I pray that each of you has everything you need to be sustained throughout this time. If you've got what you need, this is a list of affordable and FREE resources to bring epiphanies, laughter, depth, and good energy into the mix during your time at home. So here it is: based on a collaborative discussion with some of MKY's teachers, Savitri, Andy, Kathy, and myself (Cate) and some suggestions from our community. May it serve you. Stay healthy, safe, and happy!
#1 Podcast Series on The New Earth
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle is a life-changing book about how we can repair our world through awareness, acceptance and enjoyment. In this 10-part podcast series, Oprah Winfrey and Tolle discuss the book and take questions from callers about implementing its teachings into real life.
#2 Good News Web Series
I hope you already know about Actor John Krasinki's Some Good News, which is such a fun, beautiful, exciting, funny and uplifting response to these times. If you haven't watched this Web Series, watch it soon and get ready for some happy tears, as Krasinski surprises a young girl who missed out on seeing Hamilton with a Zoom performance from the cast, brings amazing speakers -- like Jon Stewart, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah -- to an online high school graduation, and officiates a Zoom wedding for two fans of the The Office, followed by dance party with all the cast members. Word is that Comedy Central picked up the series, so the wonderful, heartfelt-ness won't end.
#3 Mantra Resource
We, at MKY, regard mantras as a gift, a gift that helps us shift from our churning, monkey minds to peace. And we all draw on this marvelous resource of Kundalini Mantras often for our own practices and when we plan our classes: Spirit Voyage's Mantrapedia lists the mantras from A-Z and includes the meaning, the effect, and the musical versions of each sacred sound.
#4 Spiritual Journey Book
Surfing the Himalayas by Frederick Lenz tells the story of a young man who travels to the Himalayas seeking the ultimate high. While snowboarding the great mountains, he unexpectedly meets (literally plows into) a wise Buddhist Monk named Master Fwap who completely transforms his life. Lynn Andrews, author of Medicine Woman, states it best; "A magnificent journey to the mountain within." (Those of you who take Savitri's classes have probably heard her mention her teacher Rama. Rama is Frederick Lenz's spiritual name, and this is one of his most important books.)
#5 The Suburban Monk Playbook
Our dear friend and yoga student, Ellen Atkins (aka the Suburban Monk, aka maker of Syd, a bright spot on anyone's altar) has created a very special (and completely free) gift. It's called the Playbook, and it includes 14 simple practices that are designed to help you become a Suburban Monk. If you own a Syd (big or small), you can use it with these practices. If you don't own a Syd, you can get one through our Website (MKY is an affiliate). I absolutely LOVE my red Syd.
#6 Montclair Kundalini Yoga's Online Classes
If you haven't popped online with us yet, give it a try. It's just $10 a class. And we really try to deliver the teachings, the music, and our caring hearts. If you're shy about being on camera, I understand how you feel and you don't have to be. It's your choice. On camera or off, we'd like to be your spiritual family. We'd like to help you get your daily dose of Kundalini Yoga, the yoga of awareness, the yoga that focuses on getting your energy and creativity flowing. Sign up here.
#7 Outside (Not an App)
I suggested to my team that I include on this list a step counting app because we all know that walking is sooooo beneficial, but Savitri responded with a resounding "NO! Leave your phone at home." So there you have it. The link is your front door.
I re-watched this one on demand with my kids and, for our sense of humor (which may not be so elevated, I grant you), it was worth it! A great escape from the seriousness of the moment. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play perpetual children, ne-er-do-wells who still live at home. When their parents marry, they become step brothers and rivalry, childishness, hilarity, and eventually redemption ensue.
#9 List of Weird & Little-Known Words
My college-age son is a studious sort, so I always try (and rarely succeed) at stumping him with stuff I know and he doesn't. In this case, I cheated because I looked up "little-known" words and then tested him. Stumped him on 26 out of 26, which was super satisfying. Bonus: most of the words are pretty funny sounding, too, like winklepicker and tittynope. Enjoy the A-Z List.
FYI: Some members of our community responded with comedy recommendations that I didn't have a chance to check out myself but plan to: Middleditch & Schwartz, Long Form Improv on Netflix and Stay F Homekins: a Quarantine Podcast.
#10 Lucid Dreaming
Dive into your own dreams for healing. Savitri has discovered this awesome book about lucid dreaming which I'm about to explore, too. Here's her recommendation:
Want to ramp up your spiritual practice? Why not learn to meditate or do yoga in your dreamtime while sleeping? That’s what the book Lucid Dreaming Made Easy by Charlie Morley teaches us how to do.
