bent. Chant the Guru Gaitri Mantra (same as in #1.) 5 1/2 Minutes. Inhale, hold 15-20 seconds. Exhale. Relax. Stretch briefly to loosen your muscles.

4) Still sitting in Easy Pose, place the hands on the chest at the heart center right hand over left thumbs touching. Chant in a monotone: 
Har Har Gobinde, Har Har Mukande /repeat this line 3 times. (3 times = 12 seconds)
Har Har Udaare, Har Har Apaare /repeat this line 3 times
Har Har Hariang, Har Har Kariang /repeat this line 3 times.
Har Har Nirname, Har Har Akaame /repeat this line 3 times
2 1/2 Minutes

Comments: Our system has what is called a "reserve force". It is a meditating power that is the cooperation among the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal. Medical science has not totally understood it, neither has it reached it. The body mechanism is under the control of this trinity: pineal is called the father, pituitary is called the son and the hypothalamus is called the holy ghost. It is called the trinity of the life psyche.
Kundalini Yoga is a simple methodical system to reach that reserve of the psyche through which we can live and develop forever. 

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.

Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.


Take good care of yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you at Raj!

Sukhraj

Sukhraj's Weekly Inspiration - Week of March 4th

Week of March 4th

Vayus - The Five Homes of Prana in the body

Sat Nam All,

*The Vayus are the different frequencies and modes of motion of the Prana. Each Vayu has natural home in the body. 

They are:
1.  prana, from the base of the heart to the neck
2. apana, from below the naval to the feet
3. udana, from the larynx and upwards into the head
4. samana, from the heart to the naval
5. vyana, pervades over the entire body 

Yogic scriptures say that five hundred diseases will not come near a person who moves his navel point, because the navel point totally controls the Vayus, the pranic airs that circulate through the body.

Take a listen below for more on this topic.

- Sukhraj

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

"When people start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It’s a bit like saying “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person. If I could only get a nicer house, I’d be a better person. If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person..."
But loving kindness—maitri towards ourselves–doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about BEFRIENDING WHO WE ARE ALREADY. 
The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest."

- Pema Chodron—The Wisdom of No Escape
 

KRIYAS FOR THE WEEK

Kundalini Yoga for building physical health and mental clarity KY kriyas (taught April 14' 1993, from Self Knowledge)

1. Sit in easy pose with your elbows bent, the upper arms near the ribs, and the forearms pointing upward. The thumbs touch the mound under the Mercury fingers, while the fingers point straight upward with no space between them. Keep your spine straight with the chin in and the chest out. Stretch back your shoulder blades so that they almost touch. Look at the tip of your nose and do breath of fire. Make sure that your breath is strong and that you pump your navel. 3 Minutes. Yogic scriptures say that five hundred diseases will not come near a person who moves his navel point, because the navel point totally controls the Vayus, the pranic airs that circulate through the body.
To finish: Inhale, hold the breath 10 Seconds, tighten all your muscles to circulate the energy you have created, and exhale the breath through your mouth like cannon fire. Inhale, repeat this sequence one more time. Finally, inhale, hold the breath 10 seconds, tighten all your muscles and exhale the breath slowly with a whistle. When the whistle ends, relax the posture. Through the practice of this exercise, men can avoid impotency, women can avoid menopause problems, and the young can remain young.

2. Sit in easy pose with your elbows bent, the upper arms near the ribs, the forearms pointing upward and the palms of the hands facing forward. Twist the hands back and forth on the wrists with the thumbs leading the movement. The total power of the movement of this exercise comes from the thumbs. The thumbs are solid and the fingers firm as you move the hands with a heavy jerk forward and back. Make the thumbs move the hands. Move hard and fast. Look at the tip of your nose. Breathe as slowly and deeply as possible. 3 Minutes. If this movement is painful you could be deficient in proper minerals.
To finish: Inhale, hold the breath 10-15 seconds, twist the hands back and forth as fast as you can and tighten all the muscles of the body. Exhale. Repeat this sequence two more times and relax.


