A Holistic Approach To Spring Cleansing
I’m not an Ayurvedic counselor, but I’ve participated in five Ayurvedic cleanses since after my son was born in 2013. The experience of the seasonal ayurvedic cleanses have taught me how to attune my body with nature. Additionally, I’ve also reached out and extended into the other limbs of yoga to feel fully renewed.
I’m an Ashtanga yoga teacher. Ashtanga in Sanskrit means eight-limbed path. The eight limbs are outlined in the Yoga Sutras codified by the ancient sage Patanjali. The Ayurvedic Spring Cleanses this year start in early March. Check with your local yoga studio or shala to join in the collective community. A whole foods diet/cleanse is similar to “yogi lent”. It will catalyze the process of removing Ama from the body, which is the cause of many health issues. This is something your body will appreciate, especially if you suffer from allergies in the Spring. You will build strong ojas and radiate an external glow from the inside out, extending into your auric field. You will attune yourself with the Spring energetic components.
Although the cleanses have something to do with food, avoiding allergens and one’s dosha type, they really are a way of life, and lifestyle to keep the mind, and spirit clean and in alignment with the body as well. Eventually, after practicing the seasonal cleanses, the way of life becomes a part of you.
Purging via Yama
Sleep 7 to 8 hours, and smile internally. You will be full of fresh new good energetic vibes once you awaken as quality sleep helps improve the quality of your life. Sleep is the best medicine, especially during this flu epidemic season. Avoid overusing stimulants that speed up the heart. Ingesting caffeine may cause your heart to be run faster than your body and cause negative or stress based thoughts.
- Forgive and Let go: It’s the season of resurrection and a cleanse can serve as a yogi lent as we learn to not only practice the eight limbs but deepen are restraints.
- Exercise with intention: breath and movement combined so you enjoy it!
- Enjoy exercise: yoga, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, etc. lightly
Don’t starve yourself. If you start to feel lightheaded, by all means, find a Larabar or pumpkin seeds. If you are too hard on yourself, the rigidity may extend into the rest of your life. If you are a woman, don’t practice the Kitchari and ghee cleanse when menstruating. The universe and nature won’t work with you but against you, because the body needs more calories during this time of shedding. My cleanse this year will be postponed since mother nature decided to have the menses commence for me today.
Be honest with your body. If you feel like ghee makes you feel sick and like a greasy, big stick of butter or as a vegan, if you can’t leave the house because you ingested too much flax seed oil, modify! Panchakarma is usually done in India in special housing with an Ayurvedic doctor. Talk to the Ayurvedic expert leading the cleanse and tell him or her what you’re experiencing. Let them guide you and don’t be afraid to tell the gross matter truth.
Reach out and give. Volunteer locally or globally if you have the resources. Think outside of yourself. True liberation is when you realize another’s happiness is greater than yours. Give to local and global causes. Purge what you don’t need.
Purging via Niyamas
For better mental hygiene, budget your time perusing around on social media, gossiping and watching TV. Turn off all electronic devices one hour before bed and don’t check your phone immediately when you wake up. The impressions, negative or positive, may cause a disturbed or over-excited mood, throughout the entire day. Drink hot water throughout the day. It flushes toxins out faster than room temperature or cold water out.
I have journals from when I was 16. I look back on how essentially I am that same exact soul, but in a different body. Save some words so you can reminisce about them later. Clear your head of extraneous thoughts. Then write in your journal all of the stuff bothering you down. Then burn the paper. Whichever method works, let go of the weight of your thoughts. On Sunday, create a strategy for your week with intentions. The intentions may come to fruition.
Wake up early. Before sunrise, the mind and the outside world is the quietest. Sadhana or spiritual practice is the most effective during dawn. If you wish to keep that frame of mind, meditate or practice yoga during this precious time period. However, any type of rigidity will ruin the experience. If you aren’t able to practice until later due to being a householder, do just that. Laugh and relax for at least a minute. Laugh at yourself, and all the contradictions in life. Life is a lot funnier than TV. Make your own reality, but not a rerun, instead of watching someone else’s sitcom. Be kind. If every word you speak is kind, you’ll be in a state of heaven. I’m paraphrasing Jack Kerouac. He’s a dharma bum. I’m a dharma mom.
The eight limbs are just a framework for a yogi life but it is understandable that 2,000 years later, there are many variables. Be flexible and strive for the ideals, but don’t exclude yourself if you can’t meet them. Yogis, or yoga and ayurvedic practitioners are humans bettering themselves. How can one go wrong for trying to be a better person? Surrender to the higher power of yoga and appreciate your being in tune with nature as far you’ve reached. cleansing oneself and letting the course of nature flow through you is Ayurveda and yoga. Clinging or holding on to any idea of the way a cleanse of a yoga practice causes suffering. Let the forces of yoga and grace lead you.
Excluding allergens including alcohol, meat, dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, and sugar in your diet after 3 to 10 days may cause some to feel exuberant. This is tapas. Feel that agni burn like fire. Feel this new found desire for food now that you’ve realized what true hunger is. Your skin and aura may be glowing and you may want to tell everyone in your community about your last meditation. Community and acceptance is crucial to growth. This is yoga. It is important to have community and other people to validate what you’re doing to detoxify! Be proud of your intense focus and devotion to the practice of yoga. Don’t let anything or anyone get in the way of your journey of being in a state of yoga!
lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu
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