By Bhavanjot Kaur
“If you do not understand that life exists to challenge you with every breath, you do not understand living. If you do not challenge your life yourself, somebody will challenge it.”
-Yogi Bhajan 3/12/89
I remember a wise mother once told me that having a ready routine to shape your days is the only way to raise children. While the days do not always flow in a way that fits the desired outcome, it can be very comforting to both parent and child to have something in place to fall back on when things seemingly run off course. I tend to agree with this theory.
If we look too far back or too far ahead we are likely to miss the moment we are in. Parenting is usually a minute-to-minute, step-by-step, breath-to-breath situation that requires an almost constant awareness. Like meditation, parenting calls a person to come back to the current moment again and again.
The gift and perhaps the challenge of parenting is that children keep you in touch with the present moment whether you want to be in that moment or not. Their energies just call out, “Hear me now. See me now. Feed me now. Be with me now!”
As a parent to a four-year old child who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer, I can speak to the Kundalini Yoga teachings and to my routines as a safe place to gently land in my center (inside) even amidst a chaotic (outside) experience. While those challenges have since passed, challenge itself has not and I have found that my practices continue to serve me and shape my experience.
“There is no way to open up the capillaries except by standing in a cold shower and massaging our body for three minutes, and we dare not do it. It is very simple to go for a brisk morning walk to stimulate your metabolism. It requires only fifteen minutes and we don’t have the time.”
-Yogi Bhajan 9/9/95
There are some days that start out just right and I feel like the Universe has conspired to align me with some magical frequency. After a full night’s rest, I rise before my daughter wakes and enjoy a delightful shower, sometimes even a cold shower, which is called Ishnaan. I also like to massage my skin with coconut or almond oil blended with invigorating and grounding essential oils. Then I take my supplements with a big glass of lemon water. (Can you taste it?) Then I burn some sage while drinking my first cup of Yogi Tea. (Doesn’t this sound amazing?)
I then set myself down on my mat for some morning Kundalini Yoga and meditation. My current go-to morning sadhana (which simply means, daily practice) is Sufi Grind and Antar Naad Mudra (also called Kabadshe Meditation).
When I’m finished I sneak in to wake my sleeping daughter with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I quite literally feel like I have won the day before 7:30 a.m. Sometimes I am even so prepared that we share a Ms. Whiz drink for breakfast before a nice brisk walk and then I bring her to school. (Then I ride off on a sparkly unicorn into the heavens. HA!)
These days are quite literally like heaven on Earth, but authentically speaking, these kinds of days do not always happen. Some days I oversleep. (Oh divine sleep!) Some days she wakes before I start or before I finish my routine. (Rats!) Some days it seems that nothing I did or did not do makes a difference in how the rest of the day unfolds or how either of us engage with the energies of the day and/or each other. These are the days when I need to get really creative and utilize the teachings minute-to-minute. (Oh the endless opportunities!)
My latest (borrowed) expression when things start to feel intense in the moment is UH-OH and it signifies a need for me to stop and redirect the energy. These are the moments when I tune into my higher self by chanting Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (which simply means, I bow to the subtle divine wisdom, the divine teacher within) and I practice the One Minute Breath. I practice this breath as many times as I am called to throughout the day for one minute or more depending on the time and space available and depending on what is needed.
“Use the One Minute Breath each day: 20 seconds inhale, 20 seconds hold, 20 seconds exhale.”
-Yogi Bhajan 9/22/02
You can reshape your day with each moment that presents itself to you. There is no need to wait until tomorrow morning to start your practice and routine. This moment is guaranteed. You can win the day right now. You could practice the One Minute Breath for (you guessed it) one minute or for the next three minutes and see what happens:
“In exactly thirty seconds your soul will start communicating with you. In three minutes you can change your mood.”
-Yogi Bhajan 9/10/95
You could also practice the One Minute Breath for the next eleven minutes and see what happens:
“When you are out of balance your breath will be shallow and fast, and you will average twenty to twenty-five breaths per minute. In good health you breathe ten to twelve breaths per minute, and in the best mental state, you breathe five to seven breaths per minute. But if you practice one breath per minute for eleven minutes a day, you can be in control of your mind.”
-Yogi Bhajan 9/10/95
This moment is shaping your next moment.
How will you proceed?
The choice is all yours.
Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts in Old Saybrook, CT. Bhavanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher, Reiki Master & Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner and she also offers sound therapy with a 32" gong. Bhavanjot hosts a local women's circle and various workshops on therapeutic grade essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and The Art of Reiki Levels I and II. She is a proud single mother to a beautiful and delightful four-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer.