Updated: Feb 8, 2019
Please be aware that this is a several part essay directed to myself about myself. If you feel inclined to read this, note that this is my story and by no means a recommendation for you to try this cleanse designed for me by me.
Over the more recent years, I've become complacent in many areas of my life. I was born on April 23rd, 1993, a little blue due to the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. As the doctor freed my neck of the cord that had fed me nutrients after 9 long months, I slipped out of his hands and landed on my mother's stomach. My parents claim that I lifted my head to look up at my mom. A newborn baby with enough strength in her neck to lift her head? If my parents are telling the truth, which I believe they are, that means I had been born with the physical strength to do such a thing. Babies are required to have head support when being held. Apparently, that wasn't the case for me. I attribute this inherent strength to my Kapha quality. I was a little yellow in the skin, meaning I was jaundice, and the doctors placed me under the bili-light/phototherapy light. When a baby is born jaundice, the liver is likely not mature enough to rid the blood of bilirubin, a pigmentation that is produced in the liver by the breakdown of hemoglobin or old-red-blood cells. Since the liver is a Pitta organ, I attribute this to a Pitta imbalance. I essentially was unable to rid the waste from my body upon birth without the help of the lights.
I went on to grow up as a healthy infant, toddler, and child. I hardly got sick as a kid. I think I had strep throat once or twice in kindergarten. I got the common cold a few times throughout grade school and maybe a handful of times as an adult. But overall, my immune system has been very strong over the last 25.5 years. The thing that worried my mother was my odd eating habits. I would go an entire day not eating and then eat an entire pot of pasta and broccoli the next. This is the epitome of a Kapha dominant digestive system- slow as hell. I basically ate 4 days a week. I wasn't malnourished. My weight was always in the 90th percentile. My height on the other hand was always below 50%. But my height has never disturbed my health. (Expect for maybe the fact that gaining a few pounds is more visible than on someone who is longer than me.) My physical strength was always moderate to strong and I was able to keep up. Now, I’m noticing more fatigue, laziness, and a lack of motivation. And though the stresses of adulthood, striving for the success of my career, and preparing for my future contribute to these imbalances, I decided it’s time to take control of my physical health in preparation for motherhood, the change of life, and my dying days. I know, “dying days” sounds intense but I’m quickly approaching the most crucial years of my life that set me up for a seamless menopausal trip into old age.
When I talk about cleaning MY body, I'm talking about every system of organs within me. First, I'll start with my digestive system. What the hell is happening from my mouth to my anus? Well, I know one thing: I have slow Kapha digestion. It takes me 2 days to poop out the food I consume. Two days is a pretty long time to keep that waste in my body. It mostly hangs out in my stomach for longer than 6 hours and then makes its way into my small intestines where it takes a long time to pass through and then finally hangs out in my colon until it's ready to exit my body. My poop itself is typically a satisfying one because it's not soft and I mostly feel completely evacuated. But because the food sits in my stomach and small intestines for longer than average, food starts to ferment creating toxins that get passed throughout my body. It also doesn't help that I crave a lot of unhealthy foods that are rich in oil and creams. This contributes to my earth quality imbalance. Because there are toxins floating around in my bloodstream, my circulatory system is also in need of a cleanse. That can be done through proper exercise and breathing which will also cleanse my respiratory and pulmonary system. My endocrine system will be so happy by the end of this because it won't have to keep up with all the stress of garbage food and thoughts. My hope is that in turn, my reproductive system will begin healing and I’ll finally flush out the remnants of the birth control pill still living in my body and return to a normal period. My lymphatic system can also use some cleansing. Though it's strong because I've had good immunity the majority of my life there are practices I will have to do to ensure that the lymph nodes are draining properly. When all is said and done and my insides get a good cleaning, my bones will be stronger, my hair and nails will be healthier, and my skin will be clearer. I'm finally feeling motivated enough to heal my body for my future self and future babies. The most crucial time in a woman's life is from age 30-40. These are the preparatory years for menopause which will decide how the rest of my life will pan out. I don't want to age poorly with obesity, osteoporosis, arthritis, or Alzheimer's. I want to be a healthy and strong woman for myself, my family, my friends, and all other people affected by my livelihood. Again, this upcoming cleanse is a step in the right direction to healing my body and mind from the inside out. This is MY journey. I do not encourage any of you to join me on this cleanse. Instead, I hope that I encourage you to add more health consciousness to your life so you can live a long time surrounded by the people you love doing the things you love.
