Laurel Hodory on the Importance of Cleanses: "The Truth is Always Changing"

December 8 | The Lifestyle | The Practice |

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Life Before Cleanses

In the early 2000s, Laurel Hodory’s health was a paradox. In spite of her vegetarian diet and regular yoga practice, she felt terrible. Laurel frequently experienced pain in her abdominals and insomnia. At the time, she owned a yoga studio and in her words, “I was in the business of helping people be well, and meanwhile I was sick.”

She visited a variety of traditional doctors and was told she had adrenal fatigue, among other things. Overtime, Laurel gave up on modern medicine – she was following her doctor’s orders and her health issues were not resolving.

Laurel’s First Cleanse Experience

Tired of being tired, Laurel started doing her own research. Leaning on her M.S. in Environmental Science, Laurel decided to try an elimination cleanse. Similar to the cleanse she will lead at Upper Arlington next month, Laurel removed dairy, gluten, soy, alcohol, and caffeine from her diet and she significantly “downsized” her schedule.

Laurel said, “there is a quietness that comes with a cleanse… instead of go go, there is space to pause and listen.” For the first time, she really started listening to her body. She asked herself, “what does my digestive system need? What foods are not serving me?”

The Truth is Always Changing

After her first cleanse, Laurel realized she was sensitive to dairy and gluten – she shifted her diet and felt immediate relief. She also noticed how much better she felt with a lighter schedule. Prior to the cleanse, Laurel said she was “overdoing a good thing”. To create balance and focus on her health, Laurel sold her yoga studio and she continued to use the practices she learned from cleansing to heal herself.

Laurel has completed and hosted many cleanses since that first one and she has learned that “the truth is always changing”. Her truth – what allows her to feel well – changes as she changes. Laurel cleanses as a means to continually pause and evaluate if she is making the best decisions for her body, today. It has helped her to develop a practice of mindfulness.

The healthy balance that Laurel has achieved is available to everyone – to begin, find a way to create space to intentionally pause and “self reflect on what’s going on internally”. Similar to Laurel’s story, you may be doing the “right things”, but are they the “right things” for you?

To get started, it’s helpful to link up with a trusted professional that can guide you through the process. Laurel is leading an Ayurvedic Cleanse in January at our Upper Arlington studio in Columbus, Ohio. The 14-Day cleanse includes a kitchari kit with a set of recipes and instructional support. And, the first 3 days are preparation and the last 3 days include a supported reintroduction of eliminated foods. In addition to the dietary support, other healing yoga practices, many of which don’t get covered in class (due to time restrictions), will be explored. Click here to register or for more information.