From Your Practice, to Your Health, and Even Your Home Spring Cleaning Allows Us to Begin Again!
I love spring! It's one of my favorite seasons. Everything comes back to life after a beautiful rest. The birds start to chirp. The flowers start to bloom. The air is filled with love and freshness. It's the perfect time to open up the windows and let the fresh air in and stagnant air out. Much like we do with our lungs as we take that deeper breath inwards and REEEEALLY breathe it all out. Let's do that now....
Let the Spring Cleaning Begin!
Spring cleaning is one of my favorite things to do. It's so refreshing to move things around and make some space! Let's begin the Spring Clean Journey with our Yoga and the mats we flow upon!
Spring Clean Your Yoga!
By bringing what we know and learn ON our mats OFF of the mat we start to live our yoga bringing a little more peace into our day to day life.
Just as it is important to move the body through poses/Asana's it equally important to follow through with the rest of yoga or the 8 limbs. Saucha is part of the second limb of yoga, (the Niyamas) which means cleanliness. Suaucha goes right along with our spring cleaning, Niyamas are the self discipline of yoga.
It’s not only important to keep a tidy space but also mind and body.
The thoughts we think we become, the more we think them the stronger they become and the more we continue to bring them to reality.
So it’s just as important to keep pure thoughts running through us to keep us healthy and happy.
One way to start with pure thoughts is....
...simply start the morning off with a 60 second gratitude meditation. Inhale “I am” and on your exhale “Grateful for…”. Set a timer in a space you can have all to yourself. It’s not long and makes a world of difference in your day!
Another great way to start the cleansing process is with your diet...
...and no I don’t mean diet as in restricting yourself. Just by being more mindful of what you’re putting in your body and while you’re eating really becoming present. I love starting with a hot cup of water with lemon squeezed into it, but recently an awesome friend had me over and shared that she added ginger to her lemon water! Wow! It gave it an extra zip and dash of excitement. (Thanks lady!) Plus, the benefits of starting with a water like this will get you going in the right direction for cleansing your day.
Moving on to the Mat…
I use my mat everywhere, in fact I actually have quite a few for different occasions and places. It’s recommended to clean your mat after each practice with a quick wipe down, then once a season I like to give them a good deep clean. All you need is two containers, one with warm soapy water and the other with just fresh water. I like to use three different clothes. With a soaked soapy cloth just rub and wash both sides of your mat. Pat dry, don’t scrub. Then wipe down with regular water damp cloth. Pat dry again then hang over a chair or rail to fully air out.
Never drench or submerge your mat, it may never make it back. You also never want to use any type of oils, such as tea tree oil, on your mat as they tend to stain or worse make your mat slippery.
It’s not only important to keep our mat clean but perhaps to also clean up our practice. Sometimes we do something so many times that we become a littlelackadaisical. One way to clean up your practice is to become more present.
Start ACTUALLY listening to your breath again or tightening one muscle at a time to truly explore everything in each pose.
Really listen as the instructor gives direction and play around with the options they give that are right for you. Shift your poses by perhaps feeling the outer edge of your palms rather than inner edge or even coming up onto fists to see if you can lift out in plank a little more. The great thing about yoga is there are NO RULES!! However, what’s the point in doing something if you’re not going to be present for it? You may as well get the full benefit and try each pose with a deeper longer breath. Explore. The options are endless.
A healthy home is a happy house…or at least happy healthy people that live within it. Here are some of my favorite spring cleaning tips ;)
Start with Where You Sleep
-I love flipping the bed over. It gives it that new bed feel (plus it's actually really good for the mattress) Before flipping I sprinkle a bit of baking soda ...vacuum the bedroom then the bed, flip sprinkle clean vacuum the closet then the bed again. This helps to clean and freshen your mattress. The sprinkle baking soda method can also be applied to couches and other furniture to help freshen it up. Just vacuum the room on or soda wait time.
Now that the beds been flipped and the vacuuming is done, I LOVE!!!! Cleaning my walls with hot lemon fresh water (all natural cleaner). Then since the floors will probably get damp, deep cleaning the carpets and scrubbing the hardwood. It just feels so clean knowing that the winter has been washed off and the staleness cleaned away. Plus the fresh smell in the air is amazing! You can rent a floor cleaner at the local market and return it the next day. Super easy to use.
....well kinda. There's something about moving the furniture around that gives new life to a room. Perhaps trying even moving a lamp or table from one room to another might help give that fresh spring feel.
-Empty the cabinets!
It's time consuming and it gets to be a crazy wild mess, but it's OH SO SATISFYING when it's all done. This is the time to grab some boxes for donations or garage sale. During the holiday's we all get new items and then start to shove stuff in places. This is the perfect time for reorganization. Starting with the kitchen and box in hand, I empty each cabinet out completely (all at once). Clean the inside of the doors and shelving. I take note of what I use the most and place it in the most convenient spot to grab and use. Next I take those in which I use on occasion and place them in the not-so-easy-gotta-grab-a-stool spot. Then the stuff that either use to be in that spot or "left overs" with no home, it's hasta la vista baby! Then I move on to the next room. Note: this part of the process takes a few days so take your time with it. ALSO!! Stick with one room at a time! If there's stuff you want to place in another room, add a box or bag for that room and sort that when the time has come. This way you can accomplish one thing at a time and not have the whole house torn apart.
What do you do to spring clean?? If there's more to this that you'd like to add feel free...and let me know! I'd love to add to my list :)
Speaking of Spring!! My new schedule is set and even the site got a little boost with a new Yoga in the Park tab. Head on over to check it out!
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