The change of season is upon us and it is a good time for an Ayurvedic cleanse. Ayurveda traditionally recommends cleansing at the change of the seasons to help the body shift gears and adjust to the changing environment. Cleansing supports a gentle removal of build-up from the previous season.
Why cleanse? The need to detoxify the body regularly has become a prerequisite for optimal health.
You may already be taking care of yourself by eating healthy, doing yoga, walking and exercising, so why you would need to add a cleanse? Cleansing is a great step in prevention. Ayurvedic cleansing allows your body to rest and rejuvenate, as well as dislodge toxins from your system that may have accumulated over time.
Good digestion is key to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Cleansing helps to reset and strengthen the “digestive fire” that breaks down what we ingest. When digestion is optimal, we get the most out of what we eat. For some people, cleansing and improved digestion results in weight loss.
Poorly digested food creates toxins in the body, which Ayurveda calls ama. This ama causes the organs and tissues not to perform optimally, and the result is stagnation in the body and mind. This affects cell communication, showing first as a mild imbalance and later becoming a disease if the imbalance is not addressed. Disease does not happen overnight, it takes a long time to develop.
The Ayurvedic approach is always preventative. Periodic cleansing helps the body and mind to let go of any toxic burdens and flourish.
Signs it’s time to detox:
- Itching skin
- Joint pain that moves around the body
- Lack of mental clarity
- Cold hands and feet
Benefits after cleansing may include feeling lighter, increased energy and vitality, reduced generalized achiness, improved clarity and memory, better functioning of the immune system and balanced body energies — vata, pitta and kapha.
A full Ayurvedic cleanse is called Panchakarma, consisting of five actions or therapies, usually done under the supervision of a trained practitioner in a facility away from home. Simpler, less complex versions of this full cleanse are still highly effective and can be done at home still with help of ayurvedic practitioner.
It is advised to not schedule extra activities during the cleanse to ensure that you have enough time to nurture yourself. This is a very important guideline. One can, however, still work and take care of their daily needs.
You are invited to join me in an easy, supportive Ayurvedic group cleanse happening in October. You won’t be hungry; you will eat a mono diet of kitchari — cooked split mung beans with rice and tasty spices — that is filling, very satisfying and soothing to the digestive and nervous systems. This basic combination is considered one of the easiest foods to digest. Without the challenge of processed or other more difficult to digest foods, your body will be nourished and provided with plenty of energy.
Dena Kaigel is an Ayurvedic practitioner and is the owner of Healing with Ayureda in Atascadero. To learn more or sign up for the group cleanse, go to www.healingwithayurvedanow.com.