In the science of Ayurveda, this is a great time to detox the body. We are naturally eating and exerting less, and the heat of this Pitta season adds to the Agni, or internal fire, that can help eliminate (literally, burn off) toxins that accumulate in our body/mind.
Ayurveda teaches that the origins of disease, illness, fatigue and emotional distress are when toxic substances build in the body/mind as a result of stress, poor digestion, sluggish elimination, toxic exposure, weak metabolism or all of the above. This substance, called ama, is a sticky white substance — check your tongue for it first thing in the morning — which can be easily eliminated from the body.
The first step is to strengthen all of your systems’ abilities to efficiently process and digest all forms of information taken from the environment: not just what we drink and eat, but also emotions, facts and ideas.
Where to start? We begin with yoga, the movement of the body and breath in mindfulness, as our physical form is the most obvious part of our reality and our “temple.” As we expand our yoga practice, we may find that we want to enhance this amazing evolution of our bodyminds through pro-activity beyond yoga and the asanas, beyond just getting the body moving and breathing.
The following are other simple methods to begin to cleanse the body from the inside out. If you begin by doing only what seems easy and then “lean into” the others, bit by bit, your health will improve. Some are obvious; others may be new to you but they are all worth mentioning.
• Eating a healthy diet: eating fresh, organic food, as close to being living as possible, and avoiding overcooked, canned, frozen, deep fried or processed foods. We know that fresh fruits and vegetables in season have the most prana, or life force. Ayurveda calls this quality “Sattva,” so now at prime harvest time, take advantage!
• Drinking at least eight glasses of pure water each day. (Our friend and Ayurvedic Nutritionist, Maureen Shortt, MA recommends ½ your body weight in ounces for Vatas and Pittas! Slightly less for Kaphas.) Even better; sip hot water all day. It cools and detoxifies the entire system — add fresh lemon or ginger for taste.
• Eliminate (or reduce) very cold food and iced drinks, especially during meals. Consider the quantity and concentration of digestive enzymes your body produces when you begin to eat and then imagine diluting it with 16 or 24 oz.’s of ice cold water! Think it will have its maximum ability to break down the food and turn it into you? Not hardly!
• Reduce dairy products. When you use them choose organic, even from grass-fed cows.
• Reduce animal products.
• Meditate every day. This one is the most important, as over 2500 studies in the past 40 years have demonstrated. (See binder in our studio for some of the recent studies or the links available on our website.
• Consistent use of cleansing products that help remove ama from the system: Neti pot, tongue scraper and a gentle colon cleanse such as Colonix (30-day cleanse available online and soon in the Boutique) and detoxifying herbs and teas seasonally.
• Attend Ayurveda 101 next month (Sunday, September 29th from 1-6 PM) and learn the tools to keep your mindbody constitution in balance!