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March 1 Restore

All hail the first crocus of the season

I had a walkabout around my property and saw evidence that the seasons are changing despite the prediction that snow will fall tomorrow.  It gave my heart some hope that we are moving out of the darkness of winter.  We need winter to decompress from the flurry of activity of fall and the holidays and to shore up our energy reserves for spring momentum.  And honestly, this hasn't been an awful winter, very mild in comparison to last year.  But I am ready for spring.  I am ready to be digging in my garden, raking up winter's debris and planting seeds.

What can you do to get ready for spring?  In the next 2 to 4 weeks maybe try a spring cleanse.  The Ayurvedic cleanse is perfect for aligning with the seasons.  If you would like to check out more about Ayurveda and cleanses, you can schedule an appointment with Lisa Scarborough, Ayurvedic consultant, yoga instructor and hair dresser extraordinaire.  Sharing Lisa's article she wrote a few years ago.


The Cleanse Lens 
The new buzz word in the natural health realm seems to be "cleanse". There is a liver cleanse, a kidney cleanse, a cellular cleanse and a cleanse for just about everything. What exactly is a cleanse and why should we or should we not practice cleansing? My view of cleansing is through the lens of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old health science from India. According to this profound system of healing, it is important to give the body, especially the digestive track, a break occasionally in order to "flush the system" so to speak. It is a means of healing and purification.
The western diet in general is very difficult on the digestive system, especially if you eat meat (even poultry). It can be a struggle for the system to keep up with digestion, often leaving undigested food in the digestive track. This stagnant waste creates a by product known as "ama", a sticky substance that causes blockages in the energy systems of the body. Just as cholesterol clogs the arteries restricting blood flow, ama blocks the "nadis" restricting the flow of energy. Regular cleansing helps reduce or eliminate ama, allowing you to readily tap into all the energy available to you.  
A cleanse should not be taken lightly. It requires much preparation and for some, it is quite spiritual, as well as, physical. A cleanse is NOT a diet or a means of losing weight, however it does help to jump start a more healthy and pure diet and it creates more awareness of our tendencies.
The traditional times of cleansing are spring and fall. However, after the holiday season, when we've all overindulged just a bit, an occasional one day cleanse can be beneficial. Choose a day of the week when you are able to create some down time. A day or two before your cleanse, begin to drastically reduce sugar, caffeine, dairy and processed foods in your diet. On the actual day of your cleanse, you will eat only juiced fruits and vegetables, no solid foods. Be sure to balance the fruit with vegetables. I know many people who go heavy on the fruits, not including many vegetables. One of my favorites is apple, ginger, carrot and kale.
I promise it tastes delicious( even if it  does look a little unappetizing). Use this day to rest, relax, enjoy nature, take a long bath, journal, meditate, anything that refreshes you. Avoid turning on the t.v, computer, cell phone etc. Read only inspirational material (no news, murder mysteries or work related material). Sip warm herbal tea throughout the day. You may want to stay close to home as it's not uncommon to visit the bathroom often. After your mini cleanse, begin eating things that are easy on the stomach such as rice and oatmeal. Try keeping the sugar, dairy and processed foods at a minimum for as long as possible. The goal would be to continue eating in a more pure way than you did prior to your cleanse.
Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a cleanse if you have blood sugar or other metabolic issues. As we get near to spring, I'll be blogging about our five day spring cleanse. I'd love for you to join us.
If you have any questions or specific nutritional questions, feel free to contact me at lisa@moyo-yoga.com. Under The Bodhi Tree is my boutique at Moyo Yoga where I carry nutritional supplements and all things yoga, to support you on your journey. For more information or to schedule an ayurvedic nutritional consultation, contact me, Lisa Scarborough at lisa@moyo-yoga.com or online at Moyo Yoga.
Enjoy this blessed season!


The Poses
Childs Pose
Props: bolster,  2-3 blankets
Benefits: Gently stretches the lower back, relieves shoulder tension and quiets the mind.  Give a sense of security. Feeling support and release.
Extras:sandbag for sacrum

Place bolster in front of you and a blanket on your lap with one end folded over. Before folding into the shape of childs pose, inhale to lengthen the spine. Rest your forehead on the bolster with space to breathe easily. Adjust blanket if it is too confining.  If you feel tension in the ankles or behind the knees, add another blanket.  Stay for up to 5 minutes. 

Half Legs Up Variation
Props: 2 blocks, bolster, 2 blankets
Benefits: increases circulation and helps venous and lymphatic flow from the lower body; relieves swelling and fatigue in the legs; helps relieve muscular skeletal stress in pelvis; quiets the mind and can help promote ease in meditation and sleep.

Use the 2 blocks, setting one at a lower height than the other, place bolster lengthwise on the blocks inclined.  One leg will rest on the floor with a blanket covering and one leg will rest on the inclined bolster with blanket covering.  Arms can stay at your side, move to Goddess (shown) or hands can rest at belly. cover yourself for more warmth and add an eye pillow to shut out the light for deeper relaxation.



Belly Down Savasana
Props: bolster, 1 or 2 blocks, 2 blankets
Benefits: soothing to the nervous system, grounding, stimulates the
digestive system, gentle chest opener, lengthens the legs, ankles, releases the pelvis.

Place bolster lengthwise on your mat and lay an unfolded blanket over it.  One or two blocks can go in front of the bolster.  Come to all fours and release your belly and upper body onto the bolster with legs extended behind you. Head rests on block. You may need someone to cover you with the blanket as it swaddles you.  Add another blanket for weight to the legs.  Delicious!

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