The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 5

Maui Yoga

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

five yoga poses,
Yoga
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 or pick up a DVD to assist you 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.

Yoga-Paws shares 5 detox yoga poses you can easily incorporate into your day. When finished your morning meditation, wake up the body by taking a few minutes to move through these poses. Enjoy them before bed as you release the day in preparation for a good sleep. Find your way into the pose, inhaling and allowing the exhale to guide you into position, deepening the posture. The inhale lengthens the spine and lifts the heart, the exhale releases the belly and all tension and toxins as you sink deep into union with body, mind and spirit. Take as much time as you need, at least 5 long, slow, easy breaths in each pose. Nowhere to go, simply be in the posture, in the place you are, connected completely through breath. Take this time as a gift to yourself to be fully present in your body, in your breath, in your life… fully you.

Bonus Detox Tip #1 Rodney Yee slowly demonstrates sun salutations in this Gaiam clip.

Bonus Detox Tip #2  If you are up for a more vigorous practice, enjoy this kriya for detoxification from 3HO.

I could bonus you all day long with yoga postures, practices and possibilities as there are so many benefits to a regular, mindful practice, whether a few minutes of twists or 108 sun salutations. Widely available to explore today, find a method and practice that nourishes you. Experiment, play, add music or chant, take it outside and go deep within. Have fun with something you do just for you, something that leaves you feeling whole and happy.  Namasté.

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 4

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

four foods that heal,

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.

A whole foods detox, consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts in their whole state offers the natural fibre of the food, while providing all the nutrients and health benefits. Juicing is also a popular option and there are many juice detoxes available on the market and sites offering recipes for the best detoxing blends.Do your homework and choose a juice plan that appeals to you and is reputable if you choose this route. Be mindful of your calorie intake and not restricting calories for a prolonged period of time unless under the guidance of a professional. Listen to your body and ensure you are feeling nourished by the foods you are consuming.

One of my favourite detox blends is one apple, a generous handful of dandelion greens, fresh grated ginger and pure apple juice or water to blend. The peppery greens, sweet apple and spicy ginger give me an invigorating morning boost. A detoxing addition to my day’s nourishment.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Simply make choices in your day that offer the highest nutritional value. Substitute the morning’s boxed cereal for a homemade fruit or veg smoothie. While detoxing, reduce your consumption of prepackaged, refined and processed foods. Replace breads, pastas and packaged sweets with fruits, vegetables and nuts. Choose organic, pesticide-free or locally grown when available. Decrease the dairy for detox. Elimination diets can present resistance. Consider lowering the quantity of foods that create inflammation and stagnation, and upping the foods that promote vitality and radiant well-being.

~Citrus. A detoxer’s good friend. After your morning visualization, breathing and meditation, greet your day with a tea of grated fresh ginger and squeezed lemon juice. If under the weather, add a touch of soothing honey. Enjoy oranges as a convenient snack during your day. Add limes and lemons to your water.

~Greens. Kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, bok choy. Get creative. Kale is high in fibre, iron, vitamin k, calcium and vitamin c. It is anti-inflammatory and makes for an excellent detox choice. I watched Ina Garten make a ribollita on the Food Network several years ago and it became an immediate staple for me in the winter months. I alter the recipe to incorporate meat or not, according to my needs and the contents of my fridge, and usually leave out the bread. Water makes a perfectly acceptable substitution for chicken stock. I make a huge batch for leftovers. It is my favourite recipe for kale. Add swiss chard to smoothies, dice it up for pasta sauces, soups or stews. Swiss chard has a milder flavour than kale and is easily incorporated into recipes. Dandelion greens make a great addition to salads or smoothies.

~Fruit. Apples are excellent detox choices, pomegranates for heart, blueberries for an immune boost. Simmer apples, cinnamon, ginger and clove for a naturally sweet and flavourful treat. Toss in a handful of nuts, pumpkin and chia seeds, and a spoonful of coconut oil and you have a delicious breakfast. If you become fidgety or snacky in your day, slice up an apple or two and enjoy.

~Good fats. Nuts offer a whole food source of monounsaturated fats, with walnuts adding omega-3s. Choose from a variety of snacking options; walnuts for brain, almonds for heart health, pistachios for happy cells. Nuts also bring protein to the table, just make sure the nuts you buy don’t also bring the salt. Another choice oil for maximum health benefits is coconut. Choose a quality unrefined coconut oil. It will be solid at 76 degrees and less, above that it will begin to melt. Add coconut oil to your dishes like rice stirfry. Sautée carrots, onion, garlic, bok choy, swiss chard and ginger, tossing in cashews. Like apples, a spoonful of coconut oil a day is said to keep the doctor away.

