by Katherine Willow ND
Director, Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre

It’s spring. My yoga teacher used to tell us that people tend to go crazy in spring and fall when the seasons change.  It can manifest physically as well in the form of acute illnesses like colds, flus, sore throats, etc.  This usually starts for me around February when the light gets brighter and stabilizes by April in time to facilitate the cleansing retreat in relative sanity!

In Ayurvedic terms, the reason for this turbulence is the change itself, movement that churns the mind and stimulates the body to detoxify the effects of the previous season–winter eating in this case and the residues of BBQ’s and ice cream in fall.

How does one mitigate this disruption?

One way is to be aware of it and realize that it will calm down as the weather settles into the next season.  Another way is to undertake a cleanse or at least start eating more lightly.  And yet another is to take the opportunity to deal with unresolved emotional issues through some sort of therapy process and/or intensive introspection.  Exercise helps enormously.  Or make a renewed spiritual commitment — there’s a good reason Lent is in spring!

All of these methods will be offered at our annual spring cleansing retreat, April 23-25 (you can find out more by checking the Clinic website’s News page — scroll to bottom for retreat listing info).  We have the honour of guest speaker Ayurvedic physician Dr Gupta as well as the spiritual presence of Father Jack Lau along with Lise Nickerson teaching yoga and meditation, Nina from Yoga and Tea passing on her wealth of knowledge and myself integrating naturopathic medicine, Ayurveda and Journeywork.  Cindy Fleming will be cooking up her usual goodies so that you don’t even notice you are cleansing and we have a special treat: an authentic Ayurvedic lunch made by Kamini Gupta.

If you are coming to the retreat, please start the process early by decreasing your intake of coffee, processed foods, meat, alcohol, sugar and dairy.  It will make the retreat much more enjoyable!  Also consider which issues are arising and wanting attention so they can be healed–our unmet emotional needs are like old wounds that are waiting for a chance to be resolved so we can be freer to live our life’s purpose.  Or find out what it is.

The physical benefits of cleansing include better digestion, clearer thinking, deeper sleep, rejuvenated taste buds, improved vision, more energy and spiritual inspiration–which isn’t physical, but vitalizes the whole body and mind…

If you are not coming to the retreat, I hope you will be able to take some time to do your own cleansing, resolving and moving forward with this fresh seasonal energy!

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