spring

Spring Into Spring | Playlist

Spring is here! 

Or.. is it summer?

We can't keep track with all of the craziness Mother Nature has been throwing our way, but that doesn't mean that you won't find us soaking in every inch of sun that shines through those Edmonton clouds. Tune into this uplifting playlist for your next at-home yoga practice, or a playlist we've found that we can't stop hitting repeat on. 

 

Cleansing Your Vessel

IMG_6067.jpg

 

I just finished my lunch and it was DELICIOUS.  I chewed slowly and enjoyed every single bite.  This was day one back on a regular eating schedule after a 9 day colon cleanse that included 5 days of no solid foods.  During this 5 days I only ingested a powdered combo of bentonite clay, psyllium husk, apple pectin and ginger shaken up in 8 ounces of organic apple juice followed by all the water in the world.  I dumped this stuff down my throat starting right when I woke up in the morning and then every 3 hours after, 5 times a day.  I would consider this an extreme form of cleansing but my conditions that led me here were also extreme and this was sort of my last resort.  We'll get back to that.


In hindsight this was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and will complete this same cleanse at least once a year.


Let's rewind a moment and start thinking about the idea of cleansing and restoring the body.  As we move into Spring (internally and on the calendar, not outside) we are entering a time of renewal.  After a long winter of hibernation and perhaps lethargy, it feels really good to start sloughing off some of the excess.


In winter we nourish and conserve our qi (life force) so we are ready to burst into this next phase of growth and awakening.


Various healing methodologies (Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine) know that  our energy mirrors that of the changing seasons.  Just as little green buds (eventually) pop from the trees and bring new life, our internal regeneration process is craving detoxification and cleansing so that we too can emerge with new buds.

So back to the colon cleanse...  I chose Blessed Herbs (available at Noorish or online) which comes with a shaker jar for my 5-times-daily concoction, all the little packets easily divvied up as well as digestive stimulator capsules (a fancy way of saying laxatives) and my user's guide.  This cleanse is intended to be simple and straightforward and I really appreciated the amount of positive feedback and testimonies (alongside some serious pictures of people's "success") available on their website.

In the past two weeks I have learned tons about my colon and have delighted in sharing this knowledge with others (perhaps against their will!).

In most vertebrates, the colon is the last part of the digestive system.  It is responsible for three functions: absorb sodium and water, incubate beneficial bacteria and eliminate waste.  Amazingly is it a little more than five feet long and hosts ten times the amount of bacteria in the intestines than there are cells in the human body.  THESE are the kind of facts your friends and family can't wait to hear!!!

The following is information that I found quite fascinating from my user's manual:

It is common after years of eating to build up mucoid plaque on the walls of our intestines.  This plaque greatly lowers our ability to absorb nutrition and makes our bodies much more toxic.  Mucoid plaque may be a layer or many layers of adhesive, hardened mucus lining the inner walls of the digestive tract.  It can be from less than one-sixteenth of an inch to several inches thick.  It is usually compacted with old fecal matter, bound up toxic waste, 'bad' bacteria, and/or unwanted guests.  The plaque can vary in length anywhere from a few inches to, amazingly, over three or four feet.

Even re-reading this information gets me so excited that this CRAP is out of me!  (I had to have at least one pun in here, come on.)

But seriously, better out than in.  My main personal reason for completing this cleanse and thus starting on the road to cleaner eating in general (including no wheat or dairy) is because I have suffered from eczema for years and years: 15 of them, on and off.  Often, the state of your skin is a reflection of what's going on in your digestive system and how well your body eliminates waste.  After this past few-month bout with eczema I am surprised I even have skin left on my arms to heal... but this body, just like yours, is an amazing vessel.  When you let yourself be healthy and give in to what actually needs to happen, IT WORKS.   I am ecstatic to report that my eczema is 95% GONE and I feel more energetic and alive than ever. When you make a commitment to health, you heal.

 


"I easily release that which I no longer need.  The past is over and I am free" - Louise Hay


 

If you have any other questions about colon cleansing, eczema, eliminative diets, cleansing in general, never hesitate to email me at caitlin@yogalifestudios.ca

 

Is there another cleanse you'd like to see featured on here?  Let us know!

Spring Cleaning!

bridge.jpg

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.

 

Namaste!