By Melissa Baker
I grew up in an age where it’s normal to check a phone or device first thing in the morning. Before I was even aware of what was happening internally, I was bombarded with other people’s ideas through social media, and external stimulation. I’d start my day concerned about what others thought about my life, instead of actually living it.
One of the biggest lifestyle changes that practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga has brought to me is an awareness around the relationship I have with my phone and other digital devices.
Through the practice of cultivating Kundalini energy, and expressing my potential in the world, I reflect on six ways Kundalini Yoga has helped me consciously live with digital devices being woven into my life.
- Sat Nam
Meal time is a sacred experience where we place our phones to the side, and take time to connect with each other.
Sat Nam is said in our house at least three times a day. Sat Nam translates as “Truth is Your Identity,” or “True You.” Before each meal, my partner and I hold hands, take two deep breaths, and say a long “Sat Nam.” Sometimes, our two-year-old will join us in this sacred sound, and other times he voices other undistinguishable sounds.
This habit started at my first Kundalini Yoga training in Israel, where we blessed the food with three long Sat Nam’s before we ate. This practice helps me connect to how my body feels, and gets me in the mental and emotional space to enjoy a nourishing meal with gratitude and awareness.
My partner and I also say “Sat Nam” before we hang up the phone. It is another reminder to slow down and walk, talk, and live in our True Nature.
Are there parts of your day when you can be reminded of Sat Nam?
How can you incorporate small moments in your day to remind yourself to connect with the True You?
The importance of Sadhana (daily spiritual practice) is repeated over and over again throughout my spiritual path. When I am steady with my Sadhana, life flows more effortlessly, and I have more drive and am more decisive.
When my Sadhana is shaky, there is this underlying fear that influences my decisions. When I experience this fear, the first thing I reach for is my phone. I was programed to believe that the phone is safe, comforting and predictable. Whether it is social media or just wasting time, I will spend energy on things that do not serve my consciousness or attention.
The consistent sadhana first thing in the morning has helped me connect with what is true for me, instead of my reactions out of fear. Now in my life, I have reprogrammed my habits so I turn off the alarm and don’t look at my phone until I have done a Sadhana to align with a higher and clearer me.
How does it feel to tap into your inner self first thing in the morning?
How do your screen habits change if you meditate or do yoga first?
- The Future Generation
Three years ago I got certified in Radiant Child Yoga, Kundalini Yoga for kids. I was a Physical Education teacher at the time, and immediately applied what I learned. I still teach Kids Yoga classes, and the impact is remarkable.
In the world we live in, many children are overstimulated and unaware of their body in space and time. They watch their parents on screens, and learn from their habits. Kids are vulnerable to following these patterns, and parents unknowingly set a foundation of consuming unconsciously.
I’ve found that Kids Yoga helps these kids have a safe space to use their imagination and create body awareness to develop to their full capacity. It is incredible how easily we can teach our children, the future of our world, how to create using their body and imagination, instead of being glued to a screen.
How do you lead by example with screens around children?
Do you feel like you are using your imagination and are aware of your body around screens? How do you show your inner child love?
- Educating Myself
Kundalini Yoga has taught me to live on purpose. When I consume media, it is purposeful. Through self-study and research, I’ve learned how screens affect our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and even social health.
This research, along with Kundalini Yoga, has given me a greater sense of connection to and awareness of my purpose. I am directed away from a screen and towards my passions. I admit, there are moments during my day when I will pick up the phone without knowing why, but I have more resilience and awareness to shift my attention back to a purpose.
How do you feel when you are on a screen for hours at a time?
What are three things you have learned or experienced about screen time and your health?
What Kriya or meditation reminds you to live on purpose, and to be purposeful with technological devices?
- Processing it all
Information is constantly coming in, and much of the time, we are overstimulated by all this information. Our bodies react with a stress response, and imbalance occurs. Kundalini Yoga has given me the space to process all this information, and how I am reacting or acting because of it.
We have a meditation space in our home that provides a safe container to process, let go, and go deeper into understanding ourselves. This space to process is necessary to prevent overstimulation from seeping into other areas of your life.
How do you process all the events and circumstances in your life?
If you’re not, what can you do to create that space to process?
Where is that safe space that you are able to process the past and the present?
Kundalini energy is a creative energy that works within our bodies and all around us. If we tap into this energy, there is this limitless creative potential. If someone were to practice Kundalini Yoga, and then spend most of their time using this energy to take in useless information or giving this energy mindlessly to digital devices, then I feel this beautiful gift is being thrown away.
We have this opportunity to work with this brilliant energy, and direct it towards our passions and strengths. The more we pay attention to what our creativity is asking of us, then we can start acting in such a way that expresses this creative energy.
How do you tap into your creative energy?
What does it look like to have this balance between your digital life and your real life?
For example: I scheduled four times throughout the day to check my email, instead of constantly distracting myself by checking my email all the time. I was able to interact with my coworkers, and help one going through an emotional situation.
It is helpful to remember that screen time and technology are not inherently good or bad. What is important is how we manage them. Give yourself the space to look within your inner tech, and connect with what is true for you. From that place, bring awareness into the ways that you use your phone and other technology.
Keep in your heart the knowledge that your choices affect you, the people around you, and our future generations. How can you lead by example with yoga and meditation to increase your awareness around digital tools?
Melissa Baker (Honey Bee) is a multi-passionate Certified Health Education Specialist, Spiritual Teacher, and Writer who lives in Gainesville, FL. Along with teaching yoga, meditation, and fitness to kids and adults, she is a Group Fitness Manager at one of the best gyms in America, Gainesville Health and Fitness. In 2010 Melissa Baker's life changed when she had scoliosis surgery, where two titanium rods were placed aligning her spine. Since then, she has fully embraced and cared for her body through an active life. She is passionate about teaching young adults and diverse cultures how to access and connect to their inner truth through Kundalini Yoga, Ayurveda, and movement-based therapies.
Melissa reads all of her e-mails, and values connecting with others. E-mail her at [email protected]