Juice Cleanse – Day 3

The magic happens now.

I woke up this morning before my alarm clock refreshed and energized. Per my usual Wednesday routine, I got up and went to teach yoga and felt a lightness in my step. Came back home, drank my first juice (which is just coconut water) and jumped in the shower.  Today was a particularly stress-fill (but not stressful) day. The fact that it was stress-filled but not stressful is in no small part due to the mental clarity and physical euphoria that I felt all day. There was no hunger  (I actually forgot to drink one of my juices so ended up drinking two within two hours), no headache, no body aches, and no irritation. Here are the highlights.

Oodles of Energy: buckets of energy. I was running around from office to office, meeting to meeting, work to yoga, yoga to pick up my next two days of juices, etc.  None of it phased me. I was radiant and energetic.  I actually started bouncing up and down while teaching which never happens; I always try to keep a sattvic and almost stoic disposition, but I couldn’t help myself today.

Mental Clarity: this is the really impressive effect of cleansing. All the muck that stockpiled in your system also blocks the mind. I found it easier to focus on tasks, distractions were not as distracting, I held my morning intention in my mind all day, and people’s actions did not affect me.  This alone is worth the juicing.

Sense of Calm: either I’m calmer or everyone else at work suddenly got less intense. Even through the passive aggression that can sometimes arise at work, and the endless meetings, I stayed calm. I wasn’t getting rattled by other people’s actions or emotions. I was truly turning into myself – being present, mindful and aware – and that felt amazing.

Subtle Glow: I’m apparently glowing.

Juice Cleanse- Day 2

Ok, so we all knew this would happen.  Day 2 is usually the worst day of the cleanse… though for me, not by much when compared to Day 1.  Unlike Day 1, I felt no hunger today. In fact, by the time 9pm rolled around, I still had one juice left and didn’t feel hungry enough to drink it. I drank it anyways because it’s important to keep the formulations exactly as prescribed.  Also unlike Day 1, I wasn’t as cold. I was physcially chilly on Day 1. I also decided to treat myself to a massage which was divine. So, here’s the summary of the key takeaways.

Heightened Senses: seriously, you’ve never seen colors like these. All of my senses were practically vibrating. The most noticeable was my sense of smell… good and bad. I could smell things from FAR away, but also smell them so well that it was overpowering. Nice scents were magnificent. Cigarette smoke as someone passed me on the sidewalk made me gag. Not sure if my hearing changed but lets just say it did for the hell of it.

Energetic Euphoria: this was felt about 15-20 minutes after I drank each juice.  The energy pumped through my body and as the detox starts to take effect, I can feel exactly what gorgeous, natural, raw foods do to my body. It was glorious.

Calm and Peace: as I do this cleanse, I’m making some big changes in my work life while balancing two proposals and a heavy teaching schedule. Normally I would feel more stress but I’m so calm. We all know that food is medicine… but this really seals the deal. Good nutrition = good life.

Headache: yet, that’s still there but I can feel it subsiding.

Here’s the caveat. I firmly believe that the cleanse as been so “easy” and relatively painless because I am a vegetarian. The body has less detoxing to go through so the benefits were felt earlier in the process. This process really drives home just how much the foods we meet matter. Juice cleanses are not for everyone because everyone’s body is unique and respond to stimuli differently. Try it out and see what it does for you. Don’t write anything off without experiencing at least once. 🙂

Juice Cleanse – Day 1

Oh boy has it been a long time since I wrote a post.  Updates are that I’ve been teaching a lot of classes (yoga, meditation, and philosophy) and volunteering at another organization, all in addition to my day job. So, getting back on the bandwagon and making sure I keep my priorities straight, I am doing a 5-day cleanse — what I refer to as my “spring cleaning.” I get questions about fasting, juice cleansing, raw diets, etc a lot so I thought I would document my experience here for everyone to see. I’ve done a 5-day cleanse before but never wrote it down, so this should be interesting.

Day 1

I have a headache. That should be the end of the post.  As with any detox, the most prominent symptom tends to be a dull, persistent headache. Thankfully, mine is not pounding like some people have reported.

The morning started off well. I’m typically not famished when I first wake up so that was pretty normal. I went to teach my 6:30-7:30 Flow class and came home to drink my first of six juices (coconut water). Feeling pretty good. By mid-morning, I drank the second one (a blend of nut milk) and was still feeling pretty alright. That second juice is pretty dense, not be mention delicious.

Lunch time came around and that’s when my body’s normal patterns kicked in in the form of hunger and irritability (I’m a pitta for those who know Ayurveda, which is the ancient Indian nutrition-health-wellness way of saying hangry). I grab for the third juice which is a light green juice and chug it down. Here’s where the magic of juice cleanses begin. Within 30 minutes, I can feel the energy coursing through my body. It’s amazing how much more in tuned we become when there is less “stuff” in the system to process. However, the “green high” lasted only an hour and then the headache started.

After the fourth juice in the afternoon (another veggie based one), I decided to take a nap and hope that my headache would go away. The nap definitely helped and I managed to teach my evening 5pm yoga class with no problem.  In fact, my meditation was deeper, calmer, and happier.

I met a friend for “dinner” (which meant we met at a juice bar so that she can juice with me) where I drank my fifth juice. This time a fruit-based juice. She also decided to get some chipotle spiced nuts and I found myself pining after them like a ravenous sloth: some cross between cute, pathetic and really slow moving. Finishing the night with the last fruit juice I put myself to bed accompanied by the pesky headache.

Treat Every Morning as Sacred

Mornings are sacred. It’s the start to every waking day. Get up, meditate, love the physical, spiritual and psychological body.

