Lucie Agnima with Dinah Rodrigues
My yoga journey is tightly connected with purification methods, detox and cleansing techniques. I dived deeply into yoga around seven years ago and was quite fanatic with purification practices. Nowadays, I cannot imagine to wake up in the morning and not doing my morning kriya (purification practice). It takes just few minutes and makes me awake, fresh and reborn. It's something I really want to share with you.
My morning starts with jihva dhauti - tongue scraping. This is one of the old yogic practices which are known as Satkarma kriya. With the tongue scraper (you can also use a tea spoon) I take out all the dirt coated on the tongue. In fact, by removing the coating and stimulating the tongue this helps to balance the heavy and dulling qualities of Kapha dosha (referring to Ayurveda system of 3 dosha's - Kapha means heaviness, cold, tenderness, softness, slowness).
Scraping the tongue daily removes any build-up on the tongue, which, if left untreated, can lead to bad breath and may house a significant number of bacteria. This simple practice is a direct way of removing toxic residue in the mind-body and it purifies Svadhishthana chakra.
Gently scrap your tongue from back to the front, spit all the dirt and rinse your mouth with water.
Afterwards I use a small amount of fine sea salt to gently scrub my tongue, gums, soft palate and all the tissues inside my mouth. Than rinse with water again.This technique (dantamula dhauti) perfectly cleans all pores and residues of kapha. It brightens the mind and makes you surely awaken.
I mostly continue my morning ritual with jala neti - nasal douche. Cleaning the nose with a special neti pot. The Neti pot is filled with a body-warm saline solution of the same concentration as the body fluids (9 gram salt on 1 liter water). Good concentration of salt and the temperature of water is when there is no pain or uncomfortable feeling involved.
With this solution the nasal cavities are rinsed so that the salty water goes in through one nostril and comes out to the other. You can find detailed instruction on internet or YouTube. Always use a good quality salt - sea salt or Himalayan.
You will benefit from this method a lot. It removes dirt and infectious microorganisms from the nasal cavities and passageways, reduces the frequency and duration of colds, reduces allergic problems such as hay fever, improves your nose breathing generally and therefore reduces diseases such as asthma and bronchitis, increases eye sight, improves your sense of smell and taste, stimulates Ajna chakra, removes Kapha and has a harmonizing and calming effect on the mind.
My morning Kriya's are finishing with Chakshu dhauti - cleansing of the eyes. Using only fresh, cold tap water without anything else added. The flowing water magnetizes, activates Manipura chakra, cleanses the mind and the sight. It gives me a punch of energy every morning. I bend a little bit towards the sink, holding my eyelids with thumb and index finger and wash my eyes alternately under the tap for few seconds. You can also use a special eye cup.
What should I eat to achieve the hormonal balance? Is it enough to practice hormonal yoga or do I have to change my diet too?
I have tried many different diets and healthy lifestyles such as macrobiotics, veganism or raw food. I need to feel the effects on my body, my energy level, my digestion etc. I have to evaluate how my own body reacts on the specific diet. I have become a vegetarian when I was 14 years old. Firstly as many other kids I just didn't like the meat anymore. Later it was more about the moral, ethical or ecological issues. But I didn't change my diet nor lifestyle. I only stopped to eat meat. This led to a consumption of junkie food and sweets and gaining weight.
Please don't follow me in here. When you are willing to change your eating style, do it gradually and with common sense. There is no "must". It's always individual because we are all different. There is always your own way, what feels the best for you. You can try and experiment as I did to find the right diet for your own body. It's not easy because our mind wants to have pleasure and food is pleasure quite often, right?
Nowadays I have a big inspiration in my teacher and the creator of Hormone Yoga Therapy technique, Dinah Rodrigues. Dinah is now 90 years old, still teaching her yoga therapy method worldwide. She is in great shape and health condition and she is not a vegetarian. She says that you can eat meat with moderation. Good quality meat (best organic), not preserved, better avoiding pork and fat meat and go for chicken or fish instead.
We can divide our food into 3 categories:
1. Fruit and raw vegetables, yoghurt, royal jelly, bee pollen, wheat germs, sprouts, whole cereals...
This kind of food corresponds with the concept of yogic diet - sattvic food. In yoga philosophy we have 3 gunas (qualities, attributes). These three gunas are called: Sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious), Rajas (passion, active, confused), and Tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic). All of these three gunas are present in everyone and everything.
We want to eat fresh and ripe fruit and vegetable without agro toxics, which is easy to digest and is rich in prana. Prana is according to yoga philosophy our life force. We get prana mostly from the air and food. It's beneficial to eat a lot of raw food (fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds) since cooking eliminates prana and kills most of the vitamins.
Royal jelly and bee pollen are amazing nutrition supplements. Both full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. Pollen contains plant form of growth hormone which stimulates estrogen production in ovaries. It's great for women suffering from polycystic ovaries, infertility or loss of ovulation.
Sprouts and germinated cereals are rich in prana and help to regenerate our cells. Besides high levels of vitamins, minerals and enzymes they often contain phytoestrogen.
Food with natural phytoestrogens:
Soybeans, soy products and sprouts, Linseed (flax), Sesam seeds, Wheat and wheat germs, Fenugreek (also used by men to increase testosterone), Oats, Barley, Beans, Lentils, Yams, Whole rice, Kudzu, Alfalfa sprouts, Mung beans, Apples, Carrots, Pomegranates, Licorice root, Mint, Ginseng, Hops, Fennel, Anise, Red clover and clover sprouts, Plums, Garlic, Pumpkin, Rhubarb, Rye, Beet, Potatoes, Cabbage, Cherries, Papaya, Olives and olive oil, Sunflower seed and sprouts, Corn, Parsley, Cucumber, germinated seeds and sprouts are especially recommended.
Due to its activity on estrogen receptors, red clover and other high phytoestrogen food is contraindicated in people with breast cancer, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids or other estrogen-sensitive conditions! In these cases we don't want to increase the production of estrogen.
2. Cooked food and frozen, canned and preserved food
The best way is to cook your meal shortly and eat it immediately. Keeping your cooked food in the fridge or freezer and reheating it, it looses most of their prana. We want to avoid or minimalized canned products and food with colorings or preservatives. This kind of food weakens our natural immunity and pollutes our metabolism. Especially preserved meat products are harmful (salamis, sausages etc.) If you like to eat those time to time, choose ones in an organic shop.
3. Sugar, coffee, tea and alcohol
Excess of sugar is harmful for our health condition and the hormonal balance. Eating sweets is one of the most common addictions. We can deal with it and still having the moment to eat something sweet and tasty. Change the sugar for agave syrup, maple syrup, honey, sweet ripe fruits (bananas, strawberries, plums, cherries, etc.) and make delicious deserts from fruits, nuts and seeds, with cinnamon, raw cacao or dried fruit.
The fact that coffee, black tea and alcohol is not the best for our health it's nothing new. We can consume it but with moderation. We also know how harmful is smoking. Smoking can in many cases anticipate menopause.