Investment:$108 individual + $20 per additional person in household (Registration is required by 5pm EST April 2, 2022.)
Spring is a time for blossoms, birth, renewal, and sunshine. It’s also when many of us suffer from allergies or begin to feel sluggish from the heavy eating habits of winter. Spring is kapha season where we see damp, muddy, cool, sometimes wet weather. As we enter this season we physically and mentally take on these qualities, which can cause allergies, poor digestion, and lack of enthusiasm for life. This spring Ayurveda cleanse helps rekindle the digestive fire to begin moving toxins through the body for elimination to help reduce the effects of allergies and put some spring in your step!
Daily Livestream Classes via Zoom with with asana, meditation, yoga nidra, relaxation, and daily exercises.
Recordings of each class. These will be uploaded daily to a website where you are invited to view them at your convenience and for 1 month after the cleanse end date.
Facebook community where participants can connect, share ideas and recipes, successes and support.
Group kick off Zoom meeting to meet and build community.
Kitchari cooking tutorial video.
Sample grocery list and recipes for the cleanse.
Tips for success!
Option to purchase the lentils and spices to support you during the cleanse.
Eating well over the holidays can be tricky. This holiday season is going to be different for most of us in our current state of affairs, but we can still be mindful in the food choices we make to keep us healthy.
What is eating well anyway?
In Ayurveda, it depends. Each person is different, made up of a different balance of the five elements, different life experience, different family history, and so all foods can either be a poison or medicine depending on the individual. Some people may be able to tolerate chili peppers without any digestive upset, whereas others may break out in hives, or have acid indigestion, etc. Eating well in Ayurveda is all about maintaining good digestion to support our immune system and body functions.
Healthy eating is more than just giving up cookies. In fact, having cookies can be part of a healthy diet. The foods we choose to consume are just as much about our mental state as our physical state. Sometimes we may feel bored and decide we need a cookie. Or we may feel sad so we reach for some cake. Being aware of your emotions and mental wellbeing is critical for creating and maintaining healthy eating habits. Perhaps if you are bored, you may do well with a glass of water. If you feel sad, perhaps a hug from a loved one or watching your favorite movie will satiate your need.
Optimal health and eating well in Ayurveda are all about maintaining a healthy digestive system: urination is not foul smelling and is a light yellow color, and occurs regularly about every 3-4 hours; bowel movements occur at least once per day and first thing in the morning, ideally 1-3 times per day, are the consistency and size of a ripe banana, are a good brown color, and are not oily or dry. It’s not pretty taking about our body’s elimination, but we can learn a lot about how well or GI system is working be examining our excretions. If your urine is bright yellow and occurs 2-3 times per day, you may not be consuming enough liquids. If your bowel movements are hard, painful, or do not occur at least once per day, you may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals or other necessary nutrients.
How do we know if a food is poison or medicine?
It is all an experiment with foods and a deep awareness in how they affect your physiology. Does eating yogurt with fruit on it give you gas? When you eat eggs do you feel lethargic or energized? When you eat raw vegetables do you feel bloated or unbothered? Once it is determined if the body digests something well or not, it becomes a mental practice. Is it worth it to me to feel this particular to continue eating the thing(s) that make me feel like this? This is where discipline and practice come in with a dash of compassion and forgiveness.
It isn’t “healthy” to restrict things because we “think”we should. If know something is bad for us, and it is not just limited to food, and we continue to consume it or participate in that activity, this is more about the strength of our mind. If I know when I eat cream cheese I will wake up the next morning with nasal congestion and mucus in my throat, I have to decide if I want to eat the cream cheese and feel that way the next day. Or, do I want to skip the cream cheese and wake up the next day with clear sinuses and throat? Sometimes it is worth it, like if we are celebrating a loved one with a lovingly made cake with cream cheese frosting. Sometimes it’s not, like if I plan to go for a swim the next day and need to be able to breathe clearly.
Tips To Eat Well This Holiday Season
Here are some easy ways you can ensure you eat well over the upcoming holidays, and year round, to help keep your immunity and energy up, and your digestion moving smoothly.
Make lunch your largest meal.
Our digestion is the strongest in the middle of the day, so it can help with better sleep, better digestion, and overall mood if you eat your largest meal at lunch time. If you know you are going to a dinner party later in the evening, keep lunch light.
Skip a meal if you aren’t hungry or plan to eat a larger meal than normal.
