Q: Gurudev, what can we do to improve our energy levels in winter?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In winter, you can definitely do some pranayama, some breathing exercises. They say there is so much energy in the body that it is enough to supply electricity to the all of New York for six months, without interruption. To bring up that energy, we just need to do pranayama; Bhastrika.
Do you know we have a secret in our thumb?
Have you noticed, people all over the world tend to hide their thumb in the armpits or pockets when it is cold? It is a natural tendency. Your body feels warmer when you keep your thumbs warm; not totally, about 60 per cent.
Children are born with Aadi Mudra (thumb folded in, touching the bottom of the little finger and four fingers folded above, in a fist position). If you observe a baby from the time it is born to the age of three, it does all the yoga asanas. You don’t need a yoga instructor; you simply have to watch a child.
Have you seen how a new born baby sleeps? It sleeps in Chin Mudra (forefinger gently touching the thumb and three fingers perpendicular to the thumb). In this mudra, the consciousness is alert and the prana, the life-force, moves to the heart region. Children sleep in Chin Mudra or Chinmayee Mudra (forefinger gently touching the thumb and three fingers curled in to touch the palm).
The Aadi Mudra would help you when you are very cold. Do some breathing in this position.
In the cold season, don’t just sit by yourself in your virtual world, with your lap-top and computers. Come out of your homes, sit together with 20-40 people, sing and celebrate. Then there is no way you will feel low or depressed. I think that is needed. It is what people did in the ancient times. They would have a bonfire, sit around, talk, and gossip.
The cold weather is very good for meditation too. The mind becomes very still since nature is also still.
People used to go to the Himalayas for meditation because nature is silent and calm. The entropy is coming down, mistakes don’t happen. The mind becomes very calm, it feels very good from inside.