You can go your own way (but should you?)

Written for Organic Tree Juice Bar 2014              Part 2 of a series. See Cleansing 101 for part 1. 

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Turmeric cleanses the body and boosts the immune system. It is also said to be a great remedy for rhumatoid arthritis.

In my last post, Cleansing 101, I wrote about juice cleanses—hoping to answer many of the questions we get at Organic Tree.  A juice cleanse (interchangeably called a juice fast) is like taking your car into the shop for a tune-up. You turn the car off, and leave it with the mechanic who proceeds to check the spark plugs, tweak the breaks, and rotate the tires. When you juice fast, you’re turning your digestive system off—giving it a rest so that the body can perform its own tune-up; fixing damaged cells, cleaning out toxins, and sharpening the senses.

It’s possible to do a juice cleanse alone—with no group support. You can make green juice at home (if you have the appliances) and pick up tulsi tea at your local health food shop. You can take it upon yourself to go on long walks, meditate, and practice yoga.

The question is: will you?

As anyone who’s ever been to a spin class knows, sometimes being part of a group helps keep you motivated.   In this post I’ll be detailing what exactly an Organic Tree Juice Cleanse entails—and contrasting it with my experience doing a solo cleanse.

Even though I work at a juice bar, I don’t come at this as a juice bar employee. I come at it from the perspective of someone who’s tried fasting both ways.  The goal of any fast or cleanse is to feel better and my cleanse with Diana Christianson of Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala made me feel better than my solo cleanse did.

The key seems to be that Diana includes so much more than the green juice in her cleanse. It’s not just a cleanse, it’s an immersive experience (one that I wasn’t able to replicate on my own). She looks at every aspect of a person, creating a true mini-vacation for the mind, body and spirit.

“We’re all like onions,” Diana explains of her approach. “Each of us has many layers.” She spoke about these layers in the introduction to her cleanse and left time for questions and discussion near the end of each session.

At home, we started our day with water, tulsi tea (or Holy Basil tea), journaling and meditation. Both the journaling and the meditation are means of documenting the experience and zeroing in on exactly what happens to the body and mind during a juice fast. The yoga classes were held in the late morning every day.  Before yoga, Diana met with everyone who was cleansing as a group.  We reconvened after the hour yoga session for a more in-depth discussion of how each of us felt. I found myself motivated and inspired by this group dynamic and the chance to share my experience with others.

During the three days of juice fasting, Diana was constantly passing us secrets to help us cleanse more effectively—secrets she’d cultivated through years of healthy living.  I felt like I was learning from a guru.

Here’s what I found after my group cleanse: I lost weight, became more flexible and had an abundance of energy.  My senses were heightened and my body felt lighter and more agile.  I was amazed to find that my moods became more stable and I was able to handle stressful situations more easily.

I found many of the same things when I cleansed on my own, but the experience was just…less intense. So were the effects.

If you’re committed to a juice cleanse, you might want to consider: will I be able to get as much out of it on my own? Or do I want to invest the extra money in my health and go with a group cleanse?

MORE INFO: if you’d like to reboot your body and gain a more clear perspective on your life, visitwww.organictreejuicebar.com for information on the next scheduled cleanse.

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