Thursday, October 12 – Saturday, October 21
I don’t do cleanses. And yet, my body—the miraculous thing that it is—is always cleansing all on its own, through the natural processes of detoxification and digestion it’s been designed to do to stay alive. In Ayurveda, facilitating the process of cleansing ideally happens on a daily basis, through mindful eating, sleep, and sense-care, which leaves us feeling energized, rested, and enthusiastic for life. But given the many ways our world and lives many not be ideal, sometimes we need a little help when the undigested parts of life start to accumulate.
The juncture of the seasons, called rtu sandhi in Sanskrit, is an excellent time to take stock of our health and give our natural detoxification processes some extra attention. We do this in a way that may seem different from modern “cleanses,” which encourage restriction, guilt, and deprivation; in Ayurveda, we give our bodies the space and rest they need to hear the soul’s inner wisdom, and resume the work of digesting they were born knowing how to do. With the help of simple but deeply nourishing foods and rituals, we can protect ourselves from stressors while simultaneously building up our immunity.
It is during periods of change, especially abrupt change like a shift in weather/season, that we are most vulnerable to disease entering in from the outside. But when we shore up our inner reserves of vitality, or ojas, we can feel more prepared to handle the transition of any season—in the climate or in our individual lives.
The Summer-Fall Transition
This season, our reset program is going deep into the concept of “spirit,” specifically through an emphasis on meditation, pranayama, and time in nature. It is common for people to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the fall and winter months, as the waning light, cold temperatures, and decline of nature reminds us for our own mortality. And yet, these same qualities—along with the rise in vata dosha in the environment—are also opportunities to connect with the ethereal realm of our universe. Releasing the gross body might be frightening, but it’s the necessary counterpoint to connecting to subtle body. Whether this happens in morning meditation on a daily basis, in fall on a seasonal basis, or as we age on a lifecycle basis, this transition is something we will inevitably encounter—and we can choose to do so with courage and curiosity.
Surrendering to spirit is not easy, and we can draw on physical and mental practices that can anchor and support that journey on all levels. We’re toeing the line between yogic and Ayurvedic practices—a boundary that I find most interesting to dwell in—wherein a healthy body (Ayurveda) is what allows for an expansive, unbounded, and enlightened mind (yoga). In other words, if we are preoccupied with physical imbalances in digestion, elimination, sleep, skin, or any of the other body systems, we simply won’t have the energy to tend to the spirit, no matter how loudly it beckons from our internal and external environments.
At this seasonal juncture, the obstacles to spirit manifest in the form of pitta and vata imbalances. All summer, the heat and intensity of nature (which was especially volatile in my area this year) builds, creating the potential for excess pitta in the system. You may be feeling this as:
- low appetite/energy (or very high appetite)
- difficulty falling asleep/active dreaming
- fatigue, exhaustion, irritability
- anger and frustration
- skin rashes or irritations
- loose stools
- general feeling of heat or burning in the body
- inflamed joints, GI, mucus membranes (including respiration/hot, dry allergies)
It’s important to clear this excess pitta from the system, not only so it doesn’t get so strong it destroys or tissues, but also because of vata that’s around the corner. Like a big wind that turns a bonfire into a forest fire, vata can kick up pitta in a way that enhances the qualities of both—resulting in feelings of heat, dryness, restlessness, and more. Together, vata and pitta are a force to be reckoned with that over time deplete our stores of immunity, or ojas. Hence why viruses and other illnesses are so common this time of year—our bodies lack the natural defenses to pathogens and so are easily attacked.
Removing pitta is one of preventing this conflagration from arising. We will be doing this in a gentle way in our reset—through foods and practices that naturally reduce the hot, sharp, oily, and spreading qualities of pitta by returning the dosha to the GI where it can be eliminated naturally. Note that there is a (much) more intense way of forcefully “cleansing” the body of any dosha or combination thereof, known as pancha karma, that cannot be done at home or without the supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor. As such, we cannot truly call this program a “cleanse,” but rather a “pacification” of the aggravated dosha(s).
