Custom Menu

Latest From Our Blog

How To Heal Yourself With The Parasympathetic Nervous System

How To Heal Yourself With The Parasympathetic Nervous System

The nervous system is a muscle and if we don’t practice strengthening the parasympathetic side of it, our bodies’ natural healing process becomes stalled. Through my own health journey, I’ve experienced how profound it is when you activate the parasympathetic system and move into the healing frequency. In this episode, I cover why we need a strong nervous system, how it functions, and techniques for activating the parasympathetic part of the system. 

Show Notes:

Full Transcript:

Hello, I am back and Mercury just went retrograde. So, I figured, this is a great time to record this week’s podcast. I already hear a car in the background. Look, we’re just going to go with it and see what happens. Mercury retrograde isn’t something to be all like fearful of, a lot of really great serendipitous miscommunications happen. And often, when technology fails, it’s because we need to look up and look around, or do something different. And sometimes, the ways that the retrograde forces us to slow down, is exactly what we need, in order to actually get a lot further or grow and expand more spiritually.

So, on that note, literally, just a couple hours ago, today’s Halloween, and I don’t have a costume. I don’t remember the last time I dressed up for Halloween. But, it is a day where the veil is pretty thin, and it definitely was. It was a little. I got up at 3:30, cold showered, did sadhana, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice, and I thought I saw… it got weird, I thought I saw someone a couple times and it was like one of those ones. So, definitely, in the creepy vibes of Halloween or the spooky vibes. But, no costume. I’m currently getting ready to open up the studio, The Pallas, coming very, very soon to Dobbs Ferry, New York, in Westchester. Just about 30 minutes north of New York City. It is really a special and magical time.

It feels like… I don’t have a child, but if you have given birth, I imagine that maybe this is what it feels like right before you give birth. There’s like a lot of nesting going on, a lot of anticipation, and also, just a lot of savoring these moments, where, it doesn’t yet exist, but it does. I’ve launched a couple of companies in my life already, and the crazy thing about building a business, is that, for a period of time, you’re actually in that building stage, and you’re building or you’re holding a vision, things are moving, things are happening, it’s very magical and exciting and it’s filled with possibility. And then, one day you launch, and when you launch, the doors are open, and the customers are there, and the clients are there, and things are happening.

And all of a sudden, it’s not as much. The lid isn’t on it anymore, and it becomes its own entity. And the crazy thing that I’ve noticed is, it’s basically like, you give birth to it, and then you work for it. So, this whole concept of entrepreneurship being this like pie in the sky, “I work for myself.” No, you work for your business. It’s the same thing. And the more I’ve recognized that, the better I’ve become at creating businesses and also working for those businesses, because that’s what I do. I’m an employee of my own businesses. And when I treat it that way, the business thrives, because I’m taking myself out of the equation in a lot of ways, because it’s not about me, it’s like, “What does the business need today?”

And also, not as self-sabotage. I don’t know, if you’ve ever tried to create something, or, I’ll just tell you what happens with me, when I launched my PR business a couple of years ago, it was like, it took off right away, and I was not ready for that. I was not expecting that. I knew it would be great, I knew I had contacts and connections to make it great, but I was saying no to clients, literally by month two. I was like, “No, I can’t do this. This is not what I was thinking I was signing up for, and, oh, my God.” And a couple years later, I ended up closing it down, because I didn’t like doing it anyway.

But, there’s a grudge, it says it all the time, and it’s a Yogi Bhajan thing, we have to plan for our success. But, part of that is, when we’re holding the vision of the companies and the things that we’re creating, we have to know the game that we’re in. And part of that is that, you are willing to put yourself into it, however it needs you to show up. And I wasn’t ready to show up for my PR business in the way that it needed me to show up. And it’s interesting, actually, there was this business that, this really great vegan restaurant, Dan and I went to in Majorca. So, I just got back from Majorca, I did a Kundalini women’s camp immersion. It’s amazing practicing with 100 women of all ages, it’s so healing.

But, after the camp, I met up with Dan, and we went to this vegan restaurant, and I said to him, I’m like, “Oh, my God, you can actually feel that they don’t want customers.” It’s not that they’re advertise like, “Hey, please don’t come in,” but it’s this vibe of like, wow, they actually are limiting, deliberately, how many people they can serve, by how much food they were carrying, because they weren’t carrying much. They only had one option on the menu for that day. So, you couldn’t actually choose from their very long menu. And then, the person, after she’d serve you, she’d go back over to her big Mac laptop or desktop, and it’s like, she was like part chef, part desk person.