This week in class we are exploring Brahmacharya: the right use of spiritual energy; one of the Yamas. This principle calls for us to experience every moment with wonder and awe. Be cautious of over-indulging; be it food, work, exercise, shopping, or something else. Find the point of “just enough.” Live in awe… And feed your body in a way that is supportive to that.

‪#‎FoodForThought‬ ‪#‎HealthyLiving‬ ‪#‎Brahmacharya‬ ‪#‎Yamas‬ ‪#‎YogaLife‬‪#‎VeganSausage‬ (yes, VEGAN sausage) ‪#‎Breakfast‬ ‪#‎Thankful‬ #RogueYogi

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Mobility vs. Flexibility

Is there a difference between mobility and flexibility? If I’m flexible, that means I’m mobile right?

I get asked these and similar questions a lot. The answer is out there. Medical doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other professionals will likely have much better answers that are well sourced and backed by scientific evidence.  Here is the opinion and experience of one woman who observes it daily.

Mobility

The way I learned it is that mobility generally refers to as the movement around a joint (think range of motion in your shoulder). In this sense, mobility is affected by all the tissue and physical structures that support proper movement, of which flexibility is one component.  This is particularly important because people tend to either confuse or equate mobility with flexibillity, but they are not the same. Take for example: ME! I am pretty flexible. At the same time I suffer from mobility limitations in my upper thorasic spine, due to poor posture working long hours at a desk staring at a computer screen (correcting my posture as I type this), and in my rotator cuff, due to an old volleyball injury that gets reaggravated in overhead movements.

One of the most compelling explanation of how mobility is experienced in the body was taught to me by my physical therapist, Claire of Rose Physical Therapy. She said that the body alternates between stable and dynamic joints.

  • Stable joints are those that performance moves long one primary axis and with an extension limit (e.g., knees, elbows)
  • Dynamic joints are those that can rotate and hinge in a wide range of angles and directions (e.g., hips, shoulders)

Starting from the ankles (dynamic), you have the knee (stable), then the hip (dynamic), then the lumbar spine (stable), so on and so forth. Claire noted that hyper mobility in one region may be indication of over compensation for limited mobility in an adjacent region. For me, I am very mobile in my lumber spine which may be compensating for my limited thorasic mobility. The ability to test your own mobility and locate areas for improvement will go a long way towards keeping yourself healthy.

Everyone – athletes, yogis, corporate ninjas, power mom’s, the average Joe – should be mobilizing DAILY. Mobility is not only critical for physical performance and injury prevention, it is an essential component of health, well-being, and aging gracefully. I’m a huge fan of Mobility WOD (or the Starrett Method of Movement & Mobility) and the proud owners of both Becoming a Supple Leopard and Ready to Run. These books have become my go-to bible for mobility movements and self-care.

Flexibility

If mobility is the movement around a joint, then flexibility can be thought of as the movement between two joints (think hamstring stretching between the knee and hip joints). During workouts, we constantly flex and extent our muscles to move heavy things (sometimes that that heavy thing is our own body). Flexible muscles mean improved musclar efficiency and blood circulation which both support muscle gain. It also lends suppleness to our muscles that support faster recovery and fewer injuries.

I’ve noticed a lot of people stretching to gain flexibility, which is great. However, mindlessly collapsing into a stretch is not doing your body any good. The inverse is also true. Forcing your body into a stretch that is beyond your flexibility limit while retaining tension everywhere else in your body because you are so uncomfortable/in pain is putting tremendous strain on your nervous system (see great articles from sock doc on stretching for flexibility and its relationship to your nervous system). Here are some tips for stretching:

  1. Listen to your body. I can’t stress this enough.  Your body knows when somethign doesn’t feel quite right. You should feel tightness but never pain.
  2. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Make sure you modify properly if you are inflexible. If you don’t, you’ll be subjecting yourself to possible injury which defeats the purpose.  Here’s a great resource for some starter stretches.
  3. BREATHE! Especially when it’s super tight, you feel like no blood is flowing there (but it is, trust me), a tingling sensation creeps in, and you start to sweat. BREATHE! In fact, imagine you are breathing into the soreness. It’s a powerful visual.
  4. Dynamically stretch along with your mobility movements before a workout. Hold the stretches for longer periods of time or more breaths after a workout or on active rest days after you warm up the body.

Together, mobility and flexibility is a killer one-two punch. Mobility help to keep your joints healthy so that you can keep training, and flexibility help to keep your muscles limber so that you can recover faster. Both help reduce the likelihood of injury. Hve you done your mobility and stretching today? GO NOW! 🙂

To New Beginnings and Shared Experiences

My name is Jeni and I am giving this blogging thing a go not because I have a lot of interesting things to say (so you should spend your valuable time reading this), but because I am lucky enough to have had many wonderful experiences that I want to document them somewhere.  Why not somewhere private? I’m so glad you asked.  Because we should all be so fortunate to benefit from one another’s experiences. You may find this stuff boring, commonplace or pedestrian. And that’s totally fine. Please feel free to skip to the next post or close the browser entirely. I promise I won’t be offended. In fact, I won’t even know you did it 😉

“Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed.”
– Corita Kent

If you have read to here hopefully you’ll want to learn a little about me, the writer. I want to live an inspired life full of shared memories. I am not a perfect person (not even close), nor am I some spiritual guru who will help you along the path to enlightenment. I won’t often have super witty things to say or great advice to give. I am your spectacularly ordinary everyday person who strives to be the best version of his/herself each day. I am a yogi, budding crossfitter, and reformed corporate ninja with a successful career who is taking small steps towards a big career change… hopefully one that more directly impacts people’s lives in a positive way.

This blog will document my experiences with the world of health, wellness, nutrition, yoga and CrossFit, with some rock climbing peppered in. We’ll see how this experiment goes.