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Namaste Journal

Spring it On!

It’s time to go through our closets eliminating the clothes we no longer wear, and recycle all the “stuff” that has somehow accumulated in the depths of our drawers, under our beds, and in the garage. When “Spring Cleaning” comes to mind, why is it that we first think to clear our spaces before we clear our bodies?

This spring, when you schedule your spring cleaning, consider an internal cleanse (or detox) as well. Environmental pollution, stress, poor diet and lifestyle habits can challenge our everyday vitality and inner peace by creating a buildup of harmful toxins. If toxins we consume on a daily basis cannot be managed by digestive enzymes, detoxified by the liver, or eliminated by the immune system, they can begin to build up. As these toxins accumulate, they affect every part of our body: slow our metabolism, rob us of energy, cloud our thoughts and creativity, reduce our immunity, and can even lead to serious chronic illness. Sound familiar?

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Spring is a time to cleanse our pallets, so to speak, by replacing the grounding and warming foods of a winter diet with fresh fruits and vegetables — especially chlorophyll-rich greens — a great aid for detoxification. Generally, during a cleanse, it’s a good idea to increase your fruits, veggies, whole grains and water intake while decreasing caffeine (how about green or herbal tea?). As much as possible, limit chemicals such as food colorings, flavorings and preservatives because these substances make the liver work harder. Also consider eliminating processed foods, saturated fats (bye-bye french fries and beer), dairy, and alcohol.

It's to our advantage to harness the change in the season to make positive changes for ourselves. During this pivotal time, there are numerous ways to modify our diets and change our lifestyles in support of feeling healthy. A few feel good lifestyle changes include Epsom salt baths or infra red saunas. These bathing rituals increase perspiration and eliminate excess toxins through the skin. Before bathing or a sauna, try dry skin brushing with a natural bristle bath brush or loofah to remove dead skin cells and allow pores to sweat more effectively.

Massage is also very beneficial to stimulate blood and lymph circulation to rid the body of toxins. Consider some deep breathing (pranayama) and moderate exercise such as walking or biking help to detoxify the lungs.

Yoga is a great way to stimulate the vital organs and encourage the release of accumulated toxins through postures that utilize abdominal compression and twists. Purifying your body, mind, and spirit assists you in examining your habits, evaluating your lifestyle, and inspiring you to explore how making conscious and responsible choices in all aspects of your life. Consider a spring cleanse to foster optimal health and wellbeing.

Side Bar: Time for a Cleanse? Do you experience:

Fatigue or low energy Moodiness Headaches Irritability Catching a cold - often Sinus congestion Problematic Skin Conditions - Acne, Eczema, PMS Allergies Digestive issues Food cravings Bloating

By: Erica Blitz Erica Blitz, the yoga master who designed the sequences for Season 3 and 4 of Namaste Yoga. Erica Blitz is a moving picture of inspiration and passion. The vast array of talents and interests she embodies swirl around one constant: yoga. Deeply centered in her practice, Erica uses that grounded energy to bring forth a teaching style that encourages awakenings of highest potential in her students.

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