“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
~ Dalai Lama
Yesterday was the first day of our five day juice cleanse and if it was dust we hoped to shake up, right from our very bones, then I’d say we both succeeded.
As we touched in late last night, sharing our ups and downs from the day, there were two themes that seemed to arise for us both: the sense of going in (introspection) and kindness.
Day One for Bryonie went like this:
From the first moment I opened my eyes yesterday morning, I could feel the potential of the week ahead of me. Senses alive, body in waiting—how would this day of this week start?
Fear, despair, frustration surfaced right away—the internal pattern of dialogue kicked in almost immediately:
Oh great—I work my fingers and heart to the bones for you and now you are going to punish me by not feeding me all of the foods that I want. The delicious coffee that I’ve grown accustomed to and the sweet treat every now and again, gone. It’s like you hate me when you say that you love me.
To ease the sorrow of five days without eating, without sharing meals with my love, without the little jazz of excitement I get over sitting down to a plate full of good food, something else happened to counter all of the sadness I was creating for myself: wisdom stepped up to the plate and gave me the perfect gift to take my mind elsewhere: an upset stomach.
And so rather than juice, my morning consisted of lemon and hot water. And rather than tuning into to the “withouts,” I was able to start to tune into what was happening within.
I taught, I took my dog for a walk in the woods (a rare treat for us both) and I could feel the vibration of the earth below my just-barely-held-together moccasined feet.
The sound of the birds, the sound of the quiet in the middle of the city, made it so I could hear my heart beat louder than anything else in the universe—I could feel myself expand out and then come right back to the place in the centre of my chest.
I walked, he ran like a wild dog and we both were held by mother nature, in her magical mysterious way.
Yoga next (and more hot water and lemon); instead of an active practice, it was time to be calm, be still. And so to be kind, to listen to what my body truly needed, to create space to drive in deeper, I moved through a series of restorative postures.
Breathe, be still, love, repeat.
The rest of the day was like being on a roller coaster—climbing to great heights of awareness and understanding and then dropping down into the human that I am, with my basic need for food, for love—and for stimulation, to distract myself from my discomfort.
Part of my commitment this week was to be in as much quiet as possible…and I found yesterday just how loud quiet can be.
As I felt my attention wane, through work, through dog snuggling, my second juice of the day picked me up and dusted me off, just in time to drop into an Epsom salts bath, before teaching my last class of the week.
ginger to taste
“This practice of yoga is to remove the weeds from the body so that the garden can grow.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life
Day one for Kate went like this:
Yay juice cleanse…water and lemon, check….quart and a half of green stuff, check…watermelon and beet afternoon refreshing stuff, check…dinner mud full of all my favorite stuff…hmm, now I’m just going to sit and watch that Mermaid show on Discovery and wish that wine counted as a juice…
But, then, it’s not really all about the juices. Iyengar captured it perfectly; it’s about the weeding—body and mind. I’ve needed some serious weeding lately.
There’s this thing about creative people and all of that mind waviness that goes on. Imagination, or vikalpa, is a double-edged sword. If I am consistent in my practices, my imagination is harnessed and put to good use. My body is healthy and strong.
When that falls apart a little, it’s a big weedy mess and I’m tossed every which way by every stray thought and every impulse.
I’ve been re-reading Light on Life, and chewing on lots of things there. I know that I’ve gotten to a point in life where I have to choose to harness all that potential and put it to good use, or I will be ruled by it and go nowhere.
How many times have you had an entire conversation with someone—all in your imagination? How many times do we let our thoughts about what might happen determine our choices? What does any of this have to do with a juice cleanse?
When we remove the things we use to distract ourselves (random eating patterns, excessive social media, repetitive thought and habit patterns) we can look more clearly at what we’re doing. It’s like taking a little time out and sitting on a hill looking down at our patterns, pulling out the weedy ones and cultivating the rest into beautiful flowers. It’s about the juicing…but it’s not just about the juicing.
Dance break (Second day juice brain gets a little scattered. Lots more weeds to go):
Three simple things to consider doing for your own “weeding,” even if you aren’t juicing:
1. Neti pot. It’s tremendously helpful during allergy season, but a good simple cleanse year-round as well.
2. Tongue scraping. Truly, it makes a big difference and it takes less than a minute. When you are cleansing, all the dust and muck gets moving around. If you are curious about what the build-up on your tongue is telling you, Traditional Chinese Medicine explains what we can learn by examining the tongue.
3. Dry brushing. Dry brushing daily doesn’t just make your skin feel good. It is a boost to the lymph system and helps move toxins out of the body. It’s great to do all the time, but definitely helpful during a cleanse.
And since I was asked, the recipe for my watermelon/beet juice from yesterday afternoon:
1 cup diced watermelon
one small lemon
1/2 medium beet
1/2 English cucumber
a few mint leaves.
For this one, I used the juice function of my Magic Bullet and left it a bit pulpy. You could omit the beet if you choose for a less earthy, milder tasting juice. Enjoy!
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