Vibes. Energy. Jui jui. These days you hear these buzz words everywhere. You can’t get a Latte or walk by a yoga class without seeing “Good Vibes Only” blasted on someone’s t-shirt.
But what exactly do they mean?
Whether you are a true believer or true skeptic, we have all felt our energy ebb and flow over time. Do you have times where you feel “drained” from an over mentally or emotional week at work or school? Or maybe after a fight with a loved one you’ve walked away feeling “yucky.” And I’m sure we have all come in contact with a person, place or situation that “feels wrong” and makes our stomachs drop. These are all examples of our energy, vibes or whatever you want to call it, reacting to our outside environment and other’s energy. These days we are constantly bombarded with information, commercials, advertisements, television, news stories, gossip, social media that is being taken into our minds and bodies and effecting our energy and the very core of our soul. And more often than not we are feeling run down and exhausted as a result of all this complex and bad energy.
What can we do? Just as we do physical exercise to strengthen our bodies or a juice cleanse to clean it, we can cleanse our soul and rebalance our energy through smudging, salt caves, and Kundalini Yoga.
A dear friend of mine recently asked what she could do to attain this. My response to her was was to “go smudge yourself!”
You may have heard of people smudging a room or house to get rid of bad energy, so why not yourself? Smudging is the simply the act of burning dried sage to cleanse an area of it energy. As the sage burns, it envelops the energy around it and clears it out to make way for a fresh energy perspective. Smudging has roots in Native American shamanic traditions and has been used for centuries. But you do not need to be a Shaman to perform smudging, although it is important to understand and respect the history and tradition. You simply need the sage bundle and vessel to allow it to simmer in and a feather or fan. You can buy a quality, blessed sage kit from a local shop (look for places that sell crystals and essential oils and they will more than likely sell a smudging kit, or you can order a kit online).
Once you have you tools for the job, its ideal to have a friend to help out with the process or you can do it yourself. Simply, light the sage by burning it at one end, it takes a while to get going so you may want to use a candle or long lighter that puts out a large and constant flame. As the sage starts to burn, blow on it to stoke it or get it going, like you would a campfire.
Once you see some beautiful red embers glowing and decent amount of smoke coming off your bundle, you are ready to begin. Holding the smoking bundle in one hand and feather or fan in the other, bend over and start at your feet. Use the feather to gently sweep the smoke toward your body, constantly fanning to direct the cleansing air and aroma. Slowly move your way up your legs, front and back, up your torso, out around your arms, spend a little extra time on your chest and heart, and then up around the crown of your head. As you watch the smoke rise, imagine it grabbing on to your energy and any negative emotions, burning them up and floating away. You can do this indoor or outside, if you are inside your own space, you may want to continue and raise the smudge bundles around your room in each corner, to also cleanse your space. When finished, say a quick mention of gratitude to the universe and Natives who came before, for allowing you to utilize this sacred process.
Another effective method of cleansing I recommend, is getting salty. Despite antiquated nutrition advice that salt is bad for us, it is actually the very opposite. Our bodies and souls crave salt and its healing properties. For year pilgrims trekked to the Dead Sea to float in its sacred glory. And I’m sure we have all felt the awe making feeling of swimming in the ocean, surrounding ourselves with its salty goodness. More recently, Himalayan Salt has become a hot commodity, either in your kitchen as a seasoning, or in a glowing Himalayan Salt lamps.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a place that offers one, Himalayan Salt Caves are popping everywhere. These are rooms made with Himalayan salt rocks as walls and floors. If you can spend some time in one of these, go and go quickly! If you do not live near a Salt Cave, you can recreate one yourself. If you don’t own one of these beautiful salt lamps, they can be purchased at most local shops, even chains like Kohls and Bed Bath and Beyond. The salt, when heated becomes a natural ionizer, meaning they change the electrical current of the air by producing ions into the air. Just having a lamp in our home is great but to step it up a notch, bring it into the bath. For an extra cleansing ritual, run a hot bath and add Epsom salt (the saltier the better) , turn on your lamp and burn some white candles, and soak away. Imagine the ions in the air carrying away your bad energy and visual the waves of the ocean cleansing you from head to toe.
Once you’ve cleansed your energy using these simple methods, I suggest starting a practice to keep it strong and awakened. I recommend taking a Kundalini Yoga class or finding a video online. Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning coiled. Kundalini yoga is the process to unleash the Feminine energy coiled up at your spine, as you engage in this practice you release and strengthen that energy allowing you better combat the negative influences that effect our personal energy and soul. Regular meditation will also strengthen our defense and allow us to control our energy. Apps like Calm and Headspace make meditation easy to understand, access and practice.