Amrit Vela Sadhana – Back On Track

During the past months it’s been really hard for me to get up early in the morning and have a regular spiritual practice. I felt like every day was finishing a marathon between work and family duties, so by the time all my "duties" were done after 9pm I just wanted to disconnect from the world and veg out on the couch watching TV shows that I had recorded earlier. I then got caught up in the habit of doing this (watching TV at night) and it became harder to stop. It wouldn’t be a bad thing….but when you have a full season of a TV episodes and they leave you hanging at the end of one, you just can’t help watching another….. and then another….and another. It becomes a common mental mantra to think "Just one more" after a show ends… hahaha. If I stayed up late there was no way I was going to be able to get up early in the morning for my Sadhana. I have to get up around 4AM in order to have enough time to do banis, yoga and meditate. Once Charanjeet wakes up (5:30-6:30am) then I’m pulled back into family duties.

Mid December I took a much needed vacation. This break from my norm allowed me to break my normal cycles (plus, I was running out of the good TV shows to watch! hahaha). When I got home right before the new year I was determined to "MAKE IT HAPPEN" and get back into my spiritual practice. My dirty house (my mind) was starting to get cluttered and in much need of cleaning! (there is no hiring a cleaning person for this cleaning task). Now that I made the commitment I have been back on track going to sleep early (as close to 9PM as possible) and waking up at 4am.

Now that we are in the middle of winter the water is amazingly cold (which is a good thing)! When I get up I head straight for the cold shower. It’s one of those things that I have to psych myself up for (even though it makes me feel awesome!). I massage almond oil on my body before taking a shower, and then take some deep breaths before taking the plunge in and out of the water while continuously massaging all the parts of my body. After about 4-5 times my body starts to warm up as the blood flushes to every part of my body. It feels CHARDIKALA!!! Wahe-GUROOO!!! It’s extremely healthy to take cold showers when done properly.

When the cold water hits the surface of your skin (which has four layers) all the blood from way deep inside your body rushes to the surface in self-defense, vastly improving your circulation on the spot. This is called Hydrotherapy. It strengthens your entire nervous system. People pay huge sums of money for what is now called "Hydrothermal therapy" when in reality all you need is cold water! Everyone in my house is sick right now except for me (which I attribute to my cold showers). Read more about this and watch a video with Guruka Singh talking about cold showers.

It feels so great to be BACK! When I don’t make time to meditate in the early morning things are just so much harder. I guess when I am used to meditating, and then stop doing so, I really notice a difference in my state of being. Now that I am back on track….I can invite and encourage you all to make an extra effort to build your existing amrit vela (early morning) practice, or start afresh (if you are not doing anything right now). 2008 is here and what better time to make a commitment to work on yourself!

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19 Responses to “Amrit Vela Sadhana – Back On Track”

  1. Leah says:

    This may be a weird question, but, do you wash your hair in the cold shower, or do you do that separately another time?

    I have taken a bone cold shower before at a place where I was camping that had zero hot water, and when it hit my scalp that was the hardest! Also I could not rinse the shampoo off my head very well (I have very thick hair).

  2. ujjalbir says:

    God has been kind and Iam able to do this in the morning , in fact it gets timed with the morning HUKMNAMA from DARBAR SAHIB, Amritsar which varies with the morning twilight and is broadcast live on tv and radio. There is a differece of ten hours with the United States in the time zone . Whenever God has been kind to call us to SACHKHAND HAZUR SAHIB at Nanded which is 600km from MUMBAI,we get up at 2.30 AM because the sacred doors of the inner shrine open at 3.30 AM. This year the ordainment of the GURU GRANTH SAHIB AS THE GURU OF THE SIKHS IS completing 300 years in October 2008 which was done by SRI GURU GOBIND SINGH JI AT NANDED in october 1708AD. May God bless all.

  3. Leah, I don’t wash my hair with cold water in winter. It’s probably not a good idea if you have freezing cold water. In the summer it might be fine. For me the cold shower is more of a health thing and it wakes me up and gets me going. It’s better than any coffee and whole lot more healthy!!

  4. Prabhu Singh says:

    I enjoy my cold showers in the morning, but I don’t wash my scalp. I wash my hair at a different time with room temperature to warm water (never hot). Also it is important to cover the sensitive areas of the body when taking cold showers. I wear kacheras for my cold shower.
    I got a cold this year because when I was in Florida I couldn’t get an honestly cold shower, plus I think I got too much lake water up my nose when jumping off the platform. Also I was too hot in my sleeping bag. Now that I’m back where I sometimes have to unfreeze my pipes before getting the water, I’m pretty happy :-)

  5. Yasmine says:

    That makes cold showers much easier. I always assumed you would wash your hair too, if you where going to take cold showers. I find if I’m going to do it, I have to get my self really psyched into it, or I just can’t bring myself.

  6. Navpreet Kaur says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Thanks for this post, it’s really helpful. One question: I sometimes find it hard to concentrate during sadhana (or anything for that long really), is there anything I can do to help my concentration?

  7. Navpreet Kaur, You can do a few different things. When you do meditations/chanting/simran/etc focus your eyes at your third eye point between your eye brows. Your eyes are closed and it’s as if you are trying to look at that point. This stimulates your pineal gland.

    Also having your eyes almost all the way closed and looking at the tip of your nose is another method which “locks the mind” and stimulates other parts of the brain. This one is a bit harder to start with though if your eyes are not used to it.

