Core Cleanse with Sarah Zandbeek



The following post comes from Sarah Zandbeek, our friendly neighbourhood yogi, acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine magician.  Join Sarah this weekend for Core Cleanse, a two part-offering involving conversation and asana to understand and cleanse your digestive system more deeply.


Digestion, the actual breaking down of a whole into its parts so that the pure can be extracted and incorporated into the body and the impure can be expelled.



We tend to think of digestion as a physical act of our food being broken down and made into usable energy (ATP) for the body, which it is; however, we tend to forget that we are digesting everything all the time.  We digest emotions, reactions, life events, basically anything that is brought in to the body from the external and is internalized needs to be digested.


When we don’t slow down enough to allow the body to shift into our parasympathetic nervous system, rest and digest, we not only literally put our active food digestive system to halt, we don’t digest life’s events either, both of which get stored in the body in different ways, shapes, and forms, eventually bunging the body up and cause a reaction.


Typically IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, indigestion, epigastric discomfort, etc are our digestive tract issues; emotionally we see a restless or dull mind, anxiety, and even depression from lack of glucose able to go to the brain.


How to cure digestive woes? It is a life style.  It is NOT a momentary diet, though these can be helpful to get the digestive system back on track.  If we want to truly nourish our health, it is through our food and it is over our entire life span from the moment we choose to be healthy to the moment we pass on.




It is healthy living, it is choosing to love yourself so much that you only want to put good things into your temple/vessel/body.


People change their diets when they are pregnant so that the baby has a chance to come out healthy, but why do we ourselves not want to be healthy?  Marketing?  Corporations tell us otherwise?  If you are truly wanting to uplift your digestion, you must uplift your Self first, so  eating healthy comes from a place of truth and yearning for well being, not from a place that wants to be skinny so that other people will think you are perfect.


It is meditating so your mind is clear and free of desire, it is avoiding rag mags, tv, and general advertising that makes you think you need to be anything more than your truest self.


At the core of your being, you want to live a fruitful, healthy, happy life and I can guarantee you, that truth does not say ” I want McDonald’s.”


Amen, Namaste, Om Sarah Z



The Conversation || Saturday, January 31 || 2:30pm The Practice || Sunday, February 2 || 3:30pm register here

Spring Cleaning!


photo credit: Paul Swanson


With the vernal (SPRING!) equinox just behind us it is officially that time of year when things melt, change and grow. This is a time to refresh, express, release; generally we find that spring is the best time of year to cleanse our environment, internal and external. As we crack open the windows, get our bikes back on the trails and reclaim the streets with our feet, a sense of rebirth rings through YEG. Finally. And while we may still see snowflakes, the memory lingers of spring's first burst of warm sun that gears us in this positive direction. "It's coming!" we say.

Perhaps we use this time of year to dust off some good old habits or areas of the body that have hibernated through the winter months. Spring proves to be an amazing time to cleanse because of this shift and movement that surrounds everything.

Just as our closets crave to be emptied and rooms yearn to be refreshed with outdoor oxygen, our bodies need the same attention. This can be a daunting task as there are so many options for achieving health... and that's the best part!

Maybe you aren't into a full-scale organ ring-out; try a new recipe or 3-day juice cleanse. Try a new yoga class or get re-inspired to hike, swim, run, dance, MOVE! Again, this doesn't have to be major... Edmonton is bursting with things to do as such a beautiful part of the hibernation process is embracing when it's over.

Spring is the time for reinvention and preparing your crops (Self, life, work, play) for the summer harvest.

Neil Gumenik from The Institute of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture Inc. in Santa Monica shares this beautiful description of spring and its governing element, wood:


"As the days become warmer and brighter, nature rouses from her winter slumber and looks ahead to the new growth of spring. The Wood, which has been at rest, storing and concentrating its energy under a winter blanket, now bursts forth with new buds, new life piercing Earth's crust. The swelling Wood of spring initiates rebirth - a surge of rising energy, like the young lamb staggering up to nurse, like the dandelion whose growing edge can burst through concrete if it must. Wood is the energy of youth and growth: a new beginning, a vision of a whole new cycle. The Wood energy of spring is an expression of life at its strongest."


