Saturday, October 23, 2010

day one

Today begins the first day of the "real" cleanse. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that last night I attended a birthday party and had a few glasses of wine. This was already figured into my planning for the cleanse. It does set back some of the work that I did throughout the week. But birthdays are so important. And just as important as it is to get in touch with yourself through practices like cleansing, it's also important to be connected and have community. Balance.

This does make me reflect a little bit on the difference between starting your fourth or fifth cleanse and your first. The first time I did this (and perhaps the second), the day before the cleanse felt like an all or nothing bacchanalian extravaganza. I felt like I had to get everything in before the two weeks of deprivation. I would stuff every morsel of bread and cheese in my face, over drink, and start the cleanse feeling like crap. Now that I've done this a few times, I realize that two weeks isn't actually a very long time and those things will be there when I come back up to the real world.

So what does the first morning of a cleanse look like?

Wake up before sunrise (lucky me! in Kentucky the sun doesn't come up until about 7:55!)
Use tongue scraper to remove all the gunk from my tongue (this is one of the practices that I've actually kept and made a daily routine)
Brush teeth
Brush hair 100 times (this is something I added in myself. It just feels very nurturing)
Rinse face with coldish water
Drink lemon tea (hot water, juice of half a lemon, honey, a dash of cayenne)
Neti and then treat nostrils with sesame oil

Unroll the mat for a yin practice and meditation

You might notice there's no mention of food yet. So much of the cleanse has nothing to do with food. I think that's important to remember. It's very easy to get really hung up on the food part of the cleanse which is really just a reflection of our consumptive nature as Americans. The real challenge of the cleanse is the self-care. It's making enough time for yourself to do these little rituals and bring the entire self back into balance. Not just the waistline.

Off to the mat...!


  1. What does the sesame oil do? I'm familiar with the other ideas, but that one is new to me. Sounds interesting, though.

  2. The sesame oil helps to trap any particles that would try to get in and give you allergies and sinus infections. I took an old spice jar (and washed it really well!) filled it with sesame oil and 3 drops of tea tree oil. I keep it in my medicine cabinet. After I do neti, I dip a q-tip in my sesame oil and then I rub the sesame oil inside my nostrils. I really like this if I know I'm going to be going somewhere with heavy traffic or cigarette smoke. It helps to catch all that nasty stuff in the air before it gets into the sinuses and lungs.


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