It is important to be hungry when you eat a meal. If you are hungry your body releases gastric fluids to help you digest your food. If you aren’t hungry and you eat food, your body will have a difficult time breaking down what you eat because the appropriate fluids and enzymes are not available to break the food down. If you know you are going to have a larger than normal dinner, your digestion may benefit from skipping lunch before or breakfast the next day, or making those meals very light.
Eat and drink enough during your meal to feel satiated and not full.
It is a good idea not to eat so much you feel full. In general, see if you are able to consume food and drink during your meal to fill you 3/4 of the way full. Generally we want each meal to fill our stomach half full with food and one quarter full with liquid or drink.
Have dessert as part of your meal.
If you are planning to have dessert, which you are because the holidays offer some of the most delicious desserts, do your best to leave room for it as part of your meal and don’t eat so much that you feel full and have dessert a few hours later
Eat a plant-based diet.
Ayurveda promotes a plant-based diet of whole foods. With an Ayurvedic diet, meat is used only when needed to support bones or muscles, or if a person’s particular constitution requires it for optimal health and safety. Most people can get all the essential vitamins and minerals they need from fruits, vegetables, and legumes when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Don’t eat a minimum of 2 hours before bed time.
It takes most foods 2-6 hours to fully digest. If we eat right before bed or in the middle of the night, our body is busy working to digest the food instead of resting and may cause restless sleep.
Because it takes most foods 2-6 hours to digest, snacking can lead to indigestion, stomach upset, gas, bloating, or other GI discomfort. The reason for this is because when we eat hydrochloric acid is released in our stomach to break down the foods we eat to be absorbed through our small intestine as vitamins and minerals. Hydrochloric acid, along with other digestive enzymes, is considered our digestive fire, or agni in Ayurveda. This is like a real fire, if we put logs on it, it will burn evenly. If we then put four more logs on before the first logs have caught and are becoming embers, we may put out the fire. If we constantly put food in our stomach without allowing it to be fully digested, it may cause gas, bloating, and or GI distress. If you are hungry, you should eat, and some people benefit from frequent small meals. If you need to snack, consider foods that digest quickly and easily like fruit.
Reduce or eliminate cold drinks with meals.
Similar to snacking, if we put something cold in our stomach with the rest of our meal, it will dampen the ability of the stomach to fully digest what is consumed. Room temperature or warm drinks are best with meals. If you love iced beverages, keep them for in between meals as best you can.
It’s important to keep in mind everyone’s digestion is different. These are basic tips to help you keep on track with healthy eating this holiday season and year round. Remember, healthy eating means you easily digest the foods you consume. In Ayurveda we like to encourage the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time you have good digestion and 20% of the time you eat your favorite snack and have a little gas, then you’re doing great! Being perfect is boring, and we want to enjoy the life we live. So get out there and enjoy your pumpkin pie! (But as part of your meal.)
Check out my live videowith some tips to get your meditation practice started.
Starting a meditation practice can be daunting. We have these images in our mind that meditation is sitting quietly on a mountain top, in lotus legs, hands turned up on the knees, eyes closed in rapture, and exuding the bliss of enlightenment. Um, I don’t know about you, but that aint practical for me.
Before diving in, it is helpful to define what a meditation practice is and isn’t.
What meditationÂ isn’t is making the thoughts in our head stop. We are human and we are living in the real world. Our thoughts will never cease. We need thoughts to get us through every day. To help us make sense of the world we are a part of.
What meditation is, is the process of seeing these thoughts as the thinking mind separate from how we actually are. We are not our thoughts. Who we truly are and our thinking mind are two separate parts inextricably connected.
A meditation practice can be what we imagine above, or it could be washing the dishes. The key is the way in which you do the practice, that you do it in earnest, you practice regularly, and do it with purpose.
You will have setbacks. There will be days when you come out more frustrated than you went in. You will have days where it is impossible to concentrate. Remember, that isn’t you, that is your thinking mind. Let it be upset you didn’t “succeed at meditation” and then look at that desire to succeed with discernment rather than judgement that you couldn’t do it.
There will also be days where you are completely tapped in. When you have a set back, remember these connected days. See if you can bring that Â deep sense of connection and see if you are able to refocus your efforts.
Here are some tips I have for starting a meditation practice.
Find a spot where you will always meditate. Let it be a place that is free from interruption and distraction.
Pick a time, morning is ideal to help set our day up to be amazing.Â
Choose the type of meditation you will do before you sit down to meditate and stick with it for at least 30 days before trying a new one.
Have a test amount of time. Can be as little as five minutes.
If sleep eludes you, you have trouble falling asleep, or you feel restless in bed, massaging your feet before shutting the lights may help you get better sleep.
