Why and When to Detox
Would you prefer to hear about this topic? Click to listen to Why and When to Detox on the Yogahealer podcast.
Detoxing has become hugely popular in recent years, but detoxing is not just about buying a kit and losing some weight. It is about more than the physical body, it is about connecting with the seasons. As more people are looking at detoxing as a possibility for them, there are more questions that come up to be answered.
In this post, I will try to answer the most basic questions and, hopefully, initiate you on your detoxing journey.
What is detox?
Our bodies used to naturally detox. Back when we lived closer to the earth, perhaps even sleeping on the earth in a little hut. And outside were all the plants that you were using to feed your body. There were times of winter, and times of summer. Times of scarcity, and times of abundance. Your body would naturally move into those times of scarcity when you’d be taking in less food.
Part of the problem now is that whenever you go into WholeFoods, it’s abundant. There’s always strawberries, blueberries, and pomegranates. And so we have to create what seems like an artificial experience of barrenness, or of a season of scarcity so that we give our organs a break. Because that’s exactly what our ancestors did, and we do inherit our physiology from the ancestors.
Think about it, how long have we had even strawberries available year-round? Were they always available when you were a kid? Before the time of mass production, factory farming, if you go back 100 years, you had scarcity and abundance.
There are different levels of vibration, and sort of reasons, leading us towards why we should actually align our calendar, our season, our lives, our bodies, what we’re taking in, in a different way.
Sometimes people say, “but if WholeFoods always has abundance, why wouldn’t I always choose that? That’s an evolution. If we’ve moved in our human evolution, to a time when there’s always abundance, then like why would I choose scarcity?”
People choose fullness over hunger, so most people I work with, have lost the feeling of true hunger. And there’s a disconnection in understanding that true hunger is the only path to true satiation.
On Yogi Detox, a course I lead, people actually find the deep joy of emptiness, and that in emptiness, there’s a different kind of fullness. The Buddhists have a good word for that, sunyata. Which is an emptiness that is full of possibility.
When is nothing better than something? In what aspect of your life do you actually need more space? A lot of people right now are already transitioning into the season of melting, and the season of warmness and they’re noticing that their bodies are starting to dump toxins from the deeper tissue, back into the digestive tract, which means like you’re not that hungry right now. Your need for caloric intake is much less.
Your bodies have storage facilities, and if you keep overstuffing the storage facilities, then we need more storage facilities, which means you’re gonna get fat. So in the seasonal cycle, this is a time to not eat very much. And when we do it together, what happens is that in the first few days people start to eat less, or go to liquids, and they start to drop in, and experience that sunyata, and experience that deep peace.
When to detox?
The body’s smart, the mind’s smart, and your soul’s smart. I radically believe in the intelligence of you, your mind, body, soul configuration. I believe that if you give yourself, the opportunity for the body to release that which it wants to, then the liver will release what it wants to, the colon will release what it wants to, the arteries will release the plaque if you just go through the process.
Toxins get trapped, and even mental ama, or mental toxicity, unprocessed emotions, unprocessed trauma, thinking patterns that are outdated, negative self-talk. So ama becomes hardened plaque whether it’s in the psycho-spiritual body, or whether it’s in the viscera. What Ayurveda is very clear on, and yoga is very clear on, is if it’s happening in the subtle, you’re going to see it show up in the gross. If it’s showing up in the gross body, the physical body, if we can measure it under some sort of scope, of many sorts, we can measure it, it’s happening on a subtle level, but we can’t measure it yet.
It’s where yoga and any sort of mind, body practice, will solve all the problems for the physical body, the energy body, and the mental body. Matter of the mind is the mental, emotional ama, matter of the physical body is where you get that visceral toxicity or just excess tissue. Ayurveda is really clear: if you have excess tissue, it’s because the digestive fire is over, it’s working too hard, it’s taxed. And so it’s low quality tissue.
There are two big season changes. When it goes from cold to hot, and then when it goes from hot to cold. So we have a lot of leeway in there, we have a span of time.
If you want to understand more about why and when to detox, join us on Yogi Detox. This year we’re starting right after Pagan Easter, we’re starting April 15th, going through May 6th. Just giving our bodies a break.
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