Contemplating the Cleanse

Posted Oct 15th, 2013 by Biz Magarity

Cleansing is in! They are hot and cold, extreme to subtle, physical, digestive, emotional and energetic. Cleansing is a fad and, yet it has been around for a very long time. If you are considering embarking on a cleanse, like the one that we are offering with The Galley Cafe next week, it is important to take some time to think about what you need and what is motivating you to cleanse. In this post, I will lay out some different elements of cleansing to consider. In the next two posts, we will dive into some specific cleansing yoga practices.

First a visit with Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, that suggests a fall cleanse should not be too harsh. Considering the predominant constitutional quality, or Dosha, of the season, the summer is marked by heat and the fall by wind. Coming out of the heat of summer, an extreme cleanse might lead to burn out in the fall and leave you too stripped to enter the winter months. Ayurvedic consultant, Scott Blossom says that when the accumulated heat (pitta) is fanned by wind (vata), it can lead to mental and physical burnout, stressing our adrenals and nervous system and putting some of the body’s natural detoxification processes on hold.

So put away your master cleanse instruction sheet and consider a cleanse that might include more balanced dietary changes, meditation and self-study, pranayama, asana and other self-care practices. We have been exploring svadhyaya, or self-study, this month. Take some time to look into what it is that you need to take on and what you need to let go of in terms of a cleanse. Consider a journaling or self-inquiry exercise where you ask yourself what you need to cleanse. You may identify something physical or dietary that needs attention, such as observing a 3 pm addiction to caffeine or sugar that gives you just enough “energy” to make it to the end of the work day before leading you right to your couch. You may observe an emotional or mental pattern that needs some cleansing. I have a friend that is working on cleansing herself of a habit of rising frustration and heat when she can’t accomplish the unrealistic workload that she has created for herself. In the moment a proverbial ball is dropped, she has to sit with the reaction of heat instead of moving on to the next task on her crowded list of things to do. Okay, its not a friend, it’s me! So if you see me sitting quietly in a corner, assume that I am working on my cleanse.

For more information on dietary cleanse benefits read The Galley Cafe’s Laura Ferro’s recent post and consider adding our 5 Day Fall Detox and smoothie cleanse into your plan.
Laura’s Blog

Check back later this week and early next week for two more cleanse posts that will outline specific yoga practices and benefits.

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