SEASONAL SELF-CARE BLOG


SPRING IS IN THE AIR

Posted on April 23rd, 2018


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It’s time to take out your blender out & bring on the green drinks! Spring is is the air-let the cleansing begin! I just did a major cleaning out of my refrigerator – yup all those  containers with the “chemistry experiments” are now out of my fridge & it’s ready for a major infusion of green veggies for juicing!

I finally feel confident that Spring is here and it’s warm enough outside to do some juicing. I rarely do a full on juice fast because I’m vata dosha, the air element, and it is too cooling for my system. But I do include daily juices in my regime once it is warm enough outside. In Spring I love to do green juices, because the greens are especially cleansing for our liver and gall bladders, our Spring organs.

Associated with the Wood element in Chinese Medicine, Spring heralds an opportunity for change and expansion. Sometimes, however, the rising energy of Spring feels more like a craggy lurch. Change can be difficult, as we tend to bump into our habitual resistances on the path upwards. In Springtime, we often physically experience this as toxins running awry from our congested livers which get overloaded from rich, heavy Winter foods, stimulants, and our busy stressful lives. The rising energy of Spring can be a shock to our system and we often feel restless, angry, frustrated, edgy, stubborn, resistant, aggressive, and moody. Spring also often comes with headaches, eye issues, tight tendons, stiff necks, eczema and other skin problems. These are signs that our Spring organ network, liver and gall bladder organs, are overloaded with toxins and need some purification and loving attention.

It’s time to bring on the green and cleanse out the toxins, so we can enjoy the rebirth inside & out! I love this delicious green drink. I like including pineapple in my juices because it is a great natural source of melatonin, our “sleep hormone”. It helps me deepen my sleep so that I receive the healing and cleansing that occurs in the deep slow wave sleep in which the brain produces theta and delta waves. During slow wave sleep our body profoundly rests and our immune system is boosted. In this slow wave state of inactivity, the body can shift it’s energy to focus on regenerating bodily tissues, and restoring it’s energy sources.

In Spring I use alot of bitter greens in my juices to help cleanse the liver and gallbladder to help them stimulate bile production which helps break down foods and filters and detoxifes the blood. Some of my favorite bitter greens are dandelion and arugula.

PINEAPPLE DELIGHT

3 pieces of kale

5 dandelion greens

1/2 cucumber

1 celery stalk

8-10 chunks of pineapple

1/2 lemon

small bit daikon radish

handful of parsley

handful of cilantro

ginger

For a Spring yin practice,  join me this Sat night for my SPRING REST & RENEWAL: RESTORATIVE SOUND HEALING workshop April 28, 6:15-8:15pm at Sacred Sounds Yoga in Manhattan for a deeply nourishing sound healing experience for the Spring meridians!

Sign up for a PRIVATE THAI MASSAGE SOUND HEALING SESSION for some special Spring liver love healing!

For a Spring yang  practice, check out my SPRING CLEANSE FLOW  video.

I know you’ll enjoy this a powerful detoxifying, core strengthening, twisting asana sequence that releases congestion in the liver and gall bladder meridians to powerfully cleanse the Spring organs and bring clarity and vitality to your being! Even if you can’t fully do the apex poses yet, do as much of  the sequence as you can and you will deeply open your hips and cleanse your body & mind!

Happy Spring finally!!!

joyous heart!

Leigh

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Spring asana – pigeon pose

Posted on April 11th, 2018


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One of my favorite things to do is to create practices to open the areas in my body where I feel tight and stuck. And right now I feel really tight in my shoulders, hips, neck- all places in the Spring organ meridians. From my deep explorations into the body and mind, I know that these cramped areas are actually a gold mine for awakening. My prana/chi and blood flow is congested in these tight places and I know that if I can just open them up, the pathway to spaciousness in my body and mind will be crystal clear. Just like a river that is blocked by a fallen tree branch from a Winter storm, once the branch is removed, the river runs smoothly. So too for the energy channels (meridians), once they are opened, the energy that is stuck will freely move and create a free flowing river of energy.

According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the season of the wood element which rules the liver and gall baldder organs. As the green shoots start pushing their way out of the ground, the meridians that correspond to these organs are often very tight. Are your shoulders tight? Are you experiencing stiffness in your neck…tender inner legs? Are you having headaches…dry eyes, or other eye issues? Are you getting more frustrated and irritable lately? Yes…then you will deeply benefit from adding some spring poses into your practice to help release the congestion that comes from an an aggravated and congested liver network. Pigeon poses is one of my favorite poses to stimulate both the inner leg lines of the liver meridian and outer hips of the gallbladder meridian. Be sure to spend some time in the upright pigeon to open into the spaciousness of the heart and lungs as well as create space for your digestive organs. As you fold forward, try resting your forehead on a pillow or bolster to help quiet the mind and nervous system. Pay particular attention to softening and relaxing the eyes which are are associated with these organs. Allow your exhalations to lengthen and deepen as you rest in the pose as you release congestion and awaken prana in the liver and gall bladder meridians.

