Using Your Meditative Muscle Memory To Go Past Your Edges
I’m days away from the first class at The Pallas Kundalini yoga & meditation studio in Westchester, NY. It has been such a fascinating creative process to get to this point and in today’s episode I’m sharing some of the energetic edges I’ve moved through in the final weeks of bringing this studio into physical form. I talk about ways to train your mind so that you don’t freak out during times of expansion and ways to sit with discomfort and stay steady. I point out some of my own self-sabotagey mechanisms in hopes that it might help you recognize your particular flavor.
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Welcome back. This is Shakti Sita. I am so excited to talk to you today because I am just days away from opening The Pallas Kundalini Yoga & Meditation studio in Dobbs Ferry, New York, which is just about 30 to 40 minutes outside of New York City. You can take the train from Grand Central. And it’s such a cute little town and a wonderful community. It’s just so exciting to be creating something right on Main Street, it’s 77 Main Street. And I’ve always been drawn towards these small businesses on Main Street. I’m not really 100% sure why, but I’ve always actually visualized myself having a storefront on Main Street since I was very young. I never ever would have guessed that it would be a Kundalini yoga studio. But here we are.
So, at the time of recording this right now, it is, I’m actually under two weeks out from opening. And it’s so fascinating to watch and witness the changing tides of how the energy moves. Because in the creative process, at least the way that I’ve experienced it, there’s this incubation period. And this period where things are happening behind the scenes and a lot of it is a very personal alchemy, I guess. I don’t know if I really like that word, everyone uses it, but it’s like this behind-the-scenes process. It’s you and the thing you’re creating. Then one day, people can see it. And maybe it’s not there yet.
So if you think of pregnancy, I know that a lot of my friends who have gone through pregnancy experience this, it’s like a very personal process and then all of a sudden, they’re showing. And now everyone has an opinion about what pregnancy is like, what labor is like, and what it will be like to raise a kid. Well, a similar experience happens with building a business, especially on Main Street, because I have deliberately not covered the windows because I actually think that transparency is important. But now that people can see that it’s coming, it’s coming very soon and I have actually announced an opening date and I’ve just said that classes are going to begin on December 3rd. I’ve actually even shied away from calling it a big grand opening because, I don’t know, it just didn’t feel right yet. Maybe by the time this airs, I’ll have a whole slew of grand opening events. But for me, I’m like, yeah, the classes just start on December 3rd.
But it’s interesting because now I’m getting a lot of questions, not just from customers but from other people, from reporters, like who walked by, who are either based in town or rolling through town and who want information. And specifically, everyone wants to know when the class schedule is, what’s going on. These are very legitimate questions, by the way, but I don’t know yet. So, it’s hard for me to answer some questions because I’m still working out the details, partially because I’m operating on my own and partially because the closer I get to the thing, the better I can feel into what direction to go in. And especially with something like committing to a schedule, I really want to get really close to the energy before I put it in ink because I’d like to keep the schedule as consistent as I can.
So, anyway, it’s interesting because when people start weighing in, even in subtle ways, there’s a shift in my own self-talk. And I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this yourself, but I think it’s inherent that we want to take in things from other people and consider what they know. There’s a very good chance that a lot of people have serious wisdom and or messages coming through them and therefore, you want to give them proper weight and attention. But at the same time, it can come at a sacrifice of your own sovereignty. And especially when you’re creating your own business, not that it’s necessarily like yours per se. You’re the one that’s just helping that energy express itself. But there’s a protective quality to it and there’s a sovereignty that you have to have around how you’re handling that thing coming into life.
Well, I’ve just noticed these really subtle ways that I have argued with myself, sort of, around this. And it decreases my sovereignty while also kind of igniting a little bit of a self-sabotage mechanism. And I know that you know what I’m talking about, because we all have this kind of switch in us, that when we get too close to the subconscious thing, that doesn’t want to be poked or moved, usually during times of expansion, growth, abundance, things that are going really great, sometimes people have a really great new relationship and then it’s like the self-sabotage mechanisms switches on, because that new relationship is rubbing up against the internal subconscious thing that is keeping you safe, that you’ve worked very hard to collect data to support it, the supporting beliefs and it doesn’t really want to go anywhere.
