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Seasonal Cleansing

By Paige Bradley-Pecoul

WED OCT 07, 2020


Seasonal cleansing hasn’t always been my practice, but since I started living the habits and surrendering to dinacharya (daily rhythm) and ritucharya (seasonal rhythm), my subtle awareness has increased. I can now sense when I need to lighten up on foods and other means of consumption. It begins with a period of “food blahs” where I am just not interested in eating, and then starts to manifest as unhealthy cravings.

In Ayurveda, unhealthy cravings are driven by ama, the build up of undigested material in the body- mind complex. This can be literal undigested food in the digestive tract that interferes with proper digestion. It can also manifest as confusion and emotional volatility in a person with undigested information, emotions, and experiences stuck in the mind.

It is not uncommon to feel this way during the change of the seasons, particularly from summer to fall, and winter to spring. That is why it is a great time to consider a cleanse.

Cleansing can take on many different forms, from a 3-5 day mono diet of cooked grains and soups, to a longer, deeper cleanse leading into days of fasting on juice or water. A cleanse can serve the purpose of grounding down, or lightening up, and can incorporate more than just the diet. A cleanse could focus on the physical body, or target the mind and emotions. It’s really something you can design for yourself.

Choose a time when you can be less busy, and consider incorporating some of the following activities that support cleansing:

For the body:

  • Prior to the cleanse, wean off caffeine, sugar, meat, wheat, and dairy.
  • During the cleanse, favor green juices, which are naturally detoxifying, as well as soups, which are easy to digest.
  • Drink plenty of purified water, room temperature or warmer.
  • Enjoy herbal teas.
  • Dry brush the skin in the mornings.
  • Take salt baths at night.
  • Walk.

For the mind and emotions:

  • Fill 3 or more journal pages with daily.
  • Take a social media break.
  • Meditate.
  • Spend time in solitude.
  • Allow memories and emotions to flow freely.

Feel free to mix and match to create your own nurturing gentle cleanse! The idea is to give the body and mind a break from consumption long enough to digest ama. This can happen in a few days, or take a few weeks. I’ve chosen a three week cleanse that begins with purging my personal space, leads into a few days of juice and water fasting, and culminates in filling the space I create with new habits. If this sounds good to you, stick around! I’ll be taking a group through this experience in the Spring.

Take care of yourselves,

Much love, P