Monday, August 9, 2010

Cleansing/ Detoxing

B.K.S. Iyengar says, "The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in." With this in mind, many yoga practitioners are conscious about their eating habits and work to complement their yoga practice with a healthy lifestyle. This can include eating only raw food, being a vegetarian, eating organic and many other lifestyle choices.  Nonetheless, everyone exposes their body to toxins in some way. It could be alcohol, fast food, pesticides in non-organic food or any other source. Therefore, doing a detox diet of some kind at least twice a year is important to ensure your body is able to eliminate toxins and prevent disease.

Here are some simple guidelines for those who are considering starting a cleanse for the first time:
  • Set your intention.  Begin your cleanse with a clear goal.  Decide the length of time and type of cleanse you want to begin.  In addition, think about the spiritual, mental or physical goal you hope to accomplish during this cleanse.  For example you could set your intention to have a deeper spiritual connection, increase your focus, or lose weight.  Regardless of your goal, make it clear from the beginning and make time to reflect on your goal through daily prayer, meditation, visualization and/or reading text that will help you acheive your goal. 
  • Drink plenty of water to help aid in the elimnation of toxins.
  • Eliminate all meat (including fish and broth) and processed foods (junk food, fast food and anything with ingredients a child could not pronounce).
  • Consume as much raw, organic fruits and vegetables as possible. Try to eat as little cooked food as you can.
  • Drink fresh fruit and green vegetable juices/smoothies with each meal. You can purchase a green food powder or simply add kale, spinach and/or wheat grass to your smoothie/juice. You can also add raw protein powder to your smoothie if you need something more filling. Try to have a juice or smoothie for breakfast, a juice/smoothie and salad for lunch, and juice/smoothie plus raw fruits & veggies for dinner.
  • Take a cleansing supplement such as  Renew Life - Rapid Cleanse, 1 kit.
  • Practice yoga daily.  Yoga is essential for a cleanse because it encourages deep breaths to help cleanse the respiratory system, improves blood flow throughout the body to improve cleansing through the circulatory system and massages the organs necessary for the digestive system. The following are good guidelines for the types of poses that aid in the purification process.
    • Twists are one of the best types of yoga poses to aid in detoxification because they force the air out of the organs and result in an infusion of fresh blood.  
    • Forward folds aid detoxification because they also compress internal organs and improve circulation when performed standing.
    • Flowing yoga poses increase circulation throughout the body. 
    • Abdominal exercises increase circulation to the abdominal area where the digestive organs are located and thus, stimulate the digestive system.
Pay close attention to your body and feel the wonderful benefits as it smiles and glows in appreciation.


Ronda Jyoti Litwin, RYT