Spring Cleanse affecting mind, body, and spirit.
As I finishing easing out of a deep cleanse, I discover a more vibrant appearance. Blood is flowing and my cheeks seem rosy. Going into a deep cleanse with lots of broth and teas, I included more twists in yoga and times of rest. To recharge the mind and spirit, I sat in my garden, weeded, and played with my children. These simple activities evoked energy from inside my body. The hormonal responses rippling through my veins help me feel more grounded emotions.
I enjoyed the clarity of thought and deeper reflection allowed for a ripening of detail in the projects to which I am attending. Greater progress feels imminent. I have feelings of evenness. This is a welcome emotion, as I am often functioning in a problem solving, adrenaline-rushed busy urban lifestyle.
I have done cleanses on my own over the years and this one was deeper in austerity. This time I tried Yogidetox in a group forum with other yogis, I received empathy from fellow Yogidetoxers. Some have participated in this for several years. Our leader, Cate Stillman, this is her official 16th year doing the cleanse. With all of this cleansing experience, it helped to keep my integrity pure during this cleanse. A friend of mine invited me to do this cleanse. Soko is a mentor to me. She continues with this program every year because she studied yoga and Ayurveda with Cate in San Francisco. It is a small world!
Through Yogidetox and Cate Stillman's other teachings, I have learned even more about mentorship and dynamic group environments . She is an online guru and she brings Ayurveda to us through a magnificent online forum and free content. Supported within the group, I felt comfortable sharing unique-to-me feelings and learned that others could empathize with me. I
In my own reflections upon exercise, I learned that my body is in good alignment. Yay~ this is good for bone performance. Maintaining good energy in the comportment of our bodies, allows better energy flow without stagnation. Stagnation = poor energy and blood flow and can settle into different chakras or areas of the body. Good posture allows for fluid energy flow from the universe into you, and from you into the universe. When flow is in discord, stagnation can happen and you will be on a track for aches, pains, and illness.
Adding a seasonal cleanse to our diet, allows an opportunity to shift samskaras. Samskaras, in Sanskrit, is known as "the wheel of life", or "daily habits or rituals", or "mental expression or recollection or physiological imprint". Shifting samskaras, creates fresh newness to our lives. We will emanate vitality in our appearance.
Have you ever been struck by someone being negative, slow, sad, and/or down in their behavior? Of course, you have, we all know someone like this. Then, time goes forward and you see them in a year's time. You notice that something amazing has happened and they seem like a brand new person. They have a new skip in their step. They are positive and striving for connection. This reflects a shift in samskara toward vitality and positivity.
At the end of this cleanse, I realize the best changes that I notice are in my emotional sensitivities. I have had vivid dreams in the past three weeks. New awarenesses in taste, hunger, and nuances I don't normally experience were illuminating to new truths.
The deep part of my cleanse was last week. In reflection, I have a deeper awareness of the simple daily ritual at only 3 meal times, allows the building and stoking of good digestive fire. During this week, I ate oatmeal, quinoa, and millet porridge in the mornings. Lunch and dinner was a mostly liquid diet of things like:
- bone broth with small amounts of Ayurvedic herbs,
- dandelion root and greens from my garden
- lavender and saffron tea to warm and calm the body and mind
- lemon water (warm to hot) to ignite the digestive fire and maintain good pH in your stomach for improved nutrient absorption
- salty water to replenish minerals and facilitate elimination
- coffee nearly every day to maintain my addiction an stay out of anxiety about not being able to have and also to facilitate elimination
Through elimination, we facilitate the moving on of toxins and undigested ama (stagnated undigested food, emotions, environmental toxins lingering in our system). From all of this toxin release, I feel these benefits in my body. Visible signs of purging (acne and inflammation) have returned to healed skin. I had bad breath and was a bit funky in in arm pits. My kids told me so. I didn't use hair products and used minimal skin serums and creams. I tend to over do it with these and what I noticed with this cleanse, my skin is more vibrant and bright. I am presenting more vibrant appearance from within through: a healthy sheen and good skin tone with rosy cheeks.
