We have discussed in the past how it is important to detoxify your body at least twice per year. Once in the spring and once in the fall. Looking at many traditional cultures, you’ll notice that they give a certain significance to seasonal changes. The reason behind this changing season recognition is that just as our natural world changes and transforms with each season, our mind-body biological physiology does too. Ayurvedic tradition reminds us that our environment is actually our extended body. Because of this, the changes going on in our environment are actually occurring inside of our physical bodies as well. In the midst of these seasonal changes, it is common for what the Ayurvedic’s call ‘certain energies’ within us to become aggravated and may even contribute to dis-ease, or illness. Transitioning into our fall season, it is an ideal time to re-balance our mind and body. A perfect time to rid ourselves of any emotional and/or physical toxins we have accumulated since this past spring. The more I understand about the intricate mind/body connection, the more I realize that it is not enough to just cleanse one or the other. They must be purified in unison. In an ideal world, you would take a week off of EVERYTHING (including tv, cell phones, email, news, friends, work, etc) and just allow yourself to disengage, relax, and detoxify. However, I realize that is not a likely scenario for most of us, so in my opinion, the next best thing would be to take one week where you perform the following steps each day:
1. Dedicate (and never skip) a minimum of 1 hour daily to meditation and/or deep breathing.
2. Each day perform 30 seconds to 3 minutes of Rapid Fire Breathing (Kundalini Yoga) to cleanse the sinuses and airways, as well as bring extra oxygenation to the cells. It is very easy. Sit cross legged on the floor (or just seated in a chair if the floor won’t work for you). Put one hand on your navel, stick your tongue out, and pant like a dog while feeling your navel move in and out. Do about 10 pants and then close your mouth and use the same exact technique only through your nose. Continue nasal panting for 30 sec-3 min. You’ll be amazed at how much clearer you feel just after doing these breathing exercises!
3. Get to the sauna daily. If at all possible a daily trip to the sauna will kick your detox efforts into high gear. If you don’t have access to one, do the hot/cold shower cleanse. To do this, turn on the water as hot as you absolutely can stand it for 30 sec. Then switch to as ice cold as you can stand it for 30 sec. Continue back and forth for at least 5 sets. This will allow your organs and interstitial fluids (the stuff between the organs) to bring their stored toxins to the surface and release them.
4. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating massage already!
5. Drink 5-6 servings of ginger tea and/or hot lemon water daily. For the ginger tea, take 1 tsp of grated or sliced fresh ginger root and add it to hot water. For the hot lemon water, add the juice of 1/2 of an organic lemon to a cup of hot water.
6. Eat only nutrient dense foods. Stay away from breads, pastas, crackers, cookies, cakes, ice creams, candy, alcohol, dairy, and even nuts this week. Eat fresh (raw is best) vegetables, salad greens, limited fruits, berries, and limited protein. This is the one and only time I say to limit protein! It is just easier for the kidneys to eliminate toxins without the large protein molecules in the way. Add at least a tsp of organic coconut oil daily as well.
7. Make sure you are getting adequate rest and that you take the time to engage your senses with nature daily.
There are many different types of detoxes out there. This one is safe for anyone and everyone. Start it right away during the perfect time of environmental change. You’ll be amazed at how these few little steps make a huge difference in your clarity, mental attitude, physical body, and overall love for life.