8 September, 2015
Winter has left the building. Thank god. I’m not sure if I could have managed even a few more days of those bleak frosty doldrums. Not to mention another month of outrageous electricity bills. Every winter it’s the same, I open the bill ‘how can it possibly be!’ – however they’ve read the metre, the figure is fact, you must accept and move on. Begrudgingly.
Even though it seems to have rained every day in Auckland for the last six months, I know some of you hail from sunnier climes and don’t experience this. Spring has sprung, daffodils adorn the flower shops, a few posh Aucklanders are keeping lambs as pets (no lie), and as bodies, minds and souls, we can start to ‘shake off’ winter’s layer cake of dessert, electric blankets and mittens.
With these warmer days I have been inspired to strip back the clothing, reaching in the back of the drawer for skirts and t-shirts. Then there it is. In my case, florescent white flesh exposed for the first time in many months, I look down and ponder is this really my body? I feel disconnected.
Many cultures consider Spring the quintessential time for a ‘clean out’ around the home. Making way, clearing the clutter and letting go of things that are no longer of use. Through our yoga practice we can implement this philosophy for the body and also the deeper levels of our experience, mind and higher self. On the level of the energy body, this is the perfect time to get our chakras in alignment. Out with the old, in with the new. Because once we have the antenna on the right frequency, the issues we’re dealing with, the objects of our desire we wish to manifest, will flow to us as effortlessly as rivers do the sea.
To truly hit the ‘reset’ button on your body, mind and life I would recommend following some or all of the following practices for one month and seeing how you fare. *
*WARNING: If you want your life to remain the same, don’t follow these practices!
Set Goals. Human beings are purposeful creatures. When you have a clear ‘why’ for your detox/shake up, you will be so much more likely to commit and see it through. If ‘lose some weight’ is on your list, bravo, just make sure it isn’t the only ‘why’. Others might include ‘be a happier, more positive person’, ‘be more present for my kids’, ‘maintain healthier eating patterns’, ‘be kinder to myself’…
Asana – move the body, open the hips. This is going to be different for everybody depending on where his or her body is at. I would recommend thirty to fifty minutes of physical activity daily with Sundays off. If you enjoy the motivation of being led through an asana practice, you can join me for one of my classes starting in October or book in to see me in person or on Skype for a one-on-one. If you’re not confident to practise asana independently, your practice might be walking, rock climbing, swimming, running, weight training, pilates. Whatever you love doing, do that.
Diet – Cleanse the gut. Scientists have recently been referring to the gut as your second brain! It’s full of nerves sending messages off to the body. So you’re literally not just thinking with your brain, you’re thinking with your tummy too. In terms of Ayurveda what we want to encourage in the body is less acid and more alkaline. Most of us following a western diet will be way over in the acid scale.
Acidic foods: Processed sugar. Pasta. Pastry. Alcohol. Processed foods. Fizzy drinks. Coffee. Chocolate. Dairy. Beef.
Alkaline foods: Fresh vegetables, especially green leafy varieties. Hot lemon drinks.
Seeds and nuts like chia seed porridges. Fruits. Green tea. Dates. Fish.
My main piece of advice is try sticking to a ‘clean’ diet. Invest in a juicer and make yourself a big vege juice daily: beetroot, spinach, carrot, green apple, ginger. Cut out the sugar. Cut out the booze. Notice your thoughts change! I am not a qualified nutritionist, so these ideas are from my own experience in detoxing and rebalancing myself.
Rest. Take off the ‘busy badge’ and left yourself rest and relax. This may mean during your detox you are less accessible to friends/family. That’s okay, this is your time to rejuvenate. Take some nice long baths with a book. Schedule a deluxe massage/spa. Have your hair cut. Make it a goal to get to bed by 8.30/9pm to enjoy a full 8 – 9 hour sleep and notice the impact this has on your day to day living.
Recalibrating with soul. Dust off the journal and start recording your gratitudes daily, 10 – 20 is a good number. Explore books like Danielle La Port’s ‘The Desire Map’ and sketch out a plan of what you’d like to see in your life in the next few weeks, months, years. Always inspiring and healthy when your clearing space to check back in with yourself and what you’re creating in your life. Am I on purpose today? How can I be more so?
Meditation. The ‘juice’ of your practice. Effortlessly sitting down for twenty minutes and allowing stress to evaporate from the body and mind. Essentially ‘spring cleaning’ your sub conscious – there is no other way I know more useful than to simply be with yourself, silent (regardless of the noise and chaos going on around you!) and come to focus the mind. You can do this with a mantra or visualisation. Please make an appointment with me if you would like help with a consistent meditation practice.
Enjoy these practices and any positive transitions, quantum leaps or miracles that are the consequence.