This week’s article was written by Leigh Stewart, a yoga teacher who is passionate about health and wellness education.
Spring is a time for new ideas, attitudes and rituals to take root. With changes in your surroundings blossoming around you, it’s time to let go of anything that is stale and stagnant in an effort to make space for priorities that yield happiness and light.
Spring-cleaning can take many forms external, however it is just as important to bring an awareness around cleaning and cleansing internally. Feeling centered and grounded within is a great determinant of how we perceive the world around us.
Five “twists” on traditional spring-cleaning to create space in your mind and body:
1. No is Yes
As summer is on the horizon, it is tempting to plan until the calendar is full. Choose several places on your calendar where you can slot in time that says “yes” to you rather than another obligation. Use these as places to unplug, unwind and rejuvenate mentally.
Yogic twists are an accessible way to cleanse the body’s digestive system. A simple twist can be done at your desk by bringing your left hand to your right knee and your right hand to the back of your chair for 5-10 breathes before switching sides. Twisting from right to left moves digestion along its natural track. Try a seated spinal twist for a deeper option or a reclined spinal twist after dinner for a restorative end to your day.
3. Know Your Dosha
Spring cleanses are common practice in our culture, but better yet, use an understanding of Ayurveda and your body type, your Dosha make up, to educate yourself on the optimal food groups for a sustainable diet and those food that may be causing more digestive turmoil that you realize. Dosha quizzes are widespread and can be found online. An incredible resource is Shubhra Krishan’s Essential Ayurveda.
4. Confuse Those Muscles
Add flare to your usual exercise repertoire. Repeated patterns of anything, even exercise can move you into a rut. Moving at a variety of speeds in a number of ways encourages lean muscle building and maximum fat burning. Break out and get moving in a new way: Try an introductory deal at a trendy studio, take a new fitness class at the gym or replace your usual cardio with a HIIT or Tabata workout. Your muscles [and brain] will thank you.
5. Open Your Heart
When you clean out, you make space. Space is best utilized when it is filled with practices that promote health, wellness and love. Incorporate a heart opening yoga posture like Fish into your meditation or yoga practice to create space and receptivity through the body. Spend some extra breaths opening your heart and communication center, your throat, to the possibilities that spring has in store.