Two weeks ago, I wrote an article on Winter Detoxing. At the time, I thought to myself, “Thank goodness I don’t have to do a Winter Detox this year!”
As the week went by, however, I noticed some things I didn’t like about myself. I was tired. And grumpy. And reaching for the microwave popcorn and ice cream.
When the fatigue turned into headaches and the dry winter skin to eczema, I made a new agreement with myself. “Thank goodness I have the ability to do a winter detox this year. My body will thank me, too.”
And so, here I am, taking my own advice. Here's a partial detox diary and some tips I've learned this time.
1. Plan it.
I planned the detox in advance over the weekend and stocked up at the grocery store with fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, dandelion root tea, and ginger root. This morning, I woke up an hour early in order to have enough time for my juicing, tea, and meditation. The detox officially started.
I made a hot lemon ginger, and drank it while taking a shower with lavender and mint body wash. I dried off and covered my skin with Jojoba oil. Then, I poured a large glass of filtered water for afterwards, and headed to my little meditation table in the corner of the bedroom.
I lit the beeswax candle and draped the white silk scarf over my shoulders, in order to pick up positive vibrations from the Universe, so my guru had once told me. I carefully cleaned the table and all its contents with tea tree oil. It felt good to clear away the dust.
2. Detox your mind.
Sitting on my cushion in Sukhasana, I took three deep yogic breaths and closed my eyes in order to prepare for anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing). I did eight easy rounds to the count of 1:8:4, then said my personal mantra 108 times using my sandalwood mala.
I closed with Swami Sivananda’s Universal Prayer. I opened my eyes and noticed that my cat, Domo, was also sitting next to me on the bed with his eyes closed like a sphinx, and my husband, Mark, had joined me in silent meditation facing the opposite direction.
DAY 1: JUICE and TEA
I invited them into the kitchen for juice, and made it fresh with orange, apple, carrot, celery, and mint. Guru Domo got cat food...again. I packed dandelion root tea and filtered water, and headed out the door to start my day.
I had a morning appointment for routine care maintenance, a yoga class, a meeting at one office, then patients scheduled in the afternoon at another office.
3. Observe yourself.
I felt like I had the energy to tackle anything, and the control over what goes into my body gave me a sense of control over the world around me. The bill for my car wasn’t $39 like I was expecting, but $218 instead.
Did I freak out? No, way! Oh, well, I could wait and just pick up my son’s glasses for another week. He didn’t need them right now. Yoga class went over, so I had to rush out instead of being social and walked into my meeting late.
It had already started, but I didn’t sweat it. They were serving Panera Bread boxed lunches. I pleasantly declined. “I’m starting a detox today,” I said. It felt refreshing to pass on the bread and potato chips and to announce my detox to someone else, making me personally accountable.
My head felt clear in the afternoon, but my tummy growled, so I filled up on more tea. I must have peed 18 times already today, all discharges as colorless as water. I know there are more changes to come.
4. Welcome the unexpected.
I was surprised to find that Mark had joined me on the detox today, and I didn’t even ask him to. We ate cubed cantaloupe and mint tea for dinner, and will snuggle in early for the night. Instead of Netflix, I reached for a book—“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
Day 1 of the detox felt pretty good. I’m trying not to think ahead to tomorrow, and how hungry I will be. To think that if I hadn’t taken my own advice, I probably would have had a very different kind of day.
Maybe not. But kindness, compassion, and equanimity can be given to the world only when we practice these things within ourselves first.