The Mother of Sound: The Sound of Mother

Restoring balance, naturally.
Restoring balance, naturally.

Restoring balance, naturally.

The syllable Ma is used worldwide for Mother: Ma, Amma, Uma, Oma, Mama, Mother, Mater.

In Sanskrit, Ma means “to create.” Who has that power? The Mother.

~ gnosticteachings.org

 

The seed sound MA is a powerful mantra to use in your practice.

Chant MA with a long, slow, clear exhale: MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Inhale and repeat.

Close your eyes and feel the vibration of this seed sound in your body.

 

“This mantra is repeated over and over to connect with the essence of the universal mother.” ~ Spiritvoyage.com

Practice The Divine Shield Meditation  by Spirit Voyage and enjoy the vibration of MA.

 

 

 

From Injury to Opportunity: The Wisdom of Your Injuries

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Once again nursing an injury, I’m contemplating the nature of injury to alter our course in life.

It was my spinal injury years ago that moved me from my career as a personal trainer, into the wild and wonderful realm of complementary alternative medicine, plants, yoga, meditation, Reiki, and Qigong.

Needing the help of a chiropractor yesterday to gently encourage my ribs back into alignment, I had the pleasure of hearing the practitioner’s story of injury.

Prior to beginning his planned journey into pharmacy, he had experienced a compression fracture in his neck. Told surgery was his best option, he had decided to visit a chiropractor instead, hoping for a non-surgical solution. He found relief in his chosen method of care.

His injury, and the issues that came with it, altered his path from pharmacist to chiropractor; a chiropractor who is compassionate to the discomfort and struggle of his clients.

“Emergence through emergency,” Dr. Jean Houston calls it. Often these emergencies wake us up to a higher calling, a spiritual path, our life’s work, or simply a change in perspective or lifestyle.

Sometimes my injuries give me a gentle nudge when I’ve wandered off course. I had a deadline a few weeks ago to prepare my second book for submission to agents. There were revisions to attend to and a couple missing chapters. I committed to write every day until it was complete.

I was on track beautifully and then suddenly I was tugged away by my desire to do more yoga, work out, plan the upcoming detox program for my clients, write articles – everything but book 2. I returned home one Sunday morning after a nice long 2-hour weight and cardio session at the local Y, followed by a satisfying trip to the organic grocery store. I made it through weights, cardio, a little post-workout yoga stretch, and groceries no problem, only to collapse on my front step from back pain.

It had been a long time since back pain had put me on the ground. When I asked, “Why now?” The answer was immediate and obvious: I had a deadline. I stayed put the following week, writing and resting, and my back healed quicker than ever. Though still not complete on my chapters – hence the ribs – I am laser-focused now!

We often see our injuries as set-backs, they slow us down. We fail to see that is the gift: to slow down, consider other options, possibilities, directions, or simply rest and be still.

Pay attention to your injuries. Give them the care they require and see if perhaps there isn’t a course-change in your immediate future.

Rather than curse the injury and struggle against it, be open to what is happening and what is possible; be open to what comes. Chances are, something is about to shift in your life.

 

 

The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Restoring balance naturally

Restoring balance naturally

 

Yogi Bhajan once said, “Some people ask me, “You are a Master, why do you do Sadhana?” I said, “To remain a Master!”

 

I experienced 2 injuries in the last few weeks. One left me in a heap on the floor and the other challenged each breath I took. I spent 3 minutes just trying to blow my nose this morning.

I was staggered at the events and my physical state with all my years of healthful practices: yoga, nutritious food and herbs, daily meditation. I had, however, neglected the healing practices that had helped me recover from a similar injury years ago. I’ve been in a great place for a long time and slowly let my practice go.

A client came to see me last week. I hadn’t see her in a while and she was not doing particularly well. I asked if she was doing any of her practices. She replied no.

We spend time finding and creating the practices that help us feel nourished and vibrant and whole, yet often when we get busy or feel good, we drop those very practices.

