The Brain Cleanse, a groundbreaking seven-day program for optimal brain health, is coming to Santa Barbara’s Alchemy Arts Center from 9 to 10:30 a.m. daily Sept. 15-21. Two shorter workshops will also be offered to introduce The Brain Cleanse to those who can’t make a seven-day, 90-minute commitment.
Developed by Siddhi Ellinghoven, a loved and respected yoga master with a worldwide following, The Brain Cleanse incorporates current Western medical findings regarding brain health with ancient yogic practices that, as it turns out, have been keeping yogis and yoginis at peak mental performance for centuries.
Structured like a conventional yoga class, The Brain Cleanse also includes meditation, mantras (chanting) and mudras (finger postures), all of which calm, nurture and restore the brain. There is an optional nutritional component to The Brain Cleanse and the exercises can be performed by people of all fitness levels and abilities. Modifications are available to assist the elderly and those who are new to yoga.
“Just as yoga benefits the other organs of the body — heart, liver and kidneys, for example — it also offers profound healing benefits to the brain, the master organ,” Siddhi explains. “Research shows that the brain responds very favorably to being stimulated through specific movements, meditation, social connection, and other elements we have incorporated into The Brain Cleanse. The Centers for Disease Control confirm that physical, mental and social activities are protective factors against short-term memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Physicians agree that these conditions are not normal components of aging.”
The aging of the Baby Boom generation has focused public attention on brain health. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s, and one in three seniors in the U.S. dies with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease could nearly triple by 2050, to as many as 130 million people.
Brain health is not just for seniors, however.
“Young people lead lives that are very stressful to the brain,” Siddhi says. “In fact, most of us do. We often spend too much time sitting in front of screens, subjecting our brains to electromagnetic stimuli; we get too little exercise; too little genuine social interaction; too little sleep; stress our brains with drugs and alcohol; and expose our brains to too many environmental toxins. Is it any wonder our brains need some loving care and attention?”
The Brain Cleanse is particularly recommended for people who:
» Have a family history of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
» Have had chemotherapy.
» Struggle with depression.
» Suffer from insomnia, chronic fatigue, or other sleep disorder.
» Have a history of alcohol and/or drug (including prescription drug) use.
» Have a stressful lifestyle — too much work, too little exercise or sleep, poor diet, or emotional, financial or other forms of anxiety.
» Notice signs of short-term memory loss.
» Feel that they’re “just not as sharp” as they used to be.
Anticipated benefits of The Brain Cleanse include improved memory, creativity and cognition; enhanced clarity; reduced risk of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia; reduced stress; release of stored emotions, trauma and unhealthy habits/patterns; improved focus; and greater sense of peace and well-being.
“The Brain Cleanse has been a life-altering experience,” said Brenda, a licensed social worker who participated in The Brain Cleanse in Baton Rouge, La. “I thought I was a healthy person because I did not eat meat, avoided alcohol, and exercised 15 minutes daily; just enough to elevate my heart rate. On the down side I craved sugar, only occasionally purchased organic fruits and vegetables, and suffered from the effects of sleep deprivation, which resulted in memory impairment, irritability, and the feeling that I was declining into generalized apathy.
“I listened with both my head and heart to everything Siddhi shared and passed on as much information as I could recall to family and also friends at work. I have discontinued sugar and caffeine, purchase only organic fruits and vegetables, and my husband and I enjoy the recommended turmeric/organic raw honey and lemon water morning and evening. My daughter lives in another state and is currently working on her master’s degree in nutrition. She plans to take the next Brain Cleanse with me when Siddhi returns to Baton Rouge. Now if I can just convince my 90- year-old aunt to join us!”
The Brain Cleanse is being offered at Alchemy Arts Center, a wellness spa at 35 W. Haley St. in Santa Barbara. The cost of the seven-day program is $210, or $30 per 90-minute session. A 20-minute maintenance DVD is available for purchase following The Brain Cleanse for $15.
For those who cannot make the full seven-day cleanse, Siddhi will offer two workshops. On Saturday, Sept. 20, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Siddhi will present “Brain Health Focus: Mudras,” which will introduce participants to The Brain Cleanse yoga, plus a special focus on mudras, or finger positions, which stimulate the brain by directing prana, life-force,” along specific channels to the brain.
On Sunday, Sept. 21, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Siddhi will offer “Brain Health Focus: Meditation,” which will introduce participants to The Brain Cleanse yoga, plus a special focus on meditation, which calms and restores the brain.
The cost of either workshop is $70.
Siddhi will also lead a teacher training certification program at Alchemy Arts Center Nov. 14-20. Certification includes affiliation with The Brain Cleanse’s partner facilities and the benefit of TBC’s marketing efforts. Persons interested in becoming Brain Cleanse facilitators should have some experience leading groups in an educational or wellness context. Additionally, people who may be interested in becoming an facilitator should definitely enroll in The Brain Cleanse in September.
— Leslee Goodman is a publicist representing The Brain Cleanse.