We all have little demons lurking in the closet. If these
demons are continually ignored, physical and emotional
blockages surface that ultimately keep us from living
healthy, balanced, and full lives.
I’ve learned through experience that suppression mani-
fests into varying levels of discomfort. In fact, it has pushed
me headfirst into the fires of self-loathing. The crazy part is
that we know these demons hold us back from living our best
life, but somehow our fears keep us under their control.
To fight the fear and make another choice, we have to do
the work. There’s no getting around it, nor can we spiritually ghost our demons. The work requires us to dance in the
shadows of the soul and commune with the spirits.
I believe we have to see our emotional demons as what
make us whole and use them to make positive, conscious
choices based on our highest self.
I honestly thought my yoga and meditation practices
made me a better person, that they would keep me in a state
of love and light. Well, they didn’t! Yoga, meditation, breath-
work, ayahuasca, and many other spiritual practices hold
the heart while we walk in the dark. All of these and many
others are beautiful methods of personal elevation, but as
complex humans, we have to use an assortment of tools to
recalibrate our minds and rewire our hearts. So here we go.
INNER DEMON EXAMINATION EXERCISE
This exercise can begin the process of recalibrating. It
includes a mix of breathwork, journaling, and meditation. Before moving through this process, I recommend
giving yourself time to feel and experience. Carve out
30–45 minutes in a safe and comfortable environment
where you will not be disturbed. Don’t be hard on your-
self. Instead, show yourself compassion and love
WHAT YOU NEED: pen, paper, and an open heart.
STEP 1: In a seated position, close your eyes, and take
10–15 long, deep breaths. Relax your shoulders and
only focus on your breath.
STEP 2: Answer these questions as honestly as you can:
- What characteristics or behaviors did you dislike in your parents (or caretakers, etc.)?
- How do you classify these behaviors: shameful, embarrassing,
- When you notice these aspects in others, how does it make
- Do you periodically see these in yourself?
STEP 3: Identify one characteristic or behavior. Write it in the
center on a blank piece of paper. Close your eyes and practice Breath of Fire for one minute. Breath of Fire is a rapid, rhythmic,
and continuous breathing pattern,
with inhales and exhales of equal
length, two to three cycles per
second, through the nose. Keep your
shoulders relaxed and your spine
straight. At the end, breathe in and
hold the breath for five to ten seconds. Then exhale with force through
the mouth. Repeat this two times.
The power in Breath of Fire is
generated from the navel and solar
plexus, and you should expel the
air out by drawing the navel toward
the spine. Breath of Fire amplifies the
engagement of the core, which increases
digestion and purification.
Pairing Breath of Fire with this recalibration exercise aids in gaining more
clarity around your feelings because
there’s a clear and open pathway of
energy moving upward toward the third
eye and crown of the head. (Caution: Do
not practice Breath of Fire if you are pregnant or on the first few days of your moon
cycle, or if you have any relevant physical
STEP 4: Set your timer for ten minutes.
Remain seated or lie down on your
back. Close your eyes and visualize your
favorite place in nature. Feel your feet
grounded beneath you and a sense of
safety, security, and stability.
Once you feel this, begin to think
about a time during childhood where you
saw the selected behavior or characteristic in yourself or someone else. See
how this behavior or characteristic was
shamed or criticized. Take note of your
age. Observe all the feelings you experienced in this moment of life. Slowly
begin to shift the story of this situation by
letting go of the shame, fear, and uncomfortable thoughts.
If your parents or another adult
caused the negative thoughts, visualize
how they could have approached the
situation differently. If it was another
child, use your voice by speaking up for
yourself. This is your moment to recalibrate the story of the emotional demon.
Remain still for a few more seconds after
the alarm goes off. Then slowly begin to
bring yourself out of the meditative state.
STEP 5: Write or draw whatever came to
mind during the meditation around the
characteristic you wrote in the center of
the paper in Step 3. Describe the feelings
and shifts. I recommend working on this
behavior or characteristic multiple times
until this aspect is no longer owning or
guiding your heart and thoughts. It could
take weeks to months to experience
a major difference, so know it’s okay to repeat the meditation two to three
times a week while your subconscious is
This exercise is simply one approach
to start the process. So remember,
your deep personal work is a spiritual
practice of peeling back layers of old
habits and behaviors. As you move
along the haze and heaviness, know
the uncomfortableness far outweighs a
lifetime of hiding. Be kind and patient
with your heart, and give your soul
space to heal.
Read Spiritually Fly: Wisdom, Meditations, and Yoga to Elevate the Soul by Faith Hunter.