Tag Archives: cleansing

Spring Cleaning Inside and Out

16 Mar

 

Back in the day when I used to own a television, I loved watching those reality shows about cleaning house. The formula was simple: take one shopaholic packrat, add a professional organizer with a mission to de-clutter, blend in a little backstory, and the result is some pretty engaging television. Engaging, I suppose, because we can all use a little help getting our lives in order.

In my own life, I’ve noticed that it’s easier to keep things tidy on the outside when I’m feeling clean and clear on the inside. On the other hand, when life gets busy and my practice starts to slip and I feel I have no choice but to turn to fast, convenient calories in disposable containers, things tend to get messy on all fronts.

So, to prepare for the first day of Spring, I asked the amazing Malcolm Saunders of the Light Cellar in Calgary, Alberta for a yummy, detoxifying drink recipe for yogis on-the-go and here’s what he came back with:

Super Green Juice

Green Vegetable juice is the best way to re-hydrate, re-alkalinize, re-mineralize, cleanse, and energize. Consume in place of one or all of your meals. This drink allows for easy assimilation and integration of living enzymes and healing phyto-nutrients and helps cleanse the body of old waste materials.

1 cucumber
5-10 celery sticks
1-2 apples or pears
½ bunch green lettuce
3-4 stalks kale

Lemon and ginger juices, as well as powdered herbs can also be included for their cleansing and tonic properties.

Place chopped cucumber in your blender first. Blend lightly to create a watery base.  Add apple or pear and lightly blend again. Add remaining ingredients, blend well, strain through ‘nut-mylk bag’ and enjoy!

As one of my teachers likes to say, once you’ve purified the environment inside, it just doesn’t feel right to trash the outer environment, to disrespect Mother Nature. Perhaps Stephen Harper and the other champions of the Alberta tar sands could benefit from a yoga and raw food regime? I’d make a point of watching that show.

Stay tuned as Malcolm has promised to send us some of his unbelievable superfood trail mix. It’s the best I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to share with you.

The Daily Dozen

11 Oct

The yoga teachers I admire most are also among the busiest people I know. They travel extensively, they write, they manage businesses, they’re socially and politically engaged and, in additional to all that, they somehow manage to maintain a daily practice that fuels their endeavours.

I’ve often wondered what their practices look like on their craziest days, when their schedules are erratic and jam packed from morning to night. What are the poses they do without fail? Inquiring minds want to know…

Enter Sharon Gannon’s Magic 10. This is a nifty 10 minute sequence of yoga asanas narrated by the co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga herself. I like the notion that one’s yoga practice can be distilled down to its essential elements like this—that I can be a devoted yogini without dragging my sleep deprived self out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to get in a 90 minute yoga practice before heading out for a day of go-go-go.

My own list of must-do practices is not much longer—let’s call it the Daily Dozen. It includes the following asanas, self-massage and cleansing techniques:

1. Sinus irrigation with my trusty neti pot, tongue scraping, and dry body brushing. These yogic detoxification techniques get the breath flowing, sweeten the breath and help out with lymphatic drainage, which is good for the immune system and overall health.

2. Kapalabhati. I always do this in the shower right after using the neti pot. This is a breath-based cleansing technique that clears the airways, stimulates mind and body, and tones the belly.

3. Uddiyana Bandha, Agni Saura and Nauli. Isolate the muscles of the core, kick-start the metabolism and overcome sluggish digestion and elimination with these practices. They also make for good parlour tricks!

4. Self-Massage with Yoga Tune-Up® Therapy Balls. I’m talking about deep tissue massage and myofascial release all in the comfort of your own home. This is a game changer, folks.

5. Reclining Twist Sequence: apanasana, twist (a.k.a. leg stretch #3), and a shoulder/chest opener. I’ll do a special podcast dedicated to this little gem. It’s the best way I know to restore mobility to the back, chest and shoulders. And it feels so good first thing in the morning.

6. Downward Facing Dog. Woof!

7. Bending Tree. A classic Jivamukti pose that improves your balance and offers a deep lateral stretch. Breathe deeply while doing this one and learn something profound about cultivating generosity and ease during unstable times.

8. Prasarita Padottanasana C. I like to do this one with a block between my hands at its widest width. Imagine you’re pulling the brick apart with the hands for an extra juicy shoulder opener.

9. Shalabhasana. A safe way to warm and strengthen the back. A shalabhasana a day keeps back pain at bay. You can quote me on that one.

10. Urdhva Danurasana. A big, bold backbend that’s akin to a shot of expresso for my nervous system when I’m feeling sleepy. Opens shoulders and hip flexors like nothing else. Don’t forget to dedicate this heart opener to someone you love.

11. Malasana Twist with Bind. This multi-tasking pose works the hips, ankles, spine and shoulders all at once.

12. Shoulderstand, Plow and Fish or Legs up the Wall. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika says you can defeat aging and death if you practice these inversions regularly. I’m determined to experience this for myself.

As always, I’d love to hear from you about the poses you do without fail.