Ah, spring is nearly here! With the changing of the seasons, It’s a wonderful time for letting go of the old and welcoming in the new. What better time to detox and declutter your mind, body, and daily life? As life gets busier and busier, we tend to get distracted and before you know it, the house is a mess, we’ve forgotten about our meditation practice, and we’re feeling tired and anxious all the time.
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!
Here are some simple things you can do to get back on track and get started with your spring cleaning, Ayurveda style:
Start with your closet. Go through each and every item of clothing and donate anything you have not worn in the past year. Take the time to try things on and donate the items that do not currently fit you or your style. Store your winter clothes neatly and in an organized way so it will be fun to take them out next year. Bring out your warm weather clothes and arrange them so they can be easily seen and accessed.
Move to the common areas. Your goal is to clean and declutter as you go. Move your knicknacks and furniture while you clean and think about what you can live without. Donate anything that is causing you distraction and overstimulation; anything that is not positively serving you. Create a peaceful space that allows you the space to breathe easily.
Organize your papers: bills, coupons, books, other paperwork. Shred and recycle anything you do not need and organize using a filing system.
Spring is a great time to begin, or restart, your meditation practice. Once you have your house in order, designate a specific space to meditate. This could be as simple as placing a pillow on the floor, or creating a space with decorations that make you feel good. This space should be kept orderly and neat. Set an intention to spend at least 10 minutes meditating each day.
Challenge yourself to a week-long media fast. Eliminate social media, tv, social calls, text messaging, or other ways that you connect to technology. This is a great way to de-clutter your mind, creating space for a more peaceful state of being.
Take time to move your body this spring. The temperatures are warming up and the days are longer, so make a conscious effort to get outside and play whenever possible. Find some form of exercise that you enjoy like running, walking, hiking, swimming, biking, dancing, or yoga and commit to doing some form of movement for at least 30 minutes a day. Ayurveda suggests that the best time to exercise is in the early morning, before you eat breakfast and shower. The next best time is in the early evening, before dinner. Choose a time that works well for you and make yourself a priority.
Challenge yourself to a simple detox. For example, for one week try eliminating anything white, like sugar, dairy, and flour. Instead, eat organic fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains. Sip herbal teas and water throughout the day.
You don’t have to do it all at once! Take small daily steps to create more space in your life this spring. If you feel like you need a deeper dive into how to de-clutter your mind, body, and spirit the Ayurvedic way, join Maribeth this weekend for her workshop “Ayurveda: It’s Time to Spring Clean”.
You’ll learn Ayurvedic practices that help clean out the heavy energy of winter and make way for the fresh, fertile ground of spring. The workshop includes an Ayurvedic lunch.
Click here for more information and to reserve your space.
Happy spring cleaning!
Ayurveda is a mind-body health system developed thousands of years ago by Indian sages. It is a science of life (Ayur=life; Veda=science or knowledge) that is more than a system for treating illness. Rather, it focuses on expanding personal awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy the mind and body are intextricably connected. Because of this deep connection, nothing has more power to heal the body than the mind.
For example, when you meditate you are using your awareness to restore balance in your mind and (since the mind and body are inseparable) that balance spreads to your body. Your heart and breath rate slow, your body decreases the production of stress hormones, and you increase the production of neurotransmitters than enhance wellbeing. This means you literally have the ability to change the functioning of your body in a healthy way!
Ayurveda offers many practices for expanding self awareness and inner balance. Here are a few of them that you might consider incorporating into your life:
Identify and understand your unique mind-body type.
Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health. Knowing your mind-body type can guide you to make the right choices for diet, exercise, supplements, and all other aspects of your lifestyle.
Eat a colorful, flavorful diet.
Foods that are blue, purple, red, green, or orange are plentiful in antioxidants and nutrients that enhance immunity and health. To enure that you are getting a balanced diet, it is also recommended that you include the six Ayurvedic tastes in each meal: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
Get enough restful sleep.
When we sleep, our body is repairing and rejuvinating itself. To support your body, it is recommended that you get between six to eight hours of un-aided, restful sleep each night. If you wake up feeling energetic and vibrant, you know you had a restful night’s sleep.
Live in tune with nature.
What you need and what you want should not be in conflict. When you are in balance, you desire the things that nurture your health and life in a positive way. You focus on what you need in order to stay in harmony with your body and mind.
Tune into your body.
Tune into the messages your body sends you. Pay attention to your comforts and discomforts, to how your body feels. Consider what choices you should make, based on what your body is telling you.
Strengthen your digestion.
When the body is able to regularly and completely digest the nutritional, emotional, and sensory information it takes in, it is happy and healthy. Good digestion improves perception, physical strength, and immunity and creates feelings of vitality.
Do not waste your energy by struggling or trying to force things to go your way. Let love motivate your actions. When you let love guide the way your energy will expand and you will have more of it.
