Ahhhhhh..... I sit this afternoon, halfway between inspired and amazed by the massive amount of rain that is pouring from the sky... sideways! Realizing that it is "spring" in terms of what the calendar is telling me, but that my body feels called to put on a turtleneck sweater and fleece socks.
It's times like these that I really feel the call to align myself with nature. Her natural majesty.... the mother of all mothers... Mama Earth. So, what do we DO in weather like this? Here are a few seasonal ideas to support you in springing forth into your best life....
1. Get up with the sun: Even though it may still feel a little blustery out there, getting up with the sun helps us to align with the natural rhythms of the season.
2. Get outside: Take a brisk walk, jog, or hike. Get outside before 9 am, and spend at least 30 minutes interacting with cool, natural air. This wet springy air helps to purify our lungs, but specifically if we are breathing vigorously, otherwise wet air can make us feel heavy and decrease our energy. To take advantage, get the heart rate up, get into the trees and as they wake up after sleeping through the winter, they will wake you up too.
3. Purify your diet: This time of year is the perfect time to cleanse your body, as well as spring clean your house. Consider a 3 day fast.
GENERAL TIPS: The day before beginning your fast, eat a healthy and light dinner. Drink ample amount of room temperature water. During your 3 day fast, drink herbal teas; particularly ginger and peppermint during the mornings and mid-day, and chamomile, rosehip, or lavender tea during the evenings. Drink moderate amount of liquids during your fast. Rest as much as you are able, and fast also from strong emotions, television, news media, and other cultural stimuli. Journal, listen to nourishing music, and enjoy observing or being in nature.
* Breakfast: Oatmeal, brown rice, or quinoa for breakfast. Top with cinnamon and unsweetened rice milk
* Lunch: Salad loaded with vegetables of your choice(no potatoes), with olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon for lunch
* Dinner: Steamed vegetables of your choice (no potatoes), with olive oil, fresh-squeezed lemon, and brown rice
DAY 2 Breakfast through Day 3 Lunch:
Fast with hot water--steeped with fresh herbs, herbal teas, (and brown rice, only as needed. If you do add brown rice, supplement only when you are feeling quite hungry, and chew each bite 20-30 times, until the rice is liquid in your mouth. Take your time and savor each bite.)
DAY 3 Dinner:
How successfully we fast has a great deal to do with how we break the fast. The best way to break a fast, is to do so gently, and by consuming small portions.
The best way to break a fast is by consuming 1-1&1/2 cup Kitchari: Dinner on Day 3, around 6 pm is ideal:
This is one of the most nutritious and easiest foods to digest, perfect for a detox.
Yields 4 servings
1 cup white basmati rice
1 cup split mung beans
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon rock salt or sea salt
4 cups purified water
1. Rinse the rice and mung beans until the water is clear.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Stir a moment until the seeds pop. 3. Add the rice, mung beans, turmeric, and salt, and stir until well blended with the spices.
4. Add the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
5. Turn down the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
DAY 4 Breakfast: Light breakfast, following a walk, hike, or jog in nature.
The biggest challenge is to continue to avoid white sugar, processed foods, and snacks. Do your best to keep your diet primarily loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. As Michael Pollen says it best, "Eat FOOD, mostly plants. Not too much."
You are welcome to continue the fast for additional days, and you will know when it is time to break it by the way you feel: You will feel clear, relaxed, energized, rested upon waking, emotionally balanced, and peaceful. That's your natural YOU!
Note: If you are joining us for the spring retreat in two weeks, I recommend you consider a 3 day fast before arriving to Cedar Ridge. Your yoga experience will be that much more impactful and healing for you... If you are not joining us, taking time for a personal retreat can be equally as healing... Enjoy and watch how you BLOSSOM!