And it’s like, what are you doing? You’re running a restaurant, and it’s this beautiful vegan place, and there’s so much potential here, but it’s like, she was deliberately keeping it small. It’s like she didn’t have the structure within her to hold it up, and maybe she doesn’t want to, or maybe she can’t hold it. So, there’s two sides of it. And I don’t know if you’ve ever encountered this yourself, or sense it from a business that you’ve ever gone into, or something like that. But, it’s twofold, because, number one, it’s, “I don’t want to be successful.” And then, number two is, “I can’t be successful. Meaning, my nervous system can’t handle it. My aura can’t hold it. Or, I’m just freaking out, the freakout. The kind of like, ‘This is too much, I’m overwhelmed.'”

Anytime you hear yourself going down that, “I have too much on my plate, I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed,” that’s a nervous system breakdown. And the nervous system is so important, I can’t begin to emphasize how much my life has changed since I’ve started looking at my nervous system as a muscle, as something that I have to actively, daily, multiple times a day, expand, contract, and work with, so that it is functioning, flowing, activated, and not just falling into some sort of default patterning of it. Because, well, I think we were born with somewhat of a good nervous system. It mimics the mother’s nervous system that you’re inheriting both biologically, and then, also, from the patterning within the womb. After birth, there’s a series of unfortunate events, for most people, in some fashion, to any degree, that basically tear at the nervous system.

And if you’ve never learned how it works, and what it actually needs in order to function well, then, you’re way more prone to overwhelm, burnouts, and not being able to sustain the things that you want to create, that you have these visions for, and you’re like, “Oh, my God, I’m going to get this out there, and it’s going to be amazing.” And then you put it out there and it’s a smashing success and you can’t handle it. So, to be totally transparent, my biggest prayer, my deepest, deepest prayer for my opening and for the next several years is my steadiness. And my steadiness, what that represents is my nervous system, and my ability to not freak out, and my ability to stay clear, and connected, and energized.

And that doesn’t mean I’m not going to need a nap, part of taking care of your nervous system is the contraction. You have to have rest, you have to have naps, you have to have brakes. But, it’s a steadiness. So, I don’t slip down a kind of a rabbit hole that we’re kind of, we’re actually kind of put into it. I mean, if you think about your time growing up or entering the workforce, it’s not designed for a healthy nervous system, it’s actually designed to break it down and wear it down. And there are no naps, that’s actually part of the problem, and it’s a major problem, there should be naptime.

And waking up at certain times that you don’t necessarily want to, or need to, as a child, and then, not having proper rest during the day, and then, also, having so much stress, meaning, pressure, external pressures, that become internalized pressures, that just wears away at it. And then, not to mention, wherever you live and the environmental stresses of that. So, like for me, I grew up in New York, right outside of New York City. And when I was in sixth grade, 9/11 happened, and that has colored my entire generation, and our nervous systems. And we forgot about that sometimes, but it is absolutely linked to core anxieties and stressors and fears.

Now, we can work on it, but it’s so interesting, because, after the first day in Majorca, up on the mountain, so, we went up to this monastery where the Black Madonna was sighted, and that’s why they built the monastery there. And there’s this amazing shrine and it’s very sacred ground. And so, we were practicing deep women’s practicing, teachings, on this land for three nights. And after the first day, I realized that my nervous system was relaxing to such a deeper level than it does when I’m at home, and it was like, whoa. It was actually one of those moments where I was like, “Shit, man, I thought I was relaxed, and I’m not.”

And I think a lot of it actually has to do with, I’m still right outside of New York City, I go in frequently, and I have to have my little bit of armor on. Meaning, I need to stay alert. Things are going on, and I’m crossing the street when I’m walking my dog, and there’s a lot of people, and there’s still a lot of… it’s a densely populated area I’m in still, and things happen, and I have to be alert and aware and on guard. Now, on this mountain, though, I was like next level relaxed, which is amazing, because the strength of your nervous system is equal to how deeply you’re able to relax. I think we’re all actually masterful at the fight or flight thing, like, the freakout. We’ve learned it, we’ve exercised it, it works.

And if anything, we’ve overused it, and now, we can’t access it. So, at some point, though, we’ve been really good at it. It’s a very natural thing that we have. But, probably since, couple months old or weeks old, we probably haven’t had that deep, deep, deep, deep, deep, parasympathetic, other end of the relaxation scale. I think of my dog actually, because, every time we go to take her out at night, she knows it’s about to happen and she rolls over onto her back, she doesn’t want to go for a walk. She’s not lazy, she’s just like, “Carry me.” It’s like a little game. It’s cute. But, we pick her up, and it’s literally like a forklift. We steer our hands under her, and she’s just completely limp.

