As I look forward to Sat Nam Fest Berkshires for the second year in a row, I also remember a time when I didn’t take time away from my family to restore, a time when I didn’t make room for a regular practice, a time when I didn’t even nourish myself with quick Kundalini Yoga techniques (that I knew worked).
When my kids were little, I focused solely on taking care of them — and just getting myself through the day. Don’t get me wrong. It was a beautiful time filled with miraculous moments, like first steps, emerging personalities, wonderfully idiosyncratic language play, and adorable sweetness, but I made the mistake of always putting myself last.
The following scene exemplifies how I felt many days: I was in the grocery store in the late afternoon with my then-three-year-old daughter. She was pirouetting through the aisles talking a mile a minute — being her usual spunky, expressive self. I, by contrast, felt like my legs were made of lead. I was dragging, so drained I didn’t know how I’d get through the rest of the day. Pausing from her twirling, my daughter looked at me, picked up on my state of lethargy, and said, “Don’t you wish you had my energy?” and then went on spinning.
YES! I did wish that. But all I did was wish.
There’s a technique that could have put a spring in my step. I could have taken three minutes to recharge before getting out of the car in the Trader Joe’s parking lot. I could have practiced some right nostril breathing and taken control of my energy.
Our right side is our sun side, our energizing, projective side. So, when you need some solar pranic power, take just a few minutes for yourself and breathe through your right nostril.
It’s such an easy, effective technique that can be found in Praana, Praanee, Praanayam by Harijot Kaur Khalsa and Yogi Bhajan. Here’s how it’s done:
Right Nostril Breathing
Sit tall. Place the right hand at the knee in Gyan Mudra (thumb and forefinger touching). Block the left nostril with the thumb of the left hand, pointing the other fingers straight up to the heavens. Take 26 long, deep breaths through the right nostril.
That’s it. So simple. It doesn’t have to be a big stretch of time or a whole kriya. We can still take care of ourselves. I now understand that I didn’t need to neglect myself to be a good mother. In fact, we all would have benefitted from my self-care. Right nostril breathing is one that you can do under almost any circumstance in very little time. Try it when you’re in need of a boost. Grab some prana. Maybe you won’t twirl through the supermarket, but you might feel like it!
Beyond right nostril breathing, consider a getaway, a retreat for yourself at Sat Nam Fest, August 9-13, 2017. If you have children, you can also bring them. Take advantage of kids’ camp, and receive the amazing radical reset that each and every workshop and concert joyfully provide.
See you there!