Spiritual Cleansing: Hot or Not

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Diets, detoxifying and get fit programmes are all ways to renew energy and regain confidence, so why not try spiritual cleansing to spruce up that mental attitude and clear the decks? Taking time to organise thoughts, try a new exercise regime and tidy up a living space could be just the prescription for the year ahead.

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Renewing Spirit

Spiritual cleansing sounds like a religious experience but the practise itself is agnostic – no religious beliefs required – and includes methods ranging from new age therapies such as healing with crystals to physical exercise like tai chi and yoga. Most importantly it emphasises renewal and positive change. Clearing the mind through meditation is just one way but don’t worry about being a zen master, the spiritual spring clean can be as simple as a resolution to live healthier and re-connect with the human race.
 
Hot or not? Absorbing new influences and making changes doesn’t mean having to take a leap of faith.

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Spiritual Spring Clean

Just like dust in the corners and tired looking furnishings or dirty windows change the feel of a home, so negative feelings from disappointment, anger or speaking to people who create conflict can make anyone feel run down inside.

Adopting new habits or life strategies is a form of spiritual cleansing, so writing down aspects to improve and positive changes is a first step.
 
Many therapies use techniques such as visualisation: creating a mental image of a problem and then shrinking it down until it disappears, or physically writing negative thoughts down on paper then ripping it up or burning it. Like tidying up a house, little rituals can mean a lot.
 
Hot or not? Rip it up and start again: recharge using simple, proven techniques.

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Herbal Mix

Burning incense and other perfumed herbs and spices is touted as a way to dispel negative energies – Hindu temples are packed with the stuff after all. Common plants and herbs listed as cleansing agents include lavendar, aloe, chamomile, peppermint and rosemary. Fill dishes with a pot-pourri of scents and colours, or make herbal sachets to tuck in drawers or hang from hooks in the kitchen or on doors.
 
Biblical mentions also go to frankincense and myrrh, which both come in resin form, and can be burned in an oil burner or a metal or ceramic dish, adding a little ceremony to proceedings.
 
Hot or not? Herbal bouquets can make a home look and smell fresh again.
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Smudging Sage

One of the most popular rituals for spiritual cleansing involves the herb white sage. Dried leaves are bundled together into a ‘ smudge stick’ and lit at the tips until they start to smoke.

‘Smudging’ means taking the smoldering leaves into each room and waving smoke into all corners and around windows and doors to banish negative energy.
 
This should be done after decluttering the living space and with a positive frame of mind. Use organically grown plants where possible as additives to preserved leaves will be burned too. After burning spread the ashes in the garden or on the lawn to recycle them naturally (extra spiritual points assured). North American indigenous tribes considered white sage to be a sacred herb and often used it in purification rituals.
 
Hot or not? For traditionalists: a spiritual ritual for positive energy. 

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Bath Cure

“There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure,” said American poet and writer Sylvia Plath, “but I don’t know many of them.” Bathing is a staple of any spiritual clean, though washing away everyday dirt is not the point of the ritual. Shower first, fill the bath (with lukewarm rather than hot water) and add a dash of purifying salts, such as Epsom or sea salt. No soap or shampoo, immerse the body totally and focus on the release of negative thoughts and energy while bathing.
 
Korean traditions advocate this method of stepping into the bath clean and soaking in fresh water without oils or creams. It is a mild form of detoxification and allows the body pores to open up and skin to exfoliate naturally. Vigorous towel drying adds a level of lymphatic stimulation to get rid of the body’s toxins.
 
Hot or not? Feel renewed after a refreshing spiritual bath.
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Inside Out

Health experts say cutting down on fats, processed sugars and substances like caffeine can make us feel better. Try adding another layer with a detox drink. Drinks like green tea and certain foods, such as acai berries or milk thistle, provide anti-oxidants or remove toxins from the body. Buff that spirit to a healthy glow with a detox plan.
 
Hot or not? Detox is healthy for the body and the soul. Drink up.

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Work Up a Sweat

What better way to exorcise negativity than with a healthy lifestyle. Centuries old techniques like yoga and meditation are proven ways to strengthen the body and calm the mind.

Be at one with the world without a heavy investment in complicated equipment, simple clothing for exercise, a comfortable cushion or stool for meditation. As transformations go the yoga tradition is centred on instilling proper breathing, exercise, diet, relaxation and positive thought.
 
Hot or not? Will you really look and feel better more toned, confident and relaxed? Definitely. 

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Massage Therapy

Few people need an excuse to enjoy a massage. Throw a few therapeutic sessions into the mix – a simple day spa or a regular session – and anyone can feel like they are floating a few inches above the ground.

Techniques vary from relaxing Indian head massage to invigorating Swedish or Thai all over massages using essential oils. Muscular and lymphatic stimulation are among the benefits.
 
Hot or not? After all the effort comes the rub down, topping off the spiritual recharge. 

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