Cleansing practices are central to both Ayurveda and yoga. Ayurveda has five cleansing practices, known as pancha karma (“five actions”). Classical yoga has six cleansing practices, called shat kriya (“six techniques”). Both pancha karma and shat kriya are believed to confer a number of benefits:

  • Removal of toxins (known as ama in Ayurveda), which can cause a wide variety of symptoms, such as allergies, asthma, immune system dysfunction, joint pain, low energy, and poor digestion.

  • Balancing the doshas.

  • Opening channels.

  • Renewing and rejuvenating the body, believed to aid in longevity.

  • Cleansing of the emotional and mental spheres, not just the physical body.

  • Making the body a more appropriate vehicle for the expression of higher consciousness.

Cleanses that are intended to generally support the health are best done during the change of seasons in the spring or fall. Cleanses for specific health concerns (such as allergies, asthma, or poor digestion), however, may be done at other times of the year.

Susan has trained extensively in both pancha karma and shat kriya. She believes in customizing a cleanse protocol for each person. The protocol can include elements of pancha karma and shat kriya, as appropriate for the individual's needs and desires. Susan also customizes herbs to be taken during the cleanse, dietary recommendations, pre-cleanse preparatory procedures (called purva karma), and post-cleanse rejuvenation (rasayana) recommendations.

Although many cleanse formats impose strict, and very restrictive, dietary requirements that can prove depleting or simply defeating, Susan believes in setting dietary guidelines that are workable for you and will ensure that you have adequate food to be energized throughout the day. Susan is happy to provide whatever support is needed, from recipes to cooking lessons.

Finally, the cleanse can be tailored to fit the length of time desired, from 4 days to 3+ weeks, and will be primarily in your own home, making it affordable as well as workable for those who cannot take time away from work or home to stay someplace else for a cleanse.

If you would like to undertake a cleanse and have not yet consulted with Susan, please schedule an initial Ayurveda/Yoga Therapy appointment at Schedule an Appointment. If you have previously had an Ayurveda consultation with Susan, please schedule a follow-up appointment. If you have any questions, contact Susan.

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Photo: Rice in Paro, Bhutan, by Susan Bernhardt, 8/2018