Keep Up Your Spirit — and Your Sadhana

Woman contemplating a beautiful landscape

Last week, I taught the kriya “For Keep-Up Spirit.” It’s a great kriya for both advanced and beginner students, and it always reminds me that keeping up is what it’s all about. It hit home this week in particular because four times (count them: four!), I skipped the Global Sadhana that began in July. But, I just kept beginning again! At my current rate, I will finish the Meditation for Removing Subconscious Blocks (Gobinday Mukunday) 25 days later than everyone else. If I could paste a little emoji here, it would be a “sad” face.

At first, I thought the Removing Obstacles Sadhana with Harnam Singh would be a breeze. I love mantras that are intended to remove blocks. I chant the Triple Mantra all the time! And I had just finished 90 days of Har Ji for the Breaking the Mask meditation for a level two training. I didn’t miss a single day! I’ve also chanted Sopurkh for hundreds of days on end. With three grown sons, there seems to be a huge need for this mantra, which is chanted to uplift the men in one’s life. And on top of all that, I love the Global Sadhanas. I truly look forward to them. Still, life happens, and sometimes, I just can’t keep up.

It happens to everyone! It even happens at Day 39, when there’s only one more morning to go! My students always ask, “What do I do if I miss a day?” expecting me to say, “No worries, you just pick up where you left off.” But alas, no! It takes 40 days to change a habit, and the instruction for reciting mantra as a 40-day practice is, if you miss a day, you start over! And you know what? That’s OK. “Keep up and you will be kept up,” as Yogi Bhajan said. Keep up your keep-up spirit!

Don’t beat yourself up if you miss! Sometimes, an unexpected illness or event gets in your way. Other times, you may just be busy and simply forget. Remember that this is for you, not for anyone else, so berating yourself is pointless. Be patient with yourself and start again. Ironically, I inadvertently skipped a day while at Sat Nam Fest. I’d promised myself I would chant on the way home as my husband was driving, but I fell asleep and woke up at 12:05am!

In the case of this particular Global Sadhana, I find it almost laughable that obstacles keep getting in my way, just as I’m meditating to remove them, as if the Universe is pulling my leg! While I would love to be “on board” with the global community, having completed my 40th day by now, I’m just not there yet. For me (and I suspect for some others), it’s a work in progress! I’m not giving up.

Here’s the For Keep-Up Spirit kriya, which you can find in the manual KRIYA. And don’t forget, tomorrow is another day for chanting, so “keep up and you will be kept up!” (Insert “happy” emoji here.)

 

For Keep-Up Spirit

 

for-keep-up-spirit-11.Sit in Easy Pose. Extend the arms up at a 60-degree angle in front of the body. The hands are 2 ½ to 3 feet apart, palms facing each other, fingers together. There are 4 parts to the exercise: on the count of 1, bend the wrists so that the fingers point forward, parallel to the floor with the palms still facing each other. On 2, reposition the hands so that the fingers point up, palms still facing each other. On 3, bend the wrists so that the palms face up. On 4, return to the original position. Move the hands very fast, but rhythmically. Concentrate on the Third-Eye Point. 3 minutes.

Comments: The coordination difficulties you may experience with this exercise can be alleviated by total concentration on the Third Eye Point.

 

for-keep-up-spirit-22. In Easy Pose, interlace the fingers so that the fingers are inside, between the palms, cross the thumbs and press the pads of the fingers of opposite hands together. Hold the mudra at chest level, fingers pointed toward the chest. Move the arms powerfully in and out from the center of the chest, in a sawing motion. Inhale as the arms extend and exhale as they return to the chest. Continue as fast as possible. 7-8 minutes.

 

3. Lie down on your back. Place the hands, palms down, under the lower back. Begin alternate leg lifts: raise the left leg to 90-degrees as you inhale and lower it as you exhale. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating for 4 minutes.

Comments: In this exercise, pressure on the thigh muscles adjusts the body’s calcium-magnesium balance.

 

for-keep-up-spirit-44. Life Nerve Stretch. Sit up with both legs stretched out straight in front. Catch hold of the toes tightly. Inhale and pulling back on the toes straighten the spine. Exhale and draw the forehead to the knees. Keep the knees straight throughout. Move powerfully. 3 minutes.

Comments: This exercise helps you stay vigorously young.

 

5. Cat-Cow. Inhale and lift the head and arch the tailbone, allowing the spine to drop down; exhale and drop the head and curl the tailbone as the spine arches up. The arms and legs remain stationary.1-2 minutes.

 

for-keep-up-spirit-66. In Cow Pose, the spine arched down and head up, begin kicking the buttocks powerfully and quickly with alternate heels. As one heel moves up to strike the buttocks, the other should be going down. Move only the lower part of your body. Create a sound like horses galloping! 1 minute.

Comments: This exercise adjusts the buttocks.

 

for-keep-up-spirit-77. Stand up straight, and place the hands on the hips. Begin rolling the torso around in full circles from the waist up. Get into it and really go! Extend the spine as far as possible in every direction. Continue very quickly for 2 minutes.

 

8. Still standing, stretch the arms up overhead as you inhale, then exhale as you bring the palms flat down onto the ground. Keep going fast and powerfully without bending the knees. 1 minute.

for-keep-up-spirit-8for-keep-up-spirit-9

 

9. Spread the legs as wide as you can. Inhale as you stretch the arms up over the head and exhale as you bring the palms flat onto the ground. Continue alternating with the breath. 1 minute

 

for-keep-up-spirit-1010. Stand with the feet close together. Inhale, stretching the arms straight up overhead, and exhale touch the palms to the floor. Continue alternating with the breath.2-3 minutes. Comments: This is a little difficult; concentration is required in order to maintain balance. The exercise is good for the lymph glands.

 

11. Still standing, feet shoulder-width apart, place the hands on the shoulders with the fingers pointing toward the neck. On the inhale, raise both arms straight up overhead; on the exhale, return the hands to the shoulders. Move very, very fast. 30 seconds.

for-keep-up-spirit-11

 

12. Sit in Easy Pose. Begin neck rolls, stretching the neck and making the head go in a full circle: chin to chest, ear to shoulder, and so on, round and round, very fast. 30 seconds.

 

13. Relax. 3-10 minutes.


 

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