Spring Clean Your Body
Photography by: Glen Wexler
The answer is easy: This spring, earmark three days for renewing and supporting your organs of elimination. Cleanses vary in intensity and duration, but effective ones blend nutrition, herbs, rest, and movement to stimulate and enhance our own natural systems, says Scott Blossom, a yoga therapist and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda in Berkeley, Calif.
"Clearing your schedule for a cleanse allows you to watch, moment to moment, the cause and effect of food and lifestyle choices that often remain unnoticed," notes Blossom.
It also provides a time for reflection and fresh insights into how diet and lifestyle habits are serving to support or undermine our health, he adds.
On the next pages, you'll find a recipe for a basic cleanse; you can follow it exactly or adjust it to meet your personal needs. It calls for a light diet, herbs to support organ function, and beneficial yoga poses.
This cleanse provides the benefits of fasting without the hardships. (When toxins are released from fat reserves during a fast, the body has insufficient nutrient support to rid itself of them, says Gittleman; this often results in headache, fatigue, and other problems, so anyone tempted to fast should consult a physician.)
As you cleanse your inner dwelling, take time to purge your outer environment as well. Do you slather yourself with lotion containing artificial colors? Do you fill your shopping cart with only non-organic foods? Bit by bit, you can lessen your body's toxic load, leaving more energy for battling the factors you can't control.
"We are creatures of habit," affirms Blossom. "We get into familiar patterns of eating, moving, resting, thinking, and feeling that aren't necessarily optimal, and a cleanse creates the opportunity to see things from a new perspective." In this sense, spring cleansing challenges those bad habits and sets a standard for a healthier lifestyle--one that mitigates the need for detoxifying in the first place.