We have probably all dreamt lucidly at least once in our lives, where we are awake and aware in the dream and able to exert some control. But Charlie Morley teaches us how to lucid dream on a consistent basis: During lucid dreaming, we can receive important messages from the higher self, the psychological self and the collective psyche. We can cultivate our spirituality by bringing our spiritual practice to the dreamtime. When we learn to really utilize the nearly one third of our life that we spend sleeping, anxiety can be reduced, creativity can be boosted and solutions to problems can be found, among so many other benefits.
Some tools Charlie gives us are: Keep a dream journal, identify recurrent dream signs, set an affirmation before sleep that acts as a queue to lucidly wake up in the dreamtime, perform reality checks to verify you are indeed in a dream, and learn how to extend dreams - among many other valuable practices.
#11 Remote Reiki
Reiki is a healing energy that can be directed and transmitted by a Reiki practitioner to address disturbances in the subtle energy bodies. A Reiki treatment restores order and balance to the subtle bodies which can then positively affect the physical body as well as all other levels of our being. Reiki is a light bath that helps your body-emotions-mind-spirit to heal itself.
Reiki energy can be directly applied or can be transmitted anywhere in the world to anyone at any time. When performed remotely, it is called remote Reiki or distance Reiki and the practitioner often uses special symbols and visualizations to bridge and transcend space to transmit the healing energies to the one receiving.
Savitri and I both offer distance Reiki. You can book a 30 minute session with one or both of us. For the rest of the month of May, we are offering a 50% discount on Reiki. For a 30 minute session with one of us, it's only $30. For a 30 minute session with both of us simultaneously, it's only $60. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a session.
#12 Introduction to EFT (Tapping) Video
This healing technique is really worth a try. It's a combination of Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology. It's easy and quick to do, and can apply to physical pain and emotional issues. This video is from Nick Ortner, the author of The Tapping Solution and is a great introduction. If you've never given this a try, I really encourage you to if there's any area of stagnation. See if it helps.
Infuse Your Instagram Feed with Positivity!
#13 Folks to Follow
I believe that we need positivity and heartfelt-ness in our feeds -- to balance out the COVID news. This helps me a lot. It helps me to see what my postive-minded real-life friends are up to and also some folks I admire from afar.
For the from afar folks, we've chosen a few that we hope will brighten your feeds and your days. Our choices are:
And by the way, we hope you'll follow us because we keep things positive: @montclairkundaliniyoga, @catebaily, @brynnlacey1, @kathrynyogini, @andys857
#14 Daily Live Devotional Music & Meditation
Deva Premal & Miten are chart-topping new-age musicians on a mission to share the medicine of mantra with the world. During these times, they are offering a Daily Facebook Live with their beautiful music and meditation. They exude such peaceful, beautiful energy.
#15 Andy's Meditation Offerings
Every single day, Andy posts free video meditations on our Facebook page. Plus, he teaches in his friendly, open, accepting way a FREE Meditation Class for MKY online every Monday night. Sign up to join in.
Bonus for Parents
If you're home with kids, this looks like an amazing resource: The Ultimate Guide to WFH with Kids. It's full of ideas for activities and searchable by age, outdoor vs. indoor, screen vs. no screen, and need for parent involvement. I didn't get too deep with it yet. But I did find an activity I'm dying to do with my daughter: create a fairy house with only items found in your yard.
We'd love to know what resources you've been drawing on in this time at home. Please share in the comments. Let's help each other out.
Geoffrey Orozco (Geo), or Neo, as he came to be known, came to Montclair Kundalini Yoga when we first began our business. My connection with him went deep from that first moment when I knew I wanted to support his personal and spiritual development in any way that I could. Geo and I shared many passions. We both loved to dance, to heal, to teach.
Saturdays were my time with Geo, when he would come to my yoga class, and afterwards, we would talk, sometimes for hours, often going to the park. Sometimes he would come with his Mother or his sister and her children or dear friends. We would talk about spirituality and our plans to spread the light through our teaching, or we would practice Tai Chi and Chi Gung, or just walk. He taught me how to dance with his thunderbolt rods, as I liked to called them, slowly twirling two long rods in a graceful, synchronous, spiral motion. Geo believed in me. He believed in both Cate and myself as his spiritual mentors, and the funny thing is, we realize now that he was actually our teacher.
When I began to teach Chi Gung in the park, Geo was sometimes the only person who would come, but he would bring many friends and eventually brought his boom box so we could move gracefully to music, which became a staple element in our practice. More than two years passed and Geo was consistent in every way with his participation and support in whatever MKY offered and our friendship deepened.
Cate and I went to Geo’s “office”, which is what he called the Paterson Falls. The sound of the waterfall served as a musical backdrop to our meetings. Geoffrey talked to us about life, about spirituality and about our yoga business, with many good ideas for expansion which we utilized with success.
