Ayurveda is a transformational force and, as a healing system, it actually offers us a myriad of diverse therapeutic strategies to achieve positive change. It demonstrates to us that the proper knowledge and our self-commitment are the keys for responsive health.
The transformative force in our body is our digestive fire or agni. It drives all processes of physiological transformation. It turns food into consciousness and governs metabolism everywhere in the body. It oversees digestion, absorption, and assimilation in the GI tract as well as the exchange of nutrients at the cellular level—even the digestion of thoughts and emotions. Cleansing improves the health of agni. There are many ways to support agni; a cleanse is one of the most straightforward and effective means available. Done correctly, a cleanse strengthens the whole system, helps to eliminate the very toxicity that might otherwise inhibit it and can therefore serve to initiate a powerful process of renewal and healing at many levels.
Am I ready for a cleansing?
Ayurveda doesn’t only aim to remove toxins from the tissues of the body but to also balance your
(constitution). Depending on a dosha that is out of balance, you may experience different symptoms, for example, when vata is out of balance you may feel anxious, ungrounded and have insomnia. If pitta is out of balance you may experience lack of energy, irritability or inflammations. if kapha is out of balance you may feel foggy and lethargic.
The following signs and symptoms are often an indicator that your body would benefit from a cleanse:
- You struggle with digestive difficulties of any kind
- You suffer from constipation, loose stools, or irregular bowel movements
- You have intense cravings for spicy, salty, or sweet foods
- You tend to have trouble listening to what your body needs (in the way of sleep, food, rest, exercise, etc.)
- You frequently lack energy or feel exhausted
- You suffer from anxiety or stress
- You have trouble sleeping or waking up
- Your mind feels scattered and you have trouble focusing
- You tend to feel foggy-headed or lethargic
- You sense a subtle and undefined malaise; you just don’t feel as well as you think you should or maybe as well as you have in the past
How I will benefit?
Your benefits will depend on the dosha in imbalance that you are addressing. However; at the core, an Ayurvedic cleanse is focused on drawing toxins and excess vata, pitta, and kapha out of the tissues and into the digestive tract so that they can be eliminated. While this is sometimes an uncomfortable process, the end result of a cleanse should be an improved sense of balance and overall health.
An ayurvedic cleanse helps to:
- Foster both clarity and being grounded in the mental, spiritual, and emotional spheres
- Nurture an improved sense of energy, vitality and enthusiasm for life
- Support the maintenance of a healthy body weight
- Restore and maintain balanced sleep cycles
- Promote regular and balanced elimination
- Recover each individual’s natural state of balance
- Prepare the tissues for deep nourishment and rejuvenation
- Restore a sense of calm to the mind and the nervous system
- Promote optimal health
How often should I cleanse?
Periodic cleansing is considered an important part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Ayurveda suggests to purify during seasonal changes i.e. spring and fall for 7 to 21 days’ purification and every month do 1 to 3 days of cleansing. Individuals can choose the approach that best aligns with their personal needs, lifestyle, and available time. Whatever cleanse is right for you, working with an Ayurvedic practitioner during a cleanse can provide an invaluable level of personalized support and can, in turn, amplify the benefits you’ll receive from the process.
What does the cleanse involve?
Most Ayurvedic cleanses are centered around simplifying the diet and, in some cases, adding supportive lifestyle practices. The goal is to balance vata, pitta and kapha, digest and eliminate toxins, balance and strengthen agni and restore the body’s natural intelligence. If you feel intimidated, or have doubts about how you’ll respond to the restrictions or the overall structure of a cleanse, please spend some time reviewing the different cleansing options. Some of the choices are truly quite simple and are meant to serve those of us who have never attempted any sort of cleanse before. In addition, keep in mind that the Ayurvedic approach to cleansing is typically built around a monodiet that includes whole grains, legumes, vegetables, ghee, many spices and a wide variety of flavors. While your diet will be simplified, you will not be fasting. In fact, you will continue to enjoy tasty and satisfying meals and teas, complete proteins and a balanced diet overall.
How do I start?
If you are new to cleansing, we highly recommend choosing a shorter, simpler approach in order to get a feel of how to do it. You can always graduate to a more in-depth cleanse the next time. It is best to visit our ayurvedic practitioner who can determine the best program for you.