I read a lot of books and I get frequent requests for recommendations about what books I’m reading, so I’ve decided I’ll do a monthly review of my favourite books and the nuggets I learnt from each. Sound good?
This month, it’s Invincible Living by Guru Jagat, a book I picked up at the library (someone laughed at me recently because I use the library?!). I first heard of Guru Jagat when she was interviewed on a podcast. I can’t remember which, as I consume podcasts as voraciously as I consume books, but it was a great podcast nonetheless.
If you’re not familiar with Guru Jagat, she is one of the youngest senior Kundalini Yoga teachers in the world and the face of the new Kundalini movement. If you’re not familiar with this form of yoga, it has a focus on awakening kundalini energy (located at the base of the spine) through regular practice of mantra, tantra, yantra, yoga or meditation. I first tried Kundalini at Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali in 2018 and I am a huge fan. It’s not as common in Auckland yet, but Yoga Ground, Yoga Corner and Golden Yogi offer classes.
From the inside cover: Guru Jagat reveals how the simple, super-effective technologies of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation will upgrade your body’s operating system and reset your life. A candid and encouraging guide, Invincible Living offers powerful, practical tools for both inner and outer transformation. From beauty and self-care to work and relationships, Invincible Living is packed with exercises, tips, and step-by-step instructions that empower readers to:
Learn yogic beauty secrets
Slow the aging process
Boost mood and elevate energy
Reduce stress and anxiety
Increase creativity and mental clarity.
Here are 7 key takeaways I took from this book:
Your armpits need love, too. According to Jagat, our armpits are the conjunction of our body’s three nervous systems, so a good way to activate the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system is to massage, stretch and put cold water on your armpits for 15 seconds or more. Tip: if you get into a stressful situation at work (or at home with the kids), you can duck into a bathroom and literally just massage the inside of your armpits with your thumbs for one to three minutes.
Take cold showers. Speaking of cold water, Jagat is a huge proponent of daily cold showers, and I must admit - I am too. When I can tolerate them. Which is typically December to February (summer in the southern hemisphere). I always, always have more of a spring in my step after a cold shower. Just some of the benefits of cold-water therapy include improved integrity and condition of the skin, detoxes inner organs, increases immunity, fends of depression, heals the circulatory system, eases wrinkles, activates cellular renewal, improves energy, strengthens the nerves, and makes your brain more alert. Tip: if you can’t handle a full cold shower, pulse between 30 seconds of warm/hot and 20 seconds of cold (finish on cold if you can!)
Ghee makes an excellent eye cream. In Indian culture, ghee is a miracle cure for absolutely everything, but I’d never heard of it being used under the eyes. Tip: apply ghee to your under eyes and then eat a tablespoon because it’s a delicious and hella nutritious!
Our brain needs Vitamin D. Hair is the only instrument that directly feeds vitamin D from the sun straight into the brain. The brain needs more vitamin D than any other organ of the body. This kind of concentrated solar energy also stimulates the pineal gland, the gland of enlightenment aka our ‘third eye’. So in yogic culture, hair is everything. Tip: oil your scalp and hair shafts with almond and sandalwood oils prior to washing and then shampoo as usual. This will leave your hair shiny, strong and smelling delicious.
Never underestimate Cat-Cow pose. This simple, ubiquitous yoga pose is actually a bit of a game-changer for resetting our glandular / endocrine system (the system responsible for all of our hormones). And almost no-one knows about the massively anti-aging benefits of Cat-Cow. Just three to five minutes a day completely resets the glandular system, rebuilds body tissue, and totally rejuvenates your system. This pose is vitalising, energising and even builds collagen production in the face. Plus, it tunes your bloody chakras too! Tip: Get up five minutes earlier tomorrow, and do some Cat-Cow in your pyjamas. (Inhale on the cow, exhale on the cat.)
If you suffer insomnia, stop drinking tap water. The pineal gland, a small gland the size of an apple seed that sits in the direct centre of your brain, produces the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles. (That’s why I take melatonin when I fly, to beat jet-lag!) When the pineal gland is healthy and clean, it is very photoreceptive. However, most people don’t have smooth, receptive pineal glands, they have calcified ones. And that happens from fluoride in drinking water, in toothpaste, toxic compounds in pesticides, and other sources. Tip: Buy a 10 litre box of Living Water or alkaline water from your supermarket.
Find your breath, heal your life. There’s a good reason why kundalini yoga focuses on the breath, or ‘pranayam’, they truly believe it is our vital life force. One of the most common techniques is 'Breath of Fire’. If you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance, or simply want to get your glandular system firing, dedicating just 7 minutes a day to this practice will bring you back into balance. Once you balance your pituitary gland, you balance the whole body. Tip: Sit in easy pose (cross-legged) with your hands resting gently on your knees with the tips of your index finger and thumb touching (‘gyan mudra’). Keep your eyes closed, focusing on the brow point. Begin an even inhale and even exhale through the nose. The breath should be strong and rapid, but even. Do not overemphasise the exhale or put too much emphasis on the navel point. Even inhale, even exhale for 3 to 11 minutes.
There was so much more to learn from this beautiful book, but these were definitely the tips that jumped out at me. Let me know in the comments below what you found most interesting, and stay tuned for the next review xo.