As the seasons shift, your internal body is affected. Toxins can build up and affect the way you feel and think. You can feel sluggish and fed up. Ayurveda helps to remove the toxic buildup, improving the digestive health and improving the doshas balance in the body. It may be something you want to do as the seasons change each year.
Before you go into Ayurvedic cleansing, you need to know as much about it as possible. It’s not just about how to do it, but why it’s so important. This is more than just changing your diet for a few days, but about changing your lifestyle for the cleanse.
Ayurveda ways promote the removal of disease causes. The focus is on limiting the exposure to toxins. Of course, you can’t cut them all out due to the pollution in the air outside, but you can limit exposure in the home and in life in general. This is going to take some effort to do, but it’s worthwhile for your long-term health.
Why You Need to Do an Ayurvedic Cleanse
The changing of seasons is one of the best times to start your Ayurvedic cleanse. During the seasons, the toxins can build in the body. As the seasons change, there’s a sense of rebirth and change. Getting into that mindset is powerful to change your body and way of life.
But do you really need to do an Ayurvedic cleanse? There are certain signs that suggest you’re ready for it.
You may have some digestive struggles, such as sensitivity to foods that you don’t normally struggle with or constipation/diarrhea. If your digestive and bowel movements aren’t normal, then it’s a sign your body is dealing with a buildup of toxins.
As the body’s toxins build up more, you can start to crave sweet, salty or spicy foods. You end up wanting to reach for the curries or the chocolate to give you energy. It’s also harder to listen to what your body really needs. You struggle to tell when you’re tired and when you need to rest. It’s harder to understand when you’re hungry or thirsty and when you need to exercise more.
Fatigue is more common, but you can find it harder to get to sleep on a night. When you do sleep, you have more trouble staying asleep. This makes it harder to replenish the energy levels and you’re left with a feeling of being foggy or forgetful. Your balance is off, and you find it harder to deal with the stressful situations thrown your way.
After a while, it can feel like these are normal parts of life, but they’re important signs you need to change something.
Reducing the Exposure to Toxins
Toxins are everywhere. They’re in the food you eat, the products you use and some of the lifestyle choices you make. Ayurvedic cleansing is about limiting your exposure since you can’t cut all of them out. It’s about taking control where possible.
Part of this is in the food you eat. You’ll need to switch to organic foods to reduce pesticide exposure. Make sure the meat you eat is from animals that are grass-fed and raised without antibiotics. You’ll want to reduce your exposure to hormones and chemicals used in fruits, vegetables, meats and more.
Then there’s the processed food. These are packed with added chemicals, preservatives and more. When going through Ayurvedic cleansing, you’ll need to focus on eating whole foods. Cut out anything that’s packaged or processed to remove any exposure to items that aren’t natural and are harmful to your health.
Of course, cutting out unhealthy behaviors is also important. If you currently smoke, make sure you quite now. The toxins from cigarettes are just building up in your system and causing major health problems. You will also want to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke. There’s nothing wrong with having a no-smoking rule in your car or house!
What about when it comes to the toxins we have absolutely no control over? What about pollution in the air and toxins in our drinking water? Well, there are steps we can take to reduce our exposure. And this is what’s important. It’s not about stressing over the things we can’t control but acting to limit exposure.
It’s possible to filter water and improve air quality inside the home.
More Than Just Toxins
While we’ve looked at reducing exposure, the Ayurveda way of life is more than just reducing exposure to the toxins. This is more than about the air we breathe and the food we eat. Ayurveda believes that the digestive fire affects the whole digestive proves, and this is something that’s affected by all the senses. The brain processes the results from senses and can lead the body balanced or out of sync.
Sights smells and sounds all contribute to thought processes and emotions. If you smell something that brings up good memories of the past, you will instantly think of those good emotions you once felt. When you hear a scream, your body instantly goes into a sense of stress as you wonder if someone is being attacked. Seeing death on a TV screen or hearing of a school shooting can lead to distressing thoughts and emotions.
But suppressing the emotions isn’t the way to balance the body. The action of suppressing and burying thoughts and memories prevents a person from processing and dealing with them. This leads to more toxins in the body, as hormones become out of balance. The body doesn’t have the chance to repair and work effectively.
Think about how your heart and stomach are affected by memories and emotions. You can feel sick with nerves. Your heart can start racing and you can start to feel panicked and stressed. Your bad habits built up over time lead to these negative emotions and actions, which can lead to problems within the body.