In Ayurveda, Vata is a dosha, or biological humor, made up of the two elements ether and air which make it mobile, cold, dry, rough, hard, light, clear, and subtle. You may notice some of these words describing your sleep pattern and/or your feet. By massaging the feet before bed, it is possible to mitigate or lesson these qualities to allow you to fall asleep sooner, stay asleep, get better quality sleep, and help your liver detoxify your body.
In Sanskrit, pada means”foot” and abhyanga means â€œmassaging the limbs.â€ Abhyanga is made up of two words, abhi meaning into, towards, to and anga meaning limb. So, padabhyanga means massaging the foot. The Sanskrit word for oil is “sneha,” which is also the same word for love. It’s time to show your feet some love for all they allow you to do in life!
Oiling and massaging the feet each night before bed, can be a tremendous boon for better sleep and stress management. This doesn’t have to be a major operation and can take as little as 3-5 minutes. If you have the time, it’s good to give each foot a solid 10-20 minute massage each.
In addition to showing the feet some love, you will also be loving up on all your internal organs. Reflexology uses pressure points in the feet to stimulate certain parts of the body. When you give each foot a good massage, youâ€™re also massaging the organ associated with the pressure points you apply pressure to.
Here’s your reflexology “light” lesson. You aren’t literally massaging your internal organs. The pressure points in your feet are energetically connected to your organs through energy channels in the body called nadis. When proper pressure is applied to a specific area of the foot, the energy travels up that channel to the correlating organ to help clear energy blocks. If this sounds awesome, read up on reflexology or get a treatment from your favorite spa.
Because we have these pressure points connected to our organs in our feet, massaging the feet has many benefits, including reducing the qualities of Vata, which can be leading causes for trouble falling asleep, light sleep, anxiety, worry, and stress. The energy is brought from the head to feet giving the restless mind a break.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Better night sleep
Releases stress and tension
Improves blood circulation
Lessens foot pain
What You Need
Socks you don’t mind getting oily
Oil warmer (optional)
What Oil to Use*
You don’t have to spend a ton of money of a fancy massage oil, although you can, if that’s your thing. There are many companies you can buy oils from, including your natural foods grocer. Your skin is your largest organ and anything you put on your skin is digested in to your blood stream, similar to food. You can obtain a simple oil like coconut, sesame, castor, ghee, or sunflower from your local grocery store. Organic is ideal, but get what you can.
If you tend to run hot at night (or in general), coconut is a good choice unless, you have an allergy or it irritates your skin. If you tend to have cold feet, sunflower or sesame are a good choice. If you’re not sure which oil to use, sesame or castor oil generally work for most people.* If you don’t love the smell, you can mix in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
If you’re using an oil warmer, add 1TBS of oil and let warm up for about 5-10 min. You can do this while doing your other bedtime rituals like brushing your teeth, flossing, etc. If you don’t have an oil warmer, you can put your bottle of oil in a bath of hot water to warm the oil. In either case, make sure the oil is a cool enough temperature to put on your skin comfortably. Use an amount of pressure that is comfortable for you in each area of the foot. Note: joints are massaged in a circular motion and long bones are massaged in a linear motion.
Option 1 – I have 3-15 minutes for this
Wash your feet with a washcloth or in the tub or shower.
Follow these steps with both feet simultaneously or one at a time. Rub a small amount of oil to coat both ankles and feet.
With a little more oil, begin to massage your ankles in circular motions all the way around each ankle.
Dip back in for more oil and begin to massage the top of the feet moving to and from the toes to the ankle.
Pinch and massage each toe.
Massage the sole of the foot and heel.
Interlace your fingers between the toes and role your feet around in the ankles both directions. It’s easiest to do opposite hand and foot.
Make sure to put on some socks before moving about so you don’t slip. (You can keep the socks on while sleeping or remove them once in bed.
Option 2 – I am making a relaxing evening out of this
Fill a small tub with warm water, 1/8 tsp crushed ginger and 1/4 tsp Epsom or sea salt. Stir until dissolved.
Soak your feet in the tub and relax.
After soaking your feet for about 20 to 30 minutes take them out and pat dry.
Follow the steps above massaging each foot individually.
*Educate yourself on what oils work for you and when. Not everyone can use the same oils. Don’t use an oil that irritates your skin or you are allergic to the source product of the oil.
Yoga and Wellness With Angelina Fox · Angelina Fox, ERYT500, YACEP, SUP Yoga, Ayurveda Health Counselor, Certified, Insured, and CPR/First Aid/AED Trained Yoga Teacher – Washington DC and Northern Virginia, Alexandria and Lake Anna