Yoga is a way to release habitual tendencies and to weaken our physical, emotional, and psychological attachments. As I have said before: tell the universe what you want and then make room for it.
If you want to buy some new clothes but you have no room in your closet, you will have to get rid of the old to make way for the new. You regularly need to clean out your closet and make space in your life, in your heart, in your body, for what needs to come through.
One way that you can do this is by practicing asana. Every time you get on the mat and create space in the body, you shed layers of yourself, you release pent up emotion without ever having to revisit the trauma. Sometimes this is so subtle you experience a gradual change that leaves you waking up a few weeks after you start doing yoga feeling really good without being able to explain why. Other times there is a shock to the system and the grief you have been holding on to for months or years comes pouring out of you in a cathartic week long episode of release that is only understood after the fact.
The YOGA CLEANSE is a way to grasp onto the cathartic power of yoga and actively create positive change in our life (KRIYA YOGA).
Step 1: CUT IT OUT
For the first step, take something out of your life. It’s important that you choose something that you are strongly attached to. If you only drink coffee once a week, don’t choose to not drink coffee for a week. If you are strongly reliant on eating out, choose to eat at home for a week, cooking your own foods. If you eat too many desserts, cut out sugar.
Please note that this will take preparation on your part. If you are choosing to cut something out of your diet, be prepared with alternatives. Go grocery shopping the week before and have a plan for when life gets challenging.
Step 2: ADD IT IN
For the second step, you may choose to add something to your life. Perhaps you could start a dream journal for 7 days, or do a seven-day long yoga practice. If you have aspirations of being a writer, wake up in the morning and write 1000 words for 7 days. Perhaps you workout every day for a week (being mindful of proper resting technique). It’s important that for this option, you bring in something that you would like to cultivate on a regular basis.
If you know that you need better sleep, perhaps commit to a healthy sleep schedule (it’s only a week). If you are stressed, perhaps you do an online meditation every day or wake up and do a yoga practice every day.
I suggest observing these changes for about 10 days. A new moon is a great time to start a new project.
• Set yourself up for success. If you have never cooked vegetables in your life and you want to focus on your diet, be sure that you have all the recipes you will try on hand and all the necessary ingredients. The worst thing is being on a fast and being poorly prepared. That can cause the entire venture to backfire.
• Notice what sort of challenges you face while you go through the cleanse. Exercises like this are to help us release our attachment and to show ourselves what it is we need to see. You may experience very strange side effects like irritability. You may realize that there are certain things you don’t want in your life because by taking them out, you become calmer.
• Notice how you feel after the fast. You will be asked to write a reflection on your experience at the end of the cleanse week.