Learning to Breathe with Manjit Devgun
We chatted with the charming meditation & mind coach Manjit Devgun about what wellness means, her meditation practice and, quite literally, how to breathe…
How did you first become interested in wellness?
As a meditation teacher, my roots for mental health come from the original spiritual teachings of the Sikh faith that I was born into.
I have always worked out and understood that being mentally stable, taking care of your health and using natural products is a way of life. My parents always gave us Ayurvedic remedies as children, massaged our scalps with mustard oil, and rubbed our bellies with coconut oil. My mother told me to learn reiki, so I was very much influenced by her.
What does wellness mean to you?
Being happy!!! Having a complete balance of everything: good mental health, a balanced body, and time to be present and enjoy all areas of life so that you feel accomplished and are continuously evolving.
Do you have daily rituals? If so, what are some morning and night non-negotiables for you?
Meditation in the morning before I do anything, and gratitude prayer when I go to sleep. Sunday night I have a real sleep ceremony with candles, a face mask, a long bath with Epsom salts and essential oils, and sexy RnB music. Also, I’ll do some kind of Shamanic journeying ritual and play my drum and rattle that I’m obsessed with.
What is a product or an activity that instantly lifts your mood?
Really good music. I love RnB and hip-hop.
What prompted you to first record guided meditations?
I have been reading palms for over 30 years, and I have also been a singer songwriter for that long. After recording meditations in the studios for producers and teaching private sessions, a healer friend of mine said she felt that I am meant to be doing all of this together, and it all fell into place. So I started facilitating a unique session where I read clients’ hands, and write and record a guided healing meditation to balance the chakras, which includes hypnosis and visualization. Now I am creating an app which includes sessions to help bring balance to your energy centers and help you achieve your goals using visualization meditation. I’m really excited about it.
For those that are intimidated by meditation, or have tried to incorporate it into their lives to no avail, what advice would you give?
Start by committing to breathwork of two minutes a day. Find a seat every morning, do not look at your phone when you wake up, and place your connection to yourself as the most important practice—even just for 2 minutes. Sit with your eyes closed or softly gazing at a point on the floor, and breathe in for 3 counts and breathe out for 6 counts. Start with this commitment and then increase, while observing the breath or mantra. When I read clients hands, I can see how some people have experienced so much trauma that they can’t sit still and meditate. They need more guidance and help for healing work also. Bringing the mind to visualize certain things can help the mind from drifting off. It’s not easy for a lot of people who suffer from anxiousness and stress to watch their breath for 20 mins. People have their unique journey so I wanted to create different sessions to cater to this.
What are some misconceptions about manifesting? How does it actually work?
In order to make something happen or come to fruition, you have to believe it—you have to feel you deserve it. Many people recite affirmations and they do nothing else. You have to heal things from the past that have been blocking your belief system and make you feel that on a deeper level you don’t deserve the thing you desire. You have to balance the energy centers in your body, recognize your self-worth and marry the feeling with the visualization when the subconscious brain is more open which is in the theta relaxed state of meditation or hypnosis. These sessions are exactly what I teach to my private clients, and are the same ones I’m also recording for the app.
What are some tools anyone can use to manifest?
Journaling and breathwork to let go of blocking issues and past trauma. Visualization during meditation is great. Most importantly— do not underestimate the power of your subconscious mind and how you are able to change your mindset to steer the course of your direction.
How important are tools such as affirmation and manifestation in one’s daily life?
You create your brain so we forget that we have the power to create, and have to examine what we feed our brain with. One of the problems is that we are so consumed by the outside world and materialistic influences that we don’t spend enough time mentally rehearsing what we want. I’ve noticed a lot of people have difficulty spending time on actually looking internally at themselves because they don’t believe in the work, or don’t think it’s as important as Netflix and endless tv.
What makes sound healing so powerful?
The vibration of certain instruments has an effect on your body. Your body is 70% water, therefore sound actually has an effect on your cells. This is shown in the many studies done on the science of Cymatics. The energy created by music also creates sacred geometrical shapes in water. Another experiment showed that a blood sample taken before a gong healing sound bath had clumped blood cells with wisps which indicated an unhealthy environment. After the gang bath was done just for 20 minutes the blood cells all separated and floated around indicating a healthier environment. Your body responds to music and also how the music is tuned. That’s why I always encourage my clients to dance, sing, and listen to uplifting music and sing!
Have you found that any of your practices have adapted during this stressful time?
I have less time, so I have not been able to work out as much as I want to, but for my clients, I do much more variation of breathwork, hypnosis, and now more distant healing energy work with sound because almost everything is done virtually.
What do you love most about what you do?
I LOVE it when someone sees their full potential or unfolds something in their healing journey. It’s the most beautiful thing. I want everyone to love their life and see their uniqueness, and then manifest what they desire. There is a reason your blueprint is on your hands and not replicated anywhere in the world.
Balance is such an unachievable concept— how do you deal with the overwhelming days?
I’m not going to even try and be laidback about this… It’s been absolutely overwhelming for me lately, but I’m thankful for my parents that instilled this way of thinking that you are never given anything that you can’t handle. Meditation, when I wake up, is the thing that is my rock to keep me grounded and tethered to my inner stillness.
Do you have any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Look at your strengths and weaknesses and then write them down into two lists. See who you need to bring on to help you do the things that you’re not good at. I never thought that I would have a business partner but I feel so blessed because he has inspired me so much. I am a year ahead of where I thought I would be, and also have a much bigger vision instead of where I was. Be open to hiring the right people so that you can make your life easier, and focus on your strengths. It’s important is to find what it is that is unique to you and then allow that truth to be your marketing and brand direction.