Spring cleansing: body, house and spirit

Christina Symons/Contributing Writer / Staff writer
March 12, 2014 01:00 AM

Wild sage is gathered as a cleansing smudge bundle.

March it comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb or, so they say.

And this pretty much sums up my approach to cleansing too.

I'm a little zealous about it this time of year, clearing the cobwebs of winter, before settling gently into spring.

So it comes as no surprise to find myself in yoga class in early March, seated on my loins, hands placed claw-like over my knees about to do the Lion Pose (Simhasana). In fact, at Blissful Yoga, in Sechelt, it is the pose of the month and aptly so, according to owner-yogi Georgia Cyr, as spring is the perfect time to clear the air and release tension and toxins through the cleansing exhales and throat stimulation that the Lion Pose entails.

To try the Lion Pose, you need to sit comfortably (cross-legged, on your heels or even in a chair) and place one hand on each knee, fingers spread (like claws). Breathe out to prepare. Take a big inhale and then exhale through your mouth as you stick out your tongue and make a vigorous ahhhh sound. As you exhale, let your eyes come to focus on the end of your nose.

Yes, you will either look like a cross-eyed lion or Miley Cyrus, so try not to be self-conscious. Repeat the Lion two or three times (for more details on practising the Lion Pose, drop by Blissful Yoga during March, or visit their Facebook page).

At home, there are a number of traditional ways of clearing stagnant energy that may have accumulated over the winter season or simply during a crisis or transition experienced in your house. Lighting healing candles or burning incense or wild sage (called smudging) is believed to waft away bad spirits and toxic energy, cleansing and purifying specific places. But if you'd prefer not to introduce smoke into your home, you may also place bundles of sage or incense in ceremonials bowls, similar to potpourri. The healing and soothing scents will be released ever more gently, but the results will be similar.

Another way to celebrate the promise of spring and wellness in your home is to invite flowering tree and shrub branches to bloom indoors. Forsythia, cherry and plum blossoms are delightful when snipped from your garden and brought into a warm room. Even if they are tight in the bud as branches, once inside, they will readily unfurl. The cheery blossoms, especially those of fruiting trees, symbolically evoke hope and bring a sense of the season's forthcoming beauty into your house.

Finally, many folks believe in the healing and cleansing power of natural stones and minerals such as crystals and agates, both worn on the body or displayed inside the home. Raw crystals such as quartz (a master stone used to promote harmony and co-operation while removing negativity) and selenite (a peaceful stone) are particularly popular in healing circles as well as in contemporary décor.

What you might not know is that it is believed to be beneficial to cleanse your stones and crystals routinely to refresh and renew them. The simplest method is to rinse your stones in water (in the sink or outdoors in a natural creek). You may also use smoke or smudge to clear and cleanse your stones. Some stones may also be recharged via water or exposure to the sun. Or, you can set a new intention for your stone to mark the start of spring.

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