As I get ready to kick-off another cleanse at Atlanta Hot Yoga with the awesome Anna Russ, I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of cleansing. So often, the first question I get about a cleanse is, “will it help me lose weight?”

Well, yes it might… but, that really isn’t the purpose. The purpose is to give our body a rest from the daily onslaught of sugars, caffeine, alcohol and the like; to allow our digestive system to calm down and soothe inflammation; and, most importantly, to build awareness of how the food we eat effects us.

My hope for sharing a cleanse is that is will encourage a greater appreciation for our own individual bodies and constitutions, and that it will help us to function with a little more self-love and aliveness flowing through our veins.

Almost every Sunday morning I sit on my front porch with coffee in hand and I read as much of the New York Times as I can fit into my day. This past Sunday, I was particularly taken with an Op-Ed piece by Joshua Max:  What I’d Say to My Fat Son. After sharing his story of adolescent weight challenges and the resulting bulimia, Max shares this gem with us:

Muscles are good, fat is good, it’s all part of the miraculous human body and we get only a little while here on planet earth. It doesn’t matter how much yoga you do or how much brown rice you eat, you’re still going to die one day and you might as well love yourself even if no one else does.

Moderation. I don’t take from this that I should NEVER do yoga and NEVER eat brown rice because I’m going to die anyways. What take from this is it is ok to rest when my body needs it. It is ok to eat a piece of chocolate once in awhile. If we listen, our bodies will tell us exactly what it needs. Sometimes we just don’t want to hear it.

On the mat, it is the exact same practice. A practice of listening. Of striving for balance and being loving to yourself when you go too far in one direction. How do you find moderation in your daily life?