What Happened to Instinct?
On January 3rd Spark Yoga launched its Mindful Reading Club—the first book of the year is Clean by Alejandro Junger M.D. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet and signed up for the club meetings at the Arlington or Mosaic studio, do it now!
This is a fantastic read. My pages are decorated with copious markings and underlined passages; a hallmark of nearly all books that I read. But, Clean is different. It’s filled with a plethora of truly enlightening and useful information that helps us to easily understand and appreciate the nuanced functionalities of our highly sophisticated bodies.
Junger asserts, “Humans lost touch with their instincts” (65), a particular statement that has resonated with me since reading it. He confirms that, yes, we are animals just like our furry, four-legged friends and yet we relate to our environment as if that were not the case.
No animal always eats three times a day. No other animal eats every other living species on the planet. No wild animal eats for fun or out of sadness… No animal in the wild is obese, and diseases are rare, mostly a result of exposure to our chemical poisoning of the planet (65)
Sure, humans are a special breed: we do eat for fun and food is a symbol of our beautifully diverse cultures. However, it’s evident that over the decades of rapid modernization that we’ve allowed our relationship to food to evolve in an entirely perverted direction.
Junger reminds us that, “We take three meals a day for granted, but it is no more than a social construct… Eating constantly without resting the digestive system may be at the root of our inability to detoxify naturally” (65).
According to Junger, the most fundamental source of healing and vitality for our bodies is detoxification. This is the body’s innate ability to clear out toxins that it accumulates by virtue of being alive. In our modern world we get pinged by toxins constantly and from unsuspecting sources!
Clean is a simple, yet revolutionary resource that enables you to get back in touch with your instincts and begin to think about your relationship to food, medicine, the planet, and your body, differently.