The new buzz word in the natural health realm seems to be "cleanse". There is a liver cleanse, a kidney cleanse, a cellular cleanse and a cleanse for just about everything. What exactly is a cleanse and why should we or should we not practice cleansing? My view of cleansing is through the lens of Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old health science from India. According to this profound system of healing, it is important to give the body, especially the digestive track, a break occasionally in order to "flush the system" so to speak. It is a means of healing and purification.
The western diet in general is very difficult on the digestive system, especially if you eat meat (even poultry). It can be a struggle for the system to keep up with digestion, often leaving undigested food in the digestive track. This stagnant waste creates a by product known as "ama", a sticky substance that causes blockages in the energy systems of the body. Just as cholesterol clogs the arteries restricting blood flow, ama blocks the "nadis" restricting the flow of energy. Regular cleansing helps reduce or eliminate ama, allowing you to readily tap into all the energy available to you.
A cleanse should not be taken lightly. It requires much preparation and for some, it is quite spiritual, as well as, physical. A cleanse is NOT a diet or a means of losing weight, however it does help to jump start a more healthy and pure diet and it creates more awareness of our tendencies.
The traditional times of cleansing are spring and fall. However, after the holiday season, when we've all overindulged just a bit, an occasional one day cleanse can be beneficial. Choose a day of the week when you are able to create some down time. A day or two before your cleanse, begin to drastically reduce sugar, caffeine, dairy and processed foods in your diet. On the actual day of your cleanse, you will eat only juiced fruits and vegetables, no solid foods. Be sure to balance the fruit with vegetables. I know many people who go heavy on the fruits, not including many vegetables. One of my favorites is apple, ginger, carrot and kale.
I promise it tastes delicious( even if it does look a little unappetizing). Use this day to rest, relax, enjoy nature, take a long bath, journal, meditate, anything that refreshes you. Avoid turning on the t.v, computer, cell phone etc. Read only inspirational material (no news, murder mysteries or work related material). Sip warm herbal tea throughout the day. You may want to stay close to home as it's not uncommon to visit the bathroom often. After your mini cleanse, begin eating things that are easy on the stomach such as rice and oatmeal. Try keeping the sugar, dairy and processed foods at a minimum for as long as possible. The goal would be to continue eating in a more pure way than you did prior to your cleanse.
Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a cleanse if you have blood sugar or other metabolic issues. As we get near to spring, I'll be blogging about our five day spring cleanse. I'd love for you to join us.
If you have any questions or specific nutritional questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Under The Bodhi Tree is my boutique at Moyo Yoga where I carry nutritional supplements and all things yoga, to support you on your journey. For more information or to schedule an ayurvedic nutritional consultation, contact me, Lisa Scarborough at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at Moyo Yoga.
Enjoy this blessed season!
Labels: Ayurvedic Cleanse, Childs Pose, Extended Exhale Breath, Jillian Pransky, Purchasing Props for Restorative Yoga, Reclined Bound Angle