Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Spring!

The yogis and nutritionist both agree that it is never too late, or too early, to consider sequencing your life today for a healthier tomorrow. I think of sequencing as both an art form and a science that anyone can master. All you need is sincere focus and attention from the beginning to the end of your vision, and trust in your body’s innate wisdom to guide you through the beautiful moment-to-moment discovery of presenceof the nowwhich leads to the spontaneous, blissful experience we call yoga.

I believe the more you practice adapting to new routines and seasonally breaking the momentum of habits before they become addictions, the stronger, healthier, and more open you become as a person. Instead of your world feeling boxed in by your routine, the seasonal changes help you widen your gaze so you experience more in life, seeing new potentials and possibilities in your work, family, diet, adventures, and exercise routines that connect to the revolving world around you.

In the end, the practice of yoga—on the mat and off the mat—is really all about practice. Practice will lead you to your truth, to the essence of who you are.

Here are just a few of the spring practices from my new book, Art of Sequencing – Volume Two, to weave into your day, week, or monthly routines:

Drink hot lemon water with a little salt in the morning to stimulate elimination.

· Meditate for 5 to 30 minutes (on melting glaciers, the image of vibrant green plant life, or new intentions).

· Exercise outdoors or do a vigorous yoga practice to break a sweat every day, with no exception. In addition to physical workouts, a steam sauna or hot tub can help release toxins.

· Try an elimination diet for two weeks (see appendix).

· In general, spring is the time to decrease heavy, oily, cold, fat-rich foods such as meat, seafood, poultry, dairy products, and foods cooked in oil. Increase your intake of foods that are bitter (like arugula), spicy (like radish), and astringent (like grapefruit) to promote cleansing of the liver, digestive organs, and blood.

· With “spring fever” in the air, it’s a great time to start new projects, take classes, plant seeds, and travel, while the energy is there for the taking.

· Practice inversions to turn your world and organs upside down. Think of your body like a jug of orange juice. If it sits in one position—upright—for too long, the pulp ends up settling to the bottom of the container. The yogis believe the same thing happens in our bodies, particularly in the organs. The pulp in this case is undigested, inorganic matter that we ingest through the air we breathe or food we eat. By flipping your body upside down, you create a gentle cleanse, where toxins or waste products get pulled by gravity from deep inside your tissues towards the center of the body. With sufficient hydration and exercise, these toxins can move out through the skin (via perspiration), exhaled breaths, urination, and bowel movements.

Read more about seasonal practices in the Art of Sequencing - Volume Two

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