For a Spring yin practice,  join me  for my SPRING REST & RENEWAL: RESTORATIVE SOUND HEALING workshop April 28, 6:15-8:15pm at Sacred Sounds Yoga in Manhattan for a deeply nourishing sound healing experience for the Spring meridians!

Sign up for a PRIVATE THAI MASSAGE SOUND HEALING SESSION for some special Spring liver love healing!

For a Spring yang  practice, check out my SPRING CLEANSE FLOW  video.

I know you’ll enjoy this a powerful detoxifying, core strengthening, twisting asana sequence that releases congestion in the liver and gall bladder meridians to powerfully cleanse the Spring organs and bring clarity and vitality to your being! Even if you can’t fully do the apex poses yet, do as much of  the sequence as you can and you will deeply open your hips and cleanse your body & mind!

The SPRING CLEANSE FLOW VIDEO (& photos) were shot at our Thailand Retreat center which we will be going to again next winter!! SAVE THE DATES!

AWAKENED HEART YOGA RETREAT – THAILAND, FEB 5-12, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Spring! joyous heart!

Leigh

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SPRING GREEN SOUP

Posted on February 28th, 2018


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Are you starting to feel a little gunky inside as the weather outside keeps shifting between Winter and Spring? Are you experiencing tight shoulders, headaches, eye issues, tight tendons, stiff necks, eczema and other skin problems. Are you getting agitated and irritable lately? These are signs that your Spring organ network, liver and gall bladder organs, are starting to get overwhelmed with the rising energy of Spring and need some loving attention.

SPRING GREEN SOUP

In these first sightings of Spring, warm sunny days sandwiched between snowy or rainy cold mucky days, my insides start waking up and dancing a little “I want to cleanse jig”. But I know that it is still too early to do a juice cleanse or a full on detox. According to the wisdom of Ayurveda, you should wait until true weather to do a juice cleanse because it is too cooling and depleting for your system in the cold weather. But as we start shifting into Spring, I start gently sweeping the main pathways with a Spring Green Soup. It is warm, nourishing and starts the cleansing process in a very gentle way. I just made my first Spring Green Soup of the season! The recipe is from my dear friend, Nishanga Bliss, author of “Real food All Year”. Back in the 90’s she introduced me to the Chinese Medicine Seasonal food practices and we started our Seasonal Yoga workshops which blossomed all the way into my Yoga Sukhavati Seasonal Yoga Teacher Training!

The Spring Green Soup is delicious and easy to make! I chose to use Dandelion greens as part of my cluster of greens to include because of their bitterness and potency in cleansing the liver and gallbladder to help them stimulate bile production which helps break down foods and filters and detoxifes the blood. According to Chinese Medicine, Spring is the time to cleanse the liver and gall bladder, the wood element. So in went the dandelions to my Spring soup! I also added the digestive powerhouse and diuretic, Fennel to help relieve some bloating and indigestion I was experiencing. I’m feeling so much better after 2 days eating this soup & taking my purifying baths! When cleansing it is essential to offer ways for the toxins to leave your body, so I’ve been taking balancing, nourishing and purifying baths this week. Before I bathe, I do a simple skin brushing to get my lymphatic system in tip top shape. The skin is the largest organ in your body and a large part of our detoxification process  Check  out our Spring Practices post on purifying seaweed baths!

SPRING GREEN SOUP

Nishanga Bliss, from “Real Food All Year”

2 tablespoons ghee, lard, coconut oil, or olive oil

1 bunch spring or greenoinion, white adn green parts, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fennel ore celery, coarsely chopped

1 quart Bone Broth, Poultry stock, or vegetable stock

2 small potatoes or turnips, diced into 1/2 cubes

1 bunch leafy greens, such as spinach, or arugula, or dandelion (include some others in addition to dandelion), coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)

1 tsp fresh or dried dill

2 tablespoons chickpea miso or white miso

juice of 1 lemon

Join me for my Spring Cleanse Flow workshop on Sunday March 25, 2018 at Sacred Sounds in Manhattan, NY or April 15 at BodyWorks in New Hampshire. Or you can download my Spring Cleanse video, and sweep out the cobwebs from home!!

joyous heart!

Leigh

 

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