Five or so days before my yoga teacher training started, I was attending a ton of yoga classes, including kundalini yoga. I was still partially freaking out all the time about OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO AFTER TRAINING so when my kundalini teacher said, “We’re doing a kriya set for prosperity today!” I was all, “Yessss.”
She advised we do this for 40 days and then it would help bring us prosperity. I believe we’re all energy so anything to change my energy in the direction of prosperity sounded all good to me. I decided to try it. I was supposed to be done the day before Valentine’s Day, but I missed a few nights here and there so I continued doing it through last Friday.
Now it’s over and I feel good about having done it for 40 or so days. Hopefully the ‘prosperity’ part will kick in soon. The actual meditation is past the jump!
Sit comfortably, placing your left hand over your left hand on your heart and close your eyes. For at least 3 minutes (11 minutes maximum), repeat to yourself: “I am bountiful, I am blissful, I am beautiful. Excel, excel, fearless!”
After that, flip both of your palms so the pinkie sides of your hands are touching and on your next exhale, flip the palms so the index sides of your fingers touch, and your left thumb is crossing over your right thumb under your palms.
The word you chant, out loud this time, is “har,” which when pronounced correctly sounds like “hud.” So, for 3-11 minutes, chant “har” on your exhale while flipping your palms to face up and down.
They say that doing this for more than 11 minutes is considered greedy, but 3 minutes is the absolute minimum.
Election Day 2016
My polling place on the upper west side was busier than it ever has been before! I went by around 8:45am and luckily, I only had to wait around 20 minutes or so, but I hear it got bad in certain parts of my ‘hood. Hopefully everyone voted!
I spent my day in meditation, then a kundalini yoga class, then I cooked lunch, followed by catching up with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, and then we went to an Urban Zen yoga class. Everything was about stress reduction and it was lovely.
This election has been awful. Donald Trump is an atrocious excuse for a human being with some (emphasis on the word some) of the most awful, racist, misogynist supporters out there. But for those supporters who aren’t the bottom of the barrel, I get it. Sort of. You want lower taxes and you don’t want the country flooded with immigrants from cultures that don’t easily or at all assimilate. I don’t agree with the lower taxes for all. I believe that the super wealthy should start paying their fair share (again). But we’ve been seeing how loads of immigrants haven’t been assimilating into European countries and so it’s understandable and reasonable that some Americans don’t want that here.
That said, I’m not giving the nuclear code to a man who is so volatile that questions about his statements regarding a beauty pageant winner send him on Twitter rants at 3am. He is attention deficit disordered narcissistic misogynist fuckwit. I know people like him because he has no experience in government, but that is not a plus for me.
So, I empathize with the other side, but truly, I hope he loses. I hope we can wake up tomorrow to a world where it is no longer unimaginable for a little girl to dream to be president one day. HRC has a ton of baggage and is not perfect by any means, but she’s what we got so I hope she wins.
Now watch your alcohol intake tonight, please.
I hesitated before purchasing a $50 ticket to Gabrielle Bernstein’s YogaJournal Conference talk last Friday night, but I’m glad I did buy the ticket eventually. I needed it. I’d been having a heavy week and all of the yoga classes in the world weren’t helping, so this was just the thing recenter myself. I’m glad I forked over $50 + fees to Ms. Bernstein for two hours of meditations and good times.
She said this was a sort-of new talk for her so she was nervous but as always, she was uplifting and her presence was powerful. (Hence the talk’s name, “True Power.”) A few very intense guided meditations to some incredible music later and I think it was safe to say that everyone in that room (750 of us, apparently) were feeling a lot better. She even insisted on us turning to our neighbor and telling them, with no sugar coating, what was on our minds at that moment. It took a lot of courage but hey, we were probably never going to see that person again, so why not?
I picked up a deck of “Miracles Now” cards before the talk started, too. My dude, the patient person he is, even obliged in picking out a card with me each morning on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings. He’s not really into the spiritual, granola-y stuff, but he’s humoring me. I’ll get him to start meditating someday.
