If you haven’t guessed by now, self-love, cleansing as self-care and sound preventative medicine go hand-in-hand. In addition to considering these general guidelines, and trying this daily tonic, the gentle yoga outlined below improves circulation and digestion during your spring cleanse.
This gentle “cleansing breath” is done in a comfortable, seated position. If you have your own yogic breathing practice, now would be a good time to go through the entire sequence at least once every day. Otherwise, you can try this simplified method:
Begin by closing the left nostril with the left index finger. Inhale through the right nostril. Then close the right nostril with the right index finger and exhale through the left nostril. Repeat, alternating inhaling and exhaling three times on both sides. Then do a big exhale through the mouth, extending the tongue and expelling all the air from your lungs (this is sometimes called “lions breath” or “lions roar”).
The movement of Prana
Prana is the internal wind, or vital force, that moves our mind, body, emotions, and spirit. The first two movements of prana, according to Shiva Rae, are called Upana-vayu (or rising prana) and Viana-vayu (or descending prana). From either a standing or seated position, raise the palms up to the heart center on the inhale, turn the palms down and push them down toward your root with the exhale. Repeat three or more times.
Begin by lying on your back. Draw the right knee into the chest. Clasping the outside of the right knee with the left hand, gently pull the right knee over to the left side of the body – always being mindful and respectful of your body’s wisdom. Take three deep breaths in the full twist, untwist on the exhale. Repeat on the other side.
In a seated position, cross the right knee over the left. Gently pull the right knee into the chest, sitting up straight and hugging the leg until your right foot is flat on the floor on the outside of your left hip. On the inhale, sit up straight and smile, on the exhale gently twist the upper body toward the left, looking over the left shoulder. Maintain the twist with three deep breaths, release the twist on the exhale. Repeat on the other side.
Do these yogic exercises first thing in the morning, before your first glass of Apple Cider Vinegar, and right before bed after your last glass of Apple Cider Vinegar has settled.
Happy Cleansing! Arwen