Purification and Rejuvenation

Ahhh…I just returned from 10 days in sunny (but cool) California, feeling cleansed, re-balanced, and refreshed after attending the Chopra Center’s signature program, “Perfect Health”. This was an opportunity for me to immerse myself in the traditional practices of Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation in a modern way: in an urban setting with top-notch amenities and services; blending the teachings of yogic philosophy with the latest scientific research of the mind, genetics, and human behaviour; and amidst the daily challenges of trying to live a spiritually connected life in a demanding, noisy, modern world. I was guided, supported, and nurtured throughout, in ways I never imagined. This program was truly therapy for the body, mind, and soul.

From the moment I arrived in California, I knew this was exactly what I needed. Not a California vacation necessarily, but a getaway where I could work on myself. Normally I enjoy our Canadian winters, snow and all…but this year the cold, damp, and heaviness was getting to me more than ever. I was feeling sluggish, down, unhappy, worried, and stuck…plus my shoulder and neck were giving me such grief that no amount of physio or massage seemed to alleviate. It wasn’t the climate, though, that was causing my feelings of imbalance (although I was reminded that according to Ayurveda, seasonal climate changes can aggravate an already out-of-balance system). It was months/years/decades of stuck emotions; less than optimum diet for my own specific constitution; not enough physical movement; rumination over and clinging to old thoughts, experiences, and beliefs; fear of the unknown and what ifs; and negative self-talk that all really created the imbalance in the first place.

This might sound familiar to you, too. In fact, when I looked back on my blogs, I realized that exactly this time last year I was feeling the same “off-ness” (see my post Mountain Meltdown). But this time I decided to take more definitive action and go deeper. I realized that ALL this disquietude was within my own control to change, but I needed some guidance – some “professional” help. One of the items on my bucket list was to one day attend this Chopra Center program so I made it a reality, hopeful that I would discover the root of my angst, get it out of my system, and find some peace before this dis-EASE really showed up as disease.

Ayurveda says that when one’s body, mind, and soul are in balance and in tune with natural rhythms, then one is in a state of perfect health. What does that really look like or feel like? How about this: JOYFUL ENERGETIC BODY, LOVING COMPASSIONATE HEART, REFLECTIVE ALERT MIND, LIGHTNESS OF BEING. If you’re anything other than that, then something is out of balance! So knowing that, we can take steps to first purify the body and mind, rejuvenate it to bring it back into balance, then maintain this state by daily committing to nourishing practices rather than depleting activities or unwholesome choices.

So here’s how we did it…

PURIFY:

  1. dietary changes that began weeks before the program by eliminating coffee, alcohol, processed foods, gluten, etc.
  2. a simple cleanse using herbal and fibre supplements combined with easy-to-digest warm vegetarian meals, ginger tea, and lemon water
  3. tongue scraping and oil pulling to remove toxins in the mouth
  4. a variety of daily Ayurvedic massages with warm oil designed specifically for each mind/body type to gently push toxins out of the tissues and into the GI tract for elimination
  5. saunas and steam rooms to sweat out the toxins
  6. daily yoga, meditation, journalling, sharing circles, self-study
  7. disconnecting from technology, news, negative energies, noise

REJUVENATE and MAINTAIN:

  1. getting into the sunshine, walking along the ocean, taking time to witness the beauty around us
  2. eating a “rainbow” – colourful lovingly prepared food with all six tastes (salty, sour, spicy, bitter, astringent, sweet)
  3. positive affirmations and planting seeds of wellness
  4. creating a soothing bedtime routine and getting a good night’s sleep
  5. trying something new and creative – getting out of your comfort zone and laughing!
  6. energy work such as pranic healing and Reiki
  7. self-love, treating yourself with respect and compassion
  8. being in the company of positive people; not those who invite drama, gossip, criticism or negativity into your life
  9. MEDITATE EVERY DAY!

So here I am now, 10 pounds lighter physically and 1 million times lighter emotionally. I feel so transformed! I am recharged and ready to get back at it after many insights about myself and the Universe I am part of. I have re-committed to a daily routine that SUPPORTS me rather than brings me down. And when stuff does get me down, I know I have an innate intelligence to guide me – I need not look further than my own self for the solution…and then I can let it go. Over and over again…through all the ups and downs. This is an ongoing process…one that lasts a lifetime, so I choose to make the rest of my lifetime one with purpose, connection, happiness, and ease.

 

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