Spring is right around the corner. According to Ayurveda, the worlds oldest comprehensive system of medicine, Spring is the most important time of the year to renew your body, mind, and spirit!
A time honored tradition in our homes, can have wonderful health and wellness benefits for the body and mind as well. Cleansing has become a bit of a buzz word in modern times, but it is a practice that dates back centuries and across many ancient cultures. It is rooted in living seasonally, in tune with the cycles of nature as well as enhancing our bodies innate detoxification processes. Seasonal Cleansing in the Spring and Fall is a time honored tradition in Ayurveda and is a wonderful way to help our bodies and minds adapt, come back to balance and reset in the process.
We are exposed to toxins everyday in the foods we eat, our environment, the air we breathe, everyday stress and from chemicals that exist in our cleaning products, toiletries and cosmetics. These toxins accumulate year round, overloading our body’s natural purification systems and creating inflammation in the body. The goal of a gentle cleanse is to release these toxins, improve digestion, de-stress, and help the body function at it’s highest capacity — to reset and revitalize.
Ayurvedic specialist, Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP explains, “The transitional seasons of spring and fall present a unique opportunity to detox in such a way that we send a ripple effect of health, vibrancy and immunity benefits into the summer and the year ahead. Spring marks natures “new year” and the plants and herbs that grow naturally this time of year are naturally detoxifying.”
Shed the heaviness of winter, energize and rejuvenate with these simple tips.
The spring harvest includes naturally light and antioxidant rich foods like dark leafy greens, sprouts, asparagus, spinach, peas, tart cherries and berries. Dr. Douillard notes, “When we adjust our diet and lifestyle to match the season, health-promoting digestive microbes dramatically change. Spring microbes support balanced immunity, digestion, mood, energy, blood sugar, weight, sleep – and much more.”
For a simple spring cleanse, nourish with body with seasonal, fresh, organic whole foods; avoid processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and simple carbohydrates. Drink lots of water and use herbs and spices like ginger and turmeric to fire up your digestion, boost metabolism and reduce internal inflammation.
For a guided experience and to learn more about the science of Ayurveda - check out Bhava Yoga’s Ayurveda Essentials or Spring Cleanse offerings.
Stimulate your respiratory system with 1-5 minutes mindful breathing a few times each day. This simple exercise can enhance the overall lung function, support the nervous system, increase mental clarity and focus. Once you have established a deep breath pattern, add an ocean wave or “Darth Vater” sound to each breath. In yoga, this technique is called Ujjayi or Victorious Breath. When practiced properly, it builds internal heat, oxygenates the blood and aids in the release of unnecessary thoughts, tension and toxins.
Yoga for Detox
Cleanse from the inside out and outside with a detoxifying yoga sequence. Yoga shares the inherent benefits of exercise but doubles down with therapeutic qualities, inspiration and ancient wisdom to purify the body, mind and soul. The connection of breath, movement and mindfulness tones the body, strengthens the mind, promotes focus, healthy digestion, detoxification, healing and restoration.
Focus on the Core
Build heat in the body and ignite your digestive fire or agni with focused core work. Use poses that strengthen the core and create stability like boat pose, forearm plank and knee to nose pose.
Twists help to tone and fortify the inner organs, calm the mind and balance the body. It is valuable to practice twists in standing poses like a low lunge or chair pose as well as seated and reclined on the back. They are wonderful tools to support and stimulate healthy digestion, increase circulation and vitality.
Child Pose variation
Practice Childs pose with your fists pressing against the low belly, resting your forehead on a block or the mat. Allow your low belly to soften; breathe deeply for a gentle belly “massage” with each breath. Adding compression to this pose aids digestion and healthy elimination.
Legs up the Wall
Gentle inversions reverse the flow of gravity by elevating the legs over the head. This simple action helps flush out accumulated inflammation, toxins and assist in movement of lymph boosting immunity. The deep relaxing and restorative nature of these postures literally gives the heart a break by allowing gravity to assist in the pumping of fresh blood to the brain and it’s recirculation from the extremities back to the heart.