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.
Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate ALL things love, including yourself. Self-care and self-love are important to your overall well-being. This Valentine’s Day, take time to nurture your heart and become your own valentine. Here are some suggestions for cultivating self-love:
Be connected to what you feel, think and want. Pay attention to your self-talk. What effect is your self-talk having on your overall well-being, mood, health and behavior. Is it helpful? How can you modify your self-talk so that it represents the real you, not the expectations others put onto you?
Set the foundation for growth and authenticity by commiting to activities that are healthy for you; nutrition, exercise, enough sleep and rest, social interactions, and fun.
Take responsibility for your actions, but remember to learn and grow from mistakes rather than punishing yourself. Look at a mistake as a lesson to be learned and use that lesson to heighten your awareness in the future. Practice self-compassion when you make mistakes.
When you are feeling stressed, inflamed, or down, consider what might be the cause. Set limits and say no to those people and situations that harm you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Taking a break can give you the space you need to decide what it is you do want in your life, or what is healthy for you.
Consider the purpose and meaning of your life. Set your intention and make decisions and take actions that support that intention. When you are actively engaged with fulfulling your higher purpose, you make choices that align with your true Self.
If you practice cultivating self-love as often as you can, eventually it will become second nature. Practice and celebrate yourself this Valentine’s Day; you are worth it!
Open your heart with grace and acceptance at a Heart Opening Workshop with Maribeth MacKenzie.
Click here to sign up.
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.
Have you always thought about starting a practice and didn’t know where to start?
I remember my first class. I was training for my first Biathlon. I knew I needed to stretch. So I started my search looking for a class close to home. I found one at a local community college. I remember clearly how I felt at the end of class…EUPHORIC! While walking back to my car I stopped in my tracks and looked down. I felt like I had been walking on a tread mill that was moving and I was standing still! Yup right there yoga grabbed my attention. I knew that there was something there that I needed in my life. I knew I wanted more. I knew I needed to find a studio. And I did. Summit Yoga Studio in Summit, NJ.
To make a long story short, I started practicing there, I found my first teacher there, Alex Shipman, I met Beryl Bender Birch there, I started teaching there, AND I fell in love with Ashtanga vinyasa there. Believe it or not is was as simple as that. Once you find your hOMe studio all you have to do it show up and do the work…one grateful breath at a time…it’s that simple. Here are a few things to help you simply find your hOMe on the mat.
You’ll Need a Mat
We have mats that you can borrow. However, you might want to consider bringing your own. Less expensive mats can be found at TJ Maxx or Target. Once you decide you are all in and want to commit to the practice of yoga, you might want to consider purchasing one that is made by Manduka. I’ve had my original Pro for nearly 17 years. It has seen a LOT of work! Although they are more expensive, they are worth it! It will be MUCH more comfortable and last a LOT longer.
Choose Your Class
It is important to select the class that is right for you when you try yoga for the first time. If you have not been too active in a while we recommended that you start with a beginners, or gentle class. You can also look for a class that is open to all levels of practitioners. In an all level class, the instructor will offer modifications for beginners and more challenging variations of poses for experienced practitioners. And it is a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes for class begins in order to get yourself settled.
What to Wear
You will want your clothing to be comfortable and loose enough that you can move easily, but not so loose it gets in the way. A tank top or tee shirt with leggings is a good choice for women and a t-shirt and shorts with an elastic waist for men. It is customary for people to practice yoga in bare feet.
Getting Settled In the Yoga Room
All you need to bring into the room is your mat, water, and a towel if you think you will be sweating. You should not bring your phone or any other belongings into the yoga room (so that you can disconnect and focus inward) and you will need to leave your shoes outside of the room. Once you roll out your mat, you can ask your teacher if you will need any props to guide your practice (blocks, strap, blanket, bolster) and sit down and relax quietly or get to know the yogis around you. Keep in mind as you move around the room that it is considered proper etiquette not to step on anyone else’s mat and to keep your voice volume low as some yogis may come in early to relax in the peace and quiet.
In order for yoga to be truly effective, you must make it a routine. Try practicing at least twice a week and see how you feel. Most likely, you will find improvement in strength and flexibility. You will might also find that you are more calm and relaxed and that you are sleeping better. Communicate with your teachers if you have concerns or questions and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
To learn more about the fundamentals of yoga, including the most common postures, how to breathe in a pose, the use of props, and class and studio etiquette, join your friends at Inlet Yoga for:
Intro to Yoga Workshop
Saturday, June 17 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 p.m.
As we prepare for this month’s spring cleanse, you might want to consider the ways in which you can prepare ahead of time in order to get the best detox possible. Here are some suggestions:
1. Work on the mind
Cleansing can generate mental and emotional triggers, so establish a supportive environment with family and friends. Let them know the intentions and goals of your cleanse and approach the cleanse with an open, peaceful mind. Know that things might come up, but they will also pass if you put in the work. Work on clearing your internal clutter before, during, and after your cleanse. Learn more
2. Allow additional time to sleep
During a successful detox, your body focuses on cleansing and healing. This may leave you feeling fatigued and moody, or you may feel more energized and unable to sleep as much at night. In order to keep your body balanced, take a nap if your schedule will allow it, or get to bed earlier to ensure that you give your body a sufficient amount of rest.
3. Hydrate with plenty of water
It is essential that you stay properly hydrated during your cleanse. Drink half your weight of water in ounces throughout your cleanse and try to drink only purified water.
4. Allow your body to sweat
Sweating opens your pores and will allow your body to detox from the inside out. Go outside and sit in the sun (with sunscreen on to protect your skin from the rays) and let the vitamin D soak into your skin, relax your mood, and boost immunity. Avoid high intensity workouts and opt for something with lower intensity like yoga or taking a walk.
5. Practice dry brushing before you shower
Dry brushing massages the lymph nodes in your body which helps the body shed excess water and toxins. Not only does it give you smoother skin, it improves digestion and organ function as well.
If you are signed up for the April juice cleanse, be on the lookout for an email from Maribeth about other things you can do to prepare for your upcoming detox.