Posted by: Anu Prestonia | March 14, 2010

Cleansing The Temple

Whether we realize it or not, the seasons have a significant bearing on us and on our spirits.  Each change of seasons brings its own influence upon us.  And just as they have an effect on nature and the environment, they also leave their mark on us.  We would do well to notice and participate in acknowledging the effects and changes that accompanies each season.  Spring is just about here and those of us that live through cold winters can especially note the difference as this new juncture is being ushered in.

I’ve decide that for this Spring Equinox (March 20th -23rd) that I will challenge myself to practice what I’d like to have as my (consistent) daily routine.  We’ve all heard about spring cleaning, but spring cleaning is not just for your home and office, it’s also about you.  It is a time to de-clutter your mind, body, and spirit so that there is a space and a place for the newness to enter your internal domain. Some of you may remember receiving your dose of Castor oil or bitters from your mother or grandmothers at the change of seasons.  What I am about to share with you is an upgraded version of the Castor oil ritual.  In these times we’re living in (consuming inordinate amounts of chemicals), Castor oil alone won’t cut through the mustard.  We need to take it to the next level.

So this year I’m planning on a challenge for myself, nothing too over the top, but enough to have a shift in my consciousness and in my spirit.  I’d love you to join me in this 4 day practice.  This  is what it would entail:

  • 5-30 minutes of Nadi Shuddhi (alternate nostril breathing) a.k.a.  Skull Shining Breath
  • 10 Sun Salutations or a full yoga session (or you could do stretching, Tai Chi, or any meditative exercise that best suits you)
  • drink at least 4-6 glasses of water (8 may be too much for some of us)
  • two glasses of fresh squeezed, green, vegetable juice
  • have at least one serving of wheat grass juice (I’ll take mine diluted with H20, Thank you)
  • one hour of daily meditation (this could be two 30 minutes sessions – one in the morning and one in the evening)
  • eat only wholesome foods (preferably organic foods – no snacks, sweets, caffeine or alcohol)
  • have a large salad that includes liver cleansing vegetables like chicory and dandelion
  • abstain from all intake of dairy and flesh

If you don’t have a juicer or a wheat grass juicer, don’t be deterred.  Many health food stores and some gyms have a fresh juice bar and will make fresh juices upon request.   You can watch as your juice is being made and when you drink it right away, you will receive all the benefits (including a natural high) of the live enzymes.

There are those who take this to another level by fasting, taking enemas, colonics, abstinence from sex, and even days or times of silence.  Only you can decide what’s right for you and how far you want to take this observance.

Some say that the actual Equinox really lasts only two days.  Some say it’s only certain moments of these special days.  I’m committing to four days of this cleansing and I look forward to the lightness of body, mind, and spirit that will follow from these simple practices.  The Equinox and Solstices are perfect times of the year to remember that our bodies are our temples which house our mind, our spirit, our soul and the presence of the One that created the universe, heaven, earth and us.

Perhaps you have other practices that you do during this time and can share them with us.  Or maybe you have a wonderful fresh juice recipe that you can post here.  Feel free to do so.  And please consider joining me on this little quest.  That would be so great.  The more the merrier.

Happy Spring!

Nadi Shuddhi Video

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Responses

  1. This is wonderful. Sure I’ll give a go.
    BTW: If Nadi is diffucult for some they may just try slowing down the breath to the count of 6-8 breaths. Allowing the out breath to be the longer of the 2 breaths. Ex: inhale 6 breathes follow with out breath to 6-10 exhales. For 10 – 20 minutes.

    • Thanks for the breathing tip Arit.

      I had my bedroom painted last Thursday and the fumes are still kicking. I haven’t been able to sleep in there since. That experience was a visceral reminder of how precious it is to be able to breath in fresh air.

  2. Okay Anu, I’m going to join you. I so need to do this as I am in need of a jump start to getting back on track towards improving my health. Thanks for the invitation to wellness – you’re the best! Let’s correspond after our collective sojourn towards inner cleansing and healing. Luv Ya!

    • Alrighty now, that’s what I’m talking about! Let’s do this. I love to connect with following our cleansing. BTW, missed you terribly Friday night. I just knew you would be there…

  3. I know I need cleansing but I just to get my mind to focus. This program seems a bit too much for me though. I have yet to find the hours to do all of it. I can start with the breathing and I’ll keep going to the gym.

    • Hi Mireille,

      This is supposed to be a fun and inspiring journey. It’s not about getting everything done that’s on my list. That’s just a guideline. It’s about doing what you can as best as you can for what works for you. All of this could be done in a hour. For instance, you could do 5 minutes of deep breathing, 15 minutes of meditation, 15 minutes of yoga and have the rest of the hour to make at least one green juice.

