Late Afternoon Lows

Q: Dear Ana and Ravi,

I can't thank you enough for all the time and effort you put into your emails, dvds, archives, etc. I am sure I speak for many of us who feel maybe a bit alone in our thinking; I know my family thinks I am crazy sometimes with "all this yoga!" But when someone asks if I am drinking from the fountain of youth, I can't help but smile inside because, yea, it's the yoga, baby!

So my question is this: I am Vinyasa yoga instructor who believes that her secret weapon is the bits of Kundalini yoga she infiltrates into her class and her own personal practice. I am also a workout junkie. I can exercise for hours: walking, elliptical, weight/interval training.... My problem is commitment. I am afraid if I walked away, even for 40 days, and commited strictly to a yoga practice, that my body would fall apart. I know, it's nutty, but I have been working out for so long that I am unsure what path will lead me to my greatest end result. I've been struggling with those last ten pounds that, to me, keeps me from being the best I can be.

Can you please make an inspiration that will take me to my greatest place? I believe it's out there for me, I work awfully hard, but something is standing between me and my success. Thank you endlessly for your guidance and support. Sat Nam, with love.

A: Congratulations on being motivated towards a new breakthrough! I (Ana) used to work out a lot harder then I do now. I was running and cycling and elliptical, etc, and, no matter what I did, I was always a few pounds over my ideal weight. Then I added a regular Kundalini Yoga practice and did almost exclusively Kundalini as well as some alignment classes and the extra weight fell away quickly and I had more energy than ever before.

If you enjoy cross training there is nothing wrong with continuing to do just that, and to also continue to use Kundalini Yoga as your "secret weapon," in order to get the things covered that other forms of exercise don't. Instead of committing to 40 days of just yoga. Why not, for now, have a few days a week just yoga.

We have designed our Kundalini Yoga DVD's with those people in mind, who want to do KY exclusively so we promise you won't "fall apart!" In many of our DVD workouts we have extended exercises which supply a cardio element. We also have added weight bearing and lower body work to many of our workouts, so that people can get everything covered in their Kundalini Yoga sessions. Try our Warrior Workout, Kundalini Yoga Flow Bootcamp, & Kundalini Yoga Body Electric,... etc. These include weight bearing work and a cardio element so you will still be getting a great workout as well as important work on other vital elements of the weight loss equation.

Biorhythmically, everyone goes into a low cycle around 4PM. That's why Happy Hour was invented. Of course having to rely on any substance for a pick me up yields diminishing returns and ultimately, drains more energy than it supplies. The Kundalini Yoga way is to be able to live off of our own energy using the beautiful breath to replenish our energy batteries. If you are at work, we suggest that you do these exercises, which can even be done standing:

Interlace your fingers, palms facing down at sternum level. Forearms parallel to the ground. To the rhythm of the Breath of Fire, move your hands radpidly between your sternum and eyes. The movement emanates from the shoulders. After about a minute, maintaining the Breath of Fire, raise your arms up and out to the sides to a 60 degree angle. Keep the Breath of Fire going for 1 - 3 min. more. While doing this, your fingers are curled into the mounds of the hands and the thumbs are extended straight. To end, inhale hold the breath and move your fingers over and under the thumbs for about 10 seconds. Then return your fingers to the original position and move your thumbs towards one another until the thumbtips meet overhead. Then relax the breath as the arms float down to the sides. This can be followed by an 11 minute meditation These practices will take the place of a nap and help you regenerate.

A meditation that will work well for you in this regard: underside of the tongue on the upper palate (mouth closed), neck in slight neck lock, eyes looking down owards the tip of the nose. Pulse Sa Ta Na Ma on an upward angle out the brow. Cultivate the feeling of focusing in 2 places at once: the tip of the nose, and the mantra going out the brow.This meditation is called Dhrib Dhristi Lochin Karma Kriya. It gives different gifts to everyone: powerful eloquence, intuition, etc.. After doing this, you can also do 3-11 minutes of Breath of Fire at the start of your drive.

4-7 PM represents a window of opportunity (as does 4-7 AM) when any form of meditation is most powerful. If you are driving consdider capitalizing on the time spent in your commute by chanting along with a Kundalini Mantra CD.