In Ayurveda, we practice an annual tradition of seasonal cleansing, typically twice a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The nature of these two cleanses are very different since the seasonal transitions affect our minds and bodies in very different ways. In the springtime, there is a sense of heavy and wet qualities present in the weather. If there is still snow, notice that it's not the light, delicate flakes of early-mid winter, but it's slushy and heavy. The ground is cold, damp, and fertile...ready to support Spring planting, and rainy, cloudy days are frequent.
Ayurveda recognizes that what is happening in Nature, outside of us, is also a sign of what is happening inside. You might find you have allergies, phlegm, or other mucus-related troubles. Your belly might feel bloated and heavy, and suddenly you're aware of a few extra winter pounds!? It's time for a Spring Cleanse to lighten up!
Here are a few things that you might want to start doing to prepare for your own Spring Cleanse, so you get the most out of the process. When we cleanse, it's a 3-stage process: the preparation, the cleanse period, and exiting a cleanse. This week, I'm all about preparation, and here are some things I'm starting to incorporate in my practice.
Preparing Your Body
To create space for change, we must let go of some things. In order to transform, we need to throw some junk in the fire. It's time to say goodbye to a few of your favorite vices. Begin today with giving one thing up, add another into the fire tomorrow or the day after, then another in a few days. By the time Day 1 of your cleanse rolls around, you're off to a great start and your body can get down to the task at hand: deep cleaning.
Things to throw into the fire
Preparing Your Habits
There are a few things you can start doing that will help you build good habits that will become second nature by the time you start your official cleanse. It can be difficult to make all of these changes all at once, so start now by replacing some of the things you're letting go of with these practices:
Preparing Your Space
Over my years of cleansing, I've some to realize that this is a vital element in the process: a deep clean of your home, office, car, and garden. Clean and organize any space that you spend your time in and you might notice has also started to get a big clogged with clutter. Notice the connection between what's going on in your space and how you feel in your mind and body.
This weekend I got really focused and tackled my kitchen first, since that will be an important space for cleanse preparation and cooking. I cleaned and organized my tea/spice/herb cabinet, scrubbed countertops, cabinet doors, the stovetop, appliances, and shelves. It only took 2 hours and I felt a great sense of accomplishment after.....and now my space is ready for cleansing and healing to happen!
Look at your calendar for the cleanse week and try to block off as much time as possible to relax, prep your meals, go for walks in nature, journal, organize your closets...this is the time to re-set, establish healthy routines, and put your energy towards where you want to be going/how you want to be feeling. Think of Spring Cleanse Week as your own mini-retreat and plan accordingly.
Join Meghan Dwyer and me for Aluna's Inner Sanctuary Spring Cleanse this April! Details will be released soon, make sure you're on our mailing list so you're first to know!
~be bright, live inspired~
Hi everyone! I'm so excited Meg asked me to share a recipe with you because I love cooking and creating new recipes. This one was inspired from my love of sweet potatoes. I've always loved sweet potatoes but sometimes eating them as baked potatoes or mashed potatoes all the time gets a little old. I also love kale! When I was little I would walk through my parents garden eating as many of the leafy greens and herbs I could get my hands on, kale was one of my favorites. So from my love of sweet potatoes and kale this wonderfully delicious salad was born and has turned into one of my favorite lunches!
The most time consuming part is roasting the sweet potatoes but with a little planning you can roast them while you are eating dinner the night before or taking your morning shower. Most of my clients work away from home so I'm always looking for ways to turn my homemade and home-eaten lunches into easily packed lunches. This salad is very easy to prep in the morning and mix together when it's time to eat.
While you are making your breakfast start the kale marinating in the salad dressing. Kale is a very hearty green that can sometimes be a bit difficult to chew. By letting it marinate in the salad dressing it becomes much easier to eat. This recipe calls for about 4 tablespoons of dressing which can seem like a lot but isn't that much when you mix in the sweet potatoes later on. So get your kale marinating the dressing and let it sit until lunch time. Bake the sweet potatoes the night before or in the morning before you leave for work, they only take about 20 minutes so it's not a big time commitment.
Sweet Potato Kale Salad
About the Chef/Yogini
Emmalyn Gaertner wants to live in a world where health is about balance, we find happiness in the little things, and our food is cooked with love. As a yoga teacher and wellness expert, Emmalyn guides women through flowing transformation both on and off the mat. When Emmalyn isn't practicing yoga or at her computer she enjoys hiking with her dog Ollie, cooking with her husband, and always loves a hug! For recipes, tips & tricks, and healthy inspiration please visit her website or Facebook page
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