Why do a Cleanse?

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? I’m on day 14 of a 21 day cleanse. It is a pretty easy cleanse as far as food is concerned – a green shake, juice or smoothie for breakfast and dinner and a wholesome lunch along with phytonutrient supplements to promote detoxification. So not starving by any means. Check out my lunch.

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Detoxification is what your body does naturally to neutralize and get rid of unwanted materials or toxins. This is done by decreasing the amount 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. Be forewarned, you will likely feel worse before you feel better. 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.

The real bonus, in my opinion, is detoxification on all levels, not just the physical, but the mental and spiritual. 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 (Breath work) 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) potentiates 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.

The day after Super Bowl may be a great day to start!

Jai Ma