With the cold, dark and damp days behind us, we look forward to the daffodils and bright flowers of Spring, as the Earth begins to warm in March. It is this time when I start to clear my clutter in the house, getting rid of stuff I don’t need, donating books and clothes to charity and organising my cupboards so I can find things again! I find by clearing my environment my mind feels clearer too. The ancient yogi philosopher Patanjali spoke about ‘aparigraha’ – non-hoarding, which is one of the Yamas, or limbs of yoga. The yamas are a bit like the brakes on a car, helping us gain ‘control’ over our lives, and helping our body and mind to live harmoniously with a sense of balance. We all know that too much of something can throw us out of balance and contribute to ill-health. Too much work and not enough rest can lead to fatigue and stress, lowering our immune response and we find we catch more colds and feel run-down. Observing aparigraha helps us to lead a simpler life, knowing what we need will come by itself and we no longer need to hoard things (a behaviour based in fear), we being to accept life as it presents itself.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity” ALBERT EINSTEIN
Most of the twisting poses and energising sequences help to detox the body, by squeezing the kidneys, activating the liver and digestive systems and increasing the aerobic activity of the circulatory and respiratory systems. The Dru Vitality Sequence is a favourite of mine to ‘spring clean’ my body, and includes the dynamic warriors and bhima poses, to energise and activate our solar centre, the side-bending gate, which opens up the intercostals and lungs, helping us to ‘let go’ of grief and emotions causing us pain. The inversions of the 3-legged dog and bowing tiger allow released energy to move towards the heart and head, filling us with new determination and a strength to adapt to stress. Twisting poses and the sacral-lumbar-release sequence work to compress the abdomen, releasing frustration and anger from the liver, while forward bends and back bends activate the kidneys to help detox and regulate water in our body, as well as connecting to the sacral chakra which when balanced, allows us to let go of that which we no longer need, clearing space in our lives for new growth.
The power of Birch
The Silver Birch tree seems ever young – its bark is constantly renewing and peeling, and its flexible branches sway gracefully, reminding us that the sun is drawing us from our winter hibernation. In Spring we feel re-energised, and it is a great time to use this surge of energy to repair and revitalise ourselves. The oil from Birch leaves is the lead plant in Weleda’s ‘Spring cleanse’ range, and includes Birch Body Scrub, Birch cellulite Oil and Arnica body oil. Dry brushing is a simple way to stimulate circulation and help your body eliminate toxins. If you like a bath (or even a foot bath), Citrus Bath Milk can help to enliven and stimulate, or use the Birch Scrub in the shower to leave you feel glowing and energised. Massaging the skin with Birch or Arnica oils has a stimulating and cleansing effect, supporting the body in its own self-regulating process of cleansing.
Sample Weleda’s Birch and Citrus range at one of my ‘Detox Yoga’ classes, or contact me direct for a 1:1 consultation.