By Claire Diab and Dennis Boyle
Fall is here! As the leaves fall, preparing for winter, this is the perfect time to let go of that which does not serve us anymore. This is the time to cleanse your body, mind, and soul by eating right, meditating, and communing with nature. Nourishing your body, mind, and spirit is an everyday event … all year round. In between the seasons is the best time to cleanse and start new as we go through this transitional phase. Take one closet each evening and pull everything out; get rid of anything you haven’t used or worn in the past six months! Give it away; be present during the process and be aware that less is better /less is more. You will feel lighter physically and mentally. You will have more energy and feel more lighthearted and happy.
- Wake Up and “Break the Fast”: Drink 8 oz. of room temperature water first thing in the morning
- 5-10 minutes of breathing techniques: Belly Breathing, Rhythmic Breathing, Alternate Nostril Breathing
- 10-20 minutes of Meditation
- 10-15 minutes of movement (i.e., yoga, jogging, or walking)
- Drink warm water with lemon before breakfast. This will cleanse your lymph system and kick-start your metabolism
- Drink water between meals
- Eat whole foods and give thanks before eating
- Stay present throughout the day
- Meditate in the evening
- Wind down after 9:30pm with nourishing choices
- Take a nice bath or shower before bed
- Pick a time of day or evening that fits your schedule (dusk and dawn are best).
- Find and create a sacred place.
- Shut off the phone.
- Sit comfortably and easily with a straight spine in a comfortable chair (use a cushion or book to slightly elevate your feet, preventing backache. If you sit on the mat, use a cushion so that your knees are higher than your hips, also protecting your lower back from discomfort). Place a towel or light blanket or shawl over your shoulders.
- Have a clock and watch, or meditation timer, so you can check the time.
- Close eyes and silently say to yourself: “I will now meditate for __ minutes.”
- Begin repeating your mantra. Mantra: So Hum Namah (English Essence – Coming back to my true self)
- If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the mantra.
- After your time is up, you may end by taking some deep breaths.
Claire Diab is an internationally recognized Yoga therapist. She is the director of the Yoga Program for the Chopra Center founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. She is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University. She is the author of several books and DVDs on Yoga including “Yoga For Firefighters.”
Dennis Boyle is a retired fire director and acting chief with the West Orange (NJ) Fire Department. He was the recipient of the 1999 New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs “Fire Officer of the Year” award.