Over the next 5 weeks, stay tuned on the blog for an exciting array of information surrounding cleansing, making space, renewal and release! With guest posts, cleanse information, recipes and highlights from your favourite teachers, we aim to inspire movement and merriness in this already awesome season.



The Hype About Cleansing



Guest Post from Bianca Osbourne of Vitality Kitchen.


Have you ever wondered what all the hype is about cleansing? Or if it’s right for you? The craze seems to have swept the world, but it begs the question, why cleanse?


Truthfully, the human body is a well-oiled machine, that can do a great many things, including cleanse itself; but this is in a perfect world. With environmental factors such as pollution, lifestyle factors like our diet and the act of just being our bodies lose their ability to cleanse effectively; which leaves us feeling sluggish, foggy and desperately trying to shed weight. Which is why the human body benefits so greatly from cleansing.


What’s In It For Me, You Ask?

The health benefits of cleansing are so profound, in the form of glowing skin, lustrous hair and boundless energy- seriously; and if weight loss is your quest, this is also likely to occur. Usually whatever you need to balance out in your body will occur; that’s the beauty of cleansing, it allows the body to do what it is able to naturally do, uninterrupted. Some people lose weight, while others simply maintain. It all depends on what your body needs. When we get the proper nutrition, our system operates fully and this contributes to better overall functionality. Simply put, we feel better.

The main idea behind juice cleansing, in particular, is the internal systems become cleansed and the digestive system gets a much-needed break. As a result of this, we clean out the colon and intestines, which is the storehouse for much bacteria (good and bad) which may be blocking the immune system or causing other ill effects.


Who Isn’t Suited To Cleansing…

With that being said, not everyone is suited to juice cleansing, certainly if you live with diabetes. Diabetes is a blood sugar disorder, and juices are fruits and vegetables with the fibre removed; and despite how amazing the contents of the juice are, without the fibre, this can send blood sugar sailing- not good! Smoothie cleanses are best suited to diabetics, because we leave all the fibre in; and, although, the aforementioned digestive rest is not achieved, the digestive system gets a super sweep, that will unblock ANY block that’s getting you down!


Juice cleanses are also poorly suited to those with intensely physical lifestyles; fibre gives your body matter to use as energy, without it you simply cannot meet the demands you place on your body. Which is why a NOURISH cleanse is best for you. A NOURISH cleanse is comprised of juice, smoothies, soups and salads; and like a smoothie cleanse, this will give your digestive system a swift kick in the you-know-what!


Yoga and Cleansing

In the ancient yogic tradition, you can find texts of yogis performing kriyas and fasting to attain a level of subtle energy and clarity to enter deeper into meditation and connect with the Source more deeply.

A powerful way we can recreate such an experience for ourselves in modern times is through a cleanse- juice, smoothie or nourish.


So Yogalife and I would like to invite you to enhance your 30in35 yoga challenge experience with a Vitality Kitchen cleanse and feel for yourself the synergy between yoga and cleansing.

You will have the choice of joining the fun at the South Edmonton Yogalife studio or the North Edmonton Yogalife studio, starting at Yogalife South on February 24th and alternating each studio for the duration of the challenge. There is a maximum of 10 participants per studio per week, so don’t miss out!


What’s Included:

  • An opening information circle led by me Bianca Osbourne, detailing the importance of cleansing the body, and how to do it effectively.
  • 10% off a 3,4 or 5 day Vitality Kitchen cleanse of your choice
  • Support from yours truly, Chef and Culinary Nutrition Expert of the Vitality Kitchen, Bianca Osbourne.

I look forward to being your guide! For more information about cleansing, check out my “Why Cleanse” video here; or visit my website for more information about my cleansing programs and me!