In 1979, Swami Kriyananda introduced a simple, effective set of five exercises and affirmations to do in the morning, or any time that increased energy and expanded awareness are needed. The following introduction is excerpted from Kriyananda’s first Superconscious Living seminar in San Francisco in 1979.
With our conscious mind we have to delegate authority to the subconscious. We have to tell it, “You feed me back this kind of information when I need it, this kind of habit when I need it.” If we have this degree of freedom, which enables us to command the subconscious to act as we choose, it can be put to use—it can be made to serve our ends instead of obstruct our ends.
Gaining control over the subconscious
It’s always good to affirm good things, but there are certain times of the day when the subconscious mind is open to what the conscious mind tells it: especially when you are just falling asleep and when you wake up in the morning.
If someone is grumpy, there is the expression that he must have got up on “the wrong side of the bed.” There is a lot of truth to that statement. It’s not a question of whether you are getting up on the left side or the right side of the bed, but the attitude with which you wake up determines to a large extent how your day is going to be. If you wake up with a strong, positive affirmation, you’ll find that your whole day is likely to be a strong, positive day.
Use your body to do an affirmation
It’s good to bring the body into play because we tend to think with our bodies. In fact, it’s a very important aspect of our teachings: use the body to develop various spiritual attitudes and states of consciousness. If we try to do it only mentally, it’s a lot more difficult.
So when you get up in the morning, try making an affirmation with your whole body, too. Get up immediately from your bed and start walking in place. Affirm out loud, “I am awake and ready! I am awake and ready!” When Yogananda gave his lectures, he would practically run out onto the platform and call out, “How is everybody?” And everybody would shout back, “Awake and ready!” He wasn’t willing to teach people unless they had that positive attitude, because the superconscious can only work if your energy is really roused and ready.
So, when you wake up, do these simple exercises and affirmations. You can bring your whole body to life. I find that it is a wonderful way to begin the day.
The Six Exercises
1) Walk vigorously in place before meditating. Affirm,
I am awake and ready! I am awake and ready!
2) Extend your arms vigorously out to the side, then
in front, then high above the head, affirming, “I am positive!
energetic! enthusiastic!” a) Begin with your hands
at the chest, flinging your arms out to the side with the
affirmation, “I am positive!” b) Bring the hands back to
the chest, then extend the arms vigorously in front of
you with the affirmation, “energetic!” c) Bring the hands
back again to the chest, then fling them high above your
head with the affirmation, “enthusiastic!” d) Finally, relax
the arms at the side. Repeat this exercise and affirmation
several times, as you like.
I am positive! (with arms to the side)
Energetic! (arms to the front)
Enthusiastic! (arms stretched up)
3) Rap your knuckles lightly on the forearms and upper
arms, first with the right fist, then with the left, affirming,
“I am master of my body! I am master of myself!”
4) Rub your arms, legs, hips, chest, and other parts of the
body while affirming,
“Awake! Rejoice, my body cells!”
5) Rap your scalp lightly with your knuckles, affirm,
“Be glad, my brain! Be wise and strong!”
6) Massage your scalp lightly all over with the finger-
“Awake, my sleeping children! Wake!”