Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Blog—Spring Cleaning for Your Mind and Body

By Lori Flynn

Full Circle Yoga

Spring has arrived and brought with it a transformative energy that can be found in and around us. In tune with nature, our stored energy from winter introspection is now bursting at the seams to be nurtured and materialize in one way or another. 

With spring, comes the participation—willingly or not—in noticeable internal and external shifts. Some of us find ourselves moving, buying a new car or switching jobs, while others start new relationships, pick up a new instrument or just generally seek new ways of “be”-ing. Whatever the change of seasons has brought your way, there are some crucial areas of life to nurture that will help you maximize how this time of shift and transformation can best serve you.

Be Selfish – when we board a plane and are given the emergency instructions we are told to secure our oxygen mask before helping others. That is the kind of healthy selfishness needed to nurture change in ourselves. Make time for you: walking in nature admiring spring's abundance, setting aside a space in your home for meditation and quiet reflection, or visiting an art museum are all soulful solo activities that connect you to your source, allowing you to really become in tune with where your path is taking you. We all want to participate in our chosen communities; there is no greater gift we can give “the whole” than showing up as the best version of ourselves.

Fuel – Just as walking in nature helps to neutralize our human emotional frenzy, having a diet as close to nature as possible is one of the best ways to honor our minds and bodies. Take inventory of what you’re eating and recognize that food is your fuel. Cultivate a relationship with your food when possible; grow veggies, visit an organic farm, get to know your local farmers. Eat mindfully; set aside a time and space in your home or in nature to eat your meal and fully enjoy it; honor all the elements of nature and humans that participated in getting your food to your plate. Most importantly, opt for food and drink with as little alterations from nature as possible.

Exercise – Movement helps us to relieve stress, clearing our minds and allowing us to establish our center. Not exercising? Start now. Bored with your current routine? Try something new! Possibilities are endless year round: hiking, skiing, yoga, stand up paddle boarding, dance, running. Remember, what works for others may not resonate with you; try a variety of things in order to find something that fits…or embark on an adventure to try one new thing each week.

Sleep – Get some. Preferably eight hours per night. While ongoing research has yet to nail down the exact reason that we sleep, we really don’t need to know the reason for it to know that it’s good for us. Theories include body-based muscle recovery and brain-based information integration—both of which are crucial for maintaining and establishing wellness.

Create –Find an outlet for your creative energy—drawing, painting, dancing, journaling, cooking—and let your right brain do the driving. Keep the energy flowing!

Lori is a musician, yoga teacher and gypsy currently residing in Lyons, CO. Visit her on Facebook or at FullCircleYogaOnline.

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