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Can Restrictions Set You Free?

Springtime is here and it’s a great time to clear away the lethargy of winter. 

I started a cleanse today. It’s a 3-day kitchari cleanse, which is very manageable. Essentially I eat just kitchari and drink some detox tea and take a few supplements for three days. 

I cut out coffee yesterday, so today wouldn’t be so extreme. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t get a headache yesterday – just felt dull and a bit slow. I felt like a sloth. 

I’m technically 6 hours into the cleanse as I write this and the cravings have started. There’s no eating between meals and all I’ve been thinking about for the last hour is a snack. It’s cool to watch my mind. Just because snacking is not encouraged, my mind is telling me I want a snack. This line of thought is what Trungpa would call a “roadside attraction.” It’s a distraction so I don’t have to focus on what’s really going on. Restrictions can give us an opportunity to limit the roadside attractions and strengthen our focus. 

Putting restrictions on your diet, mind or body has been routine for humans for a long time. In the east, it’s been silent retreats, kriyas – purifications of the body, restricting your consumption of particular foods. We have been interested in exploring our own limits through restrictions. 

It’s been a minute since I’ve added restrictions to my life – it feels like there were enough societal restrictions in the last few years – I didn’t think I needed to add more. But last week I decided I wanted to do a cleanse and cut out coffee for a bit. I’ve been feeling my dependence on coffee lately and the residual lethargy in my digestion. 

I wanted to honor the coming of spring – a time of rebirth, a fresh start. 

Reflection on day 1: Eating clean and minimizing how many stimulants I take in has made me realize how tired I am. It’s the early afternoon and I’m ready for a nap. As I settle into a cozy spot for a quick nap – I love me a good 15-minute nap. It’s been a game changer since having Karmen – I leave you with this –

How do you work with restrictions, whether they’re self-imposed or imposed upon you? 
Where does your mind go when you bump up against a roadblock?
Think of the last time you got creative with a solution. 

Share your thoughts with me…

Writing this piece made me think of a quote Ana Forrest used to say “when you see an advanced pose, instead of thinking that you can’t do it, think – what can I do? Which part of this pose can I do today?


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