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March Focus: Getting Back to A Regular Practice!!
As we move into March, we patiently wait to see signs of spring. But until the temperature rises — and the snow melts! — we must continue generating our own inner warmth through our asana (physical postures) and pranayama (breath control) practices. With colder temperatures lingering, Kapha (Earth/water) and Vata (space/air) still have a grip on our bodies and minds in the form of penetrating coldness and stagnation. This can make it difficult to do a deep purification. In keeping with Ayurvedic (traditional Indian medical) views on health management, we wait until the warming weather toward the end of April for greater ease and better detoxification results. This month, we begin to awaken and transition into Spring by emphasizing standing twists (revolving poses) to support the lymphatic system while developing heat and strengthening our immunity.
We also focus on replenishing our ojas. In Ayurveda, ojas literally means “vigor” and is described as “the essential energy of the immune system.” (Dr. David Frawley) Ojas provides stability and support for the entire body. Yet many of our behaviors and emotions – including excessive stress, anger, worry, over exertion, and eating poorly – reduce ojas. When ojas is depleted, we are at risk for developing illness.
A regular yoga practice can help reduce the tension and stress that often overwhelm our modern lifestyles. Practicing asana (physical postures), developing inner heat without over-exerting, focusing on breathing, intentionally attempting to calm the mind, and truly indulging in shavasana (final relaxation) all increase ojas and contribute to increased vigor and improved immune function.
Ayurvedists constantly adjust lifestyle behaviors to work most consistently with environmental fluctuations such as changes in weather, season, times of day, and age. By taking specific actions, we hope to avoid allergies, sinus issues, and springtime colds/flus so this joyful time of the year can be embraced and experienced fully.
SHAKTIFITNESS: TRANSCENDING THE GYM EXPERIENCE
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5 Star Retreat in India with Shubbraji and Linda Lalita