Fall Cleansing: Purifying your House & Home
October is here, I’m working on my latest YouTube video (that I’ve made a commitment to get back into doing) , I’ve incorporated an outside studio into my personal yoga practice, and the feeling to nest is in full swing.
This weekend, I really felt the change of the seasons, and took some time to welcome in Fall :)
Monday was a full day. Waking up at the crack of dawn to a chilly home, I slipped on my booties, fired up the oven, and put a kettle on the stove. I tried my hand at a vegan buttermilk fruit bread, throwing what I had into the bowl. With dried cranberries, crushed pecans, diced prunes (gotta work with what you’ve got!) and some chia seeds, the bread came out hearty (aka dense…) and filling.
After a quick flow, we packed the dogs up in the car and headed out for a day of adventure. We had brunch at one of my favorite spots in Midtown, and headed down through South Lake Tahoe, to California’s Apple Hill.
I have included a bundle of photos, below, if you’re interested. After the long drive home, we all racked out pretty quickly. Tuesday morning started in a similar manner—chilly, crisp air calling for an invigorating start to the morning. After breakfast, we took to cleaning the house; both catching up on a week of forgotten chores, and cleansing the studio space before morning class.
We went through our regular “vacuum, sweep, and then mop” of the hardwood floors, but even after the basics, it still felt like it wasn’t…clean. It felt like the space was harboring some of my loafy staleness.
I want to share with you my cleanser—I use it for cleaning the space not only of physical dirt, germs, and debris, but also of negative or stale energy.
20 fl oz. water of your choice
8 fl oz. distilled white vinegar
20-25 drops rosemary essential oil
Shake it up in a spray bottle, and use as you would any other multi-purpose cleaner.
This recipe isn’t anything new—vinegar has been around for ages as a multi-purpose household staple, and essential oils make everything smell nice.
In the spiritual realm, vinegar is known for warding off bad spirits, as it’s a preservative/pickling agent. It has a similar affect to salt, in that sense. From a more practical standpoint, distilled white vinegar can be used as a natural pesticide and bug repellent. For ants, it breaks any existing chemical trails to your home (if wiped over), and is rather unsavory to their sensory receptors. Plain distilled white vinegar is also known to naturally deter spiders from making your house their home. Personally, I like my spider friends that build their webs in between my windows, as they help catch the flies and other bugs that try to come in through the ripped screens.
Vinegar as a cleaning agent is antibacterial, and while the smell can be pungent, is pet-safe. Diluting the mixture makes it a little less harsh, but the level of concentration is personal preference. 100% vinegar has the greatest antibacterial cleaning power, but the smell can be rather assaulting to the nose, especially if you have 4-legged friends that are more sensitive. Completely dilute it, and well, you may as well be wiping things down with just water. My recommendation is above, but I wouldn’t go more dilute than 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar.
Essential oils have been used for ages for concentrating the powers and properties of their parent plants or entities. Rosemary has strong religious ties, both to pagan and christian beliefs, alike. Rosemary, in itself, come from the Latin ros marinus, meaning “Dew of the Sea”. As the legend of Aphrodite’s birth tells of her rising from the white foam of the sea (I’ll leave the full legend for you to discover), rosemary is deeply associated with love and purity.
In later times, rosemary became associated with the Virgin Mary, who is said to have given the plant it’s blue flowering blossoms, when she placed her blue mantle upon a bush. Christians also once believed that the rosemary plant mimicked the life of Jesus Christ—growing for 33 years and to a height comparable to a full-grown person, before dying.
Rosemary can be burned to purify a room or space, clearing out any negative energy or intent before spiritual workings, used similarly to burning sage or palo santo. Border-lining the spiritual and practical realms, modern studies have also proven with statistical significance, that the scent of rosemary improves memory and focus.
From a purely practical standpoint, Rosemary is also antibacterial, and is a relatively inexpensive, widely available essential oil to procure. Additionally, it’s a known repellent for cockroaches. In a study conducted with essential oils against the brown-banded cockroach, concentrated rosemary essential oil was proven to be very toxic to them—we’re talking 100% mortality. As unpleasant as they are to have around physically, cockroaches are known to carry roughly 40 species of bacteria, including the infamous salmonella and the less common plague. Keeping unwanted critters away also lends to maintaining a clean home, free from sickness and disease.
How to Use:
From a practical standpoint, using this cleaner is very straight forward: Point, Spray, Wipe. Following the method below also offers practical points, as it’s focusing it’s intent on cleaning any open entry ways to your home.
From a spiritual side, I use it particularly to cleanse and anoint the doors and windows of my sacred space. I’ve personally felt an urge to cleanse and purify my entire home, as the weather cools and we prepare to nest, but there’s a large focus on the living space that makes up my home yoga studio. I’ve found inviting people from the outside world into my home, leaves an energetic mark on the studio space that changes the feeling of the room. Washing the trim to all the entry and door ways has not only cleaned unknown years worth of dust from some spaces (I, shamefully, haven’t given some of these places a good cleaning since moving in), but has reset the room, brightened the space, and left the room smelling clean and earthy.
This spray makes for a great DIY all-natural yoga mat cleaner, as well. Pro-tip: either dilute it a tad more (3:1 ratio of water to vinegar), or let your mat air out after cleaning. The recommended concentration above can leave a vinegar scent behind that may linger into your next practice, if you roll your mat up directly after wiping it down. For my mat cleaner, I like to use lemongrass essential oil, but other recommendations would be tea tree, citrus scents, or lavender. Some considerations before using this, are what kind of mat you have (porous or non-porous), where your spray will be used and stored (pet-safe?), and what your intentions are (I avoid lavender, as it’s known for aiding in sleep, and I practice Ashtanga. However, lavender may be great if you regularly practice yin yoga).
As always, be mindful of your oils and do your research before spraying liberally all over your props, house, and home.