3. The elbows are bent with the forearms parallel to the ground, palms facing down. There is no space between the fingers of each hand and the thumb is pressed against the side of the hand. The hands are near the center of the chest, with the fingertips of one hand pointing at the fingertips of the other. The eyes are on the tip of the nose. Swinging from the elbow, the forearms move out to the front and back to the center. The forearms do not swing all the way out to the side, they stop when they point straight forward. The force of the movement is from the outside position inward. Pull the arms in heavily like a hammer blow with full speed and strength. The mouth is "0" shaped with breath of fire through the mouth. 3 Minutes. This exercise is for the heart center. To finish: Inhale, hold the breath 15 seconds, repeat the movement of the exercise as fast as you can and shake energy into every cell. Exhale. Repeat this sequence two more times and relax.

Kundalini Yoga Varuyas Kriya KY kriyas (from Sadhana Guidelines)

Stand up straight. Put the right foot slightly forward. Stretch the left leg far backward. Put the top of the toes of the left foot on the ground. Extend the arms forward parallel to the ground. Put the palms together. Tilt the spine slightly forward of the vertical position. Fix the eyes on the horizon or at the brow point.
Take a deep breath, then begin a rhythmic chant of "Sat Nam". Emphasize the sound "Sat" as you pull the navel point in and apply a light mul bhand. Continue for 1-1/2 minutes. Then inhale. Relax.
Switch and place the left leg forward. Repeat the exercise for an equal period of time.

COMMENTS:
This kriya will make you sweat if you do it properly. You may also notice a burning sensation in the cheeks. The time of practice can slowly be increased to 7-1/2 minutes on each side. The practice and perfection of this kriya is said to open the pituitary secretion, regulate excessive sexual energy, and increase general immunity to disease. It tests the nerve strength and rebalances the magnetic field of the body. If you don't want to be shaky when you are older, this is an excellent practice to start when you are young. Besides practicing this kriya by itself, it is enjoyable to do it after completing a long series of exercises that have worked on flexibility and circulation. The kriya helps transform the "vital juice," the ojas, into a form usable in maintaining your entire nervous system.


*Taken from the Aquarian Teacher

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.

Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.

Take good care of yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you at Raj!

Sukhraj

Sukhraj's Weekly Inspiration - Week of February 25th

Week of February 25th

Awakening the Soul

Sat Nam All,

Last week, we focused on the four body locks in preparation for this week's focus on the kundalini energy, often referred to as awakening the soul. There is a lot of misinformation about what kundalini energy is, so I want to shine a light on it this week. Take a listen below for some basic facts on what it is, its benefits, and how you can begin to release it. 

- Sukhraj

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“Soul does not relate to mind; mind relates to soul. It's a one-way traffic.”
- Yogi Bhajan

PRANAYAMA FOR THE WEEK

Two-Stroke Breath to Connect the Subconscious and the Intuition

Originally taught on June 8, 1998

Posture and Mudra:
Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Bend your arms at the elbows so that your fingertips point upward. Place the hands, forearms, and elbows so that they all make one vertical line from elbow to fingertips. Keep them in line with your chest. Rest your upper arms against your side ribs. Place your hands in Gyan Mudra with the palms facing forward.
Sit very straight with fingers straight and with a precise touch. The forearms must be perpendicular to the floor and in line with the body.

Eyes:
Eyes are nine-tenths closed and one-tenth open.

Breath:
The breath is called Trinity Breath. Slightly pucker your lips and inhale powerfully in two-strokes through the mouth (1 second per stroke = 2 second inhalation). Exhale powerfully in one stroke through the nose (1 second).

Time:
Continue for 15 minutes
"It's a difficult exercise, but use your diaphragm and breathe those two strokes really powerfully to open up the clogged center. Use your breath to help your pituitary. The pituitary, which is stimulated by focusing at the end of the nose, has to adjust. Give it a chance. It's not the time, it is just doing it. It is not the practice, it is perfecting it. This can give you a strength which you never had before.

