I never really thought about purging as a means of working through psychological crap build up until I experienced it. I’ve always been a firm believer that whatever presents itself in the body has always originated in the mind. Resentment, guilt, fear - these types of states of mind can breed illness in the mind, progressing to the body. Going deep in any kind of spiritual practice, has long been a way to purge emotional blockages and move forward. Deep rooted issues from our past can hold us stuck until we begin to work through them and let them go. In order for us to let things go, we need to acknowledge it first.
Different methods of inducing a purge can be used. Some utilise herbal psychoactive preparations, like ayahausca. Yoga kriyas such as Kungal Kriya, where 6 glasses of salt water are ingested and immediately vomited. Deep meditation can often induce a purge, silent meditation or awakening kundalini. As well as a deep yoga practice. A yoga practice has so many layers to it, it is ever evolving, we are ever learning about ourselves. The more we practice, the deeper we go. In some instances, this can present itself physically.
This happened to me in India. It was a weekend and I woke up with the most intense stomach pains I’ve ever experienced. In fact I’ve never known pain like it in my life in any capacity. The intensity of cramps confined me to my room, where I stayed for 2 days, scarcely able to drink water. I was in the fetal position the entire time and at one point things got so bad that I thought I was giving birth - even though I wasn’t pregnant. I honestly thought I was either dying or in labour! My mind of course ran away from me, images of me walking down to the lobby of the ashram with a baby in my arms and then to a sensationalised headline ‘I didn’t know I was pregnant!’ I was obviously delirious, to be clear, I was definitely NOT pregnant.
The pains were coming every 15 minutes and when they came I could hardly breathe. Nothing would work. Charcoal, diroalyte, plain rice, motilium, immodium, self massage, you name it, nothing helped. My teacher came to my room one day to check on me and advised that something was trying to get out of my system, something which had been buried very deep, all I could do was surrender to it and let it run its course. I had been going deeper than I ever had in my practice in the run up to this incident, as well as my first time dabbling with energy healing, which no doubt had some hand in setting a massive painful spanner in the works. The works being my intestines.
I had visions of me going back to class being frail, malnourished and devoid of energy after this all-consuming bout of esoteric illness. I was so lethargic while all of this was happening, I’d say I dropped at least 3kg in little over 48 hours. All I could do in between cramps was lie there, contemplating whether this was my life now or if I would ever resume normal bodily functions. I wanted to eat something, but my appetite had abandoned me. I couldn’t remember what it was like to not feel any pain. I couldn’t even summon the energy to cry.
Come the Sunday evening, I could feel the space between each cramp become longer. I struggled to think how there was anything left in my body to expel at this stage. I finally slept. One of those sleeps that’s almost hallucinogenic because you’re that delirious from the restless pain. I awoke on the Monday morning, as if by magic, sprung from my bed and headed straight to class. I felt stronger than I ever had before, I felt lighter, I had more energy. I still hadn’t eaten anything since Friday! Something definitely shifted. My teacher said, when the purge is complete, space is made, space for new energy which was not there before. I certainly felt different afterwards, nothing like that had ever happened to me before, or since. When I came out the other side, I knew what had just happened to me was something metaphysical which had been manifested within me. I know I still have many samskaras to work through and perhaps a few more bouts of purging, something I will not look forward to. However the clarity gained was invaluable and I can’t tell you how good that first spoonful of granola tasted after the great purge.