Taking Responsibility for Our Health by Doing a Seasonal Cleanse
I can talk about doing a cleanse/detox until I’m blue in the face and almost always meet with resistance.
I even resist my own advice.
We humans nowadays (at least in the culture I live in) seem to want to be able to eat and drink whatever we want, whenever we want.
We want to sleep (or not sleep) whenever we want.
We ignore the daily rhythms that our body is meant to follow.
We constantly break the rules of what is healthiest for our individual constitution.
Food can be our medicine or our poison.
Fortunately, Ayurvedic knowledge is there to guide us in living a long and healthy life.
“Disease is Nature’s way of forcing you to slow down and rest. This is why She is called Mother Nature. She loves you so much that She cannot bear to see you ruining yourself. She warns you of your errors over and over, and turns to drastic measures only when you obstinately refuse to listen to Her. It is a classic case of freedom versus responsibility: either you restrict your freedom a little bit each day, or Nature will come along and restrict it for you for days, weeks or months at a time….There is no free lunch.”
— Dr. Robert E. Svoboda
Even if we eat nothing but the healthiest foods that are right for your body type, we still live in a toxic world.
Pharmaceuticals find their way into our water supply, along with heavy metals and other impurities.
Pollution rains down on us and on our food.
Pesticides are being used at such alarming rates that they’re showing up in vitro.
A lot of these toxic foreign substances take up residence in places in the body where, well, we just don’t want them.
“Every infant born today carries a chemical body burden passed from mother to child during pregnancy. This burden will mostly grow throughout a lifetime of exposure to chemicals in food, air, water and everyday products.” — Pesticide Action Network
So, while our bodies are built to detoxify on a daily basis, they were not built to bear such a heavy burden.
And let’s not forget that we just plain abuse them – eating cheeseburgers and fries, pizza, ice cream, leftovers, frozen food, microwaved food, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, soda, coffee, and on and on and on.
They need our help.
Enter the cleanse.
Ayurveda especially recommends detoxing the body in spring and fall
As we transition from one season to the next (where I am, summer/pitta season is waning and fall/vata season has begun), it’s vital that we eliminate what has built up before the elements have completely shifted.
I wrote about this in my article “Why You Need to Cool Your Body NOW” and can’t stress enough how important this Ayurvedic principle is.
Before you begin any type of cleansing, you should have an idea of the needs of your own unique constitution. You should especially be aware of your present state of health (vikriti) because you want to work to bring it into balance.
Here’s a good place to start if you’re confused about your constitution and/or present state of health
Generally speaking, vata-types (or someone with a vata imbalance) will need to go gently while cleansing, because they tend to get depleted very easily.
It is not the purpose of a cleanse to rob the body of energy.
The purpose is to give the body a rest from difficult-to-digest foods, eliminate toxic waste, and re-set the internal digestive fire.
A strong digestion is absolutely key to good health.
Pitta-types (or someone with a pitta imbalance) can be suspicious of detox talk unless they think it’s their idea. 🙂
Once in, they tend to go for it in a big way and can be a little more aggressive at it than vata-types.
Pitta-types usually have strong digestive fires which help them get through a longer cleanse. An important part of the process for them is eliminating excess heat from the body.
And then there are the kapha-types (or people with kapha imbalances). Cleanse? Why? 🙂 They can be really tough to motivate but a cleanse can work wonders to help them ignite their often-sluggish digestive system and slow metabolism (the reason weight gain is a big issue).
I’m going to share with you three different Ayurvedic cleanse options. I use products from all three of these organic companies and the information they share is always extremely valuable.
Look them over and see which one appeals to you. You don’t have to jump right in and do a two-week cleanse unless you feel really dedicated and ready to take the plunge.
Even if you do nothing more than resting your digestive system by eating a mono diet of kitchari for a day or two, your body will thank you.
I can’t begin to tell you what a difference cleansing during the seasonal transitions has made in my health.
Give it a try! And feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Organic Fair-Trade Ayurveda Products
VPK By Maharishi Ayurveda
Dr. John Douillard’s Life Spa