By Claudia Jones, founder of The Wellness Source, who runs our Wellness Programmes
Sometimes when we’ve been hard at it on our yoga mats, sweating and stretching for a couple of hours, just the challenge of having completed the physical practice makes us feel like we deserve a medal. I know when I first started Ashtanga yoga many years ago, after practice, I felt like my work was done for the day. I also felt I should be able to eat whatever I wanted after such a challenging practice. I knew a lot less about food and its impact on our bodies then, let alone its effect on our minds and yoga practices. As I learned about the sattvic diet, eating for health and for practice and not simply for pleasure, I began to put those principles into action more and more in my everyday life. But even though I was changing my diet, it didn’t feel like I was doing enough, I wanted to go deeper into yoga and knew that there was something more I had to do.
Asana and pranayama practice are both great purifiers but surely they couldn’t be expected to reverse all of the years of less healthy living without some extra help. I had read yoga principles that taught about cleanliness, and I knew that in order to move towards a purer mind, I had to clean the toxins from my body, but I was uncertain how. I had read about colon cleansing and detoxing and this all sounded a bit extreme and scary to be honest. Eventually, persuaded by a friend, I decided to attempt a detox. While on a long trip to India, under his supervision, I fasted for 10 days, with the exception of lots of water and a little fresh apple juice. In the mornings to flush out my colon, I drank two liters of warm salt water straight and stayed close to the bathroom for a couple of hours. This detox was a little extreme, it was tough mentally and physically and was certainly not nutritionally balanced, but I made it through and felt much better for it. I found that after a couple of days of grappling with my food cravings, I was no longer a slave to my taste buds and my mind was free to focus on other things, in fact, it quieted down considerably during the process and a real clarity emerged. Sitting for meditation and experiencing stillness had become a real possibility. But spiritual benefits aside, I felt physically clean, light and energized, not to mention a little pleased with myself!
During the 15 years since my detox initiation, I have had the privilege of guiding hundreds of others through theirs. I have seen incredible transformations in people’s physical and mental wellbeing and wholeheartedly recommend experiencing a detox program at least once in a lifetime. Yet if you are not ready for the full experience for whatever reason, there is still so much you can do to help your body and mind to detox gently every day, and if you stick to the healthy changes that you make, for sure you will experience the mental, physical and spiritual benefits too.
On the 30th May, I will be running a Shala Spring Detox workshop where you can learn how to safely and successfully detox your body and mind. I also will guide you on how to incorporate significant changes in your everyday life and reap the many of the benefits of cleansing:
- Cleanse toxins from your body
- Lose excess weight
- Balance your eating habits
- Eliminate food cravings
- Transition to a wholefoods diet
- Start juicing
- Improve your digestion
- Boost your energy, mood and immune system
- Reduce headaches, joint pain and allergies
- Use probiotics for digestive health
- Eat an alkaline diet and more……