Ayurvedic Cleansing 101
A New Year is just beginning, bringing you a chance to do all those things you promised yourself last year, but may never started and to set new powerful intentions for 2014. However over the past few weeks while enjoying plenty of holiday cheer you may have gained a few pounds, lack energy, your liver is sluggish and your skin may not have your usual radiant glow. The New Year is a perfect opportunity to start clean, especially with a clean digestive system. What you need is an easy and effective home cleanse.
Ayurveda, the mother of all natural healing systems, tells us that proper digestion is the key to staying healthy. When our digestive ﬁre or “agni” is working properly, all of the food we eat is either used by the body, or ﬂushed out as waste. When our digestion becomes sluggish, say from holiday over indulgence, partially digested food is left behind in the digestive system. This substance turns into toxins, known as “ama” in Ayurveda. When Ama builds up over time it disrupts the natural ﬂow of energies in the body and imbalances will manifest, leading to weight gain, low energy and weakened immunity.
The holidays are a prime time for Ama to accumulate. Our routines are blown. We often eat at times we would normally not eat and we eat too much. Drinking alcohol beyond moderation, eating heavier foods late in the evening, eating when we haven’t ﬁnished digesting the previous meal and eating when stressed will all cause problems for our digestion.
Got Ama? Some signs you may beneﬁt from a cleanse
- White coating on your tongue ﬁrst thing in the morning
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight gain
- Skin rashes and irritation
- Digestive issues
- Muscle fatigue and soreness
- Foggy thinking
- Bad breath
5 Steps for a Simple Home Cleanse
1. Eat Clean. Spend 1 – 3 days eating fresh, organic whole foods. Eliminate all animal products, processed foods, sugar, gluten, caffeine and alcohol. Eat plenty of leafy greens (need ideas download my Eat Green ebook), drink plenty of water, green smoothies, fresh juices and warm ginger tea. Load up on fresh fruits and veggies, whole (non-gluten grains) and lentils.
2. Eat Kitchari. Following your 1 - 3 days of clean eating eat kitchari for 3 days. This Ayurvedic super food is deeply cleansing, nourishing and easy to digest. It’s made from rice, dal, ghee, veggies and spices. Click here for a recipe. Banyan Botanicals sells a great kitachri kit, which makes cleanings a breeze.
3. Hydrate. I know you hear it all the time, but especially during cleansing, drink plenty of water (no ice) and warm herbal and detox teas.
4. Take a Media Cleanse. If stress and overwhelm are part or your accumulated toxins give yourself a break from TV, texting, emails and social media. Consider observing a media free cleanse from 7 pm – 7 am.
5. Rest Well. Honor the fact that your body needs to rest and recover. With the TV turned off take an evening bath, sip herbal tea, read some light material and have yourself in bed by 10 pm and rise by 6 am.
Taking a few days to simplify your diet and lifestyle will recharge your digestive ﬁre, leave you feeling energized and lighter in body and spirit and ready to manifest all your dreams in 2014!
Kate Towell is a certiﬁed Ayurveda wellness counselor and holistic health coach and RYT. In her practice she supports busy folks to balance their passions, priorities and purpose with the needs of their body and mind so they can live energetic naturally healthy lives. Kate’s approach as a wellness guide is practical, compassionate and individualized. She honors each person’s uniqueness and through the wisdom of Ayurveda and yoga empowers them to create lasting vibrant health. Learn more by visiting her website, www.katetowell.com.