The Cleanse: for the next 7 days I will be practicing an hour of yoga daily, including the day of fasting. I will also be doing 30 minutes of cardio daily, except the day of fasting. The first and last day of the cleanse I will eat whole foods only. Nothing from packages. Essentially, a healthy, all natural, vegan diet. None of that fake dairy bullshit. Whole grains, nuts, legumes, fresh fruits and veggies only. The second and second to last day of the cleanse I will only eat fresh fruits and veggies. On the third day and third to last day I will only eat fruit and veggie smoothies. On the fourth day, I will fast completely for 24 hours. I'm basically weaning myself on and off a one day fasting period. If this also goes well, I will repeat this in the spring and extend my fast to two days. Again, this is a cleanse that I am doing for myself. This is NOT MY RECOMMENDATION for anyone but myself. On the day of fasting, I will disengage from all electronics and communication. I will spend the day silent fasting.
Reasons for each part of the cleanse:
Daily yoga and cardio: Yoga is a focused movement class that allows me to properly utilize my breath fully while calming my mind and strengthening my body. Yoga is my resistance training and mediation wrapped into one. Though yoga does get my blood pumping, my Kapha self requires more active cardio like running or biking. So a half hour of that daily is enough to push toxins out of my veins and through my pores as sweat and just enough to not make me too hungry afterwards which typically encourages overeating. And as many of you know, I have very little willpower and self control when it comes to food and exercise.
Gradual Fasting: This gradual diet in and out of the fast just programs my body to prepare for this fast. I’m American. Americans don’t fast. It’s not in our culture. By the time I have just 2 smoothies a day, my stomach is given very little work to do. The stomach is the blender of the body. I won't be required to chew and my stomach won't be required to overwork to break down the food. I am opting out of juicing because juicing strips the food away of fiber. Fiber is what helps us to control our blood sugar. By only drinking the juices of fruit and veggies, I could potentially send my body into shock and make my pancreas increase the production of insulin. (PSSST: this is why juice cleanses aren't really recommended in Ayurveda... however, juicing is great for some people who have very weak digestive systems and can't absorb the nutrients as easily... like someone suffering with cancer may benefit from juicing.)
Silent Fasting: First of all, I hardly look at a computer or phone all day because I'm looking at my students and clients and only use my phone for music. However, I do have to answer emails and texts from clients and Instagram is my business/personal all-in-one platform. Doing away with that really gives my mind (and eyes) a break. Not talking is something I NEED BADLY! Talking too much increases my Udana Vayu. I'm wasting all my out breath when I speak. When I don't speak, I conserve energy. I cleanse my throat and my mind will fill up with more clear ideas.
Dry Brushing & Abhyanga: Both are great for lymphatic drainage and stimulating circulation to the surface of the skin encouraging a luminous glow. Dry brushing is done with the use of a special brush. By lightly brushing the skin in circular motions around the joints and lengthwise along large muscle groups, dead skin falls off for new skin to grow, and capillaries begin to wake up and promote healthy circulation. Abhyanga is a self massage using oil. Not only does it stimulate collagen production and lubrication, it also pushes out stagnant toxins in the sinuses of the face and lymphs all over the body. I will practice this everyday during the cleanse.
Skincare Routine: As you know, I have been creating a sustainable, vegan, all natural and organic product line. All ingredients are found in the kitchen! If you can’t eat it, never put it on your skin. Even though skin is the barrier that protects our insides for the outside world, it is porous and oftentimes harmful chemicals seep past the layers and enter the bloodstream. And if that’s the case, I want to avoid letting toxins into my bloodstream, lymph, and endocrine system. The whole point is to push the toxins out of my body! That’s why I will be using my own products. A skincare routine is different for everyone. Since I have Kapha-Pitta skin, this is what my skincare routine will look like for the 7 days: Day 1: Cleanse, exfoliate, mask, tone, moisturize Day 2: Cleanse, tone, moisturize Day 3: Cleanse, tone, moisturize Day 4: Cleanse, exfoliate, mask, tone, moisturize Day 5: Cleanse, tone, moisturize Day 6: Cleanse, tone, moisturize Day 7: Cleanse, exfoliate, mask, tone, moisturize
My goal is to reset my health. Start with a clean slate and continue on this health conscious journey for the sake of my future. If you are interested in a cleanse, you can contact me for an initial consultation so I can appropriately assess you to devise the right method of cleansing for your unique self. For any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your support is appreciated.