“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
In most of the world, we’ve been in some sort of lockdown for the last two months. It isn’t easy. Some days are better than others, but everyone I talk with describes moments of feeling overwhelmed. We are trying many different things to help stabilize ourselves during this period—journaling, healing circles, support groups, the list goes on. All these can be really valuable, but I’m going to ask for something even simpler. I am going to ask you for three minutes of your day. Because in these three minutes, I can improve your life.
How do I know this? Because I’ve been doing a modest yet consistent daily Kundalini Yoga and meditation practice for ten years, and I can honestly say, it changed my life. In 2012 I restarted my life, moving from San Francisco, California to Athens, Greece. I went from a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to becoming a full-time Kundalini Yoga and Enneagram instructor and author. This tiny step of a daily practice changed everything for me, and I bet it will help you too.
When I graduated from Kundalini Yoga teacher training in 2009, my teachers were clear that if we planned to teach, it was important to have a daily practice. I took this advice seriously and with the exception of maybe two days in the last 10 years (roughly 3,650 days), I’ve done Kundalini Yoga every day.
What’s a daily practice?
A daily practice means you do yoga and/or meditation each day. In the case of a Kundalini Yoga practice, they are combined so you don’t need to choose. Your practice doesn’t have to be long. I remember what my teachers saying “The difference between a long practice and a short one is a lot, but the difference between a short practice and no practice is tremendous.” With this in mind, I set my minimum at three minutes per day. Many days I do more, but this is my minimum, and with a three-minute goal, it has been relatively easy to be consistent.
Why three minutes?
We were trained very specifically about the different effects of various meditation time durations. Three minutes is considered a good minimum meditation time with the following effects:
the electromagnetic field surrounding the body is activated
the circulation and stability of the blood improves
the body begins to find rhythm and the nervous system strengthens.
How will a daily practice help your quarantine? I’ll give you my top four reasons.
1) It’s like a daily reboot.
The same way you reboot your computer when it starts to get overloaded, this 3-minute practice acts as a daily reboot for your mind. No matter what’s happening or how overwhelmed you feel, this tiny daily discipline helps you feel a little bit better. The quarantine isn’t an easy period, but at least once a day, you can rebalance your mood. Your practice reboots your mind and your emotional state.
2) It’s a tremendously stabilizing habit.
We are dealing with an unprecedented amount of change right now. It is natural to feel anxious about an uncertain future or to struggle with an ever-shifting present. But one way to stabilize yourself is to go back to your breath, reconnect with your body and process some of the energy of emotion. Someone once asked me where “home” is for me. I thought for a minute and then answered, “it’s my daily practice.” This is where I go to feel relaxed and secure. It stabilizes me.
3) A daily practice has had huge physical benefits, particularly in the area of breath control.
The ability to breathe in a controlled way has many benefits which I’ve outlined here. How you breath can change your thoughts. With greater control over your breathing, you feel less anxious. Your breath sends signals to your physical body telling it that you are safe, and you can relax. From this space of relaxation, you can do your best thinking and solutions to your problems often come to you more easily.
4. This daily practice makes you more “you.”
This is a deeply personal experience, but it is also one of the most important benefits of a daily practice. I’ll use myself as an example. When I look at my life now and my life ten years ago, I feel like the accountant sitting in an office in San Francisco was like a shadow of my true self. It wasn’t fake, but it wasn’t the full me. These days, I feel like the full me. When people ask about my story, I credit my decision to move from San Francisco to Athens to my Kundalini Yoga practice. Same thing for my career change from a CFO to a Kundalini Yoga/Enneagram instructor and writer. I’m grateful for this more radiant version of my life. And yes, in just three minutes a day, you can connect to your Higher Self and feel more like “you.” Many of you will need to restart your life in many ways as a result of the pandemic. Connecting with your Higher Self on a daily basis will make that transition much easier.
How to get started with a 3-minute daily practice
I’ve included this simple 3-minute Kundalini Yoga meditation video to lower stress and clear emotions from the past. You can do this meditation each day you are in quarantine and see how you feel. I bet it makes you feel better, and you might even come out of this period with a new habit that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Join me live for worldwide Kundalini Yoga classes from Athens, Greece via Zoom.
If you want to see more short Kundalini Yoga practices, check out this list of 20+ kriya and meditation videos under 10 minutes.
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