Last week during the deep cleanse, my skin developed a healthy sheen, but looked darker than usual in appearance. This is a sign of adrenal fatigue. Hormones coursing through my body are also helping to excrete toxins out of my skin's pores. Hydrating continuously throughout the day was refreshing and seemed correct during this time of fasting. Additions of natural electrolytes in coconut water & salty water helped. I found hot or warm water to be quenching and often I didn't take tea or herbs. The warm water was felt stirring and warming my blood almost instantly.
An increased feeling, a coming to the senses offers a deeper awareness is stimulating and uplifting. I also experience times when leaning into these feelings, I sometimes become frustrated, tired, and grumpy. Sometimes I would feel pride in exploring my emotions in this way and would feel the energy of living in the flow of nature. The heightened sensory awareness allows me to understand the nuance and complications of life with peace of mind that this will also change.
Not seeking an evening glass of wine or alcohol to relax, I enjoyed the nourishment of a mango lassi, water with wedges of citrus slices, and bubble water. This cleansing was a practice of relaxation and reflection for me. I enjoyed my time more fully with my family. I found that the company of my husband and children were very welcome and comfortable. This was lovely, as I sometimes become beleaguered with domestic life. Vital to our health and well-being, relaxation and reflection allow us to recharge and absorb all of the nuances of living a complicated lush and satisfying life.
Meditation is a daily habit for me. I can always find a way to sit for five minutes. If five minutes go by perhaps just a few more minutes. Once you get into a routine of meditation, you want to make sure you can take time every day to sit. I find that the benefits are exponential compared to the time invested. Daily practice allows me to sink into my zone of balancing the mind more quickly and without too much ceremony. With this cleanse, I found that I was tired in the mornings. It felt better to rest more than my morning yoga/meditation routine. This turned out to really affect how my days went. Without this centering and grounding ritual, it affected my day more than I could have imagined. At this point, being able to check in with the online forum, was incredibly supportive, as I simply felt vulnerable and could feel pent up emotions rippling through and out of my body. This was apparent to me in a way that I have never felt! Wow.
I am now re-entering my regularly scheduled life and taking care to introduce simple additions of foods to my diet through sauces and liquified foods. I made a radical carrot soup yesterday and re-discovered the art of poaching foods in their own juices or oil. Flavorful and robust, these simple ways to add flavor have been a great addition to the continuation of broths and teas. Adding a little corn tortilla and I had a little foccacia yesterday. It felt so filling. Wheat and corn expand inside our stomachs and the cells continue expanding, until thoroughly digested.
I have been enjoying a fun weekend of baking scones, and making gnocchi for houseguests. I have also tempered these indulgences with dandelion greens and stinging nettles to continue facilitating the cleansing ritual and also take advantage of the naturally seasonal ingredients which are part of a good spring cleanse and a healthy diet.
Springtime, post-cleanse, this is a perfect time to explore new practices in my kitchen. Kitchen Sadhana practice of healthy foods and ingredients from which to work. Kitchen Sadhana is a beautifying opportunity to create a space where you love to work to nourish others. It takes time to perform well in fun kitchen activities like: cooking, tasting, cleaning, and creating nourishing food. Discover the domestic magic which nourishes, makes memories, and delights the body.
Continuing these cleansing habits in all areas of life: mind, body, and spirit -- will allow for ease in energy flow through life. It is very much like maintaining a vehicle. Daily and regular maintenance allows for long and lasting performance. Stagnant energy can build up over time, but is difficult to do with discipline in diet, exercise and meditation.
Applying mindful cleansing rituals to our daily habits prepare us for the seasonal shifts in a powerful way. Looking ahead to an Autumnal Cleanse and understanding the path from today to then will include daily habits of cleansing foods, and a dedicated yoga and meditation practice to spur along ease in energy flow and thwart stagnation from settling into the body's tissues.