By Shakta Kaur
Begin by massaging your extremities with a light coating of almond oil.* (I put my almond oil in a little spray bottle. It’s less messy that way for me!) Use circular motions as you rub the joints (shoulders, elbows, knees) and stroke the muscles on the long bones (upper arms, forearms, shins, calves).
The oil prevents the skin from getting too dry. And, the oil is more easily absorbed by the skin when it is mixed with water.**
Second, turn on the cold water (or, at least less warm than you’re used to!). Get into the shower and start by leaning forward under the stream of water, letting it hit your brow point and the tops of your feet simultaneously.
Move the forehead from side-to-side. Your mental awareness should improve quite quickly!
As you let the water hit your feet, massage the right foot with the left foot and vice versa.
Then turn around and massage the back of the left calve with the right foot and vice versa.
Facing the water put again lean your left armpit into the stream and massage both the armpit and the sides of your breast; then the entire breast if you can! Switch and lean your right armpit into the stream and do the same.
You can even lean in and massage the left hip, then the right hip (the yogic ‘hokey-pokey,’ if you will).
And, if you’re really brave, turn around, lean back and aim the cold water under the back of your neck. Be prepared because the water will likely drip down your spine!
Then do it all again—3 or 4 times—constantly massaging the body until the water no longer feels cold. It shouldn’t take you long.
This is your first victory of the day! Although you’ll probably be chanting ‘Oh, God,’ the first few times you try this cold shower dance, eventually that will change to ‘Ang Sang Wahe Guru’ (the Creator is in every limb of my being).
Once you’ve finished, take a large towel, dry yourself off briskly and put on some clothes to finish your wake-up procedure and get ready for sadhana. You’ll feel yourself warm up from the inside out.
*Women do not take cold showers on the days that you’re menstruating. And, no cold showers after the 7th month of pregnancy, either.
**Wearing cotton shorts to take your cold shower protects the thighs and reproductive organs. They also make you feel a little ‘warmer’ as you take your cold shower
Shakta Kaur (E-RYT 500) co-owns Kundalini Yoga in the Loop (KYL), in Chicago, Illinois, USA, with her husband, Hari Dev Singh. She leads Level 1 and Level 2 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainings both in the USA and internationally, teaches Breathwalk (walking meditation) and trains Breathwalk Instructors. For 4 years Shakta served on the Board of Directors of Yoga Alliance (YA) as both Secretary and Chair of the Board plus acted as Interim CEO. She teaches a popular tele-class series called 'The Business of Yoga: Teach More, Earn More, Serve More.' She also leads yatras to India where she teaches Kundalini Yoga, Meditation and Breathwalk at the Punarnava Ayurveda and Yoga Conference. Shakta’s next yatra to India is scheduled for Nov. 29 -Dec. 21, 2015. Her two DVDs--‘The Lunar Woman’ and ‘The Invincible Woman’--remind us to forever embrace the beauty and power of women in the world. A recognized expert in the field of US franchising, in 1987 Shakta founded Women in Franchising, Inc. (WIF) and in 1993, the American Franchisee Association (AFA), a 501(c) 6 non-profit organization.