Book Review: The Yoga Body Cleanse

A few months ago, I was contacted about reviewing The Yoga-Body Cleanse by Robin Westen. Because I’ve been trying to focus on holistic health and improving my yoga practice, I was really excited to get my hands on the book!

I was trying to be artsy with this pic. I don't think it worked.

I was trying to be artsy with this pic. I don’t think it worked.

The Yoga-Body Cleanse uses traditional Ayurvedic principles to rid your body of toxins and leave you fully rejuvenated. It boosts the amazing benefits of your yoga practice, including bringing you into balance, clearing the mind and increasing flexibility while strengthening muscles, bones and internal organs. The simple day-to-day program in this book offers a complete diet of smart, delicious foods with super-healing powers that strengthen you instead of leaving you hungry.”

Since meeting with Marissa, I’ve become more aware of what healthy living truly means for me. It’s not just exercising (like I used to think). It’s a balance of eating fresh vegetables (lots of greens!) and non-processed foods, sweating, movement, setting goals, being in a positive environment, spending time with people I love, and doing things I’m passionate about. To me, that’s happiness and healthiness. This book caught my eye because it’s a unique schedule for healthy living, with action items broken out by day…and I always do better when I have a plan (this is also why I love workout classes; sometimes I like when someone just tells me what I need to do and I don’t have to think).

I usually equate a “cleanse” with juice cleanses (I could never live on juice – not even for a day), but knowing this wasn’t that kind of cleanse, I wanted to give it a chance. I recently chatted with a client at work about Ayurvedic medicine and was so fascinated by the principles behind it. She was raving about how she met with a man who practices it and he described her entire diet just by looking at her tongue. (Crazy!) He told her what her “dosha” is and that she was eating the wrong foods for that particular one. As she changed her diet based on what he said (for her, one thing he recommended was to eat more hot food instead of cold food) she said she began feeling so much stronger and healthier. Naturally I spent the rest of that evening Googling and taking quizzes on my dosha. 

Back to the book. It reviews these thought-provoking principles and includes quizzes like “How Toxic Is Your Life” and “What’s Your Dosha”. The author reviews our “enemy” foods, items, even toiletries we should avoid because of their toxicity. Everything from non-organic lettuce (ridden with pesticides) to dryer sheets (synthetic fragrances can include carcinogenic chemicals). She also lists some “bad news foods” and what to look for. For example, coffee is listed as a bad news food (GASP!) but only because some of the coffee beans we buy from other countries don’t have much regulation in regard to the use of potentially harmful chemicals in processing. She recommends buying coffee with a USDA label. (Phew. That was a close one.)

So, about the Doshas. Ayurvedic beliefs state that everyone has a specific “energy design”, and you need to eat, live, and exercise in ways that complement your Dosha, in turn providing the most benefit to you. There are 3 types, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. I took the quiz and was deemed a Pitta, which, when I read the description, fits me to a T.

Missing a meal ALWAYS puts me on edge. Ask Brendan. And my parents. They've learned this the hard way. I get super irritated at everything when I'm stressed. My skin always burns. And I sweat a lot. HA!

Missing a meal ALWAYS puts me on edge. Ask Brendan. And my parents. They’ve learned this the hard way. I get super irritated at everything when I’m stressed. My skin always burns. And I sweat a lot. I sound like a bundle of fun, right?

The book continues along by providing small, easy things you can do each day to be more “in the moment”, centered, and healthy. I love that it actually provides action items. It goes through 7 days of a “cleanse” aimed at decreasing toxins and starting and ending your day on a positive note. It’s not your traditional cleanse – this one is complete with foods (recipes included), daily yoga poses, juices, affirmations, and other things you can do to pamper yourself…everything from recording your dreams when you first wake up, enjoying hot lemon water before breakfast, meditating, and pampering yourself by soaking your feet in hot water! Everything is quick and easy. She also shares the reasoning behind each action so you understand why it matters. Because it’s filled with small, easy tasks, everything feels doable.

I haven’t fully followed the cleanse with the meal plan, but I’ve taken a few of the other principles and incorporated them into my day. And I love it! Overall, it’s a really quick and easy read and I recommend it if you’re looking for a day-by-day yoga-based plan to feel rejuvenated and balanced.

Comment below with one thing you do to relax each day. Or your favorite daily routine. (Me? After my crazy morning commute, I always look forward to quietly sipping a hot cup of coffee and eating my breakfast at my desk when I get to work. ) One commenter will win a copy of the book! (I’ll pick a winner on Friday, May 23rd!)

Can’t wait? You can buy the book here!

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. Danielle
    May 19, 2014 / 8:26 am

    I always look forward to my post-work pilates class. :)

    Also – I think you just described me with that feed-me-or-else comment! Id love to win the book!

  2. May 21, 2014 / 4:02 am

    Huge glass of water first thing makes me feel like I’m washing my insides clean! Then, lumosity gets my brain sparking before my workout!
    I am an angry, crabby hungry person as well. Good thing I live with someone who lives to cook for me- and knows how to make clean eating fun and uber-delicious

  3. Alissa
    May 22, 2014 / 4:53 pm

    I just recently started taking yoga and even though I am awful at most poses, it always makes me feel great afterwards. I’ve been setting goals for myself because I’d love to be a strong yogi :) This book seems right up my alley!

  4. May 22, 2014 / 5:09 pm

    I’d like to win. I love relaxing with yoga or meditating. Sometimes it’s good to get away from the hussle and bustle of the day.

    Also, I’m sure this defeats the book’s meal plan, but I love drinking my coffee early in the morning and eating my biscotti… like, very early, before the rest of the world wakes up. That’s my little ME time :)

  5. May 22, 2014 / 5:12 pm

    I’m the same as you – sipping on a drink (coffee, beer, wine…) in a quiet setting is one of my favorite things. I crave my first cup of coffee in the morning more for the act of drinking it than for the caffeine (but let’s be honest – I need that too)!

  6. May 22, 2014 / 5:39 pm

    I try to make room for relaxation everyday even when it’s a busy day! I enjoy doing a quick peaceful sun salute through few times, and also mediating. Great giveaway Kara!!

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