“When the body is cleansed, the mind purified and the senses controlled, the joyful awareness needed to realize the inner self also comes.” – Yoga Sutra
Why do a Cleanse or Detox? Why stop eating the things you “love” or “need” like coffee, dairy, carbs, and alcohol?
Our bodies have an amazing capacity to neutralize & eliminate many of the toxins that we are exposed to in everyday life. These toxins are in the form of food, unfiltered water, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, including prescribed medications and external toxins such as pollution. As you can imagine, our natural detox systems get seriously overburdened. Furthermore, these natural detox systems rely on many dietary vitamins and minerals to aid in the process. Unfortunately, most people are not consuming these vital nutrients.
Now while maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle every day is the best way to avoid overburdening our detox organs (liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, colon, lymphatic system), it is usually not enough. We are exposed to toxins in our environment that we have no control over. So, I believe, that occasional cleanses can be beneficial to restore the body’s natural detoxification systems.
This is done by decreasing the number of toxins we put into our bodies while at the same time supporting our body’s detoxification and elimination systems (liver, kidneys, lungs, skin) with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
I have tried a number of different cleanses and they all have their pros and cons. The different types of cleanses include the Master Cleanse, Juice Cleanse, Raw Food Cleanse, Colon Cleanse, and various combinations. They can range from one day (not long enough) to several weeks.
This time I am doing a 3-day Juice cleanse with Pressed Juicery. You drink 6 juices each day, each is a different blend of raw, organic vegetables and fruits. You do not eat anything solid to rest the digestive system and eliminate all toxins including caffeine, dairy, gluten and alcohol. I like this cleanse for several reasons: the juices taste great, it’s effortless – no time spent on preparation and its portable.
Be forewarned, you will likely feel worse before you feel better – that is withdrawal from the toxins. I definitely felt the detox physically; the body initially feeling fatigue and muscle soreness as the toxins are released from the cells of the body. But then you feel energized and healthy. You will sleep better. The skin glows from inside out. And, for many people, you lose some weight.
I also take this time to detox at all levels, not just the physical, but the mental and spiritual, letting go of toxic thoughts and emotions. Your mind becomes clear as you let go of toxic thoughts and your heart becomes light as you let go of toxic relationships and anything that no longer serves you. I guess that’s why fasting and cleansing rituals have been an important part of many cultures and religions for thousands of years.
One of the principles of Yoga is Sauca, Sanskrit for purity, cleanliness of mind, body, and spirit. A purified body and mindful eating is just one component. Asana (postures) and Pranayama (Breathwork) are also powerful means to cleanse our physical bodies. “The practice of asanas tones the entire body and removes the toxins and impurities caused by over-indulgence. Pranayama cleanses and aerates the lungs, oxygenates the blood and purifies the nerves” (BKS Iyengar, “Light on Yoga”). Hot Yoga (my favorite) can potentiate the detoxification process.
At its very core, Sauca is about purity of the heart. So, live with a pure heart and good intentions and Feel your divine goodness.
Dr Millie Lee