Day 65- guided morning meditation, mung bean curry and oil pulling

I wake up at 4.30am and am immediately distracted by my phone. It is starting to frustrate me how much of a hold this little thing has on me. Between the laptop and the iPhone, I feel like I am in a committed relationship with my technology. But instead of breaking the phone against the ground, I decide to use it to my advantage. I look up ‘meditation’ in iTunes and find some free podcasts on guided meditations. My favourite one, which I had found over a year ago, is the Morning Meditation by AJ Faris. Although the initial disclaimer is a little crackly, the guided meditation is clear and easy to follow. He has a soothing voice, without sounding pretentious and guides me through a visualisation of breathing with the familiar Sushumna breath from Day 11. The meditation then goes on to a visualisation of a lake, an eagle and then an ocean which effectively calms my mind and brings it into deep meditation. The whole meditation goes for about half an hour, so by the time I come out of it, I am ready to stretch and move. I go straight into a yoga practice, but I am a bit sore all over since yesterday I ended up doing a second yoga practice in the afternoon. All that enthusiasm has turned around and bit me in my little yogi bum, which is exactly the area that is most sore. I guess it had gotten a little out of practice over the past few days in transit…

For breakfast I make my usual hot water and lemon and fruit smoothie. I make a little extra because I am kind of hungry, then get to work on some study, i.e. procrastination. I could argue that I am exploring the myriad of social networking available- Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter (feel free to follow/like 365 Days in Bliss on all of the above), but the reality is that I am finding it hard to focus because I am hungry. I go to the kitchen and grab a nashi pear and a handful of peanuts. The peanuts in Indonesia are really good. These are just packet Garuda nuts, but I love that they come in the shell so you have to open them to eat them. It makes the food an activity and I love activity-food. Like mandarins! I come back to my books and suddenly I am like a machine. It is probably because of the peanuts, which provide protein, fibre, energy, and complex B group vitamins, including niacin, which increases blood flow to the brain and contributes to brain health.

I finally stop studying because of a pounding headache. This is fairly common when detoxing. The body has to get rid of the toxins, so on their way out they flood the system. It is also withdrawal from the foods that are no longer being consumed (sugar, dairy, wheat- some of the most addictive substances in the world). For this reason, it is important to drink a lot of water during a detox. I am about two litres down, which is my usual daily intake, and it is only lunchtime. I have some coconut oil that I am cooking with, so I take a swig of this and swish it around in my mouth. This is called Oil Pulling. As I chop up some veggies and prepare my Coconut Mung Bean Curry (delicious, by the way), I continue to swish the oil around my mouth, dragging it through my teeth. It is recommended to do this for about 15-20 minutes before you must spit out the oil and wash your mouth thoroughly with water. It is really important to spit as the oil has now absorbed a host of toxins and bacteria from your saliva and is considered toxic. I spit it straight down the drain and send some water down with it as I rinse out my mouth. The once clear coconut oil has turned milky white in the process. This practice has a host of health benefits and even claims to cure chronic illness. Your body also absorbs some of the vitamin A of the oil and apparently, this goes to the eyes, helping them to stay moisturised and lubricated. This is great for my perpetually dry eyes. It is especially great for digestion and a great practice to add to any detox. I won’t pretend to be an expert on oil pulling, but what I do know is that it is especially good for clearing headaches. As I stand up from the sink, I notice immediately that the pressure in my head is gone.

I sit down to eat and then watch some TV as I drink another litre of water, but the headache is returning. I eat an apple since apparently the natural sugars of an apple is supposed to relieve headaches. I try giving myself a head massage but it is like tickling yourself- doesn’t work! By 4pm I have struggled for long enough so I go to bed and lie down. Time to give in to this one.

Day 61- jet lag meditation and yoga sequence

We seem to cruise through the early morning flight to Padang fairly easily. I buy the visa on arrival while Andrew lines up for customs and we speed through the whole process easily, coming out of the airport to see the dark green mountains of Sumatra layered over in mist. I feel like it is the middle of the afternoon and I am looking forward to dinner when I realise it isn’t even 9am. Damn my body clock!

Arriving at the home we share with our friends, Mel and Sooly, we are greeted by Pat the Dog. He is a British Bulldog and living proof that ignorance is bliss. He is trying to squash his thick head underneath the gate and as soon as we get inside drags over his favourite toy: a floor mat. By the time we unpack and shower, we are ready for a Mie Rebus- spicy noodle soup with a poached egg. It is probably full of salt and MSG but it is delicious and I could eat it every day. I am already wondering about dinner again but it is only 11.56am. Not even midday! I go to make a tea but that gargantuan task takes me half an hour. We try to stay awake, talking on the phone, wasting time on Facebook, but by 4pm we are falling asleep in front of the TV. Andrew gives up and goes to bed, but I stay awake. Menstrual cramps are adding insult to injury so I am pretty much just moping around and trying not to feel sorry for myself. It is with more than a little relief that I am not feeling the same as Mel who is pregnant with twins and laying on the opposite lounge feeling sick with a headache.

I am almost asleep, but I get to my computer and look up ‘jet lag meditation’. I find another yoga and meditation blog, Spirit Voyage, which offers a yoga sequence and meditation. I practice the yoga sequence and add a few more poses in, but my tender mind can’t make sense of the meditation instructions so I find a free guided meditation on QuantumPlus, which offers a short 6 minute visualisation that leaves me feeling relaxed and definitely ready for bed. It is around 7pm but I am still holding out for dinner. By the time I have eaten and fallen asleep it is 9pm.

3am. Awake again.

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JET LAG YOGA SEQUENCE

  1. Savasana – lay down and be aware of each are of the body, from legs up to head
  2. Wind relieving pose – laying on back, hug each knee into the armpit (this gently massages the ascending and descending colon, respectively).
  3. Gentle supine twist – both legs bent together, take to one side as you turn the head in the opposite direction.
  4. Janu Sirsasana – sit up and forward on the sit bones, straighten the left leg and bend the right knee so that the sole of the right foot is against the inner left thigh. Inhale to lengthen the spine and exhale to take the forehead down to the knee.
  5. Seated twist – (from previous pose) take the right foot to the outside of the left knee, sole of the foot flat on the floor and the knee bending to the ceiling. Lengthen the spine up with the inhale and with the exhale, twist to the right, looking over the right shoulder. The right hand can be placed on the floor behind you and the left elbow hooked onto the knee.
  6. Baddha konasana – soles of the feet together, knees wide, bend forward on the exhale
  7. Supta virasana – Come to kneel. Toes together, knees apart, lean back onto hands or elbows or all the way down
  8. Child’s pose – Legs stay the same, lean forward to bring the forehead onto the mat
  9. Downward facing dog – press hands into the mat, tuck the toes under and take the hips to the ceiling.
  10. Pascimottonasana – step through to sit forward on the sit bones, legs together and straight. Inhale to lengthen and exhale to come forward.
  11. Vipirita Kirani – legs up the wall, back on the floor

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