Bonus detox tip: Water is important for flushing toxins from the body. Consume 1-2 litres of fresh water throughout your day. Try mountain spring water! Fill a 750ml or 1 litre reusable bottle to get an idea of your consumption. Drink 1 in the morning and 1 after lunch. Squeeze in fresh lemon juice or add a few drops of plant essences like Yarrow Environmental Solution, to aid detox.

Bon appétit!

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.

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 2

Sacred and stunning Lake Louise

On the second day of detox, atONE gave to me; 

two cleansing breaths,
Breath
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. Deep breathing also relaxes the body and the mind, proving to be one of the most effective, inexpensive and accessible methods of detoxification of body, mind and spirit. Commit to deep breathing outdoors and enjoy the added benefit of nature, feeling the cool winter air invigorate the body. Every deep inhalation purifies, every full exhalation detoxifies.

 

As you practice your detox day 1 visualization, breathe deeply and exhale fully. Once the visualization is complete, continue deep breathing for a minute or two, relaxing deeper with each breath. Lungs expand and fill with each inhale, shoulders drop and tension melts with every exhale. Sit upright to allow full expansion of the lungs, feeling even the back body receiving fresh oxygen.  Like opening a window and allowing the air to freshen your home. Continue several times throughout your day, at regular intervals like before meals, or any time you feel stress or strain creeping into your day or your shoulders creeping up to your ears.

If you tend to carry excess heat in your body or experience agitation or frustration during your day, try Sitali breathing, a technique used to cool off the body and the mind.

Bonus detox breath: to stoke the digestive fires and boost metabolism as well as your core control, practice breath of fire for continued detoxing throughout your day.

How’s the closet cleaning coming along?

The 12 Days of Detox: Body, Mind and Spirit. Day 1

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December is a magical month. An ideal one to detoxify the body and clear out residue accumulated over the past year.
Ayurveda refers to this residue as ama: a buildup of waste in the body, products not used up or transformed from their old state to a new one via digestion or metabolism. Accumulation of ama blocks the flow of energy within the body and is viewed as the root cause of all disease.
As body, mind and spirit all connect, cleaning out the body of last year’s consumption also assists with cleaning out the mind of last year’s habits, thoughts and ideas. Clearing out any emotional residue, struggle, pain and fear, assists the body in lightening its load. How about your environment, the spaces you occupy; your home, office and relationships? What waste has accumulated in those areas?
This is the perfect time to detoxify yourself- body, mind and spirit- and your life, from any residue lingering from the past year and beyond.
Purge what’s stuck. Remove the residue and gently dislodge the ama wholly and naturally. Make room. A clean slate for the new year. A fresh pallette on which to paint your year ahead.
The 12 days of detox guides you effortlessly through a purification process, gradually building each day. Simply complete day 1 and then add to that practice the subsequent days’ detoxing tips. One at a time, step by step, day by day, you will ease into a detox program that both nurtures and nourishes you. One you can choose to continue beyond the days of Christmas and into the new year. Say a fond farewell to all you’ve been up until now, and a sing-songy helllloooooooooo to new possibilities and the limitless potential of a brand new year, yours to create as you wish.

On the first day of detox, atONE gave to me…
the most vibrant vision of me.


Visualization
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.

With eyes closed, relax your shoulders and unclench your jaw, feel your feet on the floor or your bum if you’re sitting, and notice your breath. See yourself before you, your best self: vital, vibrant and energized. See clearly your glowing skin, clear, bright eyes, flexible, strong body and healthy interior. See your organs functioning at optimal levels, your body moving with ease and grace, exuding radiant well-being. Envision the most stunning, healthy you right before you, smiling and peaceful. Sit as long as you like with this vibrant version of you and when you are done communing, inhale deeply, drawing your complete vibrant self into your physical body. Feel that radiant version fill you from the inside out, expanding into your own body as you merge and every cell is infused with your best self.

Open your eyes. Breathe deeply into the new you and exhale a long audible sigh of gratitude for your vibrant self. Revisit the visualization as often as you like, at least once per day, perhaps when you wake and before you go to sleep.

Bonus detox tip: clean out one item per day of the 12 day detox. In your home, office or car. One simple item; a drawer, closet, cupboard, filing tray, pantry shelf, the clogged sink, kids’ toy chest, fridge shelf. Keep a donation box or bag handy for any items ready to go to someone else and return any borrowed items you find to their rightful owners.