Anytime I think I’ve had my fill of Gabby’s talks, I’m always wrong and I’m always glad I went. If you haven’t seen her before, go. If you’re, like, sort-of curious, go. If you want to start out slowly, read Spirit Junkie (not her first book, but the first one I read). You (probably) won’t be sorry.
Since I started practicing yoga seriously in 2011, the chakras have come up regularly. In world of meditation and yoga, we study our 8 chakras. A chakra is basically an energy point in the body (check them out here). The fifth chakra is located in your throat and it supposedly helps you speak your truth.
Back in 2013-ish, I read the book The Eight Human Talents by Gurmukh, a famous kundalini yoga teacher (she owns Golden Bridge Yoga which has locations on both coasts). The studio in New York is on the Lower East Side and sadly, I’ve never been able to make it down there because on the weekends I’m usually a) busy, or b) lazy.
In her chapter on the fifth chakra, she talks about wearing a blue pendant whenever she’s feeling weak in this chakra – having trouble speaking her truth or whatnot – because blue is the color associated with this chakra. I always really liked this idea and was always on the look out for a blue pendant that I liked.
Throughout the years, I would walk past, especially when I was working in the Film Center building on 44th and 9th, a really pretty blue pendant in the window of this used jewelry store/thrift shop on 43rd and 9th. It was always there, sitting in the window. It wasn’t at all expensive but I would never let myself buy it, probably because I have so much other jewelry.
The week before Valentine’s Day, this necklace came up in conversation with my boyfriend. I honestly don’t remember how it came up because it’s such a random thing to talk about in a conversation. But it did and he asked if he could buy it for me because he wasn’t comfortable picking out jewelry for me on his own.
On the day before Valentine’s Day, on our way to Brooklyn, we met on the corner of 43rd and 9th (also the corner of the apartment where he was living when we met) and the necklace was still in the same place in the window so I tried it on and that was that.
I haven’t told him all the chakra theory because I don’t like to shove too much of my yoga/meditation/new age-y stuff down his throat. I don’t know if the necklace is having an affect on my ability to speak my truth, but it’s pretty and it’s meaningful and I like it.
Let me preface this to say that I think all holidays are made up. Did you know that there’s zero evidence that Jesus H. Christ was born on December 25th? And don’t get me started on Easter. Halloween is made up but at least that one’s just fun.
I’m not typically a fan of Valentine’s Day. Two years ago when my then-long distance boyfriend flew in I asked him to cancel last-minute our dinner reservations (nothing too outrageous, I promise) and asked him to go to a pub instead. I felt fraudulent getting behind the holiday that is a) made up, b) will obviously leave large groups of people feeling bad about themselves which is unnecessary.
Last year I watched this vlog by Gabby Bernstein and I said fuck it and made it a day for self-care. I took a bath, I got a mani/pedi, it was fun. I even went all the way out to Brooklyn the day after for a kundalini yoga self-love workshop that a girlfriend of mine was hosting and met lots of really cool people who were also in need of something to do on this day, whether they were single or not. That was totally fun. I may or may not have started a “love vision board” (at the suggestion of Bernstein) that never really went anywhere and never was hung up. The point was that it was a lot more fun to focus on what I wanted for the future and how I could make myself feel good right now than wallow with a bunch of other depressed people at a bar.
This year I find myself in a relationship again (and not a long distance one, thank fucking god) and it’s a really wonderful and comfortable one. I knew I still didn’t want to make a big thing of the stupid day but I suggested eating one of those ridiculous milkshakes at Black Tap Burger and going to see The Boy. Is there anything more appropriate for Valentine’s Day than a horror movie? Nah. Even though it received horrible reviews it’ll be fun.
The best part about Valentine’s Day this year? The Walking Dead is back! My dude and I are both stoked about this.
So, instead putting a lot of pressure on this day, I’m going to be Captain Obvious over here and tell you to just chill out and do what makes you feel good.