She’s just the most trusting, limp, happy puppy of all time. And it’s that level of limp, and dead weight, that, to me, is like, oh, man, that must feel really good. And she’s able to access it instantaneously and that’s my wish for me. And the quicker that I can get into that kind of relaxed state, where I’m allowing myself to be held by the earth, or by water, or by my life, the better, and the healthier my nervous system then becomes, because that’s its foundation. So, anyway, I’m up on this mountain top, and it sounds like so hippie, it’s great. If you asked me two years ago, if I’d be doing this stuff, I’d be like, “What?” Really, three years ago.

But, actually, it’s not that surprising, but it still sounds funny to me, because it just feels like that caricature of like a yogi, like, oh, yes, up in the mountain and I was meditating in some caves. Anyway, it was fantastic. I know why people go up on mountains and meditate, and I also know why they go in caves and meditate. It’s great, it’s good stuff. And it’s not that we need to spend all of our lives there, but, to be honest, to know that there’s a deeper level of relaxation and parasympathetic nervous system that I am able to access, is so powerful to have that knowledge. So that, now, when I’m here, and I feel like I’m relaxed, I can go, no, no, no, I know I can go deeper.

I know that there’s more, and just even having knowledge and awareness that there’s a well of stability that can go even deeper, is so healing and encouraging. It feels really good. So, there’s a lot of things out there on the nervous system. And actually, I told a story on Instagram last week, after I was deeply relaxed on the mountaintop. I came down, and I was like, “You know what? I’m going to tell everyone my story. It’s a story about how I found Kundalini yoga, and it’s very personal, and it’s really hard for me to share, to be honest, because it is so personal, so real, raw. It’s still raw, even though it’s about three years old now.

And a big component of the story is that, basically, I was really, really, really sick, and I really wasn’t sure where the light at the end of the tunnel was, because I couldn’t even like see two inches in front of my face, in terms of my hopes and wishes. It was kind of like, “I hope I can shower in the next couple of days.” Like, that’s as far ahead as I was able to think. And I was coming off of an SSRI, which is a serotonin inhibitor. And which is weird, because, what you want is more serotonin, but the way that it works neurologically, it actually inhibits the serotonin from leaving its spots in the brain. It’s really effed up actually. It works, I’ll tell you that. If you’re in a pickle, and you need to numb out, it will help you. But I was on it for seven years.

And even on the lowest dose of it, I was numb. And the only emotions that would break through the numbness, were the lower emotions. So, the higher emotions didn’t come out. So, I had such low access to my joy and to happiness. So, even though I was numb, it was like I was on this very low bottom of the scale of emotions and experience. Now, it got me through a lot of things. I was working in national news, I could not have cut those videos that I had to cut. I mean, like beheading videos, and terrorist videos. And, I mean, people dying, and I literally have to cut up to the point when the person dies. And, how do you not numb yourself, if you’re doing that?

You have to turn off some part of you. Some part of your heart has to shut down, or you have to take some sort of chemical to shut it down. On the flip side of this, I’m coming off of it, I’m really suffering, I have mono for the third time in my life, which is like such a joke. I’m like, seriously like, I thought this is like a one and done deal, and here I am testing positive for it again like seven years later. And just overall, very, very unwell. And I read somewhere, and I cannot, for the life of me, find this research, which is funny because it kind of feels like it was maybe one of those like divine interventions then.

Because, even today, I’m looking for it, and I’m like, “Oh, I’ll just find the study that I found back then, that really kicked me into gear.” And I have no idea where I read this, or saw it. It might have been in a documentary, too. But, there’s information about how, when you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, your inner healer kicks in. Which means, your body’s natural capacity to heal itself, switches on like a light switch. If you’re not in your parasympathetic nervous system, if you’re in your fight or flight mode, that autonomic nervous system, you’re more likely to not heal or heal as rapidly. So, I come across this information, and of course, in my absolute desperation, I’m like, “Well, great, what do we need to do? I’ll do anything, help me.”

And the way that this article, documentary, who the heck knows? It was through meditation. So, I started meditating. And, I mean, the first meditation, the Divine Mother came to me, it was profound. And I’d never meditated, meditated. I had done a couple of Shavasanas, but I’d never like, “Okay, I’m going to meditate for like an hour or something.” And I’m just over here trying to turn down my body system so that this healer can kick in, and here comes the Divine Mother. And I’m like, “Hey, how are you?” And it was amazing. She basically, the insight I got from her was, I need to allow myself to be held by her, by the earth, by this universe. And in the same way, the visual that I was getting, I get a lot of visuals.

