While seasonal cleansing is important for balance and sifting from one season to another, what we do after a cleanse is equally, or more, important.
Obviously, common sense tells us that after completing a cleanse, jumping into a diet full of chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, and ice cream isn’t a good idea. In fact, if the cleans had being done properly, most people say that they don’t crave these foods anymore—their bodies in just a few days or two weeks have given them a clear message that foods that support well-being are actually preferred.
While cleansing is about clearing away ama, or toxins, that have built up in the body, in our GI tract, as well as stored in our fat cells. Once this ama is cleared away, the nadies become very clear; what this means is that senses are acute, perceptive and most likely to be heightened and therefore sensations can feel intense. Further, the delicate lining of the intestinal tract can be very sensitive as it is exposed, possibly for the first time in years. In the days and weeks following a cleanse, it is extremely important to take extra care of the mind, emotions, and physical body for longevity and health.
A branch of Ayurveda call Rasayana specialized in building tissues and “ojas” in the body. Rasayana is a Sanskrit word that translates to mean rejuvenation or longevity. In Ayurveda, this is ultimately the purpose of cleansing: to rejuvenate our bodies and promote longevity. There are many rasayana practices and foods that are beneficial to add after your cleanse is over. The following five things will help you to restore your body after a cleanse:
Nurture your digestive fire ( agni) Agni is the main digestive fire and healthy agni means excellent digestion, absorption, and assimilation of nutrients. When we digest our food properly, we are able to generate new, healthy tissues, which therefore promotes longevity and health. I recommend taking the following drink:
Blend in a high speed blender: a slice of ginger, one ring of organic lemon (including the peel), a pinch of salt, 5 to 8 leaves of fresh tulsi or (dry in fresh is not available), 1 tsps. of honey, 1 tsps. of fresh chilli and fresh curcuma. Strain if necessary, drink warm ten to fifteen minutes before meals.
Nourish your tissues. One of the three qualifiers to determine if a food is a rasayana or not is whether it provides proper nutrition by nourishing all the 7 dhatus, or tissues. Tissues include everything from skin and hair to blood and lymph. Some tissues regenerate more quickly than others, but all are breaking down and regenerating constantly. Often the foods that provide superior nutrition to all tissues are heavier and a little more difficult to digest. After your cleanse and when digestion is balanced, you can begin adding rasayana foods such as dates, coconut, almonds, and ghee. Rasayana pastes, such as Chyavanprash, combine many rasayana foods and herbs together.
One of my favourite rasayana drink is:
1 cup of warm milk, 1 tsp. of aswghanda, 1 tsp. of cocoa powder, 1 tsp. of honey, pinch of chili, pinch of turmeric. Warm up the milk, mix in the blender the milk with rest of the ingredients. Take the drink before bed for at least 30 days.
Keep warm and out of the wind. The purification process can increase vata and the subtle qualities of the air and space elements. Therefore, it is important to decrease environmental factors that increase vata. This is especially important during fall and early winter, as this is considered vata season. Choose warm clothes and cover well head and feet. Go to bed early.
My favourite vata reducing practice is to put warm Bhrami oil on top of the head before bed. With that sleep is deep and rest is restaurative.
Keep your daily practice. You practice of meditation, yoga and self-knowdlege is of great support to built your new state of being. Often after a cleaning we get inspired to learn new things and make changes. Sadhana (daily practice) sustain your clarity and self-direction. Maintain your daily oleation and Ayurveda routine. Visit your practitioner for regular deeply oleation and treatments.
Eat fresh and accordingly to what’s in season. Our bodies are most balanced when we eat what is seasonally available. These foods naturally provide us with the anecdote to the most prevalent seasonal imbalances. For example, in fall and winter, the garden gives us winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and fall-harvested grains such as rice and wheat. All of these foods are high in the earth element which balances the increased air and space elements inherent in fall and winter. By seeking these foods in their whole form, you won’t have to guess what to eat after your cleanse—mother nature gives you the answer.