Detoxifying Mind and Body

Posted: September 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

Contributed by Norm Breaker, Misa Derhy

Summer time is coming to an end and autumn is not far away. It is the time when we start to get ready for the new school year and for the last quarter in our jobs. Summer time was supposed to be- and hopefully was – a time of relaxation, recharging of energy for our body and soul.  While resting on a beach with the family or discovering new places with friends, the mind,  body and soul have a chance to rejuvenate.

However there is often what is called a “Holiday paradox”. In the season of healthy fruits and  vegetables we indulge ourselves with junk food at airports and gas stations during our trips. The ice cream and french fries in the fast food restaurants, coupled with heavy food and alcohol during the friends summer dinner  parties can wreak havoc in the body.  Sometimes it means additional stress from the tension with our loved ones, arguments that we were sweeping under the carpet for months. Who  has ever been through the endless family dinner with creamy sauce, wine and big fight at the end of it?

End of summer (August/September)   is the season of Lord Ganesha.  It entails a celebration in India, Ganesh Chaturthi. He is worshiped as a God of new beginnings, removing obstacles and he brings good fortune.

We can follow this tradition and apply it to our health. We can consider the season of autumn as a new beginning where we set our intention to improve our health, which is our good fortune.  In addition, when we detox our body and mind, all obstacles are removed because we are at our best.

Body and mind are interconnected. We can clearly see how the pain in our body  can plunge us  into a foul mood and the world seems to be dark and painful place. We probably notice less that when we are living with dark thoughts, after time our body gets affected too. Let’s go a little more in depth with the body and mind science:

Body

Lets speak first about detoxification of our body. This does not mean one has to eat or live for days on juices and herbal tea.  Detoxification is a commitment to get rid of toxins from our body and from our mind by the awareness and consciousness of what we put into it.

According to Ayurveda, each one of us is a unique mix of three doshas, Vata, Pita and Kapha. They are body/mind principles and they determine our physical and mental characteristics, generally speaking and in any given moment. When I first learnt about Vata, Pita and Kapha , I started to understand whythe salad was making me feel well one day and not well other day and why my husband loves the hot soup and I need it just warm. The food we eat increases or decreases the doshas.  From this perspective,  food is medicine or poison, depending on how we use it! Detox can be done as high awareness of what we are eating, when and why. There are a few golden rules that can make us always feel better:

  • Raw fruits instead of sugary food. Green vegetables  instead of french fries and any other creamy oily food . Less meat, or ideally no meat.  If that’s not possible, then try white meat or fish. Avoid using white flour and go for  whole grain breads, whole grain pastas and brown rice. Get rid of the food and drinks that you feel are not making you feel good. When you listen to your body, it usually tells you what it really needs. The screaming cravings for ice-cream or sweets does not come really from the body, it is more out emotions or  a need for comfort.
  • Drink plenty of water. We need water as we are made of it! But I also remember my Ayurvedic doctor telling me that with all the green tea, water, soup and watermelon I was eating, I completely destroyed my digestive fire (pita imbalance). So again, listen to your body carefully. Golden rules are again clear: no sodas, no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol. You don’t have to cut it all out of your diet  in one day. Try it over the course of a month and feel happy and well for one month.

Yoga teaches us to do everything in moderation. It is true about  detoxing as well. If we cut out all unhealthy food from our diet, we can induce a kind of shock in ourselves just in the moment when we need the balance and energy for our “new beginning”. So focus on one or two things that you feel are the most important for you and for your body right now. Are you a junk food addict? Go for more veggies and fruits. Are you sugar addict? Try to cut it progressively.

One bottle of beer or other alcohol drink per night ? Reduce…till you are on zero alcohol per day.

If you cut sugar, saturated fat and alcohol in your diet, you will feel immediately better. You increase fruits, veggiess, whole grain,  and nuts on your plate and the “feeling good” is guaranteed.

Mind

How much time per day do you spend on chewing what others think about you? What you are craving for?  How do you cultivate your jealousy and envy? How many times per day do you dwell on the past or  get anxious because of the future?

Worry will  drain you of your energy. It is like an open tap of water. Bad days become bad weeks, then months and years and all that negativity will make you sick.

It is because  negative thinking consumes a huge amount of our vital energy. The low vibration of negativity is draining us, eating us inside and pushing  people away from us. Did you ever meet somebody or sit near somebody that you felt immediately like changing your seat? Remember: Positive people attract others, negative people don’t!

Think also about our beauty. What’s the point to spend hours at the hairdresser and stylist before a party if we want to only make others jealous?

There is no make-up and no Botox that can help the envy and jealousy we harbor in our hearts.  Beauty is really only skin-deep.

For the healthy living, start to detox your thinking. Easy to say, more difficult to do. My yoga teacher explain it in 3 words:

ACCEPT. FORGIVE. LOVE.

First, we have to ACCEPT whatever is hurting us. We will not and cannot change others, or the past.

Then we have to work on FORGIVENESS. Sit, breath, and try to let go. It will not happen immediately, but eventually it will!

And when it happens, we create space for LOVE. This is the state where we are in healthy zone.

Recently, I came to the point that I accepted that my parents divorced. I needed more than 20 years for it, but I did. Then I worked on forgiveness. It took some time, some pain and tears too. Now, I am re-learning to love them and myself as we are.

If we can accept, forgive and love, first us and then others, there is no reason for negative thoughts and negative emotions draining our vitality out of our system. We preserve our health inside and outside.

One of the ways to achieve the balance is yoga, combining the physical asana and meditation. Stretching our body we stretch our mind and while working on physical blocks, the mental blocks are slowly melting too.

If you did not try yet, it may be the moment. Let September be the month of your health.  Detox your body and detox your mind! Balance your heart and mind.  And remember, Lord Ganesha is removing the obstacles right now!

About the author:

Misa Derhy is a yogini and is based in Europe. She has lived in more than 10 countries until now! Misa embrace the change in her life with open arms and utilized it to learn something new. While her stay in India, she underwent intense training of Yoga. Now, she is spreading message of yoga in Europe, and also organizing yoga retreats in India. http://soulretreats.wordpress.com

 

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