To Finish:
Inhale deeply, put your hands together at the center of the chest in Prayer Mudra with the forearms parallel to the ground, hold your breath for 15-20 seconds as you press your hands together with all your strength. Press so powerfully that your hands shake. Exhale. Inhale, hold the breath for 15-20 seconds and repeat this pressure on the hands. Exhale.
Then inhale and stretch your arms up over your head and stretch your spine strongly upward. Hold the breath 15-20 seconds Exhale and relax.
©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
 

 

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.

Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.



 

Sukhraj's Weekly Inspiration - Week of February 18th

Week of February 18th

The 4 Body Locks


Sat Nam All,


With the full Moon in Virgo this week, we have a wonderful opportunity to do some deep clearing, releasing, and detoxing. So, it’s a perfect time to get detailed information about the four body locks  - click here for more detail. I’ll be focusing my classes around them; this Meditation to Burn Inner Anger is a great one to focus on this week as well. Since this Friday is the last Friday of the month,  we will do another another round of our Spirit + Grit + Grace theme of 2019—Pranayama for a fresh start, Bowing Jaap Sahib, and the Magic Mantra!



- Sukhraj

QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” 
- Rumi

MEDITATION FOR THE WEEK

Meditation to Burn Inner Anger

INSTRUCTIONS

Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine, chin in and chest out.  Extend your index and middle fingers of your right hand and use the thumb to hold down the other fingers (your fingers are as if you are making a pledge…which you are!).  Raise your right arm in front of you and up to sixty degrees.  Keep your elbow straight.  Place your left hand over the heart center.  Close the eyes.  Make an “O” with your mouth and inhale and exhale powerfully through the mouth (2 second inhalation, 2 second exhalation).  Strong, powerful breathing!

Yogi Bhajan says “Breathe strongly and powerfully with emotion.  Burn inner anger and get rid of it.  Take the help of the breath to get rid of the body’s weaknesses and impurities.”

Finish by inhaling deeply, hold the breath for 10 seconds, stretching both arms over head, stretching the spine tall.  Exhale powerfully like cannon fire through the mouth. Repeat this breath sequence two more times.

Practice for 11 minutes a day for 40 days!  Remember to tune in with Ong Namo Gurudev Namo!

Not only is this a profound practice for releasing anger it also rebuilds the immune system, making it strong and powerful.

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.

Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.

Take good care of yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you at Raj!

Sukhraj

Sukhraj's Weekly Inspiration - Week of February 11th

Week of February 11th

Satya = Benevolent Truth


Sat Nam All,

This week, I'll be focusing on the power of your word.Yogi Bhajan said all disease comes from the misspoken word. That has always stuck with me, and it makes a lot of sense. Click play below to find out how you can work with Satya this week and to learn more about my truth behind these weekly newsletters.

- Sukhraj

KRIYA FOR THE WEEK

The Divine Shield Meditation for Protection and Positivity

The compassion of the Universe uplifts and expands you. It provides a Divine Shield to accompany you through your trials and tribulations. This meditation does exactly that. If you make it a regular practice, you will become positive, fearless, and happy. Nothing will stop you as you pursue your goals. It will eliminate the feeling of loneliness and separation from your soul. 

In this meditation the sound of Maaa calls on compassion and protection. It is the sound that a baby uses to call on the mother. Here, your soul is the child, and the Universe becomes the Mother. If you call, She will come to your aid and comfort. 

It is difficult to focus on your higher feelings and sensitivity if you feel fearful and unprotected. 

If the Universe seems hostile, uncaring, and non-responsive it is easy to become filled with cynicism, despair, and hopelessness. In that depressed state it is impossible to sense the fullness and possibilities of life. It is very difficult to solve the very problems that upset you. 

Those feelings occur when the aura that surrounds the body is weak and small. The human aura can extend out to nine feet in all directions. If it drops below four feet, we tend to become depressed. We cannot fight off negative thoughts from within or from the environment.

If we can extend the aura, the outer arc of the aura acts as a filter and a connector to the universal magnetic field. It is that outer circumvent field that preserves the integrity of the aura, the furiously active blend of thoughts and feelings that emanate from our body and mind. 

