It is important to keep an open mind, to try new things. I do my best at this and attempt all those cliché yogi things that go in and out of trend like kombucha, coconut water and harem pants. So when looking for a new way to delve deeper into my practice, I decided to seek out a little saucha for the spirit and silhouette, and try a juice cleanse. I had never juiced before. I am not even such a big fan of juice in general, hydrating almost exclusively with water or herbal tea.
After some googling, I found a local juice detox company - in fact jus cleanse is the only one Montreal and they home deliver! On a Sunday night, a cute boho chic chick rang my doorbell with a cooler in tow and unloaded 18 cylinders containing green, yellow and red liquids into my refrigerator. The great system flush would start the next morning.
The beginning of spring in this part of the world marked unseasonable warmth and good weather. But as luck would have it, on the morning of the commencement of purification something like a hurricane had swept across town. Windows were rattling, hail-ish rain poured down apocalyptically outside and the heating in my building had already been turned off. It was also my birthday. I thought this cleanse would be a good gift to give myself - body, mind and spirit.
The first juice was a mixture of parsley, kale, cucumber and some other green things. I didn’t like it. My palette never really developed a taste for parsley. The second was beetroot based, and while a lovely color, I’ve never been a fan of beets either. I was quickly losing my appetite for liquids. In addition to the flavor turning me off, I was also freezing! My body was craving hot cooked food and my belly was distending from the recent overdose of raw. At around 3pm I cheated with a banana. I felt pretty guilty but still not warm. So for dinner that night I cooked up some butternut squash and asparagus and felt like a bit of a failure.
The mood of self-loathing from my cheating streak was also compounded by some birthday woes. Feeling especially old and unsuccessful having not reached imaginary goals I’d set out while playing with dolls as a 7-year-old. Cold, insecure, already bloated - these did not make for an ideal setting for a full body detox. Further, my recent interest in Ayurveda told me that my governing Vatta/Pittha prakriti were off balance before the cleanse had begun. The weather was not helping either. Certain meteorological conditions can throw Ayurvedic makeup out of equilibrium or worsen existing inequities. According to my constitutional imbalances, what could have benefited me more at the time were warm cooked foods, calming hot liquids like bland soups, and possibly a therapist to deal with the anxieties about getting older.
These are not just excuses. Stubbornness had told me to press on with the cleanse regardless of outside factors and it was the same hardheadedness that made me so angry with myself for not sucking it up, quitting early (I’m a Taurus, and born in the Chinese year of the ox, go figure). The physical, emotional and environmental factors leading up to this cleanse just did not make for the ideal setting for a juice up.
What my few hours of detoxing did leave me with was a huge desire to eat healthy foods and completely cured my sweet tooth. Maybe it was psychosomatic? It doesn’t matter. It worked! After a day and a half of juice cleansing with significant additions to the diet, I was off cake and on salads.
I would still recommend a cleanse. They affect everyone differently. Just because my experience was sour does not mean you should take my word for it and immediately turn off juices. You might be stronger and with more will power than me. You may love beets and parsley. You may even have the fortune of cleansing over a few hot sunny days where you can relax by a lake and there isn’t much more refreshing than a bunch of juice! This was my first attempt at a juice cleanse, but it certainly won’t be the last. I believe it has far more benefits than simply giving the digestive system a break. A physical detox can also allow for great emotional forgiving. When the body quiets down from its usual process, often the mind follows suit. The empowerment that comes from encapsulating the inner strength to subsist on nutritious liquids for several days without even having your jaw wired shut is enough to make a person feel like she can do anything.