With the approach of spring are you or your family experiencing seasonal hay fever, allergies, sickness and runny noses? Are you getting the urge to detox, clean out the cupboards and spring clean your wardrobe? These are all signs that spring is here. However, with the change in season, come the dreaded colds, sneezing and itchy eyes that many children (and adults) experience every year. It’s possible to avoid these with a 21 day yoga detox.
Use a 21 Day Yoga Detox to Cleanse the Liver
This is the time of year we often feel the urge to detox the body and especially the liver. This has merit as 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. Children 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.
I have worked with countless adults and children who tell me they suffer from allergies and hay fever and believe that it is just something they have to put up with as soon as springtime comes. Once they switch their diet and do yoga exercises to help the liver and gallbladder function, they are amazed that symptoms clear up and if they continue to eat well, never come back. Nathan was seven years old when he came to see me for ear and allergy issues. He was in the midst of a bad bout of hay fever, sneezing and very red itchy eyes. Within 3 days after eliminating dairy, sugar and saturated fatty foods from his diet, the hay fever cleared up and he never had to go back to the doctor to have his ears syringed.
If we over-indulge and over-load the body in winter with heavy foods or cold foods, then the body will naturally clean out as the weather warms up in spring. Traditionally, colds, flu and tummy bugs are viewed as the body’s way of cleaning out, which is a good thing. However, we eventually want to have strong, healthy immune systems so that the colds, hay fever and sickness doesn’t come back.
So, what can we do? Get the body healthy through specific yoga therapy exercises that target the liver and gallbladder, eat foods that help to detox the liver and gallbladder and support their functioning and you will feel your energy and vitality spring back to life. In short, a yoga detox.
Eat seasonally throughout the year, keep up with the meridian-based yoga exercises and the seasonal coughs and colds will be a thing of the past.
Do these Spring Exercises for the Liver & Gall Bladder daily for the next 21 days:
1. Seated Side Stretch
Have your child sit with their legs out wide and hands interlaced behind their head.
As they breathe out, they drop an elbow to the inside of one knee, then breathe in as they sit back up. They repeat on the other side, going side to side 10 times.
Tell your child to sit with their legs out wide.
They slide a hand down one leg until they can grab hold of an ankle or foot. Bringing the other arm overhead into a side stretch we count down from 10 to zero. The fun is blasting off to the other side.
3. Seated Twist
Staying in the same position and keeping the legs wide, tell them to exhale and twist around to the side and smell the flowers, grass or say hello to the insects they can imagine.
Standing with legs wide apart and the front foot facing forward, the back foot slightly turned in. Ask your child to take their arms wide and as they exhale, to drop their front hand down to the inside of the front leg and stretching their top arm high up to the sky. Ask them to feel the stretch up the inside of the legs and side ribs. This is the liver meridian.
Eat 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 four-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 and light soups.
Spring is a time of fresh new beginnings, of change, growth and seeing your hopes, dreams and wishes start to blossom. Make your health a priority in spring, educate your child about the direct connection between their physical health and what they put in their bodies and you will be planting a seed that will have life-lasting impacts.
Loraine Rushton is a leading authority on yoga for children and teens. She has trained thousand of people around the world on how to teach yoga to children in a way that is meaningful and fun. zenergyyoga.com