Spring has arrived once again and joyfully we begin to see budding flora & blooming fauna as they come out of winter’s hibernation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is related to this fresh and vibrant season in which it is strongly influenced by. It’s a great time to assist the body in its natural cleansing process by toning and strengthening the liver organ so it can efficiently process and remove toxins from the body. This in turn will help to strengthen other body systems such as the immune, digestive & endocrine systems which will help to increase energy levels, promote radiant & vibrant skin, maintain healthy weight for your body type as well as promote a deep sense of peace & well being.
There are many ways in which we can support the body to reach and maintain optimal health & wellness, exercise, nutrition, relaxation and a healthy positive attitude…to name a few! Here are a few tips on using kriya, yoga asana and pranayama for toning, cleansing & strengthening the entire body and mind:
- 3 Part Breath – Dirga Pranayama – deeply cleansing & grounding breath, helps to balance emotions, move stagnancy out of lungs, increases lung capacity, purifies toxins from the blood. *Incorporate this breath several times throughout the day to focus attention to the present moment*
- Kapalabhati Breath – Breath of Fire - cleanses the lungs & entire respiratory system, increases lung capacity, increases oxygen throughout entire body, massages digestive system improving overall function, purifies blood, brings balance into sympathetic and para-sympathetic parts of the nervous system, stimulates normal functioning of the endocrine system and tones abdominal muscles. *Beneficial for those that experience seasonal allergies*
- Twists – releases tension in the body, improves digestion, helps to “wring” out toxins from the spine and other internal organs, tones the spinal nerves and improves the functioning of the spinal cord, flushing & cleansing action of the kidneys & liver, brings balance into the nervous system, massages & tones abdominal organs making it helpful to eliminate constipation, brings balance into the adrenal glands & hormone production, beneficial for menstrual disorders, improves round shoulders. *Twists energize the body and can help give a boost when feeling sluggish or tired*
- Tapping (face, head, neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen & low back) – boosts the immune system by increasing production of T-cells, reduces stress, energizing, increases focus, promotes strength & vitality, balances left of right hemispheres of the body. *Tapping is a great “pick me up to increase focus and rejuvenate the body & mind"
- Neti Kriya – enhancement of olfactory senses, loosens and flushes dried mucous, dust and other pollutants in nasal cavity, reduces frequency & severity of colds & sinusitis. *Neti Kriya is a beneficial practice for those that experience symptoms from asthma, allergies, sinusitis & hay fever*.
- Cat & Cow Pose – massages & stimulates internal organs for increased digestion & detoxification, opens chest cavity for increased lung capacity, helps to expel stagnant matter from the lungs. *If you feel the urge to cough while practicing this movement, allow yourself to do so to remove excess mucous from the lungs*
- Forward Bends – Uttanasana, Paschimottanasana – massages abdominal organs, stretches & strengthens the spine bringing balance into nervous system, regulates digestion, menstruation & body temperature, calms & soothes the mind. *Tones organs responsible for urination, defecation, ejaculation, menstruation and child birth*
- Shoulder Stand -Salamba Sarvangasanam – stimulates blood and lymph flow to enhance detoxification, carries new blood to liver & kidneys which assists in increased detoxification, activates pituitary and pineal glands synergizing them to balance hormone levels in the body, increases blood circulation to the brain which will promote higher levels of concentration and mental sharpness. * Because of the many benefits to this pose it is considered the “Queen of Asanas”*
- Meditation – this a subtle yet powerful practice to assist with cleansing & purification of body & mind, increases blood flow, decreases muscle tension, enhances energy, strength & vigor, increases focus & concentration, promotes self confidence, increases communication between the two brain hemispheres, grows a stable, more balanced personality, helps keep things in perspective, helps us tune into the present moment and experience a sense of “oneness”. *Meditation can be practiced by anyone regardless of spiritual or religious practices, age or gender*.
via Yvette DuMouchel