The word detox, initially brings up images of drinking juices, cutting out bad foods or even rolling out your mat to follow yoga rituals and asanas (postures) to cleanse the body. However, in this modern age we can take detox a step further.
Living modern life can be a fast paced and stressful rollercoaster, where demands of work, relationships and family commitments can leave us without time to take care of ourselves, eating the wrong type of foods, or with no time to exercise and stay healthy. Of course, heading away for a detoxifying retreat of yoga, Pilates and balancing food is a great way to hit the reboot button, but is not always practical for us all. So looking for even the smallest opportunity to find space or detox in our lives can be immensely beneficial. Detoxifying our thoughts, drinks and social media, believe it or not can make a big difference.
At Azulfit, we like to think of our retreat experience as much more than just the time spent on our paradise island with our team of experts. We see our mission as continuing to care and support after each visit, so with this in mind have a few tips to help you find time and energy every day, and detox in a small way.
1. Room to breathe
Sounds so simple, yet so many of us forget to breathe correctly. In yoga breathing exercises are part of the pranayama (Prana = life force, Yama = control), and there are many practices we can use to help our breath provide better, cleaner energy, and increase our life force. Breathing is also an important element in the Pilates practice and classically is one of the 6 Pilates Principles. Joe Pilates stated that we should learn to breathe correctly, and according to my mentor, Lolita San Miguel (who studied with him), would come into the studio, burst open the window (whatever the weather) and take large and full breaths. As you can imagine, at times during the winter in New York, this could get a little chilly.
Now, we don’t all have to open the window and take breaths, but we can take a moment to focus on our breathing. Ensure to take a full exhalation, which in turn will rid the lungs of any toxins and particles and make way for fresh new air. Taking time to do this during a busy day is also a great way to centre ourselves and destress. Perhaps focus onto the breath, whilst allowing any other thoughts to simply be acknowledged, but pass. After a few minutes you can return to your work with improved clarity and a more vibrant, efficient respiratory system.
2. Go Green
Preparing a balancing green smoothie before heading out in the morning can detox and energies on so many levels.The alkalizing greens, balance the Ph of the gut, and help reduce cravings throughout the day. The liquid and minerals will also hydrate and keep the body’s systems and muscles functioning better. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will also help with this and to flush toxins from the system. Combined with the fibre from the fruit and veg, our digestive systems are more effective too, and this helps to remove any toxins we may already have stored up. Add to this the simple thought that it’s good for us, and you’ll be bouncing through the door with a spring in your step, ready to take on the day’s challenges.
3. From free WIFI to WIFI free
I have a friend who likes to run. As he runs, he can tell which shops he passes do or don’t have WIFI. He does this by the feeling he gets in his head. As crazy as it sounds, if we give it some thought, it is possible. The airwaves are full of radio, internet and phone signals, and although we have no idea the real effects on the human wellbeing, it can’t be bad thing to find some space from this.
Look for opportunities in the day to go offline completely. This can even be whilst you sleep. Turning off your router for a few hours whilst you eat or sleep, has been known to give a boost in energy. Besides, this way you know you are truly out of touch for those moments, which allows you to focus more on the moment in hand, and this mindfulness helps our minds to reorganise, and relax a little deeper.
4. Digital Detox
Now this takes the WIFI cleanse one step further. What about detoxing from being online altogether? It’s not easy, and the last thing you want to do is get in trouble with your boss, but setting times where Social media is off limits and emails will not be answered, can be hugely helpful to revitalize the mind and body.
Internet use has been shown in cases to lead to psychosocial issues such as depression and loneliness. Some evidence has suggested that too much time online can serve as an object of compulsive use. Of course, it is also immensely positive too. I for one am able to live the life I lead and still keep up with my friends and family back home, thanks to the internet, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware. Any user of social media can probably relate to an experience of falling down the FaceBook black hole, only to return to find they can’t recall what they went onto the page to look for in the first place.
So a simple detox tip here is to list your time or set aside ‘free’ time where devices are banned. Dare ourselves to meet with friends without our phones in hand, and when you are waiting for someone, take a moment to look around you or return to your breathing exercises, rather than heading for the comfort of the smartphone in your pocket.
5. In with the happy out with the negative
You can also set yourself up for happier days. Believe it or not, it’s within our control (well sort of). Of course, we can’t control the weather, traffic, or how other people behave around us, but we can set ourselves up with positive thoughts. We can start the day with a tune that we like to elevate our spirits, or by preparing a balancing green smoothie before we leave the house.
I know a few people who have positive and uplifting mantras (words or sayings to repeat over) that they keep in their mind or on the wall, to bring them back to a positive place.Even choosing an uplifting colour to wear can be a great way to sustain our mood through the day. Try heart warming greens, vibrant blues or bright touches of yellow to remind you to keep the sunshine on the inside.
Now, these are just a few of the many ways to find energy and space in our day, and for the busy folks amongst us, perhaps you can only find time to focus on one.
Of course, the best way to really hit that reset or reboot button, and to rediscover your vibrancy, then taking a week on a retreat is a great investment in your wellbeing.
Join one of our carefully programmed detox weeks, or simply recharge and rebalance on a yoga and Pilates week with us. It’s great to take time for yourself and to know that there’s support waiting for you at every step of your wellbeing journey. I hope to welcome you to our paradise island soon.
Peace & sunshine,
About the Author
Jamie Isaac believes in the power of mindful movement to change the world. Really.
As a surfer, yoga lover and Classical Pilates aficionado, Jamie founded Azulfit & Fluid Art Pilates Studio to share his passion with those who are ready to take their next conscious step toward vibrant health. Changing the world takes energy, clarity and inspiration, and Jamie makes sure his students have more than they need so they can be a shining example to others of what is possible.
Jamie is a 2nd Generation Master Pilates teacher and is one of the world’s first specialist Pilates retreat teachers, having designed and taught Pilates retreats for 9+years. At his studio in California, and through workshops and retreats across the globe, Jamie loves nothing more than supporting and celebrating the transformations of his students… except maybe playing with his awesome kids.
Email Camilla at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details on the retreats offered by Azulfit. Take advantage of an exclusive 100 Euro discount on the retreat held the week starting the 25th of June and don’t forget to book through Soul Seed Travel to receive a complimentary massage.