April is time to detoxify
Vail CO, Colorado
Everyone who ate or drank too much over the winter, raise your hand. Everyone who feels a lingering heaviness from our cold, dark winter, or over stimulation in general speak up now. For some of us, it is still lingering from the holidays, for others of us it has built up over the entire last season and for still many of us it’s just stress we often carry around no matter what time of year it is. If our masseuses, shrinks, and yoga teachers ever got together, they’d surely agree that what we really need is a detox or detoxification.
A detox implies that we have something toxic to release. How did we get toxic in the first place? We live in a culture of excess. We tend to run from things rather than face them. We have so much resistance to our circumstances ” we fight things that are out of our control. We don’t accept what is. We are afraid. Fear is the biggest driver for toxicity. We’re afraid that somehow we are wrong and they (whoever they are) are somehow right.
Rather than acceptance, we have rejected our circumstances or our reality in a sense. We have looked outside of ourselves and rejected life as it is meeting us. When we do that, we are essentially living in an “unreality” so to speak. And, it will show up ” even build up ” as toxicity in our:
– bodies as tightness/tension/knots
– eating habits
– attachments to food
– addictions to work, shopping, sex, drugs and alcohol
– bank accounts
What in your life is toxic? And how have you managed to shut it down? All of these factors contribute to stress which can be harmful to our mind/body/spirit. To heal, lighten ” release our addictions ” we call back our power by remembering who we are through acceptance.
So then if we accept that we are toxic then what? How can yoga help? How do we detox?
A detoxification, in this sense, is about looking closely at who you really are ” like looking in the mirror but not at the outside stuff. At the inside stuff. Our true self.
The body/mind/spirit constitution becomes the holding place for toxicity. And, to the degree that we can connect with it and become aware of it, we begin to open up to an inviting, healing, transformative energy. We connect to a deeper place, a place of absolute purity, a place of beginnings, potentiality. This is a natural place that we all still have at our core and to the degree we are aware of it and connect to it, we nourish it, strengthen it, we simply open up to its innate wisdom. And, it is from this place that we begin to rejuvenate.
In yoga, we start by connecting with the physical body. By noticing the physical form ” the big toe for example or the knot in your outer hip ” we cultivate a practice of consciousness and we move toward what we feel and toward acceptance of what is.
With acceptance, we open a door for release. Then we usually connect at the level of the mind. We become more aware of toxic destructive thinking and by simply noticing, we can make a different choice. Last, it usually happens at the level of the spirit. Here, when we begin to feel ” truly feel ” then we begin to heal. Detox.
Like it or not, our mind/body/spirit constitution is like our own personal bibliography.
All that we have ever done and not done to our bodies shows up in our bodies. All that we have ever done and not done to our spirit shows up in our spirit. And to the degree we can really see what’s there, we can face our own reality, our own truth.
From this place, we find acceptance and authenticity, and the ability to move forward with least effort and in harmony with the universe and with all the circumstances around us. And, not ironically, it is usually the place where all of our dreams are met.
If, like me, you’ve ever found yourself feeling as if you’ve veered off the mindfulness path, go easy on yourself. There is no sense in spending your energy on regret. All any of us needs to do to detox and get back on track is to start again. It is as simple as recognizing that toxicity has come in, and through acceptance and mindfulness we can begin to have a balanced approach again.
Kelly Major Heath is the director of Moutain Lotus yoga in the Vail Athletic Club. She writes a monthly yoga column for the Vail Daily. Send comments about this column to email@example.com.
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