Ever post-poned a cleanse or health program because you didn’t feel mentally prepared? Same. That’s why we love that yogi Tara Stiles built seven full days of mental “cleansing” and self-care into the start of her 28-day program.
Tara’s new book, Clean Mind, Clean Body: A 28 Day Plan for Physical, Mental and Spiritual Self-Care is an ideal tool to grab as we round out one year of this pandemic. Many of us, homebound and perhaps less active than usual, have lost some sense of connection with our bodies. Tara introduces a gentle, but powerful path to reconnection over the course of a month:
WEEK 1 – MENTAL CLEANSE – Eliminate toxic relationships, create a home sanctuary, and unplug from devices.
WEEK 2 – SPIRITUAL CLEANSE – Establish a meditation practice, slow down, and live with intention.
WEEK 3 – CHANGE THE WAY YOU EAT – Embrace an East Meets West diet, eat clean, and love your body.
WEEK 4 – CHANGE THE WAY YOU MOVE – Redefine exercise, get outside, and embrace the power of rest.
If you need a reset that will engage your mind and emotions as well as it does your body, Tara’s book could be just the thing you need this spring.
Below, we’re sharing an excerpt from Clean Mind, Clean Body — a journaling exercise around the way we think about and move in our bodies…
A Writing Exercise from Clean Mind, Clean Body
Taking time to notice how you feel and get your thoughts down in writing can be super beneficial for simple self-awareness. Loving your body, just like eating well and being of service in the world, is a practice, not a box to check off.
When we are disconnected from our body, awareness in all aspects of life is harder to tap into. If you have a difficult time prioritizing your body, shift your attention toward something you are passionate about, whether it’s mental wellness, a social cause, or something else.
The more you practice taking care of you, the more effective you will be in all those areas you are passionate about. Your body is not superficial, it’s a beautiful expression of how you are. Take good care of you and you can take good care of others.
Now let’s clear a path for the new relationship you are going to have with your body and with exercise. We’re going to set some goals to this end, beginning with a series of questions. Jot down your responses as you reflect on these questions. We will come back to them again at the end of this chapter.
+ How many times a week do you currently engage in structured exercise, like practicing yoga, going for a hike, or taking an exercise class? How many times a week would you ideally like to be able to exercise?
+ During exercise, what is happening in your mind? Are you carrying mental stress and negativity with you into your workout?
+ What kinds of exercise do you currently do, and what new kinds of exercise would you be open to trying?
+ Do you tend to stay moving throughout your day, or do you spend most of your time sedentary?
+ Are there opportunities throughout your day where you could incorporate more movement? Could you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Could you get up from your desk at work to take a walk? Instead of scrolling on your phone during your downtime, could you do a few planks or some stretching?
Your Feel-Good Body Goals
Based on your answers to these questions, what are some changes that you would like to make, in terms of your relationship with your body and with exercise? These are your Feel-Good Body Goals. Jot these down as well. As an example, here are my Feel-Good Body Goals:
I want to practice yoga daily, even if just for 10 or 20 minutes.
I want to challenge myself physically with a new exercise at least once a week.
I want to exercise outdoors more, going for brisk walks and hikes.
I want to take more breaks during my workday to do simple exercises, like planks.
I want to feel good about my body and reflect regularly on my mind-set.