My very first introduction to this practice was in 2006 when I dragged my newlywed husband to Estes Park, Colorado to attend the Yoga Journal Conference. Only six months into my own practice I ever-so-confidently marched myself into Seane Corn's Detox Flow Yoga workshop. Needless to say, the practice itself was intense, particularly at 8000 feet of elevation, but it was one of my first introductions to the power of the practice to transcend the asana. Seane is an amazing, articulate, and gifted teacher not to mention a real beauty. She eloquently weaved the physical practice with information on using asana to stimulate and clear the organ systems, improve digestion, release stagnant emotional patterns, and made us think carefully about that which we are taking in ... body, mind, and spirit. Seane says, " we detoxify so that we can show up more fully in the world and reach our highest potential." I'm sold on this yoga stuff !
Three years later I began teaching my own version of a detox flow yoga sequence, and through the years this practice continues to evolve as my own yogic understanding and teaching methods grow. You can expect specific poses and sequences that will facilitate the organ systems (particularly the digestive tract) to tone and cleanse, along with gently warming the body and stimulating the lymphatic system to "flush." It's a great practice !
Seane initially opened my mind six years ago to begin taking a hard look at what I was putting in my system, both physically and energetically. How much of my food was processed and full of chemicals? What kinds of toxins was I exposing myself to? Were there people or situations going on around me that were "toxic ?" Most of all I wanted to prepare my body to conceive a healthy baby. That I think I did very well :) Sorry I couldn't help myself not to throw in a kid pic !
I will admit that making changes is tough and can be overwhelming at times. What worked for me is to make slow, gradual changes as much of the time as possible with heightened awareness and all in perspective. Yep, that is the yoga. Do I live a perfectly pure lifestyle ? Of course not ! We have had our share of illnesses, I eat animal products, I love Windex, and my kid eats McDonalds more than I would like him to. I don't beat myself up but instead set daily intentions to make conscious lifestyle choices that benefit mine and my family's health and wellness. That being said, here are some of my favorite detoxifying recommendations:
- Wean out the processed food, and replace with wholesome, pure, natural food sources. Shop local. Buy organic. When possible. Read labels ... if there are more than 5 or 6 ingredients and you cannot understand what those ingredients are then ask yourself "do I really want to put this in my body ?" These days I'm digging Pure Vegan food service, Mae Grace Farm, Publix Greenwise Market, Fairhope Health Food Store, and Virginia's. Check out Natural Awakenings magazine for more resources on buying local.
- Limit toxic cleaning products around the house. I'm loving all the great uses of white vinegar ! Mix with warm water, pour in a spray bottle, drop in a little essential oil and go to town.
- No more air fresheners ! I used to Febreze my house like a madwoman. Now I'm all about essential oils. I love the idea that the plant based oils have amazing healing powers and neutralize toxins and fumes in the air. We have been diffusing a lot of Breathe Easy these days in my home. People love the smell of my home.
- Kangen water. I'm exploring more and more the balance of the body between acidic and alkaline and realizing how acidic our everyday diets make our systems. A highly acidic system is inflammatory, weakened, unbalanced, and overall sluggish. Watch the coffee, alcohol ( I know, I know), sodas, and processed white foods. Add in the leafy green veggies and more alkalizing food choices and watch your health and digestive system improve.
- Yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, restorative practices. Break a sweat. Everyday.
- Nurture your space. I love a clean, organized, balanced living space and feel it is the best way to bring a sense of order and peace in my entire energy system. I love the art of Feng Shui and it just makes sense. Remove from your home what is not serving you and bring in that which represents what you want to attract. Live plants in a home are a necessity these days and will improve your air quality.
Deepen the conversation Saturday July 21 and join me at Space 301 for a 90 minute Detox Yoga Flow class beginning at 10:30 AM. Class will be accompanied by Ashelea Penquite playing live music. Looking forward ... Julie Wilkins
*pay what you can *