If something brings us such radiant well-being, why would we not make that the most central focus of each day. Why would we let those practices slip away until our state – mental, emotional, or physical – deteriorates enough for us to need to return to those practices?

The majority of female clients that I see share a common intention: self care. But we wait until we are struggling before we seek out methods of practice.

Don’t wait. Choose your form of self-care – whether it’s yoga, qigong, meditation, salt baths, aromatherapy, dance, singing, tea, the great outdoors, writing, painting, cooking, or self-massage – and make it your daily ritual.

Choose your practice. Make space for it. And allow it to nourish you everyday, as the most important meal of the day.

Eating Sattvic: Everyday Ayurveda

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Sattvic is a sanskrit word translated to mean purity. A sattvic diet was also considered a yogic diet. Ayurveda and yoga are 5000 year-old sister sciences and feed one another.

The foods consumed in a sattvic diet are light and easy to digest. They are reported to enhance focus, clarity, energy, harmony, and a balanced mind and attitude.

A sattvic diet is easy on the digestive system and nourishing for the body, mind and spirit.

Following a sattvic diet assists with meditation by calming the mind and easing digestion. It’s difficult to settle into silence when you feel like you have a brick in your gut. Likewise, the practice of yoga becomes easier with ease of digestion.

You can play with this one yourself. See how various foods affect your own practices.

A basic principle of a true sattvic diet is “do no harm”. Any food that caused the harm of anyone during its cultivation or preparation would not be considered sattvic. With this, meat is excluded from the pure sattvic diet.

One doesn’t have to be a purist in order to experience the benefits of sattvic eating. Begin by adding more sattvic food choices into your diet and your day. Make slow and gradual changes for simple and lasting effects.

 

Simple, sattvic suggestions:

vegetables (potato, sweet potato, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, cabbages, dried peas)

fruits (mangoes, figs, pears, lemons, grapes, apples, bananas, coconut, papaya, pineapple, raisins)

legumes (mung beans, lentils, kidney and lima beans)

cereal grains (rice, blue corn, wheat, barley, oatmeal, cereals)

ghee or butter

yogurt (lassi)

fresh milk

pure honey or raw sugar

pure water (spring water is an excellent source)

nuts (almonds, pistachios)

dried ginger

This rice pudding is a great way to begin incorporating sattvic foods. Try mangoes and honey with dried ginger instead of blueberries and cinnamon. Sattvic prefers fresh to leftovers. If making a fresh pot of rice makes this dish out of the question, leftovers will do.

Incorporate a daily sattvic smoothie, a spin on the traditional lassi. Add mango or papaya, perhaps banana and pineapple to yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk or fresh cow’s milk. Add honey and a pinch of ginger. A simple, nourishing breakfast.

 

Additional sattvic suggestions:

Eat only when you are hungry. Reduce snacking just for the sake of snacking. Enjoy water or herbal teas instead.

Moderation and balance is key. Eat until you are satiated, not stuffed. Taking your meals more slowly will assist with this.

Chew all food thoroughly and slowly. Enjoy both the preparation and the process.

If you can grow your own… even better. Happy garden, happy belly.

Scrap New Year’s Resolutions: Opt for a 40-Day Practice.

One strand at a time.
One strand at a time.

One strand at a time.

Set yourself up for success this year using ancient wisdom for modern life. This new year, dream your dreams, make your plans, then commit to a 40-day (or more) practice and achieve your goals.

The 40-day practice is a long spiritual tradition aimed towards creating powerful change and new habits. Yoga practitioners have used this practice to bring about change and transformation, creating 40-day, 120-day and 1000-day practices. Put this ancient wisdom to work for you.

1. Pour yourself a cup of tea, light a candle, put on music and allow your imagination to paint the canvas of the coming year. What do you wish to create this year? Is health a priority? Is this the year you create an energized you? A calmer you? A more confident you? Become a more patient parent or partner? Do you have your sights on a new career or position? Do you wish to start your own business or dive into the arts? Do you plan to prepare healthier meals or make time for self-care? Write your list.

