When practicing Hatha yoga, many of us become more and more conscious of choices we make and how things are affecting us inside and out.
One of the biggest choices we make every day is to eat; what to eat, when to eat, how to eat and with whom. This can lead to habitual choices and unfortunately where stagnation and inertia can stem from. The body and mind can do with a break from constant digestion.
Two weeks ago I decided to do cleanse/fast, to give my inner body a break. Surprisingly, when I took food, coffee and sugar out of the equation, there were amazing effects.
After some careful research, I intuitively developed this five day cleanse, one that was very gentle and natural to my system. There are many ways to do a cleanse/fast but being a yogini, I wholeheartedly believe in listening to the body and being kind to it.
This one was simple enough for me:
- Day 1: Water, 100% juice, herbal tea, raw fruits & vegetables
- Day 2: Water, juice, water from boiled vegetables, herbal tea
- Day 3: Water
- Day 4: Water, 100% juice, herbal tea, water from boiled vegetables
- Day 5: Water, herbal tea, fruits, juice, soup
I was sure to eliminate all preservatives, additives, dairy, onion, garlic, salt, spices and sugar as well (these all affect the digestive system in various ways).
Coming off the fast, the first breakfast was yogurt (to promote healthy bacteria in tummy), oats and fruits. For the few days after, eat gentle easy foods such as rice and lentils.
During the fast, the first day I had some hectic headaches while the caffeine was working out of the system, but from that moment on it was mental discipline practice, very funny seeing myself react to food. Food smells good! By the water day, my body was feeling quite light, as well as my head. (Note: do not drink 100% juice undiluted after water day, I was nauseous for four hours).
What were the overall effects?
Physically I have felt a great boost in energy, it feels like as though I’ve tapped back into a true source of natural energy helping me to kick out the caffeine and sugar. There are now less physical cravings and I love that I’m not tired when I wake up and looking for coffee. There is a new sense of lightness adding greatly to my Yoga practice. Mentally, without the energy highs and lows I’ve found more clarity in thoughts and reached a more balanced feeling.
Although I’m not a proponent of extremes, this fast has made me a believer in cleansing. I highly recommend a natural resetting for the system such as this cleanse.
A fast can help one feel the true effects of how and which food affects one’s mood, body and energy and come closer to what is working for you and against.
Edited by Hayley Samuelson.
Amanda Ramcharitar is a yogini, animal lover and environmentalist, as well as an artist, writer, ponderer and wanderer. She seeks to experience life through the expansive awareness of possibility and hope. Follow Amanda on Twitter or Facebook.