      I hope this helps and I hope you will join us.

  4. Thanks for the invite. I will gladly join you. Looking forward to doing this. A wonderful way to enter into Spring after this challenging winter.

    • Great! Thank you Farah! Do you know of a “private” on line way we could all communicate about how the process is going for us once we begin?

  5. Let me think about it. Maybe something like Google groups or Yahoo groups. If everyone is on Facebook we can do a “private” message to the group.

  6. Count me in….On Sunday I made a decision to start my juicing and you know the yoga thing has been chasing me. Great idea Anu!!!!

  7. Hey ladies!

    Here is a fabulous juice recipe called the Green Lemonade. My nutritionist Cathy Vignola saved my life with this! I have so much more energy and it not only cleanses your system but also helps to cut out sugar cravings (I’m a sucker for anything sweet:)

    Here goes:
    1/2 Lemon
    1 Full Stalk of Celery
    3 inch piece of fresh ginger
    2 Organic Granny Smith apples (helps to add sweetness)
    A few pieces of any leafy greens (Kale, Romaine)

    Cathy recommends using organic ingredients when juicing or if you buy your produce from Farmers Market that works as well

    Would love to hear any other recipes anyone else has.

    A great book to read is Life Force Energy by Natalia Rose

    Anu great job at creating community around this cleanse!

  8. Try Therapeutate Purifying Myst, it is intended for such rituals, clearing spaces, etc.

  9. Can’t wait to try that green lemonade. Do green smoothies count too? I have a juicer but also a super powerful blender for making green smoothies…almost of juice consistency but you keep all the fiber. I’ve got a few green smoothie recipes.

    • I need another blender Farah. What kind do you have? The one I have is really made for chopping ice. I’ve not been happy with it. But I was amazed at how much blenders cost these days, especially the ones I liked.

  10. Hello Sisters,

    I agree, the first day of Spring was great here in Ohio as well….I was so excited to start the Spring Equinox. The day started according to plan but quickly took a U turn. Let me say first that I started with great optimism knowing that my daughter was arriving in town for a quick weekend visit. I informed her of what I was doing and at that point I realized she had more planned for me than I exspected.

    In short, I had to delay my start until today. The only thing I did not start yet is the Wheat Grass, will do that tomorrow. I was happy to spend this time with her and then happy to get started with the Spring Equinox as well.

    I also wanted to ask whether anyone has the Vita Mix Jucier or the Montel Williams Health Master? Its my understanding that they are the best of the juicers out there. Vita Mix is pricey but has a 8 year warranty…Montel’s Jucier has a 100 year warranty. If anyone has either of these juicers, please give me your thoughts on them. Also if there is a better one out there please share. The key to these two juicers is that you do not waste anything, no waste is thrown away or filtered to the back of the juicer. They have a blender concept.

    Grace and Peace

    Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      First I’d like to commend you for your diligence despite your delay. Some times that can really throw a person off course. So kudos to you for sticking to your plan.

      In terms of juicers, both that you mentioned sound more like blenders and chopping machines, more so than juicers. With real juicers, the juice is actually extracted from the fruits and vegetables and so there’s always pulp. Any time there is no pulp it’s a high speed blend of some sort.

      I have basically had experience with three juicers in my 30 plus years of juicing. The first was an Acme juicer and I used the Acme for about 20 years. The Acme was sturdy, basically stainless steel and it is also what is considered a centrifugal juicer . After 12 years I decided to go with a Champion Juicer, known as the mother of all juicers. But Champions are a masticating type of juicers and I found it was just too slow for me. So I sold it after using it for two weeks and bought another Acme. A number of years later that one was knocked off the top of my refrigerator by a contractor and was beyond repair and that’s when I decided to try something new.

      I decided on the Omega juicer. It is also a centrifugal juicer. I found it to be very much like the Acme and I no longer remember why I chose to go with the Omega over the Acme. Though after using both, I still think the Acme is a better juicer. I just found out that the Omega I broke can be easily fixed because the part that broke is replaceable. I’m going to try and sell the Omega because I just bought a new juicer that I really like called a Breville. It is also is centrifugal juicer. It has different speeds depending on what you’re juicing, it’s very efficiently designed and easy to clean. I really love it. I can highly recommend the Breville, though they say the best juicers with the highest quality of juice, are the masticating types. When I have more time in my days, I’ll might eventually graduate to that type, probably when I’m around eighty years old.

