I've only been in well-ness related practices, knowingly, for the last 11 years...and from witnessing myself and others in this art of living...I found the practices of many detox retreats are too drastic for the people coming to them. Fasting and colonics are one of the most popular choices for losing weight and detoxifying the body. While it is proven that by the 2nd or 3rd day of a fast the body can enter a highly regenerative state and produce more immune cells...for a body that has indulged in too much enjoyment of food and inaction of body...maybe has a lot of toxins...without eating there wouldn't be the necessary energy or circulation at a cellular or holistic scale to move most of these toxins out.
This is where we come back to nature as the pure healing and detoxification mechanism. That starts, of course, with our bodies and breathing, and then our food. Exercising the systems of the body and eating energy supporting foods supports health. This comes first. If this is not happening to a satisfactory capacity this is a good first step and should be done before engaging in stronger purification practices of yoga or any detox method really....
I recently did a herbal detox program from Amrita Luxury Wellness Retreats. It is called Easy Detox, and that's because it IS really EASY detox. You can do it at home yourself, because it's just herbs!
Step 1. put a spoon of 18 different herbs in a smoothie or drink, ideally... just a fresh coconut.
Step 2. Consume.
Done. Take it 3 - 5 times a day for best effects and enjoy.
I was so pleased with the effects as soon as I was done the bag...I got a 2nd bag. That's part of the beauty of this program. It's genuinely therapeutic. The kinds of detox effects which are all too frequent of first time detox-ees; drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, soreness, rashes, and otherwise excessive lymphatic functioning....are rare or mild if they happen for someone on this program. The herbs help you transport toxins out, rebalance gut flora, and improve efficiency of all body systems to save energy during the cleansing. Naturally, this is boosted with a movement arts discipline or Yoga, increasing circulation with a calm heart pace, and I did lots of that during this program like I always do. I think my mind is also pretty easy to make a placebo+ effect on the things going on in my life, overactive imagination... Maybe it was the herbs combination, maybe it was my imagination...but on the first evening of taking these herbs, I had such a Hatha yoga practice I had never experienced...discovering a few new asana I'd never done and feeling calm and transparent and full of light. The herbs decrease inflammation and acidity making it more comfortable and easy to move.
The developers of the Amrita Easy Detox are friends of mine who also work in wellness services on Koh Samui. After having experienced other methods; fasting in various ways, colonics, raw diet, supplements, meditation and intensive hatha yoga practice over many years, I share their feeling this is one the most effective and enjoyable methods to boost the bodies natural healing process. So, we are making a Holistic Yoga and Detox Retreat at Easy Time Resort on May 15-22, 2016 here on Koh Samui. I'm very excited to share yoga in this context, which will be based on mindfulness, purification techniques from physical, to mental, and even subconscious conditioning, as well as promoting general well-ness of the body in all it's functions; fitness, breathing, clarity of thought, working through emotions, elimination, relaxation, and metabolism.
In addition to herbs and yoga...there will be thai massage, health talks from myself and Graham, the naturopath who has devised this great herbal health mixture. There is relaxing beach a short walk away. Easy Time Resort is located in jungle gardens in the quiet part of the island. I'll also personally be around throughout the day to share more yoga insight and points towards self awareness or practice tips. I know I'll be enjoying it and practicing a lot too! I'm looking forward to working with you!
Love Hugs and Oms
In Hatha Yoga we seek to balance the opposite conditions of the human experience, to experience them at the same time so to speak. So, how? You become relaxed in an easy condition and then slowly work into appropriately challenging yoga poses while staying relaxed. Good technique helps so you should always find a teacher who also seems relaxed in their own practice. Even in challenging Asana, attempt to breath slower and feel more relaxed while your body and mind are engaged in effort. This is balance of effort and relaxation. Eventually the effort feels effortless, even though there is still effort. By breathing slower through your efforts...you are sending a subconscious message to your body... *become more efficient with the energy I am supplying you, it's enough* If you can manage to keep your breath slow and even through practice...you're body will become more capable with less breathing. Also...you will be better at remaining calm through stressful situations in typical life experiences.
What kind of breathing is relaxing?
The nerves which control the relaxation response of your body mostly branch from the Vagus nerve. This is a nerve which passes through the center of your body(not your spine)...kundalini anyone?... and connects to almost every main organ and your brain. Deep, slow breaths into your belly, allowing it both to descend and move forward create sensation around this nerve. Where awareness goes, energy goes. Just by creating sensation around this nerve, causes it's response. Inhale long and deep into the belly, and either, just let the exhale happen by itself(effortless)...or gently follow through as a steady stream of air slowly and softly drawing the abdomen in again. This breathing and nerve response also turns on our immune system and actually all of our body systems will "hear" each other, and work better together too. Union of the body...
The more prevalent trend now in Hatha Yoga is thoracic breathing...or specifically breathing into the ribcage while engaging pelvic floor and abdominal lifting actions. This kind of breathing is empowering...It can help us to summon strength, energy, focus and is necessary for challenging poses to maintain stability for the spine or integrity of the pose. But... it can also be overdone, by sometimes allowing us to get into a pose that we still can't do in a relaxed way. Many people learning this type of breathing make it a constant practice, outside their practice on the mat. This can be something like the equivalent of putting too many volts through your electrical wires...or leaving your car running for hours because you might decide to go out at any time, who knows!. Always trying to be ready...is not very relaxing, ...or very present if you are always ready for nothing! Challenge is healthy...but we shouldn't have to be ready to challenge ourselves all the time with our practice. How then could we ever truly go deep into the kind of relaxation that leads to experiences beyond the realm of the body and superficial aspects of mind.
*If a yoga pose causes you to feel stressed or your exhale becomes very fast and "dumps", these yoga pose are most likely too strenuous for you or you are over exceeding your range and capacity. Stretch less, work less, breath less, ...relax more.
*Start your Hatha Yoga practice by doing abdominal breathing to discover today how relaxed you can be in yourself. Then make it your intention to keep that sense of relaxation through practice.
*For meditation, conscious abdominal breathing will help you settle your body and mind and be very conducive to heart based meditations, or looking to see the truth in your human experience. There are also cosmic based meditations in which we seek to raise the human experience to the divine truth. In these meditations we would maintain abdominal lift and focus in the head third eye or pineal gland center, crown chakra, or other visions of light. This is more advanced and should come after relaxation and heart based meditation techniques for better results.
*Every type of breathing is useful in the right situation.
*Hatha Yoga practice is about exploring balance...create many different experiences through your practice. If we make so much effort to explore the range of motion of our skeletal-muscular system...why not also all the range of motion of our breathing system?
Love and Oms!
George is the founder of Sajeeva Yoga School, and a practitioner and teacher on the journey of exploring life, truth, purpose, and
Yoga technique, Yoga in Asia, Yoga Workshops, Teaching Methods, Asana Alignment, Yoga Tips, Breathing, awareness, mindfulness, spiritual journey, yoga lifestyle,