Today is day 1 of my cleanse. There are numerous reasons why it's the right time to cleanse. I'm adding in a lot of yoga, fresh juices (time to dust off the breville!), teas and broths for a while and will end as it's time to end.
My body is crying out for a break - some introspection - and some time to reflect as it warms up here in Vermont. My recent trip to New Orleans and the passing of my aunt have put me into a cycle of comfort food that's not doing me any good. It's one of those things that really perpetuates itself - the reaching for comfort.
I'm working with Pema Chodron's Getting Unstuck lectures as well.
The teachings tell us that there is suffering.
There is dissatisfaction and frustration. Often nothing seems to go right. There really is a wound. But it is not necessary to scratch it. Working with addictions is about not just impulsively grabbing for something to stop the itching, not just grabbing for something to fill up the space, not giving in to this impulse to feel okay and just to get comfortable as soon as possible.
When we scratch the wound and give into our addictions we do not allow the wound to heal. But when we instead experience the raw quality of the itch or pain of the wound and do not scratch it, we actually allow the wound to heal. So not giving in to our addictions is about healing at a very basic level.
It is about truly nourishing ourselves.
So... these are the teachings I am working with through the end of this month as I add lots of healing and introspection to my daily life... and leave behind some of the things that are clouding up my vision.
Last night preparing for bed, I did a very nice sequence. The yoga poses (without meditation and pranayama) are going to be used in a wellness program I work with for the purpose of preparing the body for rest. I must say they left me feeling clear and relaxed.
1) Restorative Seated Forward Bend Sit, propped up by a blanket or two under the hips if needed, with legs wide open, and bring a chair or prop onto the mat. Lean forward to place the forehead gently on the chair (use something soft if you need to.) There should be no effort in keeping the legs open and straight so do as much as is right for your body type. (Extremely tight hips? Open the legs as much as is comfortable and put rolled blankets under the knees.) Relax in this position, eyes closed, for a full 3 minutes. Allow the body to twitch and move and settle.
2) Sphinx pose On belly, place forearms on the floor, shoulder width apart, palms down, fingers facing forward. Lift head and upper body up to assume the pose of the sphinx. Upper arms should be perpendicular to the floor, chest up, neck relaxed. Add depth to this position by pulling the palms gently toward you on the floor. No need to move the hands or arms, just feel what that slight pull on the floor does to open the chest. Remain until physical fatigue sets in then change... should be a minute or so.
3) Child's pose with a block to support the forehead if necessary - hold 1-3 minutes.
4) Dvipida Pitham (Pelvic raises, dynamic with the breath) On the back, feet planted on the floor, heels close to the hips, palms down. On inhale, raise hips up to maximum, drop chin to chest to stretch the back of the neck. On exhale, lower the hips down as you gently unwind the spine vertebrae by vertebrae. Celebrate the looseness and relaxation in the lower back. Repeat 3-5 times or more if you're loving it.
5) Supine twist On back, bring knees up into the chest. Arms out to the sides, palms down, keeping knees together, lower knees toward right elbow. Rest keeping or trying keep both shoulders on the floor, space and extension in the lower back (think left hip away from left shoulder.) Look left if your neck is not tweaky. Relax. Perform twist to the left, then repeat both sides. Take your time.