I've recently completed this 10 day cleanse with five other spiritual friends while doing Module 1 at the Hridaya Yoga Centre and loved every moment of the process.
The Ohsawa 7 diet originated from George Ohsawa, the founder of Macrobiotic philosophy. It has been known to cure cancer and other dis-ease and is popular amongst the yoga community to balance the physical and emotional bodies.
It consists of eating brown rice (or other grains such as wheat, buckwheat, millet, oats, barley, bulgar or spelt) for 10 days. The intention of this cleanse is to balance the yin and yang aspects of our being, bringing us into a more harmonious state, physically and emotionally. It is believed that in today's society, we are very yin, so by shocking our bodies with yang based foods (brown rice is very yang) we reset our bodies back to their natural equilibrium. Also, the blood, which plays a huge part in detoxification, purifies 10% each day so at the end if the 10 days you have reset your system.
Having experimented with many fasts over the years, I have to say that other than one day where I felt a little nauseous (which I put down to emotional purification), I found this incredibly easy. It helps that I love brown rice! Having the support of friends and eating all our meals at the school was also an advantage.
I was averaging 4 - 6 bowls of rice per day, you can eat as much as you like and are allowed to have dry toasted sesame seeds and Himalayan rock salt for a little flavour, and I was never hungry.
My meditations got much deeper due to the fact that the rice is also very sattvic (no spices or stimulants to activate the mind) and some days I felt so much joy bubbling inside of me that I would have to stop myself from laughing out loud in the meditation hall! All of us were feeling very elevated, glowing, and full of love supporting each other along the way. Due to my digestion not having to work too hard, I was also only needing 4-5 hours sleep every night.
The biggest benefit for me though was losing my attachment to food. I realised I used to spend a lot of time thinking about food, mentally planning what I was going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (especially when my tummy rumbled during meditation). When brown rice is your only option, there isn't a lot to think about!
At the end of the 10 days, all of us entered into a silent retreat. This meant that when enjoying our first non brown rice breakfast on day 11, we were in silence, unable to communicate with each other. Silently, I wished everyone buen provecho, and savoured the sweet flavours of mango and papaya.
If anyone has had any experiences with the Ohsawa 7 diet, I would love to hear them.
Love Lili x