Dukha: [du – disturbed, kha – space] a state of suffering or sorrow.
Sukha: [su – clean, healthy, kha – space] a state of happiness or bliss.
In Ayurveda we consider all of life as a system, that has openings, channels and roots. Blockages and stagnation impede the flow as do weak boundaries which create an overflow. Cleansing is the maintenance of flow
The transition into new or different states of being brings a necessary pause and time of reflection for me. It’s a mixture of growing older, discerning and scepticism. Expanding on this idea, it’s also a way of digesting what has gone before. I relate it to Agni (the fire needed to digest and transform what’s consumed) and Ama (the build-up of what is undigested, that becomes stagnant and eventually toxic).
As a result, I instinctually embark on cleansing. This time, my transitions have aligned with the New Year. It is not always this way and I’ve often questioned the need for New Year rituals and resolutions, but this year the newness is so tangible.
Start on the right foot
There’s this idea in Indian culture and in many cultures, of ‘starting on the right foot’ It is often taken literally, like when walking into your new home, or the home of your in-laws for the first time. I think it heralds the need for poise or consideration before making the step. At this time of year, as I step into a new decade, this image is so fitting for me personally.
Cleansing is a preparation
What does a cleanse mean for me at this time of year, this time of life? This has been an important question to ask. Many people question the need for cleansing and in relation to nutrition, see it as ‘veiled attempts at dieting’. For whom? If I’ve learnt anything from Ayurveda, it’s that everything is relative.
Cleansing, done with awareness, makes everything work better. Thereafter, you nourish your body and you can receive and digest the nourishment. The type of cleanse and the degree to which you engage with it, naturally needs to suit you, your dosha type and your lifestyle.
Sometimes you only see the blockage, not the start of the cleansing process.
I embarked on the second part of a 7-day Ayurvedic cleanse 5 days ago. The first part was done when I returned from India in September 2020. The cleanse was needed to regulate access Pitta, which showed up as a severe eczema outbreak, a reaction to some of the food I consumed and one of the oils I was massaged with.
Psychologically, I was carrying a lot of grief that I repressed/expressed as anger towards myself and others. This process started 14 years ago. My eczema took 3 months to clear. I know the underlying cause has not been completely digested psychologically. So I know I need to check my nutrition and bring balance to it as I slowly work through the residue of my feelings. To do this I use Heartfulness meditation and engage another meditation practitioner who can assist me with deeper cleaning and, I see a constellations, art & drama therapist.
Soul Mind Body Flow
I feel the promise of the new year. It’s like I’m standing on the rim of a deep, and wide opening ready to dive into the unknown, with faith and joy. I pray that your life has the same feeling and if not, that you would consider a cleanse in whatever form that takes.
I invite you to join me in a workshop that explores the Ayurvedic cleanse on the 25 January 2020.