In my Kundalini Yoga class this past week, I taught the Meditation to Stimulate Your Chakra System and Feel Wonderful.
The meditation instructions are to sit in easy pose with a straight spine. Put the fingers of the left hand on your forehead, touching your third eye point. Extend your right arm out straight forward from your shoulder with the palm facing left. Close your eyes, hold the position, breathe slowly and deeply, meditate silently. Recharge your body with energy.
After the meditation, I asked the class what it felt like and for any comments or questions. One beautiful younger lady replied, "I think it was interesting how you talked about technology at the beginning of class and related the meditation to that. I am trying to break the habit of reaching for my phone. During the meditation, the right hand was me reaching for something else and not my phone. There was something powerful to that."
I was fascinated with this response. Like many Kundalini Meditations, they have meaning and purpose, but sometimes, the essence can be derived from what a person is going through.
In this instance, the right hand for this woman was signifying to reach for something other than her phone. It helped her become aware that when she was reaching out for this device, maybe she needed something more.
What is that more?
Our phones have become a second brain for many of us. In the information age we live in, it is crucial to develop a relationship with our inner technology, this inner knowing, in order to be our true selves in both reality and digitally.
What we crave is the feeling of belonging and connectedness. Our phones and other devices are created to take away our attention. Kundalini Yoga can be a teacher to ask the more profound questions of what we are reaching for when we reach for our phones.
Can that validation and sense of worth come from within ourselves instead of the ‘likes’ on social media?
Below, I will list three things that excess or unconscious screen time can affect, and give you three meditations to help with each of them.
An article from MedicineNet sites a study that compared participants who watched TV or played video games less than two hours a day (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for children aged 2 and older) to those who watched more. Researcher Edward Swing, a graduate student at Iowa State University, noted, "Those who exceeded the AAP recommendation were about 1.6 times to 2.2 times more likely to have greater than average attention problems."
How can you help improve your memory and attention span?
An article by the Cleveland Clinic mentions three reasons why screen-time before bed can be harmful. The one that stood out to me was the blue lights on screens that suppress our naturally occurring sleep hormone, Melatonin. This blue light can also affect our vision. Blue light throws off our body's natural sleep/wake cycle. Instead of winding down in the evening by watching TV or scrolling social media, try this meditation.
How can we get better sleep?
In a 2017 study by the National Institute of Health, researchers found that adults who watched TV or used a computer for more than 6 hours per day were more likely to experience moderate to severe depression. Six hours is a lot of time, but the hours add up if you work from home and use your cell phone a lot. The following meditation can help build your inner strength and mental stability to help you find a healthy balance between screen time and other areas of your life.
How can we calm our minds, and feel less anxious?
Meditation and Yoga are two ways to help overcome the over-stimulation of the information age and walk with grace and authenticity on your path. The next time you find yourself reaching for your phone, ask yourself, what are you distracting yourself from? What are you genuinely needing? Then, use breathing, meditation, or a movement technique to help connect with your Inner technology, your Inner Truth.
May you build a healthy relationship with the screens around you and foster meaningful connections in your life. The next time you reach for your phone, ask your inner wisdom what are you truly reaching for?