Monday, September 20, 2010

Preparing for your Fall Cleanse: Enhance your Process with Breathing

As the summer season winds down and fall approaches, I want to encourage everyone who is considering embarking on a fall cleanse to begin to prepare for this enlivening journey by thinking about what you are ready to release from your body, mind and spirit. It might be a few extra pounds, a buildup of toxins or emotions that are causing you to feel stuck, or a lack of mental or physical energy. Whatever it is you want to be free of in order to enhance your overall health and vitality can potentially be released by completing a seasonal cleanse.

Much like trees shedding their leaves for winter, the fall season is a time to lighten our body burden and prepare for the energy efficiency needed during cold winter months. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the fall relates to the lungs and large intestine, both major organs of release. During the fall season, energies are descending, as leaves fall, days grow shorter and temperatures begin to drop. The fall cleanse therefore provides an opportunity to delve deeper into your being to clear old toxic build up and past stored emotions that no longer serve us.

A well planned and focused seasonal cleanse, whether it be for 3 days, 10 days, or longer, can have the power to promote balance and harmony within the many layers of your being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Because all of these layers are interconnected, clearing toxins from your physical body can also help to ease toxic emotions and other afflictive states. Diet and mental/emotional well being are strongly linked, which is why individuals undergoing a cleanse often report feelings of euphoria and clarity during and after the process. A cleanse allows your body the chance to slow down and digest old deposits of waste that build up in all of us as a result of normal metabolic processes, as well as from exposure to toxins and stress. As we peel away these hidden layers, “information” in the form of negative mental/emotional states, habitual stresses, and past traumas, that have been stored in our cellular memory, can be digested and released during the cleansing process.

A large part of this release is enhanced through focused breathing. This is particularly relevant during a fall cleanse, because as I mentioned, the fall season relates to the lungs, and to the large intestine. In TCM, the lungs correspond to emotions of sadness, and this correlation provides an energetic explanation as to the process of releasing old, toxic emotions when we exhale. When we inhale, we are taking in new information from the universe, and it is used to replenish and re-energize our cells. When we exhale, we are releasing our old information to the universe, as the carbon dioxide and other byproducts released by the cells and tissues travel to the lungs where they are released outside of the body.

During a seasonal cleanse, this release can be greatly enhanced with the addition of conscious breathing. This is a profound process that has the potential to bring to the surface deep insights, emotions, and our innate healing energies, as physical obstructions in the form of built up toxins, mucus, fatty deposits, and more, are slowly peeled away. When we exhale, we can visualize our toxins and toxic emotions as a part of our out-breath, released in preparation for receiving vital, fresh information and healing energy from the universe. Simply through slowing down and bringing awareness to our breath and to this vital exchange of energy, we can significantly enhance our cleansing and healing processes to bring about greater vitality and lightness of being.

In the next issue, I will discuss specific tips on how to optimize your fall cleanse. For now, the best preparation you can do is to begin your journey of awareness to clarify what you want to release, and begin to let it go with each breath.

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