Every fall and spring I look forward to doing a seasonal Ayurveda cleanse, in fact my body craves it. I have been evolving this cleanse over the last five years and this year I had a little extra guidance from the amazing Cate Stillman’s Yogidetox. The basics of the cleanse are very similar to what I have been doing but the group energy was great motivation to go a little deeper.
5 Powerful Lessons I Learned While Cleansing:
Trust Your Body’s Signals – Our bodies are constantly giving us messages, unfortunately we often ignore them. For me, bloating and fatigue after eating is a clear sign that I ate something my body didn’t love and my agni is being taxed. When I allow gluten and sugar to creep into my diet I get super bloated and tired. On my cleanse I have been bloat free and have had loads of energy (no mid-day naps required), which is great motivation to keep the gluten and sugar out for good.
I’m Eating Too Much – I have never been a fan of counting calories or restriction type diets and thankfully they are not a part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. Ayurveda has a simple rule when it comes to how much to eat: eat when you’re hungry and eat until you’re full. During my cleansing process I have been slowing down and eating without distraction as well as following the Ayurveda guidelines of eating three meals and no snacking. These practices allow me to really tune into my true hunger and to know when I am full.
Drink More Water – Recently I bought a new water bottle. It’s nice but the one down side is it has a smaller capacity than my old bottle and I noticed I am not drinking as much. I do good in the morning or when I’m teaching but tend to seriously slow my intake later in the evenings. My solution is to sip warm water throughout the day including the evening. Drinking warm water is a simple Ayurvedic method for stimulating agni and flushing ama (toxins) from the body.
Establish Healthy Boundaries – This year I designated only two times during each day to check my email and social media—as opposed to checking all day long. This had amazing effects. I still felt connected, and I was able to respond to all my emails, but I also realized how much of my normal days are spent inefficiently checking email and browsing social media. Normally I don’t allow notifications on my phone, check it while driving or look at social media after 8 p.m. but adding these two check points in a day has made a real difference and I am sticking to it even after the cleanse.
Less Stuff = More Space for Magic – Part of the suggested reading for Cate’s yogi detox was The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I enjoyed the book and although I did not follow the author’s exact method for decluttering I donated three large garbage bags of clothes, shredded piles of papers, recycled no less than 20 old magazines, eliminated about 30% of my books, (which was huge for me) and filled an entire trash bag of stuff that just had to go. I was surprised at how much lighter and welcoming each room in the house feels.
Overall I think this was my most successful cleanse to date. I lost a few pounds, eliminated several pounds of stuff and shifted some old habits into healthier ones. The best thing is I did not get a single migraine during my cleanse! I’m cooking more, eating less and feeling fantastic.
I know many of you are cleansing. Please share your break throughs and lessons.
Wishing you Vibrant Living