Are you ready for spring? Just the anticipation of spring stirs us into activity; we want to freshen up our homes, clean out the garage and get rid of the old stuff. What about our internal environment? Imagine stepping into spring feeling lighter, energetic, vital and vibrant? What would it feel like to be in total harmony with nature – sprouting with liveliness and newness, without the winter weight and the “old” structures of the psyche that weigh us down?
To stay warm and grounded in the cold and dry winter months, we tend to eat heavier, sweeter and fatty foods and spend more time indoors in low-key activities. Since the major holidays also fall in the winter months, we tend to overeat. All of this slows down our digestion and metabolism and more than in any other season, we accumulate more toxins in the winter season. The toxins get stuck and stored in our abundant fat reserves. Ayurveda refers to the toxins as AMA and it can result from slow digestion, environment and unresolved stress.
When spring approaches and the moisture in nature and in our body returns, it naturally moves into the drier areas of our body to our stored toxins to loosen them up for removal. If all goes well and we do not continue to create more toxins, we eliminate them. But for most of us, the level of toxins is too high and we lack sufficient digestive fire (Agni in Ayurveda), we are not successful. Instead the toxins get loosened up a bit and sluggishly move until they hit a vulnerable spot in the body and get lodged there. Feeling sluggish and heavy after the cold, dry winter is one of the many symptoms of toxin accumulation in the body. If unaddressed, these symptoms worsen, multiply and become chronic resulting in aches and pains, stiffness, frequent colds and allergic reaction, swollen glands, weight gain and depression to name a few.
To do a Cleanse is to actively help our body get rid of the accumulated toxins on a timely basis before it gets lodged deep in the tissue and to reset our body’s ability to detox on a regular basis. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care. That “pound” in our golden years is thousands of dollars spent on health care; yet never really experiencing true health. If you are only going to do a Cleanse once a year, spring is the best time.
Rooted in 5000 years of wisdom, Ayurvedic Cleanse addresses all levels of our being. It is not a starvation cleanse, but a very systematic and scientific approach to rid the body of accumulated toxins effectively. It is crucial that we prepare the body and eliminate the toxins gradually. It is equally important that the food intake during the cleanse is light and easy to digest so the body does not accumulate more toxins during the process. It takes a lot of strength and energy to go through the cleansing process, so it is not recommended if someone is emaciated. And certain medical conditions require that you do a Cleanse that is specifically tailored to you. I do not recommend ever doing a Cleanse by reading a book from the shelf or from information on line. It is best that you seek the guidance of an expert when undergoing such process. A Cleanse can be done with or without Panchkarma.
Ayurveda’s most profound therapy to detox, rebalance and rejuvenate is Panchkarma (PK). It is a group of Ayurvedic therapies designed to purify the body of toxins and thus reverse the development of disease and aging. This is the deepest way to detox, rebalance and rejuvenate at every level. The therapies are combined according to the individual needs based on the pulse diagnosis and imbalances. Since the PK addresses every level of our existence – physical, mental/emotional, energetic and spiritual, the benefits of the PK are long lasting, resulting in relief from respiratory issues, allergies, headaches, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, acne and skin conditions, arthritis, nervous system disorders i.e. anxiety and depression.
The point of the Cleanse is to let go of the old that no longer serves us. Think of what no longer serves you. What mental/emotional and psychological structures have you created that might have been useful in the past but no longer hold their appeal. Now is the time to create fertile ground on which to build new structures, a new way of existence, a new way of thinking and feeling. Pondering upon these questions can be the beginning of YOUR spring cleanse.