What Are We Truly Reaching for in the Information Age?
By Melissa Baker
In my Kundalini Yoga class this past week, I taught the Meditation to Stimulate Your Chakra System and Feel Wonderful.
The meditation instructions are to sit in easy pose with a straight spine. Put the fingers of the left hand on your forehead, touching your third eye point. Extend your right arm out straight forward from your shoulder with the palm facing left. Close your eyes, hold the position, breathe slowly and deeply, meditate silently. Recharge your body with energy.
After the meditation, I asked the class what it felt like and for any comments or questions. One beautiful younger lady replied, "I think it was interesting how you talked about technology at the beginning of class and related the meditation to that. I am trying to break the habit of reaching for my phone. During the meditation, the right hand was me reaching for something else and not my phone. There was something powerful to that."
I was fascinated with this response. Like many Kundalini Meditations, they have meaning and purpose, but sometimes, the essence can be derived from what a person is going through.
In this instance, the right hand for this woman was signifying to reach for something other than her phone. It helped her become aware that when she was reaching out for this device, maybe she needed something more.
What is that more?
Our phones have become a second brain for many of us. In the information age we live in, it is crucial to develop a relationship with our inner technology, this inner knowing, in order to be our true selves in both reality and digitally.
What we crave is the feeling of belonging and connectedness. Our phones and other devices are created to take away our attention. Kundalini Yoga can be a teacher to ask the more profound questions of what we are reaching for when we reach for our phones.
Can that validation and sense of worth come from within ourselves instead of the ‘likes’ on social media?
Below, I will list three things that excess or unconscious screen time can affect, and give you three meditations to help with each of them.
Screen Time is Linked to a Decrease in Our Attention Span
An article from MedicineNet sites a study that compared participants who watched TV or played video games less than two hours a day (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for children aged 2 and older) to those who watched more. Researcher Edward Swing, a graduate student at Iowa State University, noted, "Those who exceeded the AAP recommendation were about 1.6 times to 2.2 times more likely to have greater than average attention problems."
How can you help improve your memory and attention span?
- Meditation: Kirtan Kriya
Put simply, engaging in this Aquarian Age meditation for just 12 minutes each day could help you keep your brain agile and boost your memory. It is lovely to do to release stress, and improve focus and mental clarity.
- Focus on one thing at a time. When you do less, you will accomplish more.
Being on Our Phones Before Bed Can Affect Our Sleep
An article by the Cleveland Clinic mentions three reasons why screen-time before bed can be harmful. The one that stood out to me was the blue lights on screens that suppress our naturally occurring sleep hormone, Melatonin. This blue light can also affect our vision. Blue light throws off our body's natural sleep/wake cycle. Instead of winding down in the evening by watching TV or scrolling social media, try this meditation.
How can we get better sleep?
- Meditation: Shabad Kriya For Deep, Relaxing Sleep
It is said that if this meditation is practiced regularly, sleep will be deep and relaxed, and the nerves will regenerate.
- Turn off all screens an hour or two before bed to help the mind and body prepare for sleep. In my house, we have a charging station our screens go to two hours or more before bed.
Excess Screen Time Can Make Us Feel Alone, Depressed, and Anxious.
In a 2017 study by the National Institute of Health, researchers found that adults who watched TV or used a computer for more than 6 hours per day were more likely to experience moderate to severe depression. Six hours is a lot of time, but the hours add up if you work from home and use your cell phone a lot. The following meditation can help build your inner strength and mental stability to help you find a healthy balance between screen time and other areas of your life.
How can we calm our minds, and feel less anxious?
As quoted in this Kriya, “This Kundalini Yoga kriya is designed to strengthen the nervous system so you can handle the pressure and stress of life just that way: calmly and creatively. It's a lively workout and leaves you feeling relaxed and renewed.”
- If you're looking for something shorter, try the meditation that I taught in my class, Meditation to Stimulate Your Chakra System and Feel Wonderful.
Meditation and Yoga are two ways to help overcome the over-stimulation of the information age and walk with grace and authenticity on your path. The next time you find yourself reaching for your phone, ask yourself, what are you distracting yourself from? What are you genuinely needing? Then, use breathing, meditation, or a movement technique to help connect with your Inner technology, your Inner Truth.
May you build a healthy relationship with the screens around you and foster meaningful connections in your life. The next time you reach for your phone, ask your inner wisdom what are you truly reaching for?
Melissa Baker (Honey Bee) is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Digital Wellness Coach who lives in Gainesville, FL. Along with teaching yoga, meditation, and fitness to kids and adults, she is passionate about guiding people to create a healthy relationship with the screens that surround them. Teaching individuals how to access and connect to their inner truth through Kundalini Yoga, Ayurveda, and movement-based therapies comes naturally to her. With a foundation of a healthy relationship to mind, body and spirit, one can develop a fulfilling life and deep connection to the world around them. Connect or work with Melissa personally! https://www.melissahoneybee.com/ Melissa reads all of her e-mails, and values connecting with others. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org