2. Determine the details. Do your dreams have a due date? Is it a spring conference you’re planning? A summer charity drive? A fall book release? Slimmer and trimmer by your family reunion? Or is it a dream that will unfold over time? Our dreams can look big. Too big. Often we become overwhelmed by their size. How do we accomplish such a grand dream? One step at a time.

3. Here’s the magic. Commit to your dream(s) every day for 40+ days. A client wanted to find time to exercise and eat better. She committed to 40 days of yoga. 20 minutes each evening – the time when cravings took over and snacking took place. She stayed with her commitment, showing up for herself each day of the 40 days, no matter what was happening in her life. She stopped evening snacking, since she was too busy doing yoga to be poking around the pantry. She slept better as her practice allowed her to de-stress at the end of each day. And she felt better with regular movement every day. One simple change, practiced daily, awarded her a wealth of benefits. One of the greatest: that she showed up each day as her own champion.

Planning an event, new business venture, mastering a skill, writing a book? Dedicate even 15 minutes every day towards your project. Allow room for new inspiration, ideas and people to surface and coincidences to appear. The magic is that when you show up each day, when you declare to yourself and the universe, “I am here. Let’s do this,” the universe obliges and begins to funnel resources your way. That 15 minutes may be researching details, sketching ideas, investigating options, or it may turn into a meeting, a class, a collaboration, an outline, the first chapter, a green smoothie, or 10 sun salutations. If your dream has no deadline, commit to 40 days and see what unfolds. If your project has a place on the calendar, your daily practice is set in stone until that day.

4. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. See yourself completing your dreams. See it in detail. Who are you with? How do you feel? Allow yourself to feel the celebrated success of your accomplishments right now. Let every cell light up in joy, relief, completion, celebration, recognition, and gratitude. See the smiling faces around you and feel your dreams in form.

5. Show up January 1st. And 2nd. And 3rd. And every day of your practice. Mark it on your calendar. Keep it simple. Take a step each day towards your dreams. The year will pass whether you show up or not. Where do you want to be at this time next year? Walk towards it. If you feel better taking that walk alone then keep your agenda sacred. If you wish to make that walk with a friend, enlist support: trustworthy, caring, dedicated support of good friends or family and be accountable to them as you become more accountable to you and your dreams.

Be gentle with yourself. A daily practice does not mean you will not work hard. It does mean you agree to show up each day, no matter what. And with that commitment the work may be hard but the struggle will be less. Hard work does not tire us. Struggle, however, is exhausting. There is no need to struggle as each day you agree to take one step. One step towards your health, your creativity, your service and gifts, your purpose and fulfillment. After all, these are your greatest dreams. Enjoy the walk.

Make this the year to accomplish all your heart desires. And make room for the possibility that your heart may surprise you with greater abundance, joy, passion, wisdom, success and love than even you can dream.

Happy New Year!

Inspirations:

40 days of green juices

40 days of gratitude

40 days of dance

40 days of service

40 days of learning something new

120 days of writing

120 days of painting

120 days of yoga

120 days of saving for a trip or class

120 days of creating your new business

Resources for starting and sticking with your 40-day practice:

My Yoga Online – for yoga videos, recipes, health & wellness practices and supportive community.

Spirit Voyage 40 day global practices.

The Writer’s Circle with Jenna Avery – because it’s time to write that book.

100 Days of Spring Forest Qigong™ - cultivate energy, empower yourself.

 

Good Morning, Good Day.

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A good morning routine sets the stage for a good day.

Do you start the day falling out of bed, rushing to get yourself and your family out of the house? Breakfast over the kitchen sink, in the car, or no breakfast at all? Cursing other motorists as you try to get in to work or school drop off on time?

A peaceful day begins with a peaceful routine. Carve out 20 morning minutes to include these 5 practices and set the tone for a good day every day.