I see the symbols, I don’t hear, it’s not an auditory interaction. The symbol that I was getting was the mother holding the child, and the child being limp, sort of like my dog, who, we carry her out that way. And the directive was, I need to do that, and I need to let myself do that. And then, that’s going to get me there, and my healing will be absolutely assured. And so, my prayer became, “I am healed, I am held. I am healed, I am held. And I repeated this to myself, my God, I don’t know, I mean, for weeks.

But, I mean, almost instantaneously, the next day, or maybe a day later, I had a spontaneous Kundalini rising, which is basically just your dormant energy that everyone has access to, in the base of our spine, it rises up through the chakra system, and it activates your healing. It activates your energy, and it activates everything. And it was amazing, it was profound, it was something I’ll never forget. But it was also pretty scary, because I had no idea what’s going on, because I was not exactly immersed in the yoga world. I had no idea what Kundalini was. So, I came out of it, my husband’s amazing, thank God, and I was like, “All right, this is what has happened, and I don’t know if I’m having a seizure, I don’t know if I’m…”

Because, a lot of weird stuff was going on with my brain, and I was having these weird brain zaps from the Lexapro. So, I’m like, “Is this related to that? Have I finally lost all my brain cells? Or, did something else happen?” And I realized it was Kundalini, after a lot of googling. Anyone who shits on like the Googlers and the WebMDers and the whatever, go at it. Because, you have to at least do some of your own research. And whether it’s on Google or another search engine, because a lot of people are saying no to use different search engines that aren’t paid for, or aren’t being paid to show you certain search results, it’s good to just take that power of yours. You can definitely seek professional opinions, seek many professional opinions, though. Anytime you’re giving your power away to one doctor, or one healer, or one whatever, it always has to come back to you, and it’s something that I feel I have been blessed with, that I’m not scared to take that ownership over the decisions I make about my health and my body.

I don’t trust doctors, and I don’t trust. It’s actually a more skeptical view of anyone, including healers, including the best healers. But, it keeps the kind of responsibility on me, to know who I can trust, and how I can trust them, and what’s going on. And it has helped me navigate a lot of situations. Anyway, realize it’s Kundalini, end up at Kundalini yoga, not long after, to help me deal with the energy. Because, it’s an integration process, and to be honest, this is why I’m practicing, this is why I’m opening a studio, this is why I get up every morning. Because, this energy is moving in me, and it’s very openly available for me, and it’s a blessing. And when I practice, it’s really powerful. And when I don’t practice, I don’t feel good.

So, I practice all the time. And that’s also why I’m going to teach, because I’m also just genuinely in all of this energy and this life force, and I’m curious about it, and I’m also, I have deep reverence for it, because, what it’s done for me, it’s literally given me a new life. I’m a completely new person because of Kundalini. And that kind of gratitude is, I can’t use words for it. So, what I can do is build a Kundalini yoga studio for it, though. And so, anyway, on my quest to find this elusive parasympathetic nervous system, I found Kundalini, and it’s a powerful system when it’s activated. And a lot of the Kundalini meditations are designed to get us into that parasympathetic system.

I mean, Yogi Bhajan talked a lot about the parasympathetic nervous system. Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga. He brought it to the west. And so, one of the things, this is how it’s described in Kundalini, the… Sorry, I’ve got to pick up my book. I have notes. I come prepared. “The parasympathetic nervous system is the body’s breaking system. It regulates the rebuilding functions of the body, it slows the breath, stimulates digestion, relaxes the nerves, and shifts the circulation toward the core of the body. It is vital for handling stress, since it coordinates the recovery period from stress.” That’s how we talk about it in Kundalini. I follow a lot of Joe Dispenza’s work. He does a lot of research around meditation and healing. He uses meditation to basically heal people from incurable situations. And it works.

What he does is he actually monitors the brain waves, he completely maps it out scientifically. So, he’s really at this amazing point, because he’s super Aquarian in what he’s doing, but he’s using these Piscean tools, which means, we need the data and the science to back it all up, and he’s doing that. So, he’s really bridging our transition from the Piscean Age over the last 2,000 years into this Aquarian Age, which started just in 2012. So, it’s really amazing work. I’ll put it in the show notes, and I’m sure I’ll talk about it more. But, what he says, what he talks about is getting into the quantum field. And when we’re doing that, we’re basically working on our autonomic nervous system and bringing it into coherence.

