REMINDER: There will be no class this upcoming Friday, March 23rd and we will be on break until the first class back, which will be Monday, April 9th at 10am! Email me to reserve your spot for Monday’s class.
Now….during break I have been thinking about some pointers I could give on building a daily practice so we are ready to bounce into SPRING! Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth and therefore “Spring” cleaning and cleansing are things our bodies naturally tend to want to do this time of year. Our body is flushing out toxins everyday keeping us healthy and strong and as we age, so anything we can do to support the spring cleaning of our bodies after a long winter – I am in full encouragement of.
Breathing! – If you do nothing else over break, try taking a few (3) minutes each morning and evening to do some alternate nostril breathing. Make sure you create the space and time to do this alone and in silence. So often we wake up out of bed answering the phone or making breakfast and have no time to connect with our core. Alternate nostril breathing is a very balancing breath that leads you back to your center and keeps you calm, grounded, and in tune with what you need as you move about your day.
For those of you who would like a quick spring detox routine that balances both strength and grace – I have researched and found this 12 stepper you can try. It is from a book called “Holistic Yoga Flow: The Path of Practice”. You will begin in child’s pose for a few breaths thinking about what you want to get out of the upcoming spring as we turn back towards the light. Lighter days, lighter jackets, more sun. Then rise to all fours, tuck toes and back into downward dog. From down dog, come into low lunge, then high lunge, then prayer twist. Do on both sides. From back into down dog, then do twisted triangle into twisted half moon, also on both sides. Lots of twisting to wring out the digestive organs from a winter of maybe heavier food and some hibernating. Then come into forearm plank and hold. I am revising a little of the flow here. Then come onto your belly and into bow pose. Next is a seated twist into a seated forward fold. Almost done! Lastly, come into a supported shoulder stand with a block underneath the sacrum. Then, rest in final resting pose or a seated spring meditation. Feel the effects of your internal spring cleaning as you set some intentions for loving YOU.
As for FOOD – now is a great time to do a spring detox. Email me if you would like some help on types of cleansing etc. If cleansing doesn’t fit you right now – make small steps. Sometimes a small step forward is a big one for instance, drinking more WATER. Turn more towards natural whole foods and less processed food. As you tune into your breath (step #1) you will be naturally guided to make better decisions on what you put on your plate and in your mouth. It’s a beautiful journey.
When I think back to some of my most favorite yoga classes where I had a defining a-ha moment, one in particular came to mind this past week as I started the new year. At Easton Yoga (where my yoga journey began) there would often be a short dharma talk given by the teacher before class started- it gave the students something to focus on and think about to drown out the external noise of all they had going on in their lives or on their busy to-do lists. It helped me to remain present, focused, and in tune with myself and my practice. It was also a really cool way to add variety, personality, laughter and point of view to each class. Sometimes they were based on excerpts from a book, other times – musical instruments were played.
This particular day the story was about selling the goat and I thought what better way to start 2018 than by selling some goats….so today we worked on this in class. The story goes – there was a man who had five children, a difficult job, a house, a wife and property to take care of and he was feeling overwhelmed so he went to ask the local town wiseman for help. He told the wiseman “I have five children to feed, a wife, a hard job, and property to take care of and I don’t know what to do?”. The wiseman told him to “Buy a goat”. He went out and bought a goat and 2 weeks later came back to the wiseman looking quite panicked and said to him “I still don’t know what to do. Now I have 5 children, a wife, a hard job, property to take care of AND a goat”. The wiseman said “Sell the goat”. A couple weeks later the wiseman ran into him at a market and he looked quite jubilant and the wiseman asked him “How are you?” and he shouted “Great, I sold the goat!”
This got me thinking about that air of rejuvenation I often feel when something gets lifted from my to-do list. For example, if I travel and don’t have to prepare and clean up after EVERY meal, I feel a sense of lightness OR if the pup gets the runs and I find myself feeling dragged down with cleaning poo for a few days…then when he is better – it feels as though I am lighter as well. And this all for me, goes back to keeping things in perspective which can often fall to the wayside in a busy life and a busy world. So during our practice, with every inhale we took in light free clean fresh oxygen to fill our lungs with life and light and love and with every exhale we let go of something we no longer need that weighs us down – it could be guilt from what didn’t happen last year, thoughts of maybe not being enough, or possibly the extra donut you had the other day while standing in line at Dunkin’ Donuts because you missed the US of A (Present company excluded – ha!!). As you move the body, engage your muscles and relax into the breath – you can really reap the benefits of a yoga practice. So whatever may be bogging you down as you begin the new year, chose to let it go (sell the goat), come back to the present and enjoy each and every moment.