1. Waking

Follow Pema Chodron’s wise words of advice, “Someone once said to me the best form of spiritual instruction is when you wake up in the morning and you say “I wonder what’s going to happen today”, and then carry that kind of curiosity through your life.”

Recall any lingering dreams and make note of  interesting details. Rub the palms of your hands together quickly many times and then sweep them over your face, head, down the upper body, arms and brushing down the legs, sweeping the body.

2. Meditation

Sit up in bed or move to a spot by a window or in a preferred quiet location for 10 minutes of meditation. With a straight spine and relaxed body, focus on each breath as it enters your nose then lungs, energizing your cells and body, then exhaling any tension or tightness. If inclined, enjoy your meditation outdoors, greeting the day. There’s a quality in the early morning that can’t be adequately described – a fullness, a peacefulness, a sweetness just before the sun makes his appearance.  

3. Mindful intention/mantra

Once in touch with the rhythm of your breath, try a mantra: inhale and feel ‘so’, exhale and feel ‘hum’. Or inhale ‘good’ and exhale ‘day’. Or ‘thank’, ‘you’. Have fun with it and get in touch with how you want to set your day. Keep it simple. Then set your intention for the day. What do you wish to feel?  Today, I enjoy ease. Today, I celebrate. Today, I accept everyone and everything exactly as they are. Today, is a good day. It’s up to you how you create each day.

4. Movement

Introduce movement to awaken the body. 10 slow and steady sun salutations open up the channels and connect body to breath as you check in with your body each day. Notice any tight areas and breathe into them as they gently release. Feel gratitude for your beautiful physical container. Or move through a simple Spring Forest Qigong™ series, cupping and tapping on various points of the body to open the channels and invigorate you.

5. Music

While dressing, preparing breakfast, or packing lunches enjoy your favourite music to set the tone for your day. Sing, hum, whistle, chant, dance in the kitchen – allow the vibrations to resonate through your body and into your day.

Start each day in a peaceful way. Give yourself enough time, otherwise the ‘peaceful’ routine itself will become a source of frustration. Create each day. Approach it with the curiosity of a child and enjoy all the beauty that ensues.

Good morning!

If you struggle to find time for yourself in the morning, try these simple ways to create time for you each day.

How Full is Your Wagon?

Empty it for a Good Night's Sleep.
Empty it for a Good Night's Sleep.

Empty it for a Good Night’s Sleep.

A client mentioned how she woke at 2am and proceeded to take stock of all the details of the previous day, saying it helped her to make sure she took care of everything properly. I remembered the all-too familiar winding of the mind at all hours of the night.

I used to dread night-waking to pee because if I actually had to get up my mind would take over and all sorts of crap would start to flow during my time in the loo, none of which belonged there. A bit crude but accurate.

Mental diarrhea would take over my good night’s sleep and make it difficult to get back to dreamland. It’s easy to second-guess yourself in the quiet, dark hours of night.

It feels like years since my mind has kept me awake taking inventory of my day. No one particular thing eased me into dreamtime. Yoga, meditation, and practices like the one I share here, all played a part.

As my client talked about her busy mind, I shared how I used to drag my workouts or, more recently, my writing, through my day. I’d plan the session and show up for the workout or the writing but then rush off to pick up kids for lunch and continue to process my session in my head, not particularly present with the kids, lunch, or myself.

Maybe I should have done more reps. I don’t think my cardio was long enough. I could have pushed more weight. What if the flashback is better in the first chapter? I could have done a better job of describing that scene.

On and on I dragged these sessions through my day, revisiting what I’d already done.

As we talked about the behaviour pattern familiar to many female clients, friends, and myself, I saw in my mind a woman pulling a red wagon. She started with it empty and she looked fresh. Then as she went about her day she piled each activity into her wagon. The cargo grew and she tired under the weight she hauled along.

By bedtime the wagon overflowed. Her mind used nighttime to empty the wagon so she could fill it again the next day.

