Spring has sprung and so has the season of hay fever, coughs, colds and runny noses !
In order to best serve all those children and teens in your classes, the best way is to look after you. Get back into your daily practice, take time out to rest, dream and replenish.
Make your health a priority this September: eat well, sleep well and do your yoga therapy exercises every day for the next 21 days and watch your energy, health and mood spring back into life.
From a traditional Eastern medical perspective, the coughs and colds are signs that the body is asking to be ‘spring cleaned.’ We often think about spring cleaning as a clearing and decluttering of our external environment, but our internal environment is even more important. Children and especially teens love to learn that by cleaning out their bodies of the excesses of winter, they will regain their health and experience the light, playfulness that is the energy abundant in springtime.
Many of us are feeling the urge to detox the body and especially the liver. Why? Because the organs most predominant at this time of year are the Liver and Gallbladder! – Both the liver and gall bladder meridians relate to the joints and digestive system and if the organs are stagnant or tired from over-working, then symptoms will arise, such as eye problems, stiff or painful joints, flu, headaches, dry skin, dandruff, nausea and hay fever. Because the energy of spring is rising, if we eat heavy foods or the liver is over-loaded, then it impacts the upper part of the body and you get neck stiffness, shoulder tension and joint pains. Children (and adults :)) can be irritable and experience more emotional outbursts in spring, which are simply a sign that the liver and gall bladder are over-loaded and the body is looking for a way to eliminate.
If you want to join me, here’s a great daily routine I’ll be doing for the next 21 days. The exercises will be going into all my classes, because the more you do them, the greater the benefit. The more you teach them, the more you will know them. Simply adapt them to make them age-appropriate (check back through your Foundation course notes for ideas to make it fun for the little ones or read back through your yoga therapy notes to add other exercises to make a full class).
Do these Spring Exercises for the Liver & Gall Bladder daily for the next 21 days:
- Seated Side Stretch
Sit with your legs out wide and hands interlaced behind your head.
Breathe out, drop an elbow to the inside of one knee, then breathe in to sit back up.
Repeat on the other side, going side to side 10 times.
Sitting with legs out wide.
Slide a hand down one leg until you can grab hold of an ankle or foot. Bringing the other arm overhead into a side stretch and count down from 10 to zero. The fun is blasting off to the other side.
- Seated Twist
Staying in the same position and keeping the legs wide, exhale and twist around to the side and smell the flowers, grass or say hello to the insects.
Foods To Eat in Spring: a lighter, whole food, plant based diet for the next 21 days.
Foods To Avoid in Spring: The foods to avoid that will impact the liver and gallbladder negatively are heavy food and saturated fats, such as; animal foods, like sausages, dairy, butter, cream, eggs and saturated fats like coconut, banana, avocado.
Good Foods for Spring: To nourish the liver and keep it clean while it is cleaning you, one of the best foods are leafy Greens, such as Bok Choy, Kale, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Pak Choy and Chinese Cabbage. Steam them, boil them, fry and juice them. I even have a friend who makes kale icy pops for her 4 year old and he eats them like they were ice cream! Also look to pungent foods, such as: ginger, mustard, radishes, daikon, spring onions, leafy greens, salads, sprouts, sour dough bread, grains, crispy, lightly cooked vegetables & light soups.
Ginger Tea: This is a fabulous tea to support the liver processing and detoxing. Slice a few thin pieces of ginger and add hot water. Or grate a teaspoon of ginger into hot water and enjoy.
Spring is a time of fresh new beginnings, of change, growth and seeing your hopes, dreams and wishes start to blossom. In classes this will look like creating Desire Lists.
Make your health a priority in spring, educate your classes about the direct connection between their physical health and what they put in their bodies, teach them the yoga therapy exercises for the liver and gall bladder and you will be planting a seed that will have life-lasting impacts.
Shine Your Light