Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Yoga of Cleansing:

For me, cleansing is a part of my yoga.  It's like a retreat where I commit to taking very special care of my body, with several extra practices like juicing, making almond milk, sprouting, oil rubs, taking herbs and shakes at specific times, and eventually doing enemas.  I love how I get more sensitive to my energy levels and how I take the opportunity to listen more attentively to what I need each day regarding food, exercise, communicating, work, etc.   As Krishna says to Arjuna, a yogi with disciplined action and be unattached to the fruits of his actions and s/he will have great peace.  So that is what I did.  I worked diligently taking herbs and shakes, making juices, etc. with steady commitment each day.  And, I surrendered any attachment to how long it would last and to the results I would receive.  And I am pleased to say that I had peace around this experience, and great results to boot!

I have been cleansing since my first juice fast in the early 90's, but I've found the Ejuva cleanse to be the most comfortable and compatible with my lifestyle.  I just finished this 4-week cleanse and feel thrilled that I made it gracefully through to the end this time.  I knew going in that I may not be able to  physically  handle it as last year I chose not to do much of the final phase because I felt too depleted.  I tend to lose quite a bit of weight for my small frame and so I try to moderate it so make it doable.  This year just felt so much easier!  I made sure to eat plenty of avocados and do lots of oils during the first 3 weeks when eating is permitted.  What I love about this cleanse is that you slowly reduce your food intake each week, so your stomach shrinks and you're not too hungry.  So by the 4th week, you may be ready to do the final phase of no foods, but lots of juices.  I extended my 3rd week of one meal for an extra day and psyched myself up for no meals, with lots of doubt about whether I could make it more than a day.  But I told myself I'd listen to my body and not push towards any goals.  My intention was simply to honor my body with kindness and love and release any attachments to how I thought it should be.  I was successful!  I just took it day by day and I ended up doing pure juicing and almond milk for 4 days with only a bit of fruit on the day before and the day after.  I had very good energy much of the time and my body felt more open and light! 

Now, just a few days post-cleanse, it's been very cool to see how much energy I still have and how I'm still surviving quite fine with less food.  Cleansing always teaches me about my relationship to food.  Because of my high metabolism, I have some anxiety about being hungry and I often tend to eat more than I need.  Plus, I just love to eat!   But the cleanse shows me that I actually need less than I think and that I feel better when I eat less, as long as I'm not hungry.   It also reminds me of the healing benefits of cutting down on acidic foods and increasing alkaline and raw foods, which are also noticeable in the joints of the body.

So here we go into Summer Time, cleansed from the inside out, and loving all the fresh fruits and garden veggies.  May I remember the benefits of this alkaline diet as I begin my travels back into the world of eating! 

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