What helped me to stop dragging writing through my day was to take a conscious moment to consider myself complete with what I had just done. I sat down to write, I was present while I wrote, and I finished it for the day. I even had a ritual- symbolic of my completion with the task at hand- I wiped my hands like a Vegas blackjack dealer leaving the table.

Another technique I learned in yoga and use regularly is saying the word swaha to signify the end of one chant before moving onto the next. I have recited swaha - a sanskrit word used in this case to mean so be it - in my day when a particularly stubborn activity or thought hangs on. Firmly stating it aloud signals I am done with the task or thought. Occasionally I need to yell it repeatedly, drawing the belly and breath into it, to get my mind to let go.

What if we had a conscious completion to each part of our day, a personal acknowledgement that we did our best and that task is complete, at least for now? A conscious pause before moving onto the next item on our daily agenda. Mini-savasanas between practices.

I see the woman and her little red wagon. She places an item in her wagon and walks with it. When she gets to her next item she removes the first from her wagon, gives it a good once over and accepts it as complete. It is what it is for now. She sets it down and takes a deep cleansing breath. She places the next item in her wagon and carries on with it, removing it prior to her next stop.

She deals with one item at a time: meditation, breakfast, shopping, work, lunch, exercise, interviews, coffee, dinner, argument with partner or kids…that can tend to cause a mess in the wagon that may require more considerate clean up.

What unique way can you symbolize your completeness with each activity in your day?  A jig? A whoohoo! A pat on the back or hug? A deep breath and a moment of stillness? An affirmation or perhaps a round of self-applause? Maybe a big ol’ swaha!

Take a moment at the end of each day, maybe on your mat in yoga, on the floor in meditation, a walk in nature, at the table with a doodle pad, or in the tub with your favourite aromatherapy or salts. Check your wagon for any leftover cargo. Anything hanging on? If it’s not empty, take a moment to remove any items before slipping between the sheets.

Doodle your doubts, warrior I your worries, om your overactive mind…just for today you are complete. Just for today you let everything go. You’ll address tomorrow when it emerges and you’ll be restored and renewed from a good night’s sleep because you saved dreamtime for dreaming.

 

What is Real Beauty?

Do more than just survive. Thrive.

 

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

If you gave me one hour each morning and said I had to pick how to spend that hour -doing my hair, makeup and coordinating an outfit, or doing yoga and meditating- hands-down I’d pick yoga and meditation every time. Or sitting on my front step watching the sunrise, enjoying qigong on the lawn, dancing to great music…

It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time on my hair or putting together a nice outfit and they do make me feel better about myself – as long as I am wearing them. In fact, it took me a couple years to let go of the need to be put-together before leaving the house, or dropping the kids at school without makeup and not hiding my face under the collar of my jacket, wanting to shrink into the background.

When momhood kicked in, I had to make choices about my time and I could either look great on the outside and feel crabby on the inside or spend my time on activities that allowed me to feel great about myself, which meant letting my hair dry in the sun or being satisfied with a simple coat of chai balm on my lips.

Now that my kids are a little older, I have time for both yoga and styling my hair, although you’ll still find me on my mat rather than in front of my mirror.

The difference is, regular yoga and meditation helps me feel better about myself regardless of what I’m wearing or doing. Time in nature recharges me and shows me how much beauty exists around me every day.

A post is floating around social media with a powerful message. It is an advertisement for Dove and shows a forensic artist sketching women based on their own description of themselves, then sketching them based on the details provided by others who just met them.

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches reveals a theme that – judging by the number of women I’ve seen repost the video – we are ready to change.

We are the hardest on ourselves and if we cannot recognize the inherent beauty in ourselves, how can we see it in the world around us and how can we help others to see it?

Anyone who has enjoyed a make-over knows how good it feels to see yourself at your most beautiful. It’s time for an inner make-over. One that allows us to know how beautiful we are and see that same beauty in everyone else. It’s time to choose what makes us feel good, what truly nourishes us: body, mind, and soul.