So, the same thing’s happening right now. And I wanted to talk a little bit about it because, while I would definitely say that this process has been pretty, I guess you could use the word easy in quotation marks, it’s tons of work. There’s no joke about that. But it’s work that I have expanded myself into enough that it doesn’t really feel that hard. This stage of it though is not as comfortable. So, this perhaps I’m finally hitting that nervous system, no man’s land. Meaning I’ve reached an edge, and now I have an opportunity where I can either completely fold to it or I can just keep going and push through it, not in a means of burning myself out or something. I’m just saying there’s the edge and oh, well, I’m just going to keep going. So, the ways that I know that I’m at that edge is first and foremost, I’m tired. So all of a sudden, out of nowhere I need, I just need sleep. I need so much sleep and I don’t hear my alarm. It’s not, what alarm? So that’s number one.
The second I start not hearing my alarm clock, and that’s when I know, this issue is getting real because that is pure subconscious running the show. And the other morning, I woke up and I had turned my mantra off in my sleep. Now if you sleep to a mantra, you know how, I mean, that is major red flags, sound the F-ing alarm. We have a nuclear meltdown happening in my subconscious. Because basically what the mantra does is it prevents your subconscious from running haywire during the night. So if you’re not sleeping to a mantra, your conscious mind that wants really awesome things for you, I mean, we all want happiness, joy and abundance, and love. And consciously, we all want these things. So, we’re in control when we’re awake and we’re doing that as long as we are actually conscious during the day and present.
But at night, our conscious mind goes to sleep and our subconscious runs the show. And in this subconscious space, I mean, we just reset all those patterns. So, it’s like two steps forward, one step back. We just return to factory settings. But if you put a mantra on at night, it helps you maintain some of that frequency that you’re trying to actively cultivate in your conscious waking life. So, I sleep to one all the time, but I’m happy to share suggestions with you if you want to message me. You can also sleep to your own voice chanting a mantra. That’s your… Our own systems actually respond the most deeply to our own voice.
And one of the most profound things that I’ve experienced from starting a podcast is listening to the changes in my sound current. For instance, I know that my sound current sounds differently today than it did on the last episode and the last one, just because I know I’m coming from a different standpoint today, but the sound current dictates everything else. And I have this theory, now I’m just going to go on a quick tangent here. I have this theory that, I mean, I don’t think this is a revolutionary theory to some people, because everything starts with sound. Even sound creates everything. That said, I think that sound creates our health too. So meaning, the quality of my sound current is also dictating the vitality of my system. So if I sound healthy, I may actually manifest a body and a system that is healthy.
And for me, if I’m really down and depressed and I’m not feeling… If I’m just feeling wompy, my whole sound current changes. I’m like, “Okay, whatever. Yeah, sure.” And then my whole system feels weird. I don’t feel as good. I don’t digest as well. I don’t sleep as well. Or maybe I sleep more. So the sound current’s fascinating and listening to your own sound current is a really powerful thing to experience. I remember… Do you actually remember the first time that you heard yourself recorded? Because I kind of remember being young and hearing my voice echoed back to me through headphones or through a video and I was like, “What? That’s not me. That’s not what I sound like.” And I think it’s an uncanny experience for most people the first time that you hear it back through a sound system.
But the more that you hone that and fall in love with it and all this is everything that we learn in Kundalini yoga and Hadi Jeevan always talks about this. We have to fall in love with our sound current. And the greatest gift that you can give to a child is to teach them to love their sound current because sound creates everything. Now, I noticed this because one of my dear friends hasn’t been at her highest health. And I’ve been, of course, in touch with her and talking with her. Then the other day, she called me and she was just through the roof exuberant and vital and all this stuff. And I was like, “Whoa, you’re going to heal. I can hear it.” And I could hear it in her sound current that she was going to heal and that she was on the precipice of major massive healing.