      Hope this helps.

      • Thanks Anu,

        You are right the Vita Mix and the Montel Health Master do have the blender concept. They are used for juicing, blending and smoothies and anything else you can think of.

        I have a good Juicer, its not that its not working, I just hate to see 50% of what I juice excluded from my juice. I want everything or at least almost everything juiced.

        I have a good blender but it’s not made to do heavy duty juicing and the warranty does not support that.

        Thanks!

      • Linda,
        Leora posted a comment about a blender called a dual Cusinart. Check it out. What I do with the pulp from the juice is put it in my compost bend for my garden. That’s one way of recycling the pulp and putting it to good use. If you don’t have that much of a garden or a compost bend, perhaps one of your neighbors does and would be willing to take it off your hands.

      • Yes, I saw her comments on that…if you remember, I was with you in Bed Bath and Beyond and you bought the Cuisinart blender and returned it….I have the Cuisinart Blender its great. Great idea on the pulp but I will not have a garden this year, as I getting ready to sell my house…Out here in the west I am the only gardener on my street.

        A note on bathing to get rid of toxins…lets not forget that unless you are using Spring water for your baths, the water has toxins in it. As you try to get rid of the toxins you are putting them into your body with the city’s chlorine water. A quick method to detox is to do a foot bath, it works and you can use Spring water, a gallon bottle.

        Thanks for the Lemonade recipe…I don’t really have any recipes, I just use any greens I have, kale, spinach, collards, parsley, cucumbers for water, celery and lemon or apples for sweetness…also ginger when I need it. I have been juicing for 25 years but just recently started with the green juices. I really got into juicing when I had my kids…I never bought baby food. I juiced everything for them, or it was blended for them to consume. It was amazing, never bought baby food and never bought semilac. If they didn’t have breast milk they had blended fresh food.

        Thanks for the Blender comments….

  11. […] have a shot of wheat grass juice last Thursday as a pre-launch into my cleanse.  As stated in an earlier post, I diluted it in a 12 ounce glass of water.  Rather quickly, I started feeling strange.  My mouth […]

  12. Anu:

    I thought about the Vitamix Blender and researched it but settled on the Blendtec. It is expensive but well worth the price. I think the same is true of the Vitamix. I’ve had the Blendtec for a year and have used it a lot! I actually use it more than I do our juicer so I end up with more green smoothies than green juice because the blender is SO easy to clean. It has a setting for smoothies and a setting for whole juice but either way the consistency is not really the same as a juicer. My juicer is supposed to be easy to clean but it always requires a lot of work. I probably need one of the newer ones. I will check out the ones you recommend.

    • Thanks Farah, I will look into the Blendtec.

  13. Hey ladies!

    As far as juicers go, the Breville is an excellent choice. For $150 (at Bed Bath and Beyond) plus you can prob find a 20% off coupon you can’t lose! Its super easy to clean and you put an entire apple in it at once.

    For Blender try the dual Cusinart it comes with a 3 year warranty, I believe its $100 and you can also use it as a food processor. Wonderful for chopping or making any recipe that calls for food processing (a lot of raw food recipes do). Hope all this info helps!

  14. Dear Anu (and everyone else),
    This has been wonderful for me!
    I’ve been doing almost everything but the green drinks (which always make me sick.) Breakfast has been mixed berries, pineapple, and water infused with lemongrass, meyer lemons and ginger. Then I go to yoga. On Day 2, we did alternate nostril breathing in yoga class. On Day 1 and today, I just did it several times over the course of the day.
    The rest of the day, I’ve been eating raw kale, marinated with vinegar and garlic, brown rice with turmeric, ginger, garlic, fenugreek, and curry, broccoli, spinach, avocados and peanuts. And drinking a lot of water along the way. I have many many food allergies so I had to use what I can eat. I’ve been ending the day with lavender jasmine tea.

    I already take lots of vitamin supplements, but I added a wheatgrass one which I seem to be fine with.

    The hardest part for me has been the meditation. I’m doing it, but it is hard to quiet myself in that way.

    I’m having some trouble sleeping, sweating a lot, and some headaches which I think is part of the detox. I’m also taking dead sea salt baths and stretching a lot to try to work toxins out.

    I’m surprised that this hasn’t been harder for me. I’m good with the food ( it’s sort of what I eat already minus desserts, limeade, and fish) and LOVE going to yoga multiple days in a row. But I had a revelation while taking a walk yesterday that I’m so used to being in adrenal overdrive that I can get nervous if I’m “taking it easy” or going into deep relaxation, and so don’t take enough time for it.