I’d once arrived at The Falls distracted and tense, neglecting to give Geo my customary hug. “Where’s the personal touch?” he admonished me, and I smiled and gave him my big warm hug. Hugs were just about the most important thing to Geo, something I will always remember and practice throughout my life. He lived his life for love, love for absolutely everyone. No one was beneath his love and support. Love was what was most important to Geo.
Geo had many, many friends that he brought to our yoga studio, which was such a joy. But no matter how many other friends he had, or I had, we knew our friendship was special. When we were together talking about spiritual matters, no distractions ever intruded into that vast space of awareness and we would both always feel renewed and reborn from this deep discourse.
On Labor Day, Geo left this world, so young, at his beloved Falls. Apparently, he left this world trying to help a woman in great need, both mentally and psychologically. But exactly how he slipped and how it happened, no one quite knows. We do know that he left this world at his favorite place doing what he most loved, helping a soul in need.
After that momentous night, amazing gatherings took place to honor Geoffrey in pure love and tribute; a memorial service that had dozens and dozens of people telling beautiful stories of their relationship with Geo. His Buddhist group chanted, Native American's danced and sang their sacred songs and burned sage. Shamans and yoga groups, performers and performance groups, Christian and Islamic groups, tee shirts printed with Geo's inspirational sayings were worn by many.... And tears... an ocean of tears! So many, many lives he changed for the better! Cate and I were so honored to be there and honored to share stories of our own about the love, appreciation and gratitude that Geo lived his life by as we listened to all the stories of what a rare soul of pure love Geoffrey was.
The next morning after his memorial service, I went up to the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts and spoke to Sri Mooji Baba, a spiritual teacher whom Geo was very devoted to. Mooji showered Geo with blessings and prayers, saying resolutely, “Geo’s beautiful spiritual progression continues uninterrupted!”
Later a beautiful, candlelight ceremony was held at his beloved Falls. At our yoga studio, many candles and chants are still being offered for his soul. We chant Akal, again and again, which means undying. We know he will be with us as we move forward – he is always one with us.
There was also a beautiful, well-attended Zen service for Geo at the Heart Circle Sangha in Ridgewood, NJ, presided over by Roshi Joan Hogetsu Hoeberichts. Geoffrey told me he had visited the Heart Circle Sangha at one point, and I am a long time member. So we were able to hold a wonderful ceremony there, thanks to Joan.
On the Saturday before Geo had to leave us, he came to my yoga class at the very top of his potential, just blossoming with excitement about his spiritual mission. Cate and I were delighted to hear that he had just led a workshop for thirty people. Geo talked that last day about the many people who had benefited from his workshops and private teachings. We poured in our love and support and again suggested that he give workshops for our yoga community. We laughed so joyfully as we made plans to meet in Geoffrey’s “office”, which is how he referred to his beloved Paterson Falls. He walked out of the studio on cloud nine as I followed him into the parking lot, asking what I could do to support his mission. I go over and over those last moments in my mind. Each time I teach, I still look for him to walk through the door. He is with us and will always be with us as we move forward into the future.
Geoffrey arrived fully to his purpose and mission and was devoted to both his own spiritual growth and the growth of others. The full extent of his reach and the many, many lives he touched and transformed for the better, become more and more abundantly clear as we continue to listen to his many friends and read testimonies from many more online from far and wide. What a beautiful, beautiful soul of pure love whose influence and many blessings to our world live on and on.
This poem is for Geoffrey...
Dances with Thunderbolts
Geoffrey, we are with you
Through and through the Silence
We are with you
As Freedom rides
The Eternal Winds
On Wings, we are with you dear friend
As kaleidoscopic colors
We are with you dear teacher
As with Infinite care
From swimming cobalt
You emerge to dance with thunderbolts
We are with you dearest son
As you spin and twirl, we watch in awe
Pure love soul from God
Unprotected beacon, lighthouse to all
No one beneath your compassion
All encompassed by your love
Gratitude, Appreciation, deep spiritual insight
Precious treasure lamp
Heart of God
We are with you
To protect and care
To love beyond all words
We go with you
Into the new-green light
We go with you
To consecrate an altar
Deep in the virile
Wilderness of the Soul
Savitri's path of right living centers around the spiritual upliftment of each person she encounters. As a Yoga teacher, Savitri brings the potency of over thirty years of spiritual study and practice, including meditation, in-depth study of Tai Chi, Chi Gung and other martial arts, as well as her certified expertise in Kundalini Yoga & Shakti Dance™. She transmits her passion, joy and commitment to truth through these Raj (royal) yogas, which enliven and empower all who attend her classes, workshops and retreats. Join Savitri on Wednesday and Friday nights for Kundalini Yoga with Sound Healing and on Saturday mornings for Kundalini Yoga & Meditation.
Co-owners and Instructors of Montclair Kundalini Yoga, Cate Baily and Savitri Narayan Kaur. See their bios here.