Anyway, back to, you sleep to the mantra or you sleep to your voice saying or chanting a mantra repeatedly. And I woke up and I turned it off. Oh my God. It was just like, oh, God, it’s going to be one of those days. This is bringing tears to my eyes of half laughter and half terror because it’s just going to be a little bit of an uphill battle, if that makes sense. You have to kind of dig out of those two steps forward, one step back. You probably took a couple of steps back that night. So, of course, it was like, mantra was off, slept through my alarm, missed Sadhna. Then the other key indicator that I have of the self-sabotage on the horizon or in progress is starting a meditation at 11:29 PM, meaning a 31-minute meditation right before the day is about to end. And literally watching the clock count down.
Like, “Am I going to do it? Am I going to do it? Yeah, I’m going to do it. Of course I’m going to do it. I know I’m going to do it, but for some reason, just for the thrill of it.” And that’s actually an interesting thought about it because I do have a suspicion that part of it is just for the thrill of it and just for the story of it. Because if things are too easy, isn’t that boring? So we create a little bit of chaos and drama. But then we were like, “Why did we do that to ourselves?” So, those are two big ones for me, those are like the canaries. Then it gets even more real. Because then it becomes like, oh, my God, I’m overwhelmed. Overwhelmed is a big one. Or I just feel like the negative thoughts start coming in, where I haven’t been negative, all of a sudden, they’re there. Now the two things have helped me dramatically because I’m okay, I’m fine. It’s just interesting to be sitting in the witness seat of this whole situation.
And then sometimes being what feels like powerless to it. Meaning when I turn something off at night, that is a very deep-seated subconscious thing that does not want to be moved. One mantra that really helps me is, it’s the star sacred mantra. It’s victory. And I use this mantra throughout the day when I’m doing things I am trying to repattern, meaning things that I didn’t necessarily want to do. So for instance, my meditations, I woke up that day, of course, I didn’t want to do my meditations. I did them anyway. That’s a massive victory. There are certain things that I have to do almost every day while I’m creating this space that are just kind of boring, I guess would be a good word for it, or tedious might be another, which is I have to submit paperwork to the town for the 16th time, or I have to make sure I sign this document or pay this bill. And every time I do those things, I also say victory.
There’s a meditation that you can do anytime, anywhere where you inhale deeply. You press the tip of the tongue into the roof of the mouth, close the eyes, gaze out the third eye, and then silently say the word victory. And then exhale. You can do it also inhaling and then saying it repeatedly. Victory, victory, victory, victory, until you need to exhale. And I find that it’s helpful in this repatterning sense of, “Okay, here I am.” I’m doing things I don’t necessarily want to do, and by I don’t want to do, my subconscious doesn’t want to do them, and I’m in this little battle with it, that it helps me break it.
Now the other thing is, sometimes when I’m in the middle of it, and I know it’s not going in the direction I want it to and I’m doing my meditations, but they’re like, eh. And then I have my mantras playing, but it’s not really necessarily doing the trick. I tap into memory, the muscle memory. I have a meditative muscle memory of all the times that I have pushed through and broken through, in the middle of a meditation that I didn’t think I can make it 10 seconds more holding my arms up. Or that I was like, this is going on forever and I just don’t think I can make it.
I tap into that meditative muscle memory, and I know that I can make it through this because on the other side of it is the growth and the expansion and everything I want. So, when I’m in those meditations, one of the things that I have learned is, if I just hold on for just a couple more minutes, it’s very possible that in those couple minutes, my body will release a natural morphine or a natural chemical mixture that will actually elevate me and bring me to a state of exaltation. And I’ve experienced this enough times to know and trust that that’s coming.
