Prajna paradha is a sanskrit term that translates as, “crimes against wisdom.” It refers to the ways we willingly go against our body’s intelligence–like when we go to bed too late even though we’re tired; drink too much alcohol even though it makes us feel headachy in the morning; overeat even though we feel sick afterwards, etc. etc. Don’t waste your time feeling guilty about your prajna paradha– we all do this from time to time. The question to ask is: “how can I get back on track?”
‘We can limit ourselves a little bit every day, or Nature will do it in the form of illness.’ - Dr. Robert Svoboda
If you’ve been overindulging lately—not giving your body the proper rest, nutrition, or exercise you need or overworking and pushing past your natural limits, now is a great time for a reset. One way to do this is to intentionally set aside a few weeks to start over.
Cleansing is best done in the spring and fall when the weather is more balanced. But you can reset with Purva karma anytime. Purva karma are sanskrit words that mean: "before action." It is a preparatory protocol we do before a cleanse, slowly reducing and then eliminating those substances that are toxic or hard to digest, while also bringing in more of the good stuff. And it only hurts a little bit the first few days. Then we start to feel a whole lot better.
The following protocol will help guide you in a gentle reset.
Cut back or eliminate the following foods:
Processed carbs like bread
Caffeine (beyond 1 cup/day)
Alcohol (beyond 2 glasses/week)
Tobacco and other recreational substances
Leftovers (beyond 1 day)
Eat a diet of whole, freshly prepared, warm food:
Eat 2 or 3 meals/day at regular times
Have your largest meal mid day
Soups and Stews and other easy to digest foods are especially good
Eat plenty of organic vegetables
Use high-quality organic oils (olive, ghee)
Enjoy whole grains and organic meats
Hydrate with plenty of fresh water, maybe hot depending on your preference
Wake at or before dawn
Drink 8 – 12 oz hot water upon awakening
Practice 5 – 15 minutes of yoga/walking
Practice 5 – 15 minutes of pranayama or meditation
Take a walk outside every day.
Eat an earlier, lighter dinner
Turn off the TV/computer an hour before bed
Spend 5 minutes meditating, journaling or stretching before bed
Go to sleep by 10 pm.
Carry a thermos of hot water with you and sip every 15 minutes throughout the day to gently detox your system.
Drink fresh ginger root tea to open your channels and gently detox and support digestion.
Take triphala at night with warm water before bed for a month
Enjoy some skin brushing and epsom salt baths (1 - 2 Cups per bath).
Enjoy a cool - cold water rinse after bath/shower
Enjoy some tulsi tea in the afternoons (or any herbal tea you enjoy).
Take some time to relax on the couch and listen to music.
Dance at home to music you enjoy.
Make art; play music.
Be in Nature.
Massage your skin with some refined sesame or almond oil.
If you decide to reset, get a notebook and make a plan: How long will your reset go? Do you have a friend who might like to do this with you? Who can you let know in your household who will support your efforts?
Then, track your progress each day. Tracking helps you see the small steps you're taking, reminds you of your intentions, and brings on the dopamine/reward system so we good about ourselves and what we're doing.
One step at a time works miracles and leads to new healthy habits. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.
With love, Shannon