Join your friends at Inlet Yoga for the “Ayurveda: It’s Time to Spring Clean!” workshop on March 17, 2018.
Click here to register.
Chakras are swirling wheels of energy that are concentrated in the midline of the body, in the spinal column. These energy wheels are considered meeting points between the mind and body and are therefore an important aspect of being in balance. There are seven chakras, each representing a basic human need. When these energy centers are open, energy can move freely. This allows for basic human needs to be met with a minimum amount of effort. If the chakra centers are blocked energy cannot flow, so it becomes stationary or sluggish and intentions surrounding basic human needs cannot materialize.
Sound vibrations can be used to heal and transform. Crystal bowls are an effective way to balance and clear energy; to make energy flow. They are typically manufactured to the vibrations of specific chakras. These are the vibrational sounds of each chakra:
|1st Chakra, base of the spine
|2nd Chakra, sacral area
|3rd Chakra, navel area
|4th Chakra, heart area
|5th Chakra, throat area
|6th Chakra, between eyebrows
|7th Chakra, crown (top) of head
To learn more about what basic human needs the seven chakras represent, and to experience how the vibration of sound keeps the energy channels open, aligned and fluid, join Maribeth MacKenzie at Inlet Yoga for a Crystal Singing Bowl and Yin Yoga Workshop on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Click here to register.
As we transition from summer to fall we experience new, yet familiar, environmental sensations. The air smells different, the winds feel crisper and the days get shorter. It is a time to prepare for change and often evokes thoughts of sitting around a fire and enjoying warm, soul nourishing meals. Fall also brings a prominence of Vata. According to Ayurveda, Vata-the air element-has rough, windy, erratic, cool and light qualities.
Since fall brings feelings of change it is helpful to find stability and balance by being grounded and warm, with awareness of Vata. This is achieved by incorporating the right foods and positive lifestyle choices; by balancing your own internal environment with the environment of Mother Nature.
Vata’s airy influence can stimulate the following:
You might also experience the following mental symptoms:
-desire to be more carefree and light
If you are aware of any of these symptoms, or even if you are not, make an effort to nourish the body and mind in order to maintain balance during the fall season. This can be done by incorporating warm, substantive and nourishing cooked foods (casseroles, soups, slow cooker meals, stews, steamed or roasted vegetables). It is best to eat fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and harvested in season. Check out this Seasonal Food Guide to learn what foods are in season in your area (U.S. only).
Fall is an exciting time because it represents transition and change, which is good. Diet is something that you can control and that will help you ease into this change with a balanced mind, a strong body, and a warm heart.
To learn more about how to find awareness and balance through Ayurveda, contact Maribeth MacKenzie, Certified Chopra Center Ayurveda Perfect Health Practitioner
Not only can a consistent yoga practice lead to lasting results, it can help to prevent future problems. A regular yoga practice can help address mental and physical ailments and prevent future complications because it keeps your body and mind flexible and healthy.
Here are some of the benefits of a consistent yoga practice:
-breath awareness, which helps maintain energy, strength, and relieves stress
-spine flexibility and healthy connective tissue
-helps you remain calm, present and mindful, which is helpful while coping with times of stress or illness
-relief from physical discomforts due to improved posture and circulation
-improvement in how your brain processes neurotransmitters; enhances endorphins and dopamine (literally makes you “feel good”)
-boost self-confidence, makes you feel accomplished and empowered so you are less likely to engage in unhealthy habits that prevent you from living a happy, healthy life
-clears your head so you can find balance
These are just some of the benefits of a consistent yoga practice. Keep in mind that the key word here is consistent. Consistency is the key to receiving the full benefits of yoga, to being the best version of you that you can be.
Join your friends at Inlet Yoga as we celebrate National Yoga Month by joining our 30-day Yoga Challenge! Use the opportunity to celebrate the gift of yoga as you kick-start your own consistent practice. Click Here to sign up.
High blood pressure is a common medical condition in the Western world and if left untreated can cause severe damage to the body in the form of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and even dementia. There is controversy over whether sustained stress leads to hypertension because in some cases people who are stressed have blood pressure (BP) that is fine, while there are others who seem laid-back who have dangerously elevated BP. However, there is no controversy about the idea that stress can lead to lifestyle choices that can contribute to a rise in blood pressure. People who are more stressed are more likely to do the following, all of which are a contributing factor to increasing BP:
-indulge in unhealthy foods
The benefits of yoga’s stress-lowering attributes can actually help reverse the tendencies above and promote lifestyle choices that are healthier. Yoga tends to encourage people to want to take better care of themselves by promoting the following:
-natural ease of the body
-peace of mind
-awareness of breath, body, mind, and environment
Through yoga you can learn to be aware of stress triggers and learn techniques that will help you respond to the triggers in a way that can help you relax, feel good, and come back to the stressful situation with a new perspective. With awareness and understanding of the inner self and environment, people tend to treat themselves kinder; it feels good to feel good!