So this muscle memory is also a trust that the healing energy will come through, and that the expansion will come through, and that the growth will come through. It’s really profound, actually, and it helps me stay more hopeful. There was definitely a time in my life where, how I felt in that moment is always how I felt. And so, if I was feeling down or feeling discouraged, it would completely derail everything. Now, I don’t have time for that right now, so this is really good. I’m happy that that is not necessarily derailing my whole, everything I’ve been working on, but yeah. So, my point here is that if you can in some area of your life, and it doesn’t have to be Kundalini yoga. It can be at the gym when you’re holding a plank. Can you hold it for 20 more seconds? Can you hold it for 30 more seconds? The next day, can you hold it for 45 more seconds?
Anything that you can do to train your mind to not freak out in the midst of the kind of chaos that is inevitable, or the feelings of expansion that come with profound joy and fulfillment, but also stress and discomfort. Discomfort would be the word. It’s not necessarily a comfortable feeling. It does feel like being slightly stretched in some senses. Like I said, up until this point, it actually hasn’t really felt like a massive stretch. But for some reason, in these last few weeks, it has felt like I am being a little bit stretched, which is great. I want this, this is what I signed up for, and this is why it’s great to create things and it’s great to do things before you’re ready. It’s all a great experience.
So the other little sneaky thing I’ve noticed is that I know what I need to do right now, and certain things I haven’t been doing. for instance, I’m doing all these pop-up classes around Westchester and for anyone else, I would be making flyers for them to bring to these classes. Have I made a flyer for myself? No, I haven’t. And it’s just a funny world and a funny experience. So, it’s a fine line too between like, “Is this self-sabotage or am I being too critical of myself?,” To look around and be like, “Oh, I’m self-sabotaging.” Because that’s also a form of criticism and you’re coming at yourself. I think it’s a very individualized experience and you just have to get to know your own flavor of it. And the only way to know it is through doing things that may feel like they are an expansion or a stretch.
I remember when I swam, so I was a Division 1 swimmer at Bucknell University. And ooh, it was hard. I don’t think I’d do it again. But I learned a lot about limits and going very far past those limits. And it’s just such an important exercise to go through. Now, here’s the thing that really irks me about it is that I did it for four years. Actually, the fourth year I kind of puttered out because I had gotten mono. You get sick, but there was this mentality that I had after swimming for so long that maybe I would never have to push myself again because I know I can do it. So, why do I need to keep doing it? It was this very sneaky little thing that I would do a lot where, I can’t remember what it was I didn’t sign up for, but I was like, “I don’t need to do that. I know I can push my body to its limits, so, who cares? I don’t want to, I don’t need to do this again.”
I think I was talking about, oh, triathlons, my husband does a lot of triathlons. And we were just discussing them and I’m like, “It doesn’t really appeal to me. I’ve gone as far as I can with my body in so many different ways. I’m good, check, moving on.” But the thing that I’ve learned in more recent years, especially doing Kundalini is, it is a daily process. Our ability to expand ourselves has to be an ongoing practice and it has to be something that we’re doing consistently.
So this was a really unfortunate realization that I had, because wouldn’t it be nice if we could just be like, “All right, I meditated, I’m enlightened. Now, I’m good.” Or “all right, now I expanded myself and I did all those swim practices and now there we go. I made it. I’m a professional athlete.” But anyone who has been an athlete in any way, shape, or form knows that if you went back to the sport that you were a professional in or proficient in it at one point, you would not be performing at the same level. And in order for you to stay at whatever level you want to be performing at, you have to do it on the daily. That’s how I look at meditation now where, yeah, I’ve done some really intense meditations, but if I don’t do them on the daily, it’s just an imprint that’s left. It’s not necessarily an ongoing experience or elevation of those meditations.
