i made it through the three-day cleanse easily! i would definitely do it for five days next time. i feel great. yesterday when i broke the fast i wasn't starving or cranky, plus i got homemade indian breakfast (courtesy of joyti, mona's mom) which is totally amazing and gluten free!! i was pretty impressed over all with the cleanse. the hardest part was going out to dinner for mona's birthday at a thai place and just drinking the juice. i almost caved and had some soup, but i am so glad i didn't. overall i would recommend this cleanse.
the weekend was really great, too. i went down to ocean grove, nj to celebrate my dear friend/mentor/former youth leader/ former boss/ former roommate's 40th birthday. mona is pictured to the right, she was my young life leader whom i met my sophomore year of high school. it was great to be around so many people that had been touched by the way she lives her life. we spent the weekend at this gorgeous bed & breakfast where we had the run of the place, which was also a block from the beach. it turned out to be a gorgeous day to get some sunburn - which i did. mona's parents came down on sunday to celebrate and we got the opportunity to get some words of wisdom from manu, her father. he read our palms and told us all to get married asap!
it was a little strange to be with so many religious people. but i guess it really comes down to what you love and how you express it. there were a few that were taken aback with the fact that i was a yoga teacher. granted most of them thought i was a bible-thumper, but they had this misconception of what yoga was and thought that if they did it they would become evil or something. it's strange, but i understood where they were coming from. growing up catholic and then becoming a born againer, i was taught that things like yoga were associated with 'the occult'. the idea of chanting or mediating was totally out of the question even though those things aren't much
different from their concept of prayer.
i remembered my first experience with yoga. i was kidnapped by my friends and brought over to the ananda ashram. it was there that i got my first taste of yoga, chanting and meditation. i was horrible at all of them, but the chanting part totally freaked me out. they chanted for like an hour, all in sanskrit, and i couldn't handle it. all i thought was, this is evil, this is 'the occult'. but as i looked around, i saw people that loved and supported me, people that definitely weren't evil and though maybe they were a little eclectic, they definitely weren't assocating in 'the occult'. i got so overwhelmed that i cried, and then some monk guy came over and gave me a translation of what they were chanting. i read it and realized it was not unlike the psalms or hyms that i knew. it took me a long while to get comfortable with a lot of the aspects of yoga, but that day i drew a distinct connection to the idea of devotion and worship that is inherent in all religions. (ps: i took the pic to the left in front of our b & b - the flowers and butterflies abounded!)
it may be something you have to experience first-hand, but the power of god (big g or little g/ higher power/ shiva/ mohammed/ jesus, et. al) is there ready to be tapped. sometimes it takes a different name, or a different space. it was hard for me to explain this to people that were so engrossed in their own world. i am lucky to have experienced a few different spirtual things. it wasn't like i went there to preach, but i definitely told people how i believe. maybe it's just the act of believing - in anything - that's so powerful.