Whatever you do, do not seasonal cleanse

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Cleansing is NOT about starvation or deprivation, which can cause anxiety and distress.

With so much hype out there about seasonal cleansing and detoxification, the concept behind all the gimmicks can get lost.  The notion of seasonal cleansing fits in well with our “enjoy now, be healthy on Monday” culture.  Sometimes Monday never comes, and sometimes our body lets us know loud and clear that Monday has arrived and it is time to start new healthy habits.  Generally, the latter will happen as we enter the change of seasons. Let us find out why and take a moment to explore seasonal cleansing on a deep level.  First and foremost, we MUST understand that we are NOT separate from our environmental climate.  This not only includes the climate outside, but also the climate of our interpersonal relationships, our work, and our home life.  During the change of season, we experience a drastic change in our physical environment.  In Ayurveda we have a special name for the juncture of one season to the next and that is rtu sandhi.  Rtu sandhi is a joint where two seasons come together. In one season, we experience excessive heat, humidity, and sun, and in the next we experience excessive dry and cold.   It is after one season’s extremes and before the next season’s extremes when we experience low immunity and our physical habitual tendencies will “flare up,” like rashes, urticaria, allergies, congestion.  Usually, our bodies are never given the seasonal cleaning they need in order to recover from one season, and strengthen and prepare for the next.  It’s easy to see why we want to do seasonal cleansing during this time so we can adapt to the changing climate.

Ayurveda  recomends that we pause and reflect during
Rtu-Sandhi, the juncture of two seasons

What about the climate of our work, social life, and interpersonal relationships? How do the ever changing life circumstances affect the physical body?  Remember….we are NOT separate from our environment on any level.  We are constantly bombarded

Consider your personal relationships and what effect they have on your well being.

Consider your personal relationships and what effect they have on your well being.

with excessive demands, emotions (good and bad), time constraints, commitments, and decisions and often times we move through our days, weeks, months, and years as if we are unaffected by these things. We never give our energetic (mental, emotional, and spiritual) bodies the necessary nurturing to recover from life’s experiences and strengthen and prepare for the next one. Are you with me?

What we are trying to share here is that every day we experience seasonal changes! Maybe at home with our loved ones, it’s as if we are having a picnic on a spring day but once we interact with our temperamental boss at work, it’s as if now we are in the extreme heat of the summer.  Think of all the physical, emotional and mental stress and experiences we have in one single day and how they might affect us energetically.  Then imagine waking up and doing the same thing over and over again without taking time to rest and mentally cleanse.  Imagine your mind as the mirror over your bathroom sink. Each splash of water is a life experience.  Eventually, you need to clean the mirror or else you will no longer be able to see yourself.  Now imagine you keep your mirror clean daily.

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Thanks to Ayurveda and yoga, every day can bring cleansing and new experiences.

The more you work to clean your mirror, the stronger you are and the more easily you move through all the experiences that life hands you. Sure you are still going to have splashes of water daily which will appear temporarily, but you will clean it again in the morning so you can see yourself clearly everyday.  Your new clarity of self perception can allow you to explore your vast possibilities and accept your limitations.

The good news is that we have a toolbelt full of powerful tools thanks to Ayurveda and yoga.  If we access our tools daily, then we should be able to handle all the seasonal changes and stresses life throws our way.  Things like our daily yoga practice and our daily Ayurvedic routines like oil pulling, abyhanga, and eating fresh prepared, vegetarian, simple foods will strengthen our immune systems and build up our tolerance to stress.  With repetition over time, these daily practices make us bulletproof.  We can then see that there might not be a need for a formal cleansing.

STILL…a good tuneup is good every now and then, and our tried and true seasonal cleanse program promises to be personalized with as much or as little “austerity” as you prefer, gentle, and effective.  We’ve been leading group and solo cleanses every season for over five years.  If you ARE interested in seasonal Ayurvedic cleansing, please email me at katelynn@bikramphilly.com.

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