So, when senior teachers and Yogi Bhajan and everyone talks about doing meditations in an ongoing fashion, meaning, you take a meditation and you get married to it, you do it for the rest of your life. You pick one and you commit to it. And you’re going to go through all the highs and lows of any marriage. Meaning, you’re going to have really exalted days, and you’re going to have super average days, and you’re going to have some really tense days where you maybe don’t want to spend time with each other. That is the relationship though, that cultivates this ongoing professionalism and strength, that you don’t get if you drop the meditation. Because that one time I did that meditation, well, yeah, one time I swam. And if I got in the water right now, it wouldn’t be that pretty. It just wouldn’t.
Actually, a couple of years ago I did that. Dan and I went to a… We did a race up in Westchester and it was really ugly. It hurt. So, not only did it hurt, it was slow. It wasn’t that pretty, like my stroke, I was always into having a pretty stroke. It wasn’t pretty and frankly, it wasn’t fun. And so, that’s also kind of interesting too because when you’re doing something in an ongoing way, the ability to have fun doing that thing actually becomes available to you. Whereas if it’s just this one-off like, “Oh, I did it once, I’ll just do it again.” It’s not going to be as enjoyable. So, it’s the steadiness, it’s consistency. And looking at meditation as a training, not a one and done type of situation. These kinds of things are helping me, not get through, but actually maintain a steadiness during this buildup period to opening the doors and having the public in my creative space and see this creation, The Pallas, and not freak out. So, yeah.
So anyway, I hope you guys are having a really great time, you’re enjoying listening to me talk about this creative process. It’s always interesting for me to share things that I’m going through because I don’t necessarily want to say that things are… I’m not really into people sharing like, “Man, I was really depressed” or “man, I cried and I did this and that.” I actually haven’t really cried. I’m trying to think if I have maybe once or twice. But it was like when those moments come, you’re not acting from a creative zone. You’re acting from an egoic attachment, like this has to be successful or something. And that’s just not, nothing great is ever created from that space. So, anytime I catch myself actually feeling any kind of emotion, high or low, around The Pallas, I check myself and just check in and I’m just like, am I attaching something to this? Because this is actually kind of a situation that I have approached as creating for creation’s sake where.
If it’s successful, which I’m teeing things up so that it can be, then great. And if it’s not, I don’t think that’s going to be the case but yeah, it’s an experience and this is… And I’m just going to give it my all and give it my steadiness and my daily practice and my daily teaching soon. So, hopefully by the time this episode is coming out, there’s a schedule available to you and a website fully functional and launched. If that’s the case, please go to the show notes and check it out. And if not, I’m sure I’ll have it in two days when the studio opens. So, thank you so much for listening and thank you all for your support. It is just such… One of the most amazing feelings has been all the people and all of you who have reached out and just said, “How can I help? What do you need from me? How can I support you in this opening and support The Pallas?” And it’s just, I mean, it is the nicest thing in the whole world.
And actually, it’s one of those things where I’m like, wow, I don’t even know how to ask for support actually. So, that’s been an interesting question to even be on the receiving end of. And one of the main things I’ve been saying is, ways that you can support me is you can pray for me, and pray that I just stay out of the way of this thing, meaning my own neurosis. Just keep it in my own subconscious. Make sure just pray that I keep my mantras on at night and stuff. And also if you feel called to share about the opening and if you’ve taken classes with me, to send me a testimonial. These kinds of things are so helpful in this opening stage, and this beginning stage of something just so special, and so near and dear to my heart, and I can’t wait to see where this goes and all the ways that this impacts so many people.
So, thank you. And if you’re going through something and you feel that you’re in one of those moments where you’re turning your mantras off at night, just hit me up. We can commiserate together. No, I’m just kidding. No, just, you’ll get through it. Don’t worry about it. Just keep your steadiness. Your metaphorical morphine hit is on the way. Just like when you’re holding your arms up and you don’t think you can make it another minute you, you can. Just take a couple of breaths. It’s a reminder to breathe and keep going. All right. I will see you in Dobbs Ferry at The Pallas on December 3rd and pretty much every single day after that. I can’t wait. Sat Nam.