Panchakarma: The Most Popular Ayurvedic Cleanse
When it comes to the Ayurvedic cleanse, you’ve possibly heard of the Panchakarma. This translates to the “five actions” and is the most popular of all cleanses. However, you should only go through the cleans with a skilled practitioner, who will help to personalize the cleanse. We all have different reasons for the buildup of toxins.
A practitioner will also make sure the five actions are done properly. They can be relatively uncomfortable, especially the ones that involve blood-letting and emesis. The exact five actions are:
- Herbarized enemas
- Nasal herb administration
The five actions will focus on at least one dosha (kapha, pitta or vata). Other treatments may also be recommended at the same time by your practitioner to help get a full cleanse.
You will need to take steps to prepare for the cleanse, too. It’s important to make it as easy as possible to remove the toxins, which means changing your diet to avoid adding more in and sweating or warm oil massages to help release some tension and some of the excess toxins.
The simple food diet should last for around a week before your cleanse. Your diet will be restrictive during this period, but it’s worth it for the complete balance.
Start by limiting your foods to only ones that are easy to digests. Ayurveda recommends sticking to mung lentils, rice, and other similar foods. The best options are cooked and warm since they are already soft to break down easily and will also feel comforting and fill. You don’t have to make the digestive firework excessively hard.
It’s also worth adding kitchari with ghee to your diet. This is a lubricant that helps to support the digestive system and keep things moving through effectively.
Assess the types of meals you eat regularly. What type of foods do you buy? Cut out the processed foods and avoid those with toxins and pesticides. Look out for organic whole foods that are packed with nutrients and natural products, instead of the chemicals and preservatives.
Slow Down Your Hectic Lifestyle
Part of the Ayurvedic cleanse is to reduce the stress and adrenaline. Stress hormones just lead to more toxin buildup. Your body is left out of balance, affecting your mood and your digestive fire. Therefore, you don’t want to worry about the toxins and pollutants that are out of your control. There’s no point worrying about something that you can do anything about.
But stress isn’t just about worry. It occurs when you do a lot of unnecessary activity. While you want to remain healthy, you also want to keep your body relaxed and managed. Look at exercises that are slower but still offer some strength building. Yoga is one of the most beneficial during the Ayurvedic cleanse because it focuses on the body and soul.
Meditation also tends to be recommended for a cleanse. You have the chance to focus on the negative emotions and banish them from the body. It’s a chance to pull yourself back to the moment and look inwards. You get the ability to deal with tough situations and bring your heart rate down. Meditation is supportive for the digestive fire.
If you can, plan the cleanse when it’s your time off work. Use the week off to escape the hectic daily tasks and take a step back from life. There’s no need to feel like you’re in a rat race or to feel stressed over others’ expectations and needs. Of course, there are certain elements of life that you can’t take a step back from, but there are plenty where you have more control over. To make sure your panchakarma is effective, you want to have the time and space.
Give Time After the Cleanse
It’s not all about the process, but the aftermath. You can’t just go straight into your normal life again after your panchakarma. Your body will need time to assess and recover. It’s important to remain supportive of the rejuvenation process. This can take three or four weeks to fully complete, which means nourishing your body throughout this time.
You’ll want to stick to the simple diet in the weeks after the cleanse. This helps to avoid adding more toxins back into your body when you’ve just got rid of them! You’ll also want to stick to the slower way of life to keep the stress and anxiety to a minimum.
Don’t forget about supporting your body through herbs and massages. Follow the pre-panchakarma steps to get the full effect.
What If You Can’t Do the Full Panchakarma?
The great thing about the Ayurvedic cleanse is that it’s not a case of all or nothing. If you can’t do the full panchakarma, there is the ability to do a reduced one from your own home. This won’t offer all the benefits but will help you cleanse most of the toxins out of your system.
It’s all about following the steps to get rid of the toxins already in your body and avoiding adding more. This often means following the pre-panchakarma steps to help reduce the number of new toxins being added to your body. Stick to a simple and whole-food diet that is easy to digest. Reduce the processed and packaged foods and stick to more organic whole foods.
You can still take steps to reduce your stress levels. Slow down where you can and take more control over your emotions. Deal with the negativity and allow it to be released from your body.
Once you cut out the toxins, your digestive fire can handle the ones that are currently in the body easier. It will remove the current toxins and help manage the negativity within the body. While it’s not as effective as the full panchakarma, the simple Ayurvedic cleanse is better than nothing.
The Ayurvedic cleanse is more than just getting rid of toxins. It’s about giving yourself a renewed sense of life and improving the balance of your hormones and emotions. It’s about improving your life overall.