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 to be alone and withdrawn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.
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’
an increase in waking up to pee at night
feeling afraid more easily or easily startle
you may have difficulty staying asleep at night
feelings of depression and lethargy
low pitched ringing in the ears
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.
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!