So, what he’s after is, getting the heart beating in an orderly, coherent fashion, getting the autonomic nervous system into coherence, in the same way, and then, that improves the brain functioning, helps us be more creative, focused, rational, aware, and open to learning. And then, once we’re in this meditation space, where we can’t really feel our body, and we can’t really tell our nose from our toe, that’s when the magic starts happening. And we’re opening up to this quantum field, where, time and space aren’t necessarily relevant. And when we’re in that space, we have toggled down in our brainwaves from our beta, our normal beta state that we’re in when we’re stressed the eff out, and operating in this flight or fight mode, and we toggle down through alpha and into theta, and sometimes even deeper.

But, theta is where a lot of the healing happens, it’s kind of a hypnosis state. And it’s interesting because he’s so scientific about it, and he really wants everyone to get there. Because, you can basically reshape your whole being from that space, Yogi Bhajan says pretty much the same exact thing. So, I love the intersection of this work. And I’m coming across a lot of this stuff now because I’m just trying to make sense of what the eff happened to me. So, I’m actually really grateful for how things happened to me, because, being a naturally skeptical person, if I hadn’t had experiences of my own, before reading about them, I might, in my skeptical mind, be like, “Well, I’m probably just making this up, because I read it somewhere.”

But, no, it’s actually amazing because I’ve experienced these things, and now, I can come back around and be like, “Oh, look, and there’s this science to back it up, and this person is saying it. Oh, all these traditions are talking about the same exact thing.” So, his work’s great. I’ll put a link to his book, Becoming Supernatural, in the show notes. He’s interested in how common people do the uncommon. So, this applies to healing from things that shouldn’t be healed, and it also applies to major, massive performance breakthroughs, or creating a life that you never thought was possible for you. So, the way that the nervous system breaks down, there’s the… This is from a doctor, so, I’ll also link to this, too.

There’s the voluntary nervous system, which is what we control. It’s like our movement and sensation, our motor and sensory nerve. So, like, as I’m talking to you, I’m using a lot of my voluntary system. And then, there’s the autonomic system. And the autonomic system controls the functions that we’re less consciously controlling, which includes digestion of food, blood pressure, heart rate, and a lot more. The autonomic nervous system breaks down into two branches, there’s the parasympathetic, that I’ve been talking about, and the other end, the flight or fight is called the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates the glands and organs to defend the body against attack.

So, this is our like, we need this to survive. It’s a survival system. And this part of our system is called catabolic, which means, it tears the body down. The energy is used to prepare for defense, rather than for the nourishment or elimination of waste. So, while it’s really useful, it’s also super taxing, and it’s not really sustainable. Which, anyone listening, who has any sort of adrenal fatigue, which is pretty much everyone, you know that. And one of the biggest issues that we face today, is that, we’re getting these adrenaline rushes, and we have no actual real threat. So, we’re in the office and Bob’s coming at us again, fricking Bob, and I we’re having this full on fight or flight defense. And we’re just sitting there like, “Uh-huh, okay, I’ll see you at 2:00 P.M.

I mean, you’re actually completely in this stress mode. And, yeah. Or, maybe it’s during your commute. I mean, getting onto a New York subway is a full on art form. And I refuse to miss the train, I will squeeze my way on. And that activates a certain part of the brain and a certain part of the nervous system. So, the other side of the system is the parasympathetic branch. And this is concerned with nourishing, healing, elimination, and regeneration of the body. This part of the system is anabolic, which is concerned with rebuilding the body. So, this is why we want to get into this area of the body, when we’re healing from anything. And this doesn’t have to be like healing from mono, or healing from, name your flavor of autoimmune disorder. I feel like every single person in my life has some autoimmune disorder.

So, whichever one you have, this is the part that you need to be activating all the time, but it’s a day-to-day activation of it, or a moment to moment. So, you have to be able to toggle back and forth between them, rapidly, so that when you do have that great automatic sympathetic response to some actual threat or external stimuli, you’re then able to bring it back down. That’s the practice, and there’s so much good stuff in Kundalini yoga, that actually helps us build that, and I’ll get to that. Because that’s what I’m really interested in, and that’s what I’m interested in sharing with everyone through this podcast, ideally online soon. But, when The Pallas opens, I’m really focused on this because it’s changed my life completely, to have this muscle movement between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

So, what this doctor says is he says, “Moving yourself into a healthy parasympathetic state and staying there as much of the time as possible, helps heal all health conditions, all, all health conditions.” Our bodies want to be in homeostasis. It’s our natural state, it’s our natural inclination. When we’re not in homeostasis or a state of health, it’s because something went wrong, and it’s usually related to this nervous system, because we’re not letting our bodies be in the healing state. So, I love this, this is, let me tell you about this one, I’m just looking for it. I just had it. The main thing with Kundalini yoga is we’re not trying to… we don’t want to turn off the sympathetic branch.