Dwell in the feeling of what it is that you desire.
I’m not sure how, but I received an email from someone in Gabrielle Bernstein’s camp last week about an hour-long lecture that she was giving with Philosophy, and after checking my schedule, I happily RSVP’d.
I arrived a tad before 6pm, not remembering that it was first-come, first-serve, and I was at the end of a long line. They told us at the back that we probably wouldn’t get in as they were at capacity, but I stuck around with a few others anyways. You could say we willed ourselves in because just before the event started, fire codes be damned, and they let the few us that stuck around stand in the back. Total win.
Lots of my friends who read this will probably roll their eyes at the granola-y vibe of what she spoke about and that’s fine. Roll your eyes and keep living your life how it suits you. I digress!
Gabby Bernstein will always be my favorite. She spoke about manifestation and vision boards, of course. We meditated. She said the number one key to manifesting is to put what you want out there into the universe and then chill. Because the energy of being a maniac and trying to get something, anything, will drive it away from you. She also said to pick a sign and ask for it and ask for it often.
I needed this talk and I took this advice to heart with my search for the perfect(-ish) job. Every now and then I get into panic-mode about my job and that helps exactly no one.
So, pick a sign and chill out. Oh, and meditate. Always meditate.
This Valentine’s Day I did yoga, went grocery shopping, got a pedicure, took a bath, and cooked. It was pretty great. The day after I went to a post-Valentine’s Day kundalini yoga and meditation workshop at PureHouse in Brooklyn. I’d met the founder, Anne, of TAPIN last April at her “Own Happy” installation that a former colleague was working with her on. She’s totally creative and open and awesome.
I know, I know. Just pass the granola.
Anyways, it was about 20 of us and we started with a short meditation, then a physical kriya, then much more meditation, and finally some journaling and pouring our hearts out about what we’d like to manifest in the relationships in our life.
After that awesomeness we were all starving and lunch was being made by Jaquy and her partner at Tasty Freedom. Jaquy has dairy and gluten allergies so her food is all gluten and dairy free. I saw so many vegetables that I was expecting to be pretty hungry afterwards.
Nope. I was so stuffed. Maybe too stuffed. There were baked squash and broccoli, mashed sweet potatoes, baked tofu and mushrooms, beet strings, kale salad, and pickled ginger. It sounds so hippy but it was all SO good. For dessert they had “ice dream” which was dairy (and soy) free ice cream made out of banana, vanilla, ginger, maple syrup, etc. So, so good.
Afterward we all friended each other on Facebook, duh. I’m quite glad I trekked an hour out to Brooklyn and made some new connections. An perfect way to spend the day after Valentine’s Day.
(Photo via gabriellebernstein I’m the second person from the left in the front in the orange shirt.)
Yesterday morning at ABC Home and Furniture in the Flatiron District, a couple hundred people came together to change their energy and in turn help change the world (another 4,000 were watching on the live stream). I arrived a few minutes before it started (thanks, MTA!) but I somehow managed to snag a front row spot (score!). We started off by tuning in and then doing some collective breath of fire. I love breath of fire because one of my yoga teachers makes us do it every so often, you know, while we’re holding planks. After that we did a meditation to eradicate anxiety (I did this every morning for 4 months straight, I love this one too), pictured above. We chanted, sang, breathed, meditated some more, had a couple of Q&A’s, and then closed with the only kundalini meditation that comes with a warning (because theoretically you have to watch your thoughts while you’re chanting because if they’re the wrong thoughts, you might manifest something you don’t want/need).
People talked, people cried, people cheered. The energy was high. It was awesome. It was well worth the price of her book (you can purchase it here, and no, I’m not being paid!).
Afterward she signed whatever we wanted and took pictures. I had taken a few notes in the notebook that I’d gotten as a favor at the wedding I went to a few weeks back. It said “thank you” on the front, so I thought it was a perfect token to ask Gabrielle to sign.
It was a mind-blowing experience. I highly recommend her workshops if you ever have the chance.