    Today I may miss yoga, I have a ton of work to do before work tomorrow, but I’ve been stretching this evening.

    Thank you for this wonderful journey!

    • Wow Imani,
      You’ve been doing the darn thing! Thank you so much for sharing with us. It sounds like you’re enjoying the journey…

      Meditation is not one of my strong suits either. It can be especially challenging for those that have intellectual professions. The mind is always going. And I think it’s more difficult living in a world where we’re always wired, in every sense of the word, figuratively and literally. That’s one of the reasons it’s called a practice. We must practice even if it’s 5 minutes. It makes a difference and we need that difference. We need that time to try and calm the “Drunken Monkey” called the mind. I was doing my yoga today when I realized I had done a couple of postures, but I was so busy in my head that I didn’t remember doing them (I am a bit buzzed from the cleanse). I did the postures over and made a concerted effort from there to be totally on the mat and present with what I was doing. That is also a means of meditation, being totally present in the moment. What so beautiful is we’re all in this together looking to experience the Light within.

      The Dead Sea Salts sound divine. I think I’ll take a soak tonight as well.

      Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Also, I’d love share a delicious and simple recipe. All you need is a red grapefruit, strawberries, cinnamon, maple syrup and an hour to cure. Cut up the wedges of the grapefruit and put them in a bowl with the juice from the grapefruit. Slice 4-8 strawberries and put them in the bowl with the grapefruit. Add a dash of cinnamon and a teaspoon of maple syrup and let it sit for at least an hour. The acid from the grapefruit juice will soften the strawberries and you will have a delicious delight.

      • Great Morning All,

        This is day 4, the last day of our Spring cleansing. Yesterday was a bit wild for me. It was my first day at home while being on the cleanse. I woke up with a lot of energy and I felt like I was zooming. I didn’t think about pacing myself and by the end of the evening I was out of steam, feeling exhausted and hungry but I didn’t want to eat. I had two glasses of water with lemon, did a little Nadi Shuddi and went to bed.

        This morning I woke up feeling weak and hungry. I decided to make a smoothie and I feel much better now. I’ve done my breathing and meditation. I’m going to do my yoga and be on my way to greet this day. Today will be my first day at work on this cleanse and I’ve decided I will pace myself, take it all in stride and be present with each moment.

        I am hoping that all of you will have an amazing last day and that you will share it with us all. Many Thanks to all of you for being on this journey. It’s has been so nourishing to have your participation, communication and support.

        Have a wonderful spring cleansing day.

        ~Anu

  15. Day 4. Thank you for your posts ladies. They have been inspiring. I have been consistent with the green juice, wheat grass juice and yoga. I have found the meditation most challenging, which means I need to do it! I stuck with the dietary elements except for caffeine. The first day I got that coffee headache we coffee addicts get when we skip a dose…so I returned to it. But I am down to 1/2 a cup in the morning just to keep the headache at bay. Treated myself to some beautiful live music last night, which in and of itself was healing, but I think I appreciated it on a deeper level because of the cleanse, the yoga, the breathing and the efforts at meditation. Part of me would like to continue with this for a few more days. We’ll see. Thanks Anu for starting us on this path.

    • Hi Farah,
      I know the coffee routine can be a difficult one to go cold turkey on. But the caffeine could also be the reason why the meditation is challenging. But cutting down to half a cup is progress. So Congrats to you on that one!

      I too would like to keep going. But I can’t work out on this regimen. I need much more to build muscle. I had a fantasy last year of growing some Michelle Obama arms for this summer LOL!

      I want to get back to my push ups and etc. But this has been really a great journey for me and gives me hope that I can be ready for the Summer Solstice Fast…

  16. Top of the morning to you Sisters,

    Just want to Thank you again for participating in the Equinox Cleanse and to ask you how are you planning on breaking your fast? Are you going to jump right into your previous diet, are you taking it slow, or have you even had a chance to think about it? I know Zakiyyah, has decided to continue her cleanse for up to as much as 21 days.

    I am going to have fruit and oatmeal this morning and sauteed veggies for lunch. I haven’t figured out dinner yet, but it’ll probably be a salad with more cooked veggies. One thing I’m clear about is, I know I am going to continue to juice and have as much fruit as I can in between.

    Whatever you decide, don’t do anything that you’ll later regret. In my early days of fasting when I didn’t know how to do so properly and I would get overwhelmed with hunger and I often ended up breaking my fast with peanut butter… I know better these days.

    Whatever you decide, have a wonderful day and I look forward to the next time I see you in the flesh.

    Big Hugs,
    ~Anu


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