Seasonal cleansing is part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. This practice, known as ritucharya, keeps the body from accumulating ama, or excess. In the Spring we release the Winter energy of heaviness and stagnation. If you want to enter the summer months feeling clean and clear, this cleanse is for you.
According to Ayurveda, as we travel through the seasons, we naturally accumulate certain qualities. In the winter, it is the qualities of earthiness, and density. We tend to gain a few pounds, and grow sluggish. In the Spring, as temperatures warm, these qualities start to slough off. It is a natural time to wean off of excess to allow this process to happen. This has been the way of the yogis for thousands of years.
Fast forward to our busy and fast paced modern world. Our environments are polluted and some of our food is too. We are all carrying around some degree of toxic load. Combine that with the natural accumulation of kapha in winter, and the need to cleanse becomes apparent.
Anything undigested becomes ama. Ama is a toxic build up that slows down and alters the process of digestion. If ama is released through seasonal and occasional cleansing, our systems run more efficiently. If ama is not cleansed and purged, it continues to build up and causes stagnation and inflammation. This is a potentially deadly combination. It has the power to become chronic systemic inflammation, which leads to a host of autoimmune diseases and/ or diseases of stagnation such as cancer and heart disease.
We can also accumulate mental and emotional ama. Too much sensory input can lead to mental clutter, which is experienced as brain fog, forgetfulness, attention deficit, lack of inspiration, even anxiety and depression. Emotional ama can contribute to reactivity , chronic anger, loss of perspective. and can deteriorate relationships.
Seasonal cleansing of the body, mind, and emotional field gives us an opportunity to digest physical, mental, and emotional ama.
My Approach to Cleansing
My approach to cleansing is modeled after the breath cycle. When we are breathing fully and deeply, in rhythm, the breath cycle has four parts: an inhalation, followed by a pause, and an exhalation, followed by a pause. We come into the cleanse at the top of the inhalation, full, saturated. The first step of the cleanse is to exhale, release, empty. The second step is to pause, to sit in the emptiness. The third step is to inhale again.
Clean and Clear Spring Reboot
The Spring Reboot lasts 2-3 weeks, but the deep cleanse is only 3-5 days in the middle. We start slow and ease in. Someone new to cleansing may want to use the cleanse to wean from sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other substances that are ama forming and weaken the life force. A week or two of eating a whole foods diet will do them a world of good! Someone who has been cultivating a seasonal cleanse practice may be ready to go on a liquid diet for a few days. The experience can be customized while following the cycle.
This is not about deprivation. It is not an extended fast or starvation diet. There will be a variety of recipes to choose from, including one for Ayurvedic kitchari, a dish made from mung beans and basmati rice. Kitchari is considered a perfect food. It is nutritious, and delicious, seasoned with flavorful spices that aid in digestion. The astringency in the beans pulls out toxins and helps the body cleanse. There will also be recipes for soups, smoothies, and teas.
In the week prior to cleanse, I will send out a supply list and a suggested timeline for your cleanse. You’ll want to get your kitchari ingredients, as well as other food items, and teas. It is a good idea to to let your housemates know what you are doing, and arrange to have some down time on your deep cleanse days.
We’ll start in the physical environment by taking a day or two to declutter living spaces. Then, we will lighten up the diet, starting with the most ama producing foods, and curb media consumption. This will build up to the deep cleanse days in the middle, 3 or 5 days, of kitchari only or lighter foods, a time for taking baths, journaling, and letting go of as much physical, mental, and emotional ama as possible. When it is time to inhale, being intentional about what comes in will preserve the sense of peace that comes from cleansing and keep your spirits high long after the cleanse ends.
Join our intentional community for a cleanse experience that has the potential to:
Want in? Click here to register.
Need to talk it through? Click here to book a 15 minute 1:1 chat.
Let's get clean and clear!
PS. Are you interested in Yoga for LIFE? Register for the May cohort and receive the Spring Reboot for FREE.