Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cleansing Fast - Preparation

Winter solstice is coming up this weekend. Changes of season are an important time to fast - to give our hard working digestive system a rest, clean our body and mind, and spend some quality time being quiet while Nature is shifting modes from Fall to Winter.

It helps to start preparing for a fast about 1 week in advance. Since I'll be fasting next week, this week I want to get a few things ready:

1. Dry Skin Brush - to use daily during the fast, lightly brushing skin on the arms and legs going towards the heart to assist lymph flow. I do this before showering in the morning.

2. Sesame Oil - for a daily self-massage after showering. Sesame oil is prized for it's many healing qualities according to Ayurvedic practices.

3. Assortment of liquids that I like: vegetable broths - sometimes I make it from scratch, but the organic boxed variety is fine, fresh lemons & limes to put in hot water for a great liver cleansing "tea", and rice for congee (Chinese rice porridge).

4. The Herbal Cleansing Fast Kit from The Oriental Healing Arts Center. I've been doing this seasonal fast for almost 10 years and I love it! The kit makes it so easy to prepare the medicinal herb teas.

5. Hot Water Bottle - for "internal bath" (herbal colonic). I like to get it out and clean it now.

Last of all, I like to try and have a topic that I want to explore while I'm in the state of having a very peaceful and clear mind. This time I'm going to ponder the relationship of Yin & Yang in the form of "good and bad", how they are both necessary, and what it means to have "power" from the interaction and utilization of these 2 forces together.

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