Each day when I wake I ask the question, What nourishes me today?

What nourishes you today?

Do that.

 

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind, and Spirit. Recap.

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If you missed the 12 days of detox and feel the need for post-holiday purification or simply wish to create a nourishing daily routine for the new year, here is a summary just for you. Start at 1 and add a step each day to gradually enjoy all 12 or choose several that appeal to you and build your own custom daily wellness ritual. Click on each day for the full detoxing details.

On the 1st day of detox, atONE gave to me…
 
It’s important to know where you are heading before you can get there. Meeting yourself face-to-face is an excellent and accessible method of detoxification. Find out how to begin the nourishing process of purification and discover the most vibrant you!
Every breath provides a channel for detoxification through the exhalation of waste and the inhalation of oxygen. Most of the day, however, our breath is shallow. As our shoulders slowly creep up to meet our ears throughout the stresses of our day, our breath also becomes more shallow and often quicker, limiting the supply of oxygen to our lungs and blood. Dedicating time each day to sit and breathe deeply or reminding yourself throughout your day to do so, infuses the body with fresh air and releases the stale air pooled deep in the lungs. Practice simple breathing techniques in 2 cleansing breaths.
Remove any mental ama with a daily mind detox. Committing to a daily morning practice sets the tone for your day, integrating dreamwork and clearing the mind for the day ahead. An evening practice surrenders thoughts, stress and worry of the day as you slip into deep relaxation before sleep. Learn a simple daily meditation practice in 3 meditations.
Food as medicine and medicine as food. That’s how ayurveda views eating. At least three times a day we have an opportunity to create vibrant health through our food choices. Foods that burn cleanly and completely, nourishing our bodies and assisting with the removal of ama, serve us well during detox. Simple whole food choices sustain us while cleaning out the pipes. Find out foods that support vibrant health and detox in 4 foods that heal.
5 Yoga Poses

Adding 30-60 minutes of yoga to your daily routine aids digestion, elimination and detoxification through postures, breath and sweat. Even 10 minutes of yoga every day allows you to feel the benefits of a regular practice. You may choose to seek out a convenient class near you, pick up a DVD to assist with a home practice, or simply enjoy a few poses each day. Committing to sun salutations every morning is a simple start. Practice before eating, particularly detoxing poses such as twists, forward bends and inversions, to aid in the process of cleansing. Discover daily detoxing poses in 5 yoga poses.
A little-known detox gem, Dr. F. Karach presented oil pulling in the early 90s. The practice dated back considerably further, however. In ayurveda it is called kavala graha, a medicine for the oral cavity, and has been used for centuries to detoxify the body and improve health. Learn a few ways to spice up your swishing in 6 spicy swishes.
Use self-massage in the morning before you shower to wake up the body and promote detoxification, or at night before bath to relieve stress and ama from your day, preparing you for a restful sleep. Discover ways to enjoy a daily massage in 7 layer massages.
Himalayan salt contains the same 84 essential minerals found in our bodies. It is praised for relieving a variety of conditions from acne to halitosis, eczema and psoriasis, and for drawing toxins from the body. The salts can be purchased in large crystals or more finely ground. Read the full post on 8 salt baths for natural additions to enhance your bath.
There are many herbal detox programs available. Purchasing a reputable herbal cleanse provides a prepared, easy to follow plan you can fit into your daily routine. If you choose to buy or follow an herbal program, do your research and make sure the product is top quality. Consult a herbalist or naturopath for professional recommendations. Read the full post of 9 cleansing herbs for some of the most popular herbal cleansing choices.
“Sweat and laugh every day,” said Yogi Bhajan, and turning up the music to groove and move with yourself, your kids, family, friends or a community is an invigorating and uplifting way to detox body, mind and spirit. A daily ritual of dance, whether 10 minutes in your living room or a 1 hour class at a local gym or dance studio, lubricates the joints, sheds excess baggage from the body and the mind, and lightens the spirit.
Empty that melon and make room for new thoughts while taking inventory of all the old ones running through your mind and all the old story running through your life. Your experiences to date, your ideas and stories laid out on a page, whether in prose, webs, design or image, allow you to review where you’ve been, gain new insight and acceptance, and even spark new inspiration.
You don’t need to be a yogi to use mantra and affirmation. Employ this powerful ancient tool to assist you in success with your commitments and all you wish to be and create in the new year. Choose or create your own affirmation.
 