We’re not interested in, like, “Okay, well, we’re never going to have external stimuli, and let’s just eliminate those.” That’s actually not the game we’re playing. The game we’re playing is, we want to increase the strength of the parasympathetic nervous system. So, this is a much different approach than a lot of what new age, whatever, healing techniques, which is like, “Oh, I need to go into the mountains because I just, I have to get rid of these external stimuli, or, I just need to decrease the sympathetic side of things.” And that might be true for a minute. It is helpful to exit the things that are causing that to maybe kickstart your parasympathetic nervous system. But, ideally, you return and you are the householder, and the family person, and the wife, and the husband.

Whatever your version of your life is, that you’re able to play that role, and show up with strength and capacity and caliber. The path of Kundalini yoga is the householder’s path. And it’s the highest incarnation within that is the woman householder. So, there’s a couple things that we can do to increase the parasympathetic branch. So, one of the best ways, it totally sucks, and I’m really sorry. There’s a bunch of ways, actually, and they all suck. I’m not going to lay it out to you, like, this is a hunky-dory path, this is also a warrior’s tradition. And part of being a warrior is, you want to live a good life. And part of wanting to live a good life is putting yourself in uncomfortable positions, so that you can be healthy, whole, functional, happy, all of the things.

Number one is cold showers. So, cold showers, it’s a therapy. And, I mean, Yogi Bhajan talks about it constantly, and they create a powerful parasympathetic reflex. And I’m like, I’m on a pretty good streak right now, and I’m not going to lie, my parasympathetic reflex is stronger than it has ever been in my whole life. And not only that, there have been a couple of times in the last few months where I’ve been in high stress moments, and my knee jerk reaction was to take a cold shower. Now, that is weird. That is super freaking weird. But I noticed it, and I’m like, wow, okay, so, I did it, and I’m not going to lie, I felt really good, and I felt better.

And there’s something about it, the water element’s super healing, first of all. But the cold water, it draws all the circulation up towards the skin. So, it gets things moving, and it forces your body to activate its internal heating system. So, a couple minutes into a cold shower, you’re actually warm. But you have to get through that initial hump of it, and then you’re good to go. I mean, the sirens don’t lie. And you get in, and it’s like…. and you have to be strong enough, it’s you and you. So, it’s one of those things that, it confronts you. Meaning, your ego and your kind of personality and whatever games you play. And you and your destiny, and what you’re here for, and why you’re here, and who you are, and who you actually, really, really are.

And, I mean, sometimes I get in, and I’m like, “I’m in charge.” It’s so embarrassing to say that, but I’m not kidding, because I really am. And when I’m saying, “I’m in charge,” I’m saying, “I,” capital I, “Am in charge.” Not the whiny, I just want to be in a warm blanket and sleep my life away. I have things to do. I’ve been sick, I’ve been under the blankets for enough time at this point, I’m ready to do things. And part of that is, I need to make sure that the version of me that I want in the steering wheel is at the steering wheel. Those cold showers help me get there. So, that’s a personal experience that I have. But, I mean, it’s good stuff.

Now, there’s a technique for it, you don’t have to go totally under. And Yogi Bhajan actually says, don’t hit the thighs directly with the cold water, because the femur in the thigh bone, it’s responsible for our mineral balance and production, so, the cold water directly on that can actually throw us off a little bit. But, you can do a little hokey-pokey, like, left foot and right foot, and right arm and left arm, and get the face, the ears, the chest, the stomach, and then back up into the shower and get the whole spine. And you really want to rub the area by the adrenals, and activate them, and then you can tap your body. I just hit the microphone because I’m tapping my body right now. You can tap your body and activate all the areas of it. Then you’re invincible.

Yogi Bhajan says it takes the chilliness out of your life. And, I mean, that’s really what we’re after. So, that’s good stuff. So, start there. And then, a couple other things. The next one that I was like, “This isn’t fun,” it’s Sakriya. Sakriya is a staple of Kundalini Yoga, I will put that in the show notes as well. Sakriya, I’ve mentioned it a couple times on this podcast actually, Episode Two, Cimarron [Daya 00:43:21] talks about how she does 31 minutes of Sakriya a day. And I have actually been doing the same since that episode aired. And like her, I will say, I don’t particularly love it. But, at this point, I have come to terms with, I’m just doing it.

Because, again, this is a me against me situation, and I, capital I, have decided that I’m doing this meditation, and that’s it. So, it’s not up for negotiation, putting my arms down is not up for negotiation. And when I can get into that space, it gets really powerful. Things start moving because, and I think I’ll go into this more on another episode, but, I did have a realization after holding my arms up in a very, very, very uncomfortable position for like 11 minutes, while I was in Majorca. I had a realization that, when we hold our arms up like that, and we’re doing it because the greater part of us has decided that that’s why we’re doing it. And you’ve put the greater part of you in the driver’s seat of your life and your body.