The aura can be temporarily expanded. One way is to connect your aura with the universal field by using an inner seed sound that activates the power of the Heart Center. 

When this shield is strong, it is easy to sense the tide of the Universe, the Tao. You become spontaneous and vital as you move in rhythm with the greater reality, of which you are a part.

When the shield is strong, you are protected from the impact of your own past actions. You are like a great ship that turns toward God and reality and then must cross the waves of your own wake that you created by your past actions. The shield keeps you alert and awake to the real task of your life.

Eyes: Closed & focused at the brow point.

Posture and Mudra: Raise the right knee up with the right foot flat on the ground, toes pointing straight ahead. Place the sole of the left foot against the arch and ankle of the right foot. The ball of the left foot rests just in front of the ankle bone of the right foot.

Make a fist of the left hand and place it on the ground beside the hip. Use this to balance the posture. Bend the right elbow and place it on the top of the right knee. Bring the right hand back along the side of the head with the palm facing the ear. Form a shallow cup of the right palm. Then bring it against the skull so that it contacts the skull below the ear but stays open above the ear. It is as if you formed a cup of the hand to amplify a faint sound that you want to hear.

Mantra: Inhale deeply and chant Maaa in a long, full, smooth sound. Project the sound as if someone is listening to you. As you chant, listen to the sound and let it vibrate through your whole body. If you chant in a group, hear the overtones that develop and let those tones vibrate all around you and in every cell of your body.

The mantra is Maaa. Chant it at a comfortable high pitch. When you have exhaled completely, take another deep breath and continue. In a group you may all inhale at different times. The group sound will seem continuous.

Time: Continue for 11-31 minutes.

Switch Sides: Then change the legs and hands to the other side. Continue for an equal amount of time. Start slowly. Learn to hold the concentration into the sound. Build the meditation on each side to total 62 minutes.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan 

This meditation can be found in the KRI Aquarian Teacher Training Manual and the Meditation Manual available through KRI

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.

Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.


Take good care of yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you at Raj!

Sukhraj

Sukhraj's Weekly Wisdom - Week of February 4th

Week of February 4th

New Moon in Aquarius—A Call To Action + Ishnan Season!

 

Sat Nam All,

Lots to cover this week! I want to take advantage of this New Moon and focus on positivity with the amazing Rakhe Rakhanhar Mantra as well as nourishing the kidneys, as they have so much to do with developing positive habits from a place of love rather then forcing. I have included some information on symptoms of fatigued kidneys, so please take a look and adjust as needed. Finally, many of you know how much I love Ishnan, and it is the best time of year to be practicing it here in Boulder, CO. Recently, I discovered a man named Wim Hof, also known as the Ice Man, and I want to share the positive message he is sharing with the world and the healing benefits of cold water therapy. Check out his website here, and click here for my audio for more info on all three topics. 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Happiness is not something that comes ready made.  It comes from your own actions."

- His Holiness The Dalai Lama 

MANTRA FOR THE WEEK

The mantra “Rakhe Rakhanhar” is an excellent suggestion to strengthen the positive mind.  This mantra helps confront the three destructive impulses of the mind.
1. to be alone and withdrawn
2. to deny or fantasize about the future thats coming
3. to live with greed or scarcity instead of prosperity.

Rakhay rakhanhaar aap ubaariun
Gur kee pairee paa-eh kaaj savaariun 
Hoaa aap dayaal manho na visaariun
Saadh janaa kai sung bhavjal taariun 
Saakat nindak dusht khin maa-eh bidaariun 
Tis saahib kee tayk naanak manai maa-eh 
Jis simrat sukh ho-eh saglay dookh jaa-eh

These are the words of Guru Arjan, the 5th Sikh Guru, and they are for complete protection. It is from the evening prayer (Rehiras), which adds energy to one’s being, and helps when you are physically weak or have limited wealth. It is a sweet victory song which allows us to be guided by God’s graceful and merciful hand. It does away with the obstacles to fulfilling one’s destiny.

