In college, my roommates and I would do a cleanse every three months, believing that detoxing would somehow lessen the damage we inflicted on ourselves the rest of the time. We tried all kinds of options: we only drank lemon juice, laced with garlic; we subsisted on veggie broth for a week; we drank bitter green smoothies for as long as we could stand them. My personal favorite: a 10-day grape fast. Unfortunately, we signed up for that right when the farm workers struck and everyone was boycotting the green table grapes we planned on eating. So we had to make due with purple grapes with giant seeds in them. Talk about slow mindful eating. I even tried to fast for three days years ago, when I joined a group that Jesse Jackson organized in Chicago. I never told anyone this, but I cheated by ducking into a convenience store and sweet-talking the clerk into giving me two oranges and an apple, which I hid in my jacket.
So clearly, I can’t fast, and I hate the types of cleanses that make me take a fistful of supplements while sipping some kind of clear consommé. But I do like the ritual of starting fresh every season. I want a program that will flush out my liver, boost my metabolism, and get me back on track so that I’m eating better and reestablishing healthy daily habits. Seems to me that spring is as good a time as any to try again. I bet I’m not the only one that wants to do a detox but is nervous about the process. If you are, too, reading this why cleanse article might help.
Anyway I decided that Yoga International should get together with some like-minded partners and create a cleanse that would be easy for everyone to do, even me; one that would allow us all to eat real food at least twice a day; and one that would include yoga and breathing exercises. I also figured people might need some sort of incentive so they wouldn’t give up when the detoxing process got a little intense or when a better offer came along. So that’s what we did. Scott Blossom put together an Ayurvedic cleanse and I gathered up some online yoga practices to create a free seven-day Spring Renewal Challenge. Now that I’m sold, I think everyone should do it with me. This whole-foods protocol provides everything we need, so we don’t even have to think about the how and why of it all. The cleanse site has recipes to make the kitchari (an Indian stew that’s amazingly filling and tasty) and the breakfast porridge, the digestive teas and the steamed veggies. Manduka even offers great yoga prizes and incentives to any of us who complete the full seven days. And the best part? IT’S FREE! and you don’t have to start on a particular day. You can start it whenever you want. So I guess I have no excuses left–I’m doing it. Sign up with me!