I am now in week 3 of my 6 week journey and therefore, almost half way through. I am so happy that I signed up for this and I’m reaping the benefits. The theme for week 1 was commit and this was for us to set ourselves new habits; the programme consists of yoga practice 6 days a week, daily meditation which grows in length each week, self study, and a look at our nutrition.
The theme for Week 2 was Choose. We focused on the fact that we are accountable for our own joy. I think this is such a wonderful outlook and so true. In any given situation we have the choice how to react. The Modern Yogi Project is teaching me how to observe my own reactions and have power over them instead of falling victim to these habitual processes that I have had for years. The physical practice of yoga really helps us to understand this. When we are given such tough postures, we can choose to feel a state of anger or difficulty or we can rejoice in our own strength and ability. Often in a class when we are all focusing so hard on a particular posture and trying to get it right and straining to hold it, our teachers will tell us to crack a smile or say something funny and force us to! Suddenly we all break out of our hard selves and feel a sense of play and happiness… Yet we are still in exactly the same position, the same situation. We have choice over how we deal with things both on the mat and off the mat.
Now we are into week 3, the programme is intensified and this week’s theme is Get Real. I began this week with a 3 day cold-pressed juice cleanse. Myself and a member of the PowerLiving team managed to arrange a 20% discount on the package which was great as it can be an expensive choice. Doing the cleanse allowed me to delve deeper into my self-study which continues to surprise and inspire me. I feel like I’m only just getting to properly know the person I am after 21 years! This is through the objective practice of self-study and taking a step back from my thought and habits and analysing them as opposed to being a slave to them. In terms of my cleanse, each day began with a pink lemonade, designed to flush my system, then continued with an array of pure green juice, an earth juice (beetroot, spinach, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, kale, parsley), a zest juice (coconut, cucumber, pineapple and lime – so yummy!), a creamy, delicious nut mylk before bed and finally either a slippery elm or sour cherry, designed to soothe the stomach and ease me into a restful sleep. I have to say that I was honestly shocked at how easy I found it, in terms of hunger and energy. On Monday I didn’t have work; I relaxed and also did the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk with a friend, the day ended with a yin yoga class. Tuesday was different as I was at work at the Health Emporium for 9 hours. Even though this was a long shift and my job is focused on making and handling food, I was honestly fine! My energy levels stayed stable and I didn’t feel hungry at all. When people say ‘you’re only drinking juice’ it sounds like you’re being deprived but actually these juices I’m drinking are jam packed with bioavailable nutrients that were clearly getting straight into my system. On the final day of my juice cleanse I did yin yoga in the morning and worked in the afternoon then I did start to feel quite tired but luckily for me I finished my other job early and was able to rest.
Today I feel amazing! My digestive system has had such a rest and I can tell; my skin has a clear glow, my system feels cleansed and my body is nourished! Today I began with an extra pink lemonade and then to 7:30 vinyasa yoga but I took it easier than usual as I knew I didn’t have the same fuel that I’m used to. The class was so wonderful and for the first time I made it into wheel! This is a huge accomplishment for me as I’ve known for a while that I had the ability but my long fear of being upside down has stopped me. Today I surrendered to the practice and found confidence in my strength, wheel happened so naturally and I look forward to creating such space again. I’ve now had my favourite Pear Smoothie (I posted the recipe last week) and plan to ease out of my juice cleanse today by adding thick smoothies and organic chicken bone broth to my previous daily diet of fresh cold pressed juice. This way I will increase my fat, protein and calorie consumption but will continue to rest my digestive system and allow more toxins to be released yet slowing down the rate at which this occurs.
The cleanse was a great way for me to see how food can be used for so many things. Although I eat very healthily, I can certainly overeat because I just love food! However, it’s really positive to look at food as nourishment and view it as a way of making us thrive and even if the food is healthy, eating when we feel full is not a good idea. Food is often used to mask emotions such as boredom, anger or loneliness and by removing the common cover up, it allows us to reveal our true emotions and deal with them properly. Also, by removing such a habitual practice for a time then reintroducing it, it allows us to reconnect with how it makes us feel. Diets that prescribe what’s right and wrong are not helpful to us, what is helpful is listening to your own body and seeing how it responds. We can turn our own bodies into the best, most useful experiment in terms of what’s good for us by cleansing our systems. We can then find out how certain foods e.g. processed food, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine etc. make us feel by analysing the difference between when we do and don’t consume them. What we are really trying to achieve is mindfulness over our food choices. We want food to add to our vitality rather than take it away, so take the time to investigate what this is for you and feast on the nourishment that makes you shine!