    My suggestion is the focus at your “third eye point” (first suggestion) and if you find your mind wandering then just keep bringing it back to focusing on the mantra.

    My problem is that when I do simran/meditations for 60 minutes I start to get sleepy and have to fight off the tiredness. Today I found a remedy for that by doing the shabad kriya meditation which is a pranayam meditation that I do often on my own. I found that this woke me up and energized me so that I could continue meditating.

    I hope this helps…

  8. gurveer says:

    it is thing of great honour that you are taking care of our culture and speacially this thing that 40 days sadhna it is a great thing thanks for taking care of our culture

  9. Navpreet Kaur says:

    Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa
    Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

    Thanks, this will help a lot.
    I had trouble getting into the habit of waking up early and doing my sadhana during my winter break. I’m in second year university (biochemistry), and after school ended I just wanted to sit on the sofa and watch tv, mostly Christmas movies.Of course, this made it impossible for me to wake up in the morning.

    But as a new year’s resolution I decided to start doing sadhana, even though school started again. Your blog has encouraged me a lot to start. Life is going to continue, whether I do my morning sadhana or not. And instead of trying to struggle through the many challenges, I would rather build my intuition and recognize the opportunities that come my way.

  10. AJ says:

    about taking a cold shower, is it bad for our bones?#
    well im 14 rite now and i take cold showers in the morning but i was told not to; and was told that cold showers will effect my growth and bones; will it?

  11. AJ: I am not a doctor so cannot answer that for you. If you have some type of health condition then you should consult your doctor first. Otherwise if you are a normal healthy person then I don’t see why a cold shower would effect your bones. There is a certain method for taking the cold shower and if followed then it is extremely healthy.

  12. AJ says:

    hi again,
    wat i meant is that coz i’m a growing kid, will it stop ,me from growing zand getting taller?

  13. Balbir Singh Khalsa says:

    Dear AJ

    Don’t worry about anything. Purpose of cold water is only to make you fresh. And cold water does not mean ice cold. It should not be warm or hot. And if you are sick, then go for hot shower.

    As you have started this topic, let me add a tip to take cold shower. First set the tap to cold water below hot point. Wash your feet first, then face and then other part of the body. Now you can make it colder.

  14. Prabhu Singh says:

    I don’t think a cold shower could possibly stunt your growth. What stunts the growth of a child is the bones hardening before they really need to. An excessive amount of exercise, or steroids can stunt growth, and the hormones in meat, certainly affect growth (though I don’t know if it will stunt it). Cold showers increase circulation, which is probably good for the bones. I’m not a doctor either so I’m just speculating.
    Some things that I’ve heard to help growth are pistachios and whey. If your family makes paneer tell them not to throw out the ‘water’ (as I hear people refer to it), that water is actually whey and is really good for growing kids.

  15. I’ll be honest – I can’t take cold showers on a warm day let alone at amrit-vela in the Winter. However, I am trying to tune myself into getting into the habbit. I’ve just become too accustomed to extremely hot water. It’s even had an impact on the pigmentation of my lower body.

    @AJ: Cold water shouldn’t stop your growth. Things like bodybuilding can have an affect on your height but not water.

  16. Ha – these are the types of posts that make me feel thankful about living in Malaysia – the weather is warm so taking a cold shower at amritvela is no issue at all!

    You poor four-seasoned-freezng souls :) Lols


  17. Harkiren….. Hahaha…. without the freezing water it doesn’t have the “kick” that gets your blood rushing and the healing properties. I don’t take cold showers as much after the winter for this reason.

    I remember one of the lectures with SSS and someone was complaining that the water was freezing cold where they live…and SSS was saying how lucky the person was!

  18. Andrew says:

    Hi all,

    I am very happy to have found this site as one of my google results seeking more about the benefits of cold water showers. I’ve found more practical information here than all the sites I have previously visited. Like how I should wash my feet first then my face and then the rest of my body. This is all very new to me. I don’t know that I see “God” in the very same way as you all, but I know I have been drawn to dedicate 10% of my day to spiritual growth and enlightment. To my utter surprise and shock, I learned about the “abrosial hours” from reading a poem written on the box one of my favourite brand of tea. Simply online research lead to another surprise as I learned that that ambrosial hours were about from 4am-6:30am a was only six minutes more than what I calculated as 10% of a day. I decided that it was close enough for me LOL… and that that was the time I wanted to dedicate to God.

    I really related to the article in that I wanted to get “back on track” with my life. I have tried waking up at 4am before and could not get into it. For some strage reason I had started to gradually make my showers colder after starting out with it being very warm, but never thought to incorporate the two. But now that I know that there is something special about this time of the mornings, and now I have this new practice of taking a cold shower to help me stay up when I do get up… I am much more motivated. I can’t wait to get back on track. I can’t wait. I’m starting this tomorrow morning.

    Gods ways are truly mysterious sometimes. Thanks and Much blessing to you all.


  19. nicola says:

    Thank you.

    I am from the tropics and only ever take boiling hot showers. I am now learning to have cold showers in the mountains of cusco!!! brrrr… and i spend hours on the net getting info …just to avoid/distract myself from the reality …but i do feel better AFTER the shower. Envigorating and i KNOW they will/are changing my life my attitude/resistance physically mentally and spirituallly.

    Just great to know i am not alone. although i know im not alone. thank you. Everyone.

    sat nam y abrazos de cusco