Autumn Cleanse – 10 days

Started the seasonable transition cleanse Monday and I am on Day 7.  What does it look like?  No it’s not one of those all juice & smoothie diet but a very approachable real life program anyone with the right guidance can undertake.  In other words, it’s not a diet – it’s a cleanse:

  • Daily Yoga – yoga ultimately is about a cleanse – a de-cluttering of the mind; to strengthen our muscles, lubricate the joints, spur bone growth, stretch and elongate to release tension, tightness, unravel the knots …  to distill the essence of life so we can bottoms up the nectar of the sweetest life ever.  In our busy lives, weaving in tidbits can work with the right intention  – warm up and stretches for injury free heated practice in the mornings; cooling lunar practices in the evenings – this can be as short as 10 minutes or a full blown 60-90 min. class if manageable, scattered throughout the week. If you have a protocol designed by your Yoga Therapist for your home practice, even better.  Group class just for the vibe but rest done at home, all good.
  • Daily Meditation – self-guided or guided meditation with Visionary Yoga I love.
  • No refined or any kind of sugar – zero, nada.
  • No processed foods
  • Primarily plant based diet primarily vegan with the exception of eggs.  No honey – replaced by mashed dates to sweeten chai.
  • Maximize sleep – ideally 8 hours a night or min. 7 hours.  & makeup allowable deficits with restorative yoga or yoga nidra – Read up “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab.

May I just say – thank goodness to local Farmers Market.  I am not starving myself at all as the photos that follows will indicate:)  The menu is blend of Macrobiotics, Japanese cuisine inspired by Shinobeu of Wanowa, and Ayurvedic cooking learned from Jyoti Jain of Palo Alto + some Californian/Italian recipes from Chez Panisse – yes:)  It’s a melting pot plant based menu embedded with legumes, and grain based nourishment.  It’s not for losing weight (though that may just happen naturally – 2 lbs in a week – very gradual) but to spur the cleansing of excesses, quiet the inflammations, exit the gook and toxins from our system to better welcome the seasonable transition.  It’s the kind of foods that’s light and kinder to our intestinal tract that balances the gut flora to boost our immune system to prepare for the flue season – if flue shot misses the exact strain of the virus, this kind of eating will still protect you from seasonal fluctuations.  It’s kind of food that’s simple, lush, fragrant and vibrant.  Not in a manic but in a steady, stable way, It’s … energizing !

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Came across BK Bose’s quote … while their latest mission to address the needs of school-aged youth is so admirable, Niroga’s Yoga Therapy Advance study course will be so missed .  The faculty that included the best in the field of yoga therapy led by BK was exceptional, the cohort’s passion for this study was … infectious.  They are all sure to make even better teachers than they already are:

“This is not some feel good, foo-foo practice from the Himalayas. This is based in cutting edge neuroscience, trauma research, and in somatic psychology. This is vital to ensure our well-being, and to our economy.  Let’s come together under the banner of transformative practices, and put forward the essence of yoga, not the hype. This is simple. Anyone can do this, anytime, anywhere. If you can move, if you can breathe, then you can do the practice.”

-BK Bose, Founder, Niroga Institute

 

Heath Ceramics

Made in USA, right here in California- so earthy, as with late summer, we engage in earthy practices.  Here, grey clay to start off with … with craftsmanship, this grey matter will transform into beautiful earthenware with different shapes, forms colors, shades, hues … uniform but each unique.

Playing tourists in our own backyard – Golden Bridge – Sausalito – Muir Woods – Marin – Mt. Shasta – what do out-of-town guests want to experience ?  What’s home-grown; nature – nature – nature.  Sadly Yosemite topping the list – so affected by all the fires in Northern California but Northern California has much to offer still.

May all the heat subside as we welcome some cooling trends this New Moon week …blending the movements with stillness to deepen our hues, shades for better luster and shine – talking about our body and soul now.  Namaste:)

Mt Shasta concert

Given by a famous Lyre harp musician, Miyuki Ikesue, who at the 80 years young of age, hailed all the way from Japan to Mt Shasta.

Here’s a postcard photo as smokey visibility blocked the view of magnificent Mt Shasta … the forest fires in the Northern California unfortunately means smokey visibility. It was such a touching gesture Miyuki sensei and her entourage from Japan offered a prayer for recovery hand restoration to the fire ravaged communities in California.

Beautiful Amazing Graze sang by a lovely vocal from Japan she invited to share the “stage”.

My plan to be part of the audience was quickly changed when I found myself serving as an interpreter.  Ms. Ikesue introduced each piece with a little story … sweet and moving.(and I get to interpret them into English for the American audience to get what she’s all about.)

🎤 microphone was made available but decided to forego it …in favor of acoustic rustic sounds. In midst of grove of trees, the woodsy town center was cozy … perfect for her selection of lullabies and another selection from her nature theme CD (sounds of frogs, water brooks … from Aso region in Kushu)  – “circle of life”.

Q&A session followed immediately after the hour long – no break – solo concert where she not once looked any any sheet music – In awe of this lady who charms the audience, not only with her music but simply being herself.  She’s an adorable 80 year young artist !  The audience, upon hearing the music box like melodies were entranced – absolutely, by the hypnotic sounds but at the Q&A session, they were further charmed by her authenticity in how she lives her life. She’s humble and … she’s full of laughter.  Some asked how long she’s planning to continue with her travels around the world to share her gift, to which she laughed joking she’s getting too old and ready to call it quits and just stay in Japan and soak in a hot spring.  To questions about her family, she was adoring her grandchildren and very proud of her sons, both in the music field – one a well known Gospel (yes, Gospel! He might have been the first one to really bring that genre to the land of the rising sun) musician in Japan.

She’s a breath of fresh air – an inspiration as we listened to her story that she only took up this instrument when she was in her late50’s and now at age 80, she shares her love for this special instrument, which has served as her “passport”, enabling her to travel and perform all over the world.  She’s been to India apparently over 6 times, Ireland too, it’s second time at Shasta … wonder where else she will visit this year?

Here we are 🎶 singing Happy Birthday as her 80th birthday cake is presented to her as a surprise – I’ve got my yoga arm !  A beautiful vegan cake was baked by Kiyoko Usugi of Mume Farm and presented with singing students and the audience joined in in chorus.  She’s a delight and so loved by anyone who meets her. The energy of joy just ripples out from her soul, channeled by her strumming and voice.  When she speaks, she’s less ephemeral and really truly down to earth with cute humor. Okay, so she’s 80 but she’s super cute !

This is a photo I took from my pilgrimage in spring this year to Mt Shasta – yes, this year … yesterday from the same spot, no more mountains are seen.  What should we do when the beauty is hidden from view?  Believe.  Just because we can’t see it does not mean it does not exist – Just because Mt. Shasta is shrouded in clouds and smoke does not mean that it’s not there – it’s very there there.  Have faith and a little uplifting music like that of  Teacher Ikesue ‘s will help along that path of clear vision amidst the smoke.  It’s a re-connection with the moon and the sun and the majestic mountain within.