Chanting this mantra helps against fluctuations of the mind. 
This mantra is included in the Aquarian Sadhana and is done as a part of the daily practice in the morning meditations for Kundalini Yoga practitioners.
This weeks playlist has numerous variations of this mantra.

KIDNEY SEASON 

If your Kidneys become fatigued, then you may start to experience unexplained fear and/or terror or paranoia associated with fear.  The cognitive function of the Kidneys is considered your will. The will to live. The will to create new habits. 

When your Kidneys get fatigued, any number of symptoms can arise. You may experience:

  •  mild, low back pain that becomes chronic

  • have a tendency to ‘throw your back out’

  • achey knees

  • low libido

  • peeing frequently

  • an increase in waking up to pee at night

  •  feeling afraid more easily or easily startle

  • you may have difficulty staying asleep at night

  • general fatigue

  • feelings of depression and lethargy

  • low pitched ringing in the ears

  • unexplained agitation

  • dark circles under the eyes

  • difficulty feeling safe

  • For women: painful, scanty periods, or no periods (called amenorrhea)

  • For men: erectile dysfunction

These symptoms can be mild or severe and are generally considered a warning sign that some lifestyle changes and acupuncture may be necessary.

What you can do at home and during winter: 

Since winter is the season of the Kidneys, winter is considered the best time of year to strengthen and nourish your Kidneys. According to East Asian medicine your winter lifestyle sets the tone for your health in the following year, especially the spring.

Eat black foods:  Since black is the color of the Kidneys, black foods such as black wood ear mushrooms, Shitake mushrooms (considered black in East Asian medicine), black beans, black rice, black sesame seeds, and hijiki seaweed are all thought to nourish and strengthen the Kidneys.

I like to keep a large bottle of black sesame seeds around and use them as a garnish on nearly everything during the winter.

Eat Bone Broth:

Bones are the tissue of the Kidneys, so ‘eating’ bones via bone broth is one of the optimal ways to strengthen the Kidneys in Chinese medicine. Bone broth absorbs minerals and nutrients from the bones and any vegetable matter that you add to your broth. These nutrients are easily absorbed and digested by your gastrointestinal tract. Bone broth is considered a vital part of a winter diet. Besides nourishing your kidney vitality, bone broth can be exceptionally helpful for individuals struggling with various gastrointestinal disorders, as it provides easy to digest nutrients.

Below is an excellent recipe based on the book :Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

http://thenourishingcook.com/beef-stock-anyone/

Honor the Urge to Hibernate — AKA Rest: 

Winter is historically a time to rest and rejuvenate. The nights are longer. It gets dark earlier and stays dark later. If we lived without the modern conveniences of electricity and artificial light, we would naturally be sleeping more in the winter.

Besides getting adequate sleep, winter is a time of both internal withdraw and reflection. It is a great time to continue or start a meditation practice or to spend time reflecting in general.  It is also an exceptional season to set aside time to ponder your goals, both big and small. Do you have goals? Where are you in the process of achieving those goals? Are there new goals that should replace or join previous goals?

It is important to acknowledge if you feel healthy in your body, and consider adding goals for health, if your health has taken a back seat recently. We often put health on the back burner, but if our health fails, it becomes incredibly difficult to achieve any of your other goals in life.

Reflection also does not have to be all about goals. It can be a time to remember the important relationships, memories, and interactions that you have had in your life. Mentally honoring roll models and loved ones who have passed will continue to inform how you currently live.

All of this takes time, rest, and relaxation. I encourage you to create the restful space this winter to allow for reflection that nourishes you. You may even notice your back pain start to fade away.

Ultimately, the goal of nourishing the Kidneys in winter requires a break from a fast-paced, stressful life. When you give ourselves a season to rest, we can sustain more activity during seasons that are more appropriate for high levels of action, such as the spring and summer.

LINKS TO PLAYLISTS

Use this Kundalini playlist for your practice and meditation.


Enjoy this Vinyasa playlist that supports your flow.


Take good care of yourself.
Looking forward to seeing you at Raj!

Sukhraj