Back to Basics: My Detox Journey

On September 7, Meg James embarked upon Wilmington Yoga Center’s 12-day cleanse developed and led by Frances Murchison, a natural foods liver detox program designed to relieve the body of toxins that cause symptoms such as sluggish metabolism, sugar cravings, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and irritability, while giving the liver a much-needed respite and allowing the body to rejuvenate itself through whole foods. Eight other Wilmington Yoga Center staff members joined Meg on the cleanse, providing a much-needed support system throughout this important journey toward wellness. Meg now reflects back on her experience with the cleanse, and how it has completely changed her relationship to food, health, and the world around her.

Guest Post by Meg James

At first the 12-Day Cleanse felt daunting. Challenging. Scary.

One of the components of the cleanse was getting back to basics. A process for progress where whole, unprocessed foods were embraced, and so naturally, the process of cooking and connecting with our food was also embraced. A sense of communion developed. Daily recipes were sent out, which friends also partaking in the cleanse prepared and sometimes shared with others. We also concocted recipes of our own and shared them with the group–helping each other find enjoyable alternatives to satiate our sweet tooth, carb attacks, and crunchy-fix cravings. But what happened through this process? The by-product: deep connection to food and people.

We consistently and deeply experienced what David Frawley in “Yoga & Ayurveda” explains as “food prepared with love and consciousness,” which, not surprisingly, are also good foods for yoga practice. Frawley says, “Seeing nature as their mother, (yogis) dislike commercially prepared or grown food. Spiritual progress reflects a growing sensitivity to food and requires food that contains both prana and love as the main ingredients.”

Spiritual progress? From food?

And what do we mean when we say “prepared with consciousness?”

Something life-changing. Something that lights up an awareness, a connection to your mind, body, and spirit. If you’ll let it happen, and experience it fully, it is magical. BKS Iyengar also discusses the importance of food as part of a yogic spiritual path. He says, “food should be taken to promote health, strength, energy and life.” And before the cleanse, we might have said that we were doing just that. But through the 12 days something shifted. Why?

“Yoga International” says, “..In the modern world, food materializes from plastic wrappers, cardboard boxes, and aluminum cans. When we pluck peppers from a nest of synthetic grass, and lunch pops out of a styrofoam carton, it is easy to forget the richness of the soil, the sweetness of the rain, and the heat of the sun that brought it to our table. A cereal box doesn’t inspire the same feeling as a field of wheat rippling in the sun; a display of perfectly shaped waxed apples stacked under the neon lights of the supermarket doesn’t call to mind the generosity of the tree; and a plastic jug of homogenized milk doesn’t remind us of the cow that gave it. Food becomes just another commodity.”

And so this cleanse reminded me, and I suspect all of us, of the amazing planet, the wonderful gifts, these fruits of the earth that nourish and sustain us, and beyond that, a deep, deep gratitude for our life, and the life sustaining forces that make it possible for us to take each breath. Gratitude for prana and love. It’s so radically simple yet electrifying to be so tuned in. To find a little more gratitude for the air we breathe, the love that goes into our food, the love of our friends and supporters along the way. This is indeed a process, a journey into the heart and mind, starting with the belly.

Frances MurchisonWant to embark on a detox journey of your own? Join Frances for her Bootcamp + Detox Yoga Teacher Training Oct. 24-26!

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