Its that time of year again. We have been busy reorganizing our pantry, giving away clothes the kids have outgrown, and painting the outside of the house. Pretty much the typical spring cleaning. What’s not quite so run of the mill is the internal cleaning out that I also make space for this time of year. One of my students this week inquired about my process with cleansing so with her, and all of you, in mind I thought I’d share a bit about my experience, a sample daily schedule and diet and a printable do’s and don’ts tip sheet in hopes to inspire a small, or large, step towards your own spring rejuvenation experience.
I have experimented with psyllium husk, bentonite clay, and other one size fits all kind of approaches to detoxing, but it wasn’t until I joined the community of yogi detoxers that I realized what a deep dive cleanse could truly be. With expert support and guidance I designed (and keep redesigning) a system that works for me as a working mom, a woman who tends to accumulate weight easily, as a teacher/writer/entrepreneur who craves fresh inspiration, and as a human in need of more time in nature. I have learned that seasonal cleansing is not just for physical health (although super important), but also for mental, emotional, and spiritual renewal. I can tell now when it’s time to cleanse. My experience of life starts to feel overwhelming instead of easeful. In other words my perceived “have-to’s” (like going to bed with an empty clean sink) start to take priority over my “want-to’s” (like after dinner dance parties with my hubby and kiddos). I’ve discovered that my “want-to’s” are actually NEEDS if I want to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.
When my desire to grow, create, and evolve, starts to feel fuzzy and far away, and my body feels heavy and slow — I know it’s time to hunker down and clear away the clutter that inevitably gathers. So for the past three weeks I have very intentionally carved out my schedule to slow down, consume less food, alcohol, and media, and spend more time resting, writing, and being outside. In three short weeks the results were amazing! My clothes are looser, my mind is clearer, and I feel more … me. I have been to the beach most days in the past week, had some much needed heart to hearts with my husband, reignited some nourishing friendships, and have started to empty some heavy emotional bags I didn’t even realize I was carrying. Does any of this sound familiar? Appealing? Like something you want/need?
If three weeks sounds like way too much — how about 3 days?
Another yoga teacher I know and follow suggests an easy 3-3-3 cleansing plan where for 3 days you take 3 things out, and add 3 things in. For example for 3 days could you do without sweets, late nights, and Netflix binges? Or maybe the extra cup of coffee, dairy, and worrying? For 3 days could you add in more water, five minutes to sit quietly before the day begins, and nightly baths? Or how about evening walks, fruits and veggies at every meal, and a little bit of do nothing time.
Even in just a few days, small adjustments to our daily routines can provide some insight into the possibilities of what life can be. The slightest change of even one degree can alter our entire trajectory. There is no need to rush or force, just take the time to notice what (if anything) changes in the way you feel, relate, and react. Do any of these new routines want to hang around, or maybe you’re drawn to try something else. Every time we stop to slow down and tune in (even for just 3 breaths) our internal voice gets a little louder, and our instincts a little easier to follow.
Nature, the very system that created each and every one of us, follows this seasonal cycle of purification, hibernation, renewal, and growth. This says to me that it’s a process that’s already built in to the very fiber of who we are as humans, and as natural and necessary as leaves dropping from trees, fresh buds, spring showers, and fruit harvests.
Here are some of my favorite sites that inspire my cleansing menu of food and inspiration. Peruse, get curious, listen to your instincts, and use one of my favorite mantras; “How EASY can it be?
Check out the kitchen section-Kapha’s favorite smoothie (on the green smoothie cheat sheet) really is my favorite! The miso broth on the living soups page is a staple in my house, my 6 year olds request it — and it takes about 5 minutes to prepare, max.
Lots of great cooked and raw recipes here, the harvest soup is delish!
An old friend and co-teacher trainer, he’s got great taste in poetry.
My teachers — they have a wonderful learning library with articles, audios and videos about, you’ve guessed it, YOGA!