The Beginner's Guide to Getting Your Om On
Oprah's favorite "spirit junkie" on how to calm the eff down for better skin (& sex).
When was the last time you took a minute for yourself? Yes, you. And no, passing out and catching up on your DVR after splitting three bottles of wine and a few Rubirosa pizzas with your friends doesn't count. We mean the real, deep, sometimes-icky-but-ultimately-rewarding introspection that only measured, dedicated efforts to slow down and feel calm can bring. Whether it's via an iPhone app, a little deep breathing sprawled on a yoga mat or even closing your eyes to repeat mantras in a cab, taking even one minute out of your day for yourself can reap some serious benefits. With this in mind and no clue where to begin, we hit up Gabrielle Bernstein, a new age (without the new age-y-ness) life coach and motivational speaker whose approach to all things spiritual is throughly refreshing—and not at at all intimidating or cheesy. Oh, and Oprah likes her, too.
...on the value of, well, knowing your sh*t:
"My mother taught me to meditate as a child. Then in my early twenties I began to deepen my practice by becoming a student of Kundalini meditation, which focus on mantras, mudras and breath and Transcendental meditation, which requires 4-day training. You can go through that training with The David Lynch Foundation."
...on exactly where to begin:
"Meditation can be as simple as finding your pulse. I call this a foolproof tool from my book, Miracles Now, Peace Is in Your Pulse, because it improves your concentration and brings calm to even the most scattered mind.
Sit comfortably cross-legged on the floor.
Lightly close your eyes and focus on the space between your eyebrows: the third-eye point.
The mantra (repeated phrase) is Sat Nam, which means 'truth identified'.
The hand position (mudra) is simple. Place the four fingers of your right hand on your left wrist and feel your pulse. The fingers are in a straight line, lightly pressed on the wrist so you can feel your pulse in each fingertip.
On each beat of your pulse, mentally hear the sound of Sat Nam.
This meditation can be done any time, anywhere, and you can experience great benefits in just one minute. Practice it daily to develop your intuition and calm your mind."
...on 'mental showers' and choosing meditation over caffeine:
"You can meditate anywhere, though it's valuable to create a space in your home where you can sit in silence. Make sure you’re comfortable wherever you're sitting. It’s valuable to begin your day with a meditation. Maybe you sit up in your bed the moment you wake up, or you meditate on the subway to work. Starting your day with a meditation is like a mental shower. I also find it very valuable to meditate around 4 P.M. This time is typically when we feel like we need a coffee. If you give yourself 10-20 minutes to meditate, you’ll feel energized and renewed."
...on how even meditation in an Uber will do in a pinch:
"You have a minute to spare, right? One minute a day spent in stillness can change your life. Commit to one minute a day and use this practice to silence your mind and calm your energy.
The One-Minute Breath
For one minute follow this breathing technique:
Breathe in for 5 seconds.
Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
Release for 5 seconds.
Hold for 5 seconds.
Practice this breath pattern for one minute a day."
...on why you actually should––and need––to take that minute for yourself:
"A daily meditation practice will dramatically lower your cortisol levels (the stress hormone), relax your nervous system and enhance your awareness and happiness. Committing to a meditation practice can help you release addictive patterns and create long-lasting change."
...on whether or not there really is an app for that:
"I’m a big believer in using technology to enhance our meditation and mindfulness practices. I have an app called Spirit Junkie which is an affirmation alarm clock. The idea is simple but powerful: each morning when your phone alarm rings, an affirmation pops up. While you’re still cozy in bed, clear your mind and meditate on the message, allowing it to sink in and soak your soul. Then start your day with a positive, confident attitude. Want more miracle moments? Just set the affirmation alarm to pop up throughout the day with a gentle reminder to turn inward and shift your perception and meditate on the new thought."
...on the sexy benefits (bow chicka wow wow!) and flawless skin coming your way:
"Meditation can absolutely improve your sex life because it calms you down. One of the main reasons that women feel disconnected while having sex is because they are stressed. If you meditate before sex you can lower your stress levels and be present in the moment. Meditation has also cleared up my skin. My daily practice has lowered my stress levels so dramatically that I no longer break out."