Spring is a major seasonal transition – especially in North Texas when one day is 80-degrees and the next day you are curled up in blankets in front of a cozy fire. Already, you may have observed how your body reacts to a cloudy, rainy or hot summer day. For thousands of years, the traditional science of Ayurveda has recognized and addressed how our body is affected by Mother Nature’s turbulent changes.
It is ideal to adapt to the changing seasons and maintain a healthy, body-specific lifestyle. Ayurveda, an ancient healing system that originated in India, emphasizes the importance of seasonal cleansing, or detox, especially in spring and early summer. Our body accumulates toxins as we are exposed to emotional and physical stress, bad food habits, illnesses, and other similar factors. Just as we focus on how our bodies look, we should also focus our attention to what is happening on the inside.
Following are some simple detox steps that anyone can start working into their daily routine.
First, remember that the cleansing should be slow, gradual and incremental. The overall intention for a detox program should be to improve the long-term quality of life. And, it is always prudent to speak with your medical practitioner before you start a cleansing or detox program.
We recommend the following:
- Follow a daily routine that is right for your body and right for the season. Springtime is great time to spend outdoors. Get into a good walking routine every morning. Add yoga to your daily activities. Yoga will enrich your detox experience.
- Eat a good diet that is light and less oily. The science of Ayurveda recommends warm foods during spring. Avoid eating cold food like cold sandwiches, cold pasta, etc. After a winter of heavy eating and many sweets, a light, warm and seasoned diet will stoke the digestive fires.
- Include foods with more bitter, astringent and pungent tastes like cilantro, mint and ginger. Not only are these tastes fun to use in new recipes, but they help cleanse the digestive system. Eat a lot of green leafy vegetