August 5, 2010
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative & creation, there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas & splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
March 13, 2010
Seasonal transitions are a common time for health imbalances to arise. According to the holistic eastern medicine practices, now is the time to clear out the build-up of winter to make room for the upward rising energy that comes with springtime. If we don’t, we will commonly experience grogginess, headaches, digestive difficulties, increased susceptibility to colds, and the onset of seasonal allergies. Below are some suggestions how to go about this using diet, yoga, and essential oils to stay healthy with the season.
Diet – Lightening Up
In general late winter/early spring is a good time to abstain from the heavier foods and feasting of the winter season and favor lighter seasonal foods that are easy to digest and have plenty of fiber. It is an excellent time of year to undertake a mild nutritive cleanse like having only vegetable soup and herbal teas for a couple of days. Limiting the intake of certain foods can help your digestive system rest, therefore boosting your natural immune defenses (did you know over 60% of your immune system is in your gut?!).
If you are especially prone to colds and allergies, limit or eliminate dairy, caffeine and alcohol for 2-6 weeks. If you have severe seasonal allergies elimination of these items is doubly important because in most individuals these substances increase the inflammatory response of the immune system. Allergy sufferers should also stay away from eating melons since they can initiate this histamine response. If you get allergies, you can benefit from starting to drink 1-3 cups of nettles tea daily with a small amount of raw local honey before the allergy season hits full force, and throughout allergy season.
Yoga – Cleansing
The ancient yogic practice of cleansing the sinuses with a neti pot can be indispensable for cold and allergy sufferers. It can be both a preventative and medicinal tool. Cleansing the sinuses calms inflammation of the nasal passages and kills bacteria and viruses that might be lingering. After cleansing with the neti pot be sure to lubricate the inside of the nasal passages by gently applying a small amount of raw, organic olive or sesame oil to a cotton swab and moistening the inside of the nostrils. This will prevent irritation of the newly cleansed mucous membranes.
Yoga postures that focus on cleansing such as spinal twists and forward bends will help clear toxins and build-up from the organs and digestive system, and clear mental cloudiness. Adding more of these poses to your practice as well as breathing practices such as bhastrika (bellows) can boost the metabolism and the immune system.
Celebrate Spring in Good Company!
Come to my “Growth & Renewal” Mini-Retreat on Sunday, April 18th to experience the rejuvenation that comes from a complete yoga practice.
Essential Oils – Build Your Immunity
Essential oils have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Using essential oils daily either by inhalation, or topically can keep you cold and allergy free. Lavender, Rosemary, Yarrow, Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils are all extremely useful for preventing and treating symptoms of colds and allergies. (Caution: individuals with epilepsy or asthma should avoid rosemary essential oil). If you happen to already be experiencing a cold or allergies these same essential oils can boost your immune system, and clear congestion from the lungs and sinuses. For respiratory conditions, direct or diffuse inhalation is very effective. But, these oils can also be applied directly to the skin (always dilute peppermint with carrier oil), and/or used in the bath.
As always, the common sense practices of plenty of rest, exercise, sunshine, fresh food and water, and washing your hands will help keep your body at it’s peak of health and resistance to imbalances.