In line with pacification, we can can also reduce pitta by creating protection around our system so that external forces don’t continue to contribute to the doshas in our body—like building a structure around our fire so that the winds can’t get at it. We never want to completely extinguish the fire in the system; without it, we’d have neither digestive capacity nor the spark that can ignite our hearts and spirits with passion, love, and truth. Rather, we want to direct the fire, which has been busy spreading to the periphery all summer (to keep our body temperature cool), back to the core of our being. There, it can not only cook our food well so we get its nourishment and energy, but we can bask in the bright light of our own spirit, and see with clarity our purpose—the how, why, and what of our lives—and have the energy to execute it with conviction and faith in the larger forces that gave us life.
As such, this reset is not about dampening pitta or stopping the arrival of vata. It’s about living harmoniously with both, and simplifying our external world—the food and other stimuli we consume, the activities we engage in, and the company we keep—so pitta and vata become their refined versions, tejas and prana—that which feed our ojas and provide the grounding, sweet, nourishing substance that keeps us safe while we introspect, replenish, and revitalize our body, mind, and spirit.
How the Reset Works
For 10 days, you’ll be supported by me and fellow spirit-seekers in a gradual downshift of our physical, mental, and emotional energy that aligns with the rhythm of nature. By embracing this period of release, elimination, and refinement, we not only gain a greater appreciation for all of the creativity and productivity of the past year, but also make space (with the help of vata) for new energy to fill the beautiful container of our lives.
Together, we will go through the three stages of a classical Ayurvedic cleanse, modified to do safely at home, and share our experiences and reflections around letting go of what no longer serves us and returning to a place in our bodies that feels like home.
What You Get:
- 3 live zoom sessions (recordings will be provided)
- Self-paced option if you cannot attend live or participate during the program dates
- A beautifully designed packet of information, recipes, ingredient lists, and curated resources for food items and products to be used throughout the season
- Discount on kitchari kits and other items from Divya’s Kitchen and Banyan Botanicals
- Daily meditations and journaling prompts
- Online community support for questions and sharing with Jennifer and fellow participants
- Option to order homemade ghee, herbal tea, herbal cacao powder, and/or a seasonal spice blend made by Jennifer, to use during the reset and throughout the season
- Option to add a one-on-one health consultation with Jennifer to personalize your reset experience
A Seasonal Reset Is For You If You Experience:
- Imbalances and sensitivities in your digestion, appetite, and/or elimination
- Irregular or insufficient sleep
- Swings, dips, or spikes in mood and energy throughout the day
- Seasonal allergies
- Seasonal depression or anxiety
- Hormonal imbalances
- Pain, aches, or stiffness in the muscles and joints
- Loneliness and longing for connection
- Difficulty concentrating, keeping to a schedule, or completing tasks
- Lack of inspiration or confidence in cooking and meal prep
Day 1: Orientation
Thursday, October 12
Live zoom call 6-7 pm et
Welcome, introductions, intentions, program review, and guided savasana
Days 1-3: Preparation
Thursday, October 12 – Saturday, October 14
Self-paced reduction of dietary and lifestyle stimulants to ready your body for rest
Day 3: Circulation
Saturday, October 14
Live online yoga class, 10-11:30 am et
Gentle yoga with pranayama, meditation, and reflection
Days 4-8: Simplification
Sunday, October 15 – Thursday, October 19
Simplified diet of kitchari for 5 days (recommended)
Grounding sense-care rituals
Days 9-10: Integration
Friday, October 20 – Saturday, October 21
Gradually incorporating more foods and activities based on your newfound knowledge and experience of balance
Day 10: Transition
Saturday, October 21
Live zoom call, 4-5 pm et
Closing our reset journey in community, reflections and sharing, tips on returning to “normal” with integrity
Rest & Reset program: $250
Rest & Reset program + one-on-one consultation: $350
Early bird save 15% through September 15
Life is hard, so email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss payment options; no questions asked and no one will be turned away.
Got questions? Email me to determine if the reset is right for you!