I started the Chopra Center Purify Detox this past Tuesday. I decided to wait until my two oldest sons were both back at school, since cooking for them makes it very hard for me to behave. I normally eat a very clean diet but while they are home I do eat a lot more animal protein than I would normally consume when they are away. At any rate, the reason I wanted to detox was basically to clean it all up after the holidays and winter break. I am currently studying at the Chopra Center University in the Perfect Health and Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga teacher training. Back in November, I spent ten days at the Chopra Center in the Panchakarma Program which is a requirement for the Perfect Health teacher training. I have to say that it was an amazing experience. When I came home I felt as though I was floating on air. The program sent me home feeling lighter, healthier, more focused and vibrant. Then Thanksgiving, the holidays, our New Year’s Eve party came and went and before I knew it I had lost that edge. I have never done a detox like Purify; I usually just clean up my diet and do a liver cleanse or a soup and brown rice fast, so I was a bit hesitant at first. The fast consists of detox oil, herbal supplements, shakes or sensible meals, and a fiber shake. As far as the “sensible” meals go, I have been eating dahl, kitchari, or soup for lunch- decent size portions and having the shakes for breakfast and dinner. There are additional steps which I took which are part of the Perfect Health program I am currently studying at Chopra University such as, self –massage, nasal application therapy, using a netti pot, lemon tea in the morning, drinking homemade ginger tea, dosha specific tea and of course meditation and yoga. A lot of people are asking me if I have lost any weight; I promised myself not to get on the scale until the last day because this is not about my weight; it is about my health- about how I feel. I lost 20 pounds in the last 18 months so I am not too caught up in that aspect although dropping the holiday five would definitely be a plus. So far, I must say that this has been a piece of cake. Surprisingly, I don’t feel hungry which is great because I have a huge appetite and very little discipline. Even though I eat a very clean, plant-based diet I still experienced mild headaches the first two days but I drank a lot of water and they subsided rather quickly. My meditation upon rising was much more focused and I slept like a baby, which is great because sometimes when I eat less during the day I have a hard time falling asleep at night. I am very appreciative that I had some guidance from my friend Kate that had already done the Purify Detox; she was extremely helpful- especially with tips on drinking the Detox oil!
So, on Day Four I must say that I feel marvelous! I woke up at 5:00 this morning with boundless energy and an amazing feeling of clarity. Life is good! Tonight we are going to see the comedian Louis C.K. in Newark and we’ll probably go out to dinner so I have to be very careful and make the right decision when the menu is placed in my hands. Wish me luck!
A Little about Panchakarma and Cleansing
Panchakarma, which means five actions, is a rejuvenating and cleansing program for the body, mind and spirit. The goal of Panchakarma is to reverse the negative effects of daily living and create a cleansing and rejuvenating process. I remember a doctor telling me that detoxification is bullshit, that no one needs to detox because the body is capable of cleansing itself. Now, while I do believe that the body is capable of cleansing, I also believe that our bodies are exposed to a heck of a lot of toxins each day of our lives; toxins that we have created and introduced into our world; toxins that the body does not recognize and that tax our natural cleansing ability. When you detox it simply means that you are nurturing your body and all that it is exposed to every day and just giving it a vacation. Babying it, loving it up, giving it the attention we so often forget it needs. You can detox by simply not eating anything processed for a few days and replacing your meals with vegetables and certain whole grains – how can that be a bad thing? Or you can go the Chopra Center for the Panchakarma program and really experience a serious cleanse that you will never forget. The bottom line: Cleaning up your diet and lifestyle for a few days will always have a beneficial impact on your health!