So, meaning, I’m in control of these arms, and they’re not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter how much they hurt, it doesn’t matter how much my brain is saying, “No, no, no, this is weird, or this can’t be good for me.” The deeper I, says, “Too bad, I’m running the show, and I know that this is fine, and I know that you actually do want this.” Because, it expands you and you grow. So, this conversation that’s going on, the big realization that came through, I was like, “Oh, my God, duh, this makes so much sense.” The greater part of us is the divine. So, we’re completely connected to the universal consciousness of it all.

And when you can put that part of you in charge of your body, in whatever shape or form, whether it’s an 11 minute meditation or whatever you do during your day, you are signaling directly to the universe, “Use me. Use me. I’m available for your use. I am at your call. I serve you.” We can pray about that, and Oprah says it all the time, she says, “My deepest prayer every day is, ‘use me, use me.'” And look at where that’s gotten her. I mean, my God, it’s pretty good life, it’s pretty good life. And a lot of us are scared to put ourselves in that position, because it does take us off… The little part of us has to… The little very important part, I don’t like insulting, it’s a very important structure, the ego and the personality, it’s very, very important to our survival and functioning.

It has to take a backseat, though, to this kind of higher energy and calling. And so, yeah, so, Sakriya, guys. It’ll be your physical prayer to the universe, saying, “use me. I’m yours. I’m available. What do you need?” And looking at it like that, it makes it a little bit easier to do. I’m not going to lie, it still initially sucks, and it just does. But, then, I always get past it. It’s not a big deal. So, I’m not even going to say it, because I don’t like talking about, when… It’s not worth saying like, “Oh, my arms hurt one day.” It’s like, it was one day. Okay.

So, some other things he says, Triangle Pose, which is downward-facing dog, and Gong meditation and chanting. The rhythm and sound are the best ways to access the parasympathetic nervous system. Which brings me into my next thing, so, I’ve been researching binaural… I don’t know how the heck you say it, actually, now that I’m trying to say it out loud now, binaural beats, because I want to get some fresh singing bowls for the studio, and I’ve been researching about how these beats, they create the wavelength of our alpha or our theta brains. And what happens, this is so cool, I’ll put a link to this too, research findings suggests that music and sound can modulate autonomic nervous system arousal through entrainment, sorry, not entertainment, entrainment.

Entrainment is a process through which two autonomous rhythmic oscillators, with similar but different fundamental frequencies, interact, resonate, and synchronize. So, what’s happening with this sound current, this literal wavelength that’s happening, it hits our brains, and our brains match it, our brains go into it. And it’s so funny because I was listening to one of the deepest ones, that takes you deep into theta yesterday, and I literally took a nap instantaneously after. I was like, “And I’m going to go take a nap now.” I was like, “Why am I so tired all of a sudden? Oh, right, right, right, I was listening to some serious deep beats.” The Gong does that, and certain mantra currents do this as well.

So, this is cool, because you can actually hack your brain externally, to get into these different frequencies, which then activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which then activates your healing. This is really important stuff. And I didn’t learn this in school and I wish someone taught it in school. So, maybe I’ll teach it. So, other things, pranayama is huge, your breath. Because, I mean, breath and heart, all that’s linked, and so, a couple different pranayams, breath of fires is big. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Any breath work that’s rhythmic is going kind of get your brain into that same type of vibration. It’s a little bit of theta, that hypnosis state, and that helps you get into the parasympathetic.

And alternate nostril breathing is huge. So, this means, inhale through the right nostril, exhale out the left. Inhale through the left, exhale out the right. Inhale through the right, exhale out the left, and continue. And when you do that, it balances the two hemispheres of the brain, and it gives the experience of altered receptivity and readiness for action. And it integrates ideas into action. So, it actually changes a little bit of how the sympathetic response is going to go, which is great. Because, we don’t want to turn that off, we just want it to be more accurate, maybe, so that we’re not jumpy. I meet a lot of people who are jumpy, and I was definitely jumpy at one point in my life. But, that’s like an overactive sympathetic response that’s going on there.

So, let me see here if there’s anything else I want to say about this. I feel pretty good that, I mean, we’ve covered a lot of ground, and these are really useful techniques that you guys can use to balance your system. And the other thing I’ll say about the cold showers, Tony Robbins is massive fan of them. He’s like, “Just get in the cold shower, don’t think about it. Just get in and every day.” A lot of successful people are major advocates for ice baths, cold showers, all of that. I think the Kundalini yoga way of not activating the thigh bone is interesting, I think it takes it to a different level. And, yeah.