Here’s to a clear, calm, simple and nourishing new year, naturally!
 
 
The information presented is intended to inform, not diagnose or treat health conditions. 



 

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 3

Ommmmmmmmmmmmm

On the third day of detox, atONE gave to me…

three meditations,
Meditation
Remove any mental ama with a daily mind detox. Committing to a daily morning practice sets the tone for your day, integrating any dreamwork and clearing the mind for the day ahead. An evening practice surrenders all thoughts, stress and worry of the day as you slip into deep relaxation before sleep. A twenty minute morning and evening practice of your choice makes this detox an easy addition to your day. Choose from mindful meditation, guided, mantra, yantra, walking… there are so many available and accessible today. Join a global online meditation or simply place your focus on one thought, affirmation or solely the breath.

1. Following your detox day 1 visualization and day 2′s breathing, continue sitting comfortably, maintaining deep, relaxing breath.  Inhale a silent, “I am” and exhale a silent, “vibrant.” Replace the word vibrant with one that holds meaning for you, evokes a deep feeling of well-being: healthy, alive, radiant, vital, calm. Breathe and focus on the words carried silently on your breath, repeating them over and over, for a few moments or 20 minutes. It is more important you feel your detox practice flows easily into your day than struggle to meet a specific time frame. If your mind wanders to grocery lists or the day’s duties, simply draw your attention back to the words on your breath. When complete, open your eyes and sit for a moment, enjoying and acknowledging the sensations in your body and your clearer, calmer mind.

2. Deeply rest the mind and allow your own inner pharmacy to guide your detoxification. Hold no words or thoughts as a focus, instead, allow the mind to empty. No force or expectation, simply a deep state of rest, as if there is nothing for the mind to do. With mind at rest, your inner pharmacy can go to work, entrusted entirely and confidently with your highest well-being. Often we block our own progress on a particular goal. Fear, doubt, old habits or patterns may resurface. This deep rest provides a getting-out-of-your-own-way detoxification. It’s not up to you. Let your body do its job and restore its natural state of wellness. A great way to begin your day and a lovely technique for clearing your mind and welcoming restful sleep at the end of your day.

3. You may wish to explore the ancient practice of mantra, focusing the mind and vibrating sound with a sanskrit phrase. Mantra, meaning instrument of the mind, allows your mind to engage, focused on particular sounds that resonate within the body, activating a response. Chanting the seed mantra “HRIM”, pronounced hreem, aids in detoxification as its sound resonates throughout the cells. You may chant aloud or silently if you prefer. When chanting aloud, the r of hreem touches the tongue briefly on the roof of the mouth. You may chant hreem once on the exhale, holding the mmmmmm sound on your lips for the extent of the exhalation, or chant it repeatedly between inhalations. If chanting silently, allow a continuous resonation of the mantra through the mind. When complete, sit for a moment, observing the sensations within the body, vibrations continuing to reverberate. Bring chant into your day; the shower, car or while making dinner. I once filled the parent volunteer room with chant while helping at my child’s school.

Bonus detox tip: need help getting into the meditation mood?  Choose spa-like music or sounds of nature to assist you in relaxing.  You can even find a beautifully recorded mantra and chant or sing along with it. One of my favourites; ra ma da sa by Snatam Kaur.  Chant along with her or absorb the mantra and the music. Turn up the volume and let the mantra vibrate through your home.

Sat nam.