Cleansing is something big in the yoga world. There are breathing techniques, daily rituals, body movements and an ongoing focus on cleaning, renouncing, and stripping back. While I incorporate many of these into my daily practice, I took my ‘cleaning out’ a little further than my usual last week.
I already replace one meal a day with a nutrient dense green smoothie but I don't dabble in the fasting or strict juice cleansing arenas often. With minor surgery scheduled to have 4 wisdom teeth pulled I was of the view that the cleanse was well timed and would assist a quick recovery.
With back to back students and a mountain of admin to fit in before my time off, the fresh food shopping and juice prep approach didn’t look like the easy option so this time I went with a pre-order, deliver to your door cleanse. Perfect to fit in with my busy week before the non optional post op down time.
I put in my order, paid the $$$ and waited for the juices to arrive. This cleanse didn't seem too daunting with 18 labelled and chilled goodness-filled glass jars to knock back. The menu for each day included a green smoothie, 1 nut milk blend and 4 cold pressed juices. This assortment seemed to be ample to fuel me for the next 3 days.
After my normal morning walk and practice I dived into the first juice, the sunrise elixir. The lemon tang hit me, and I felt a shift into 'I am truly awake' phase! Most of the day I felt fine and just went about things as normal sipping on my liquids inbetween sessions. A slight headache crept up on me around midday but had vanished by the time I headed off to my evening class. Teaching felt a little different, I felt less in my head and more with the students and ‘in’ the practice, a feeling that I would soon revisit as the beverage only diet continued.
Great sleep, energetic start to the day, then a lull of energy towards the afternoon. I noticed a tender spot under my left nostril…. a pimple coming on :-(. By night I am sleepy, but nothing else unusual.
Practice this morning was oh so sweet!! I felt my body light and my mind completely still as I flowed through the familiar sequence. Inversions felt fearless, free and effortless. The meditation to follow was the longest I have held in the last while, I had extra time so I decided to sit with my practice. Peace is the word I found….
As the day carried on I felt a little light headed and at times was caught off balance after joining in on a round of salutes. Later in the day I arrived at my evening class early, I felt a serene sensation (just so you know, ‘serene’ is the last association I would generally make of me before class). As the class progressed I felt I danced along with the students without thinking too much, things seemed to flow and I was in almost the same place that I sat during my own practice earlier that morning….. Apart from taking a few urgent dips to the floor to regain my hazed vision (I got a little carried away during a hand stand demonstration) the class was one of my favourite yet.
The next morning.
After another fab sleep I woke up refreshed. After practice I made a big green smoothie and then felt an overwhelming excitement to eat something crunchy! I grabbed some almonds and cut crisp apple and began to chew. For the rest of the day I didn’t feel hungry at all. When it came to dinner, at which I had arranged a meal out with my partner whom was feeling like he had gone back to his bachelor ways, I still felt no hunger. However, the food smelt amazing. I picked at the flavoursome Moroccan tarjine slowly. Realising not far into the meal that while the spice, warmth and textures were delightful, the fluffy pearl cous cous and final sweet potato falafel would have to be rounded up for take home leftovers.
1.That pimple did come out, and it was sore! Aside from that the rest of my skin felt and looked really fresh and clear.
2. The experience gave me another notch of confidence in my teaching. I can get out of my head and trust enough to feel how things should flow.
And the final BIG one ----
3. Thus far in my practice I have rarely dipped into the cleansing aspect beyond nasal cleansing (Neti), abdominal massage (Nauli) and breath work that clears the mind and lungs (kaphalaphati). The idea of fasting, and even juice only cleansing is something I have been advised and also felt best to steer away from until this point. With my past history of anorexia and my changing relationship with food I have always felt it best to just keep my diet clean and healthy and cleanse in other ways. On taking up this cleanse and then subsequently having my wisdom teeth removed (another few days of liquid and smoothies only) I found something out about myself. I do love food, I do enjoy eating, I enjoy flavours and textures and the intimate times it creates with my partner, and joyous times it opens up with friends and family. I feel like weight is off my shoulders, I do not have to hide behind past situations, or live too far in front of my present one. My life is to be about the moment. About awareness in that moment.
Doing this cleanse helped me create a bit of extra space in my body, my mind, my practice and my relationships. Sometimes all you need is a little space to realise who you really are.
PS. After my wisdom teeth came out I keep up with juices and smoothies of my own. Adding in to diet mix, green tea, turmeric, ginger, kale, beetroot, blueberries, arnica tablets, coconut (water and yoghurt), JuicePlus capsules and loads of water. 5 days in and I have taken no medications (painkillers, anti inflammatories or antibiotics) and feel like my body is healing as it should. Each day gets a little better and with a little bit of rest and love thrown in, by weeks end I will be better than ever.
Deliver to your door cleanse- https://www.facebook.com/pureglowcleanse
Delightful vego friendly Moroccan restaurant- www.meekarestaurant.com.au
Wholefood supplement that supports my body always- www.juiceplus.com.au