So, to put a bow on this, I feel so strongly about this, because, so many of us have incredible ideas, incredible visions, things that we are meant to bring into this world, and we have to have nervous systems that are strong enough to sustain those things, and to hold them, and to grow them. And so, my hope is that, we can all be able to toggle between our sympathetic and parasympathetic in a more sophisticated way, so that we can not be so burnt out or forced out, and that burnout is something that we don’t experience. That’s not a major ask. Burnout, it doesn’t have to exist. It’s absolutely real, I have been burnt out for sure, but I don’t intend to do that again. Because, the reason that there’s the burnout is because there’s not the toggling back to the parasympathetic side of things.

So, yeah, we’ll get there, and I can feel it. I really think, some of the work that like Arianna Huffington has done around the nap culture is important. I think sleeping is important. Once upon a time, a couple years ago, actually, I think in like the height of my sickness, the business I came up with, and I was dead serious about this, and actually, there’s been a couple models of it popping up, was a napping business, and I pictured it as, or the way it came through, the way I was seeing it was that it would be like a Starbucks on every corner, it would be just like a napping building on every corner, with little rooms where you could book it for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, and you can go and just take a nap, and then be on with your day.

I don’t need coffee, I need a nap. Or, you could take a coffee nap, which, when we were in news, was like major headlines. It’s like, drink your cup of coffee, take a nap, and then the caffeine hits, and then you’re like really wired. I don’t know if that’s how we really want to play with our nervous systems. But, anyway, this napping business, I was super serious about it, and I ran all the numbers, and I was like, “I can do this. This is going to happen.” But, I genuinely didn’t have the energy. And it’s so fascinating, because, literally, within a very similar timeline to when I was like, “This needs to happen,” one popped up in New York City, where I could have been the person who did that.

And I just think, I’m not saying like I should have done it, I’m just saying the way the creative moves through the collective, is, A, it’s available to anyone who’s able to hear it, or see it, or listen, and then, B, it’s going to be used by whoever can actually use it and hold it. So, this is why we want to build our capacity to have this parasympathetic side where we are held, so, therefore, we can hold a lot. Because, we’re not doing a lot of the work, we’re actually just relaxing into it. It’s a state of allowing, not a state of like muscle building and heavy lifting. It’s cool, it’s really cool, I’m super pumped about this, and I feel invigorated by it.

Thank you, guys, so much for listening to my story from a couple years ago, and I want to strike a balance of it, because I’m not into like using your struggle for business, but I do think it’s very relevant in certain cases. So, I’ll try to only talk about it in those instances. I don’t want to be that guy that sells you like, they’re like, “I went through this and now, you can do.” We’re really beyond that, because, I’m not going to lie, I am more vital, I am more healthy, I am happier, I am more fulfilled. The level of my life can’t even be compared to where I was at before I got sick. I’m a different person in a different life. That I mean that wholeheartedly. So, when I talk about that time, it genuinely feels like I’m talking about a different person.

And the sadness I feel about it, is actually a mourning for the loss of that person, and a lot of the little dreams she had, very little dreams. But, it’s a precious life and it’s a wild ride, that’s for sure, and I’m so grateful to be on it, and be on it with you guys. And thank you so much for listening, I look forward to continuing this conversation. And, I mean, I have so many amazing conversations in the lineup, too. And please subscribe, rate and review, if you have not, and tell your friends about this show, especially if they’re going through something, this could be something that helps them think about healing in a different way. It’s an internal process.

And the other thing I’ll talk about, eventually, is, when it comes to healing, only we know what we need. And part of when we get into this inner healer is that, the things that we need become apparent to us. And so, it’s not a dogmatic like, this is the one size fits all fix for things. The reason I advocate for this, is because, once you get into that area, you know what you need, and only you know what you need. And so, me saying like, “Okay, these are the five things I did to get out of that state,” actually don’t help. What got me out of that state is increasing my energy, and increasing my capacity for my own healing, and getting into the healing frequency so that the exact things I needed to heal are coming to my path. Okay.

I enjoyed this very, very much, and I look forward to talking to you again soon. Please message me on Instagram, if you have any feedback, questions, or requests, or, if there’s something that you really want me to go deeper in, I am more than happy and always available for that. Thank you guys so much for listening, have an amazing, fantastic, beautiful, wonderful week. You are loved, you are important, you matter, and it was so great to have you. Thank you so much.

Shakti Sita