Why do I cleanse?

I just finished my 4th Panchakarma (the traditional Ayurvedic cleanse) experience at the beginning of April. Well, technically a Panchakarma is at least 21 days and done away from home in an ayurvedic clinic where meals are cooked for you and you receive specialized body work to facilitate the detoxification process. So, let’s say I did a mini Panchakarma.

Kitchari is a traditional Indian dish made with a mix of Basmati rice and moong dal. Kitchari is very easy to digest, which makes it a wonderful food for any cleansing regimen.

Kitchari is a traditional Indian dish made with a mix of Basmati rice and moong dal. Kitchari is very easy to digest, which makes it a wonderful food for any cleansing regimen.

I know when it is time for a cleansing when my digestion gets off, or I crave sugar, or my skin breaks out too much… or I am ready to make some life changes… The other signs and symptoms that indicate our body would benefit from a cleanse are:

·      constipation, loose stools, or irregular bowel movements

·      any form of intense cravings

·      constantly lacking energy or feeling exhausted

·      anxiety or stress

·      trouble sleeping or waking up

·      mind feels scattered, foggy-headed, or lethargic

·      trouble listening to what the body needs (in the way of sleep, food, rest, exercise, etc.)

·      sensing a subtle and undefined malaise

The beauty of the Ayurvedic approach is that it is able to meet each of us exactly where we are. There is a full spectrum of cleansing: from quite intense to extremely simple ones. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in Ayurveda. It is customized, taking into consideration one’s constitution and current state of balance, strength, and age, as well as seasonal influences. The overall structure, length, intensity, and depth is adapted to support us individually.

At this time, I did not have the luxury to be away as I was before when I had the full version in India, so I undertook a home cleanse while maintaining work and personal duties under the supervision of my ayurvedic mentor. It is always a good idea to work with an Ayurvedic practitioner during a cleanse who can give us personalized support amplifying the benefits we gather from the process. It is good to have in mind that even the most basic cleanse has some contraindications. A trained professional can help us make the decision about which approach is right for us.

Done correctly, a cleanse strengthens our power to digest everything we consume through our senses! It can facilitate renewal and healing at multiple levels by eliminating the very toxicity that can inhibit the digestion power. That said, you can imagine how I feel now! That’s why I cleanse.  Because I feel amazing after doing it. After a cleanse I have more energy and I feel lighter and more in my body. I also reconnect with my inner strength because it takes a lot of willpower to complete a cleanse!

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A cleanse can be very transformative especially at a time when more and more of us seem to be overstressed, too busy, and burdened by the anxiety, toxicity, and disease that can be a byproduct of modern life. I believe that one of the most valuable gifts we can offer ourselves is a periodic Ayurvedic cleanse. It is a time where we learn more about our body and mind and the habits we have created that are disturbing their balance. It is a chance to tap into our own body’s innate intelligence and realign with our True Self which can guide us through a very gentle and authentic process of self-healing.