If I could give one piece of advice to every new parent, it wouldn’t actually be a piece of advice at all. I’d take the opportunity to share a breathing exercise that will serve them time and time again. From the first pregnancy to the empty nest, parenting offers plenty of opportunities to experience anxiety, irritation, and anger. Keeping your cool isn’t always easy and parenting while frustrated doesn’t usually go too well. Fortunately, yoga offers us a breathing exercise called “Sitali Pranayama” that can save the day. It’s easy to do, you don’t need any special equipment, and you can even do it while your kids are fighting in the back of the car!
Sitali Pranayama gives power, strength, and vitality while soothing and releasing hot emotions like irritation, shame, and anger. It’s calming, cooling, and brings you back to center. I always teach the pregnant mamas in my prenatal yoga classes this breath as it can be useful during the intensity of labor. Moms with anxiety love it because it slows the breath down and helps them regain a sense of calm and control. Kids love it because it looks silly and they can learn to regulate their own emotions. It’s really a kind of one-size-fits-all yoga wonder!
Knowing Sitali Pranayama (or as we call it in Kids Yoga, “The Really Cool Breath”) is like having a built-in air conditioner in your body. Whether the heat is coming from the outside on a hot summer day or the inside when you’re so upset you feel your blood could boil, Sitali Pranayama is there to cool you off and make you comfortable again.
How to do it: Sit up tall Easy Pose or in a chair, contracting the neck just slightly as if to make a double chin. We call this “Neck Lock,” or Jalandhar Bandh in yoga. Close your eyes (unless you’re driving) and stick out your tongue. Curl your tongue into a tube lengthwise, like a taco shape. Inhale deeply through the rolled tongue, close your mouth, and exhale through the nose. Continue breathing in this way for 3-11 minutes. If you can’t roll and extend your tongue as directed, you may gently hold the tongue between the teeth.
I feel so lucky and so blessed that the gong is finally here. An instrument as fine as this is so special and I am eternally grateful to everyone who contributed financially to help manifest this potent gong sound therapy right here in Bozeman, Montana. Since it’s arrival, I have had the great honor of playing it for family, friends, students, other teachers, and even people I had otherwise never met before! I love sensing and feeling the shifts that take place in those resting and relaxing while I play for them, and I love falling into the flow and grace that playing the gong induces. I am in awe of it’s powerful resonance and ability to transform. I hope you’ll decide to try it for yourself!
“The gong is very simple. It is an inter-vibratory system. It is the sound of Creativity itself. The gong is nothing more, nothing less. One who plays the gong plays the universe. The gong is not an ordinary thing to play. Out of it came all music, all sounds, and all words. The sound of the gong is the nucleus of the Word.” ~Yogi Bhajan
“The gong is a sacred threshold. It is a portal that links the finite and the infinite experience of the self. The most sublime instrument of the Yogi is the Gong. It is a musical instrument, a healing tool for the nervous system and a cauldron in which you can create alchemical blends of qualities that open and develop the inner self. The sound of the gong creates deep relaxation, releases you from the torrent of thoughts and stimulates the glandular system to a higher level of functioning. The gong impacts the body and it’s meridians. It releases blocks, reduces tension, and stimulates circulation. The result of this is a reorganization of the emotional energy and feelings that are tied into the body structure.”
Excerpted from The Art of the Gong in Kundalini Yoga & Meditation by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
I am pleased to announce that I am now offering private Gong Sound Therapy Sessions in addition to playing the gong during savasana after select classes and workshops. My instrument is a hand selected 32 inch Paiste Symphonic Gong from Soul of the Gong. The gong is the most potent form of sound therapy I’ve ever come across, and I would be honored to play for you. Choose from 90 minute (Yoga, Meditation, and Gong), 60 minute (Yoga & Gong), and 30 minute (Gong only) options. Private and Semi-Private appointments are available. Please call me at (406) 595-2547 to arrange a session.
Lately I have been getting more and more requests for private classes, and it is really something I love to do. There is something really special about getting to know a student well, and tailoring the classes to suit him/her. I love to dig through my yoga manuals and select just the right kriyas and meditations to serve the particular needs of the person I am working with. It is very gratifying also to see people dive deeply into the teachings of Kundalini Yoga. Often those who desire private classes wish to practice also at home and really accelerate their personal growth.
Sometimes people who seek out private classes simply want to experience Kundalini Yoga by themselves a few times before joining a class with others. Sometimes it is because the regular scheduled classes don’t fit into their schedule. And sometimes it is because they feel intimidated by the thought of exercising in a group. Generally, though, people seek out private classes so they can experience a class tailor made for them.
Often as I get to know a student, they will tell me their stories, their health concerns and goals, and other information about them that can help me choose appropriate kriyas and meditations suited for them. The beautiful thing about Kundalini Yoga is that there is pretty much a specific kriya or meditation for everything under the sun. With kriyas with titles like “Stress Set for the Adrenals and Kidneys,” “Abdominal Strengthening Set,” “Firing Up the Metabolism,” “Detoxification,” “Kriya for a Calm and Open Heart,” “To Relieve Inner Anger,” “Glandular System Tune Up,” “To Make the Skin Radiant,” “Refreshing the Nervous System,” “Kriya for Elevation,” “Let the Liver Live,” and “Kriya for Disease Resistance,” (to name just a few) we really can target specific conditions with yoga. And the meditations are countless as well. There are meditations for prosperity, dealing with depression, healing, good luck, removing negative thoughts, boosting self-esteem, becoming more intuitive, healing the wounds of love, and even for keeping up with your children! Truly the possibilities and combinations are almost endless.
Another way to tailor a class to an individual is to do a Tantric Numerology Reading. The numbers of one’s birthday are plugged into an ancient yogic formula, and a reading is given with customized suggestions for a personal yoga practice based on the individual’s results.
For more information and to schedule, please give me a call at (406) 595-2547.