Today is the last day of my Autumn Cleanse, inspired by Yoga Journal. The toughest part was day 5. I REALLY wanted gelato. I live around the corner from Black Dog Gelato which makes the BEST gelato in Chicago, hands down. About every other week, I buy a small cup of salty cashew and carmel gelato with whatever flavor there excites me. What also excites me is organic eggs. See the photo of a nice breakfast I enjoy. Gluten free bread that I baked with grilled "cheese bread" and an organic egg on an egg plate named, "Chickie". (Yes, the plate has a name.)
Instead of gelato, I ate yogurt with locally milked honey. It was GOOD. So good, that I'm in love with the food that I have in my home. In love with the mung beans and rice that I've eaten for a week. I'm especially in love with the idea of not having to leave my home and spend money to eat.
The cleanse inspired me to go inwards more to rely on internal resources to be satisfied with the food I had ("No, Mia, you really DON'T need gelato.") The cleanse inspired me to eat more healthy - I don't miss refined white sugar, at all, as long as I have more local honey. I don't miss garlic and onion, surprisingly. I certainly don't miss bread or chocolate. I wasn't even tempted to drink wine. WOW.
I did cheat and have a few french fries this past week and I had some popcorn, but I'm letting myself off the hook. I did a great job of cleansing myself. Now to cleanse the cleanse! Tomorrow, I'll have organic oatmeal with raisons and dates, made with flax milk. I can't wait to get "dirty" after the cleanse!
Day 4 of the cleanse is going great. I love the tea, as pictured here. Although, my food doesn't look as good as it does on the Yoga Journal website, everything is tasting yummy. I ate a boiled egg today for protein & feel much better. An egg isn't on the cleanse, officially, but i was feeling loopy. Why punish myself? I feel much better after the egg and am eating veggies and avocado.
It's been so easy for me to not drink alcohol. I'm considering to lay off the booze for a while. It's expensive, high in calories and, most importantly, booze really changes energy levels - my vibration levels. The other weekend, my friend had a birthday dinner and we went to a bar afterwards. I don't know why I drank as much as I did - maybe 4 drinks all night. That's a lot for me and I felt low vibrationed the next day or two.
So, this cleanse is encouraging my self reflection, which is a good thing! It's always to evaluate and re-evaluate. The cleanse is officially over 1/2 way done!
Durga: The Destroyer of The Nonpure. I dig her.
So, this morning at 6 AM, I went to the lovely Sivananda Yoga Center on Chicago's Northside for a puja, a ceremony, honoring the Maternal aspect of the divine. This is the end of the Navaratri celebration! I grew up thinking that God was a big white guy in a chair with a beard. Goodness, I now think this image is damaging to the human psyche.
It's good to embrace the feminine aspect of the Eternal, as well. Here's what we did this AM, from the Sivananda Chicago website: "The tenth day commemorates the victory of knowledge over ignorance, or goodness over evil. Aspirants are initiated on this day. On this day the carpenter, the tailor, the mason, the artist, the songster, the typist and all technical workers do puja for their instruments and implements. This is Ayudha Puja. They behold and recognise the Sakti or Power behind those instruments and worship the Devi for their success, prosperity and peace."
It was a lovely service that inspired me to be in touch with my mother, today. My birth mother. We haven't spoken much since we had a falling out last Christmas and today's her birthday. I have the internal strength to call her and have taken care of myself to create my own space, so when she goes into "push-my-buttons-really-hard" mode, I'll be ready.
Today is also Day 3 of my Autumn Detox cleanse (see previous post). It's going great! I had popcorn last night because I was feeling queasy and didn't have my food with me, but that's ok. I'm letting myself off the hook. Day 3 begins in a great way!
Ya know, I'm not one to promote anything unless I really believe in it. I'm doing Yoga Journal's "7 Day Fall Detox" because I believe in detoxing to maintain my spirit-in-physical form. I'm fine with the program coming from Yoga Journal, even though I don't agree with everything they print. They have a stellar line up behind this detox, though.
Scott Blossom I studied with 5 years ago and he's amazing - a real student of Robert Svoboda. Chase Bossart I'm about to study with and he's a student of Desikichar. There are other teachers but those are the ones that I already knew and respected.
OK, so day one. My kitchari doesn't look like this:
My kitchari is still yummy, though. I had three bowls today with my too salty chutney, but they taste good together.
I'm a bit loopy, my vata is feeling high. This may be because I'm detoxing my brain. Also, I've been gassy after eating, lately. I thought I was drinking too much home made water kefir (YUM). I haven't had any kefir today and was still gassy after dinner. Hopefully this detox will clear out the ama that's making me burpy & farty.
I wanted protein, but my good pal Lela Beem suggested more lemon, more salt and more honey. Three flavors I love. Great! They seemed to do the trick.
We'll see how I feel tomorrow after day 2. For now - sleeeep. I'm also doing the asana and meditation that go along with the cleanse, too. Why not? I'm in it, I'll try.
And, for the record, I prefer saying AUTUMN instead of FALL. Fall? Oh, no. Get up!
I remember watching the Little Rascals show on TV and sometimes the little brats had to drink castor oil. They always grimaced and made faces when they had to drink it. I never knew what castor oil did. I thought the kids were being punished for being bratty by being forced to down this golden elixir.
Decades later, I'm doing my first castor oil cleanse. Per the suggestion of my Ayurvedic doctor from the Ayurvedic Institute, I took 2 tablespoons of castor oil in a cup of warm ginger tea. It didn't taste bad at all and the results are...productive!
Cleansing the digestive tract is recommended by many health practitioners, including Ayurvedic ones. Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and is the science of self healing, as yoga is the science of self knowledge.
Drinking castor oil sure is cleaning my digestive tract and I hope to take advantage of this seasonal cleanse with the right intention. Cleaning my innards isn't just to have a healthy gut, it's also to symbolically clean my dusty mind, my rusty soul, my lethargic habits. The beginning of May is a great time to begin a new! Starting with a clean gut.
(In addition to practice and balance, yoga people also talk about their poop all the time. It's natural!)
Mia Park is a ParaYoga teacher in Chicago, IL, specializing in teaching Basic Yoga for Advanced Misfits, as well as teaching people how to cut through the junk to shine on.