Expand: Your Breath, Your Dreams, Your Life!
1. Prepare and enjoy the Lung Kitchari. Be sure to chew the garbanzo beans really well to support optimal digestion. Though this recipe is transitional, you are still in the cleanse, so stay on track today to keep your digestive fire balanced and optimally functioning.
2. Embrace Intentional Eating by listening to your body’s signal that you are full. One way this comes during a meal is as a slight air bubble moving up from your belly or your throat. This bubble may not make a sound at all, and at first you likely won’t even notice it, but if you stop eating at that point, your body will be happiest digesting that amount of food. Your stomach may not feel as expanded as you’d like after your meal, but you are embracing your body’s wisdom about what amount of food is appropriate to eat at that sitting. If it seems like too little, you can stop at the second air bubble. Eating beyond the third air bubble contributes to Ama Ayurveda’s term for metabolic toxins. After spending all this time cleansing, the last thing we want to do is create more toxins unnecessarily.
3. Try these pranayama, breathing exercises on an empty stomach. Ideally you would do these breathing practices first thing in the morning when your stomach has been empty all night, but if that is not possible, three or more hours after eating anything or drinking thick liquids will be ok too. Take a deep inhale watching to make sure that your belly rises as you breathe in and falls as you breathe out. Do three more rounds of this very deliberate breathing as slowly as you can possibly breathe. Then, practice Nadi Shodhana from Day 5 and expand your inhale and exhale by one count each. So if you inhaled for 3 seconds and exhaled for 6 seconds before, now aim for a 4 second inhale and an 8 second exhale. Remember the exhale is twice the length of the inhale in this practice. If expanding your breath creates any tension or stress, go back to your natural rhythm, but do count to keep your mind involved in the practice. Please contact me for clarity if you have any questions about these instructions as it is CRITICAL that you practice these pranayama exercises correctly.
4. Listen to this guided meditation for lung day. Make sure not to listen while driving or doing any other task. Sit with your spine upright or lie on your back and do your best to keep your attention on the meditation. Expand your practice by integrating some of these useful tools for managing your energy into your daily life when things are bothering you or when you are feeling stuck. Use a rose to help clear the energy and practice staying in the center of your head as much as possible.
5. Today is the last official day of your kitchari cleanse! The most important part of a cleanse is the exit, how you expand what you learned about yourself into your “normal” life. Follow these Suggestions for Transitioning Out of Your Cleanse tomorrow, or feel free to keep eating kitchari for as long as you choose to nourish yourself in this wonderful way. If you are ready to be pau (Hawaiian for finished) tomorrow, stay with it at least through bedtime tonight. You are doing wonders for your body, mind, and spirit!