7 GREAT WAYS TO KICK-START YOUR DAY THE YOGIC WAY!
Mornings are surely the most important part of our day, because how be begin our day, very often determines how the rest of the day pans out. Being a morning person, I love to rise and shine and greet the day when the sun‘s first rays peek out from over the horizon. I then honor my Body and Being with some wonderful, gentle, cleansing rituals I have discovered along my path as a healer and Yoga teacher. Some of these may take a bit of getting used to, but rest assured, the more you get yourself into these wonderful habits, the more results you start seeing, and the more you actually WANT to continue with these practices! So, here are some of the valuable tools I have discovered which I’d love to share with you!
The first part of my ritual when brushing my teeth is to use the TONGUE SCRAPER. In Ayurveda, the rituals of self maintenance are very clear: there are specific ways to clean the ears, the eyes, the tongue, the nose, and all the pathways, to maintain the body’s balance. And for the tongue, it’s a scraper. Follow this link for more info: http://nomoredirtylooks.com/2012/10/five-reasons-you-may-want-to-try-a-tongue-scraper/
One of my firm favorites is something I have discovered more recently, called DRY BRUSHING and I have to say, I AM HOOKED! It has a host of benefits, such as: stimulates and cleanses toxins from the lymphatic system, strengthens the immune system, aids digestion, tones muscles, etc. There is nothing better than having an invigorating shower, or a relaxing bath with yummy oils that suit your constitution, after having spent 5 minutes dry brushing. Dry brushing should be done just before your bath or shower. For more info on this awesome practice follow this link: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7955/why-you-should-start-dry-body-brushing-today.html
I love OIL PULLING! Depending on the amount of time I have, I either pull while having a shower, or if I have more time, while walking around my garden, connecting with my cats and Nature. My favorite oils to use are organic, extra virgin coconut and macadamia nut oil, which I alternate because they both have incredible healing properties. It is one of the most effective ways to detox the body because it attracts and removes bacteria, toxins, and parasites that live in your mouth or lymph system, and also pulls congestion and mucus from your throat and loosens up your sinuses, which is amazing! With the help of your saliva, all these scary undesirables bind with the oil, ready to be disposed of. Pulling also helps re-mineralize your teeth and strengthen your gums by thoroughly cleansing the area. This sounds good, right? But how exactly do you do it? Click on this link! http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html
JALA NETI (nasal cleansing with water)
JALA NETI is another fantastic Yogic cleansing practice used for centuries by the ancients to cleanse the nasal passages using saline solution. You will need a neti pot (I do have some available if you would like to give this one a try!) warm water and pink or natural sea salt. Don’t use iodized salt, that stings the nostrils. I scouted around the internet a bit and came across this video on You Tube where a guy demonstrates the use and explains the benefits of using a neti pot. Some people can feel a bit daunted initially, but don’t be intimidated it’s a wonderful habit to get into! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmokox2kMDY
Now that your mouth and tongue have been cleansed and detoxed, it is time for a delicious mug of steaming LEMON WATER! It cleanses and detoxes the internal organs of the body, and also has a myriad of amazing health benefits. It’s important to detox your mouth before drinking the lemon water so that the toxins aren’t re-absorbed into your body. Follow this link for more info on the amazing benefits of having a mug of lemon water first thing in the morning. http://lajollamom.com/2011/01/drink-warm-lemon-water-in-the-morning/
YOGA, MEDITATION & SELF-INQUIRY
Now I am ready to KICK SOME ASANA! J I am truly in love with this part of my day (but I have to say, I am in love with all these rituals!) Again, depending on the amount of time I have, I will usually spend anything from 40 – 75 minutes of Yoga, followed by MEDITATION & SELF-INQUIRY.
One of the 5 principals of Yoga is Proper Exercise. The body is the instrument for Spirit, and when it is finely tuned we can actually ‘hear’ the voice of Spirit, which speaks to us in our quiet time. The breathing, twisting, stretching and AWARENESS of our practice opens the body to make space for us to hear the whisperings from our Inner Teacher, the wisest teacher of them all. Our bodies are like loyal animals to us that take us wherever we want to go, allow us to experience things we love as well as awesome sensations such as taste, touch and smell. It loves you unconditionally, even if you judge and reject it – which is often the case. Yoga allows you to start a brand new relationship with your body, enabling you to appreciate every millimeter of yourself, which sure as heck develops into LOVING YOURSELF on every level. One of my Golden Guidelines: The formula for abundance is self-nurturing.
Another one of the 5 principls is Meditation. Meditation enables you to reach that place of inner-silence ~ the space of Creation ~ the space of multi-dimensional choices ~ where we can dream our dreams into reality, become creatively inspired and find peace and resolutions to life’s challenges. Self-Inquiry is the time I spend journaling, reading (or listening to an audio book), being grateful for all my challenges and my blessings, and planning my day.
I came across this blog and thought she had some cool things to say about the benefits of Yoga in the morning J http://yyoga.ca/blog/morningyoga/
JUICE / SMOOTHIE
The final step to having a zazzed-up day is a shot of either freshly juiced fruit and veggies or a delicious kick-ass smoothie! My favorite combination for juicing is a wonderful GET-UP-AND-GO juice, using carrots, pineapple, apples, spinach, celery, ginger and lemon. Quantities depend on how many people you are juicing for, but play around with the ingredients and see what works best for you.
Smoothies are my new best friend and I have discovered a host of amazing VEGAN smoothie recipes which are absolutely delicious and taste as though you are having the most decadent shake! Perfect for those of you who have kids and are looking for YUMMY healthy options! During the 5-day IGNITE workshops in January, we ended the mornings with a different smoothie each day. Watch this space; I will be posting the recipes soon! J
So, there you have it! 7 steps to get you out of any slump, or to simply start creating good habits and patterns. If it all seems a little daunting and a bit much in the beginning, start with the steps which are manageable for you, and work it up from there, but START SOMEWHERE and just DO IT! Your body will appreciate it!
2014 ~ The Year of TRUE lOvE
As i reflect upon last year specifically i can see how i have come to truly understand what it means to love myself. Before that i thought i understood love but in fact i only had my own prospective on it. I accepted one part of love and denied the other side of the same coin, called love. Love is SO much more then we can possibly understand with our minds, but with our hearts we can grasp a glimpse of Love’s Divine light.
I think of the moments that ignite that love ~ moments of clarity, moments of bliss, moments of inspiration and moments of courage… but courage cannot be with out the opposite of love ~ fear. And we wont find bliss unless with experience chaos ~ So too fear and chaos can ignite that same love… or is it love that ignites everything else. Meaning love is everything
I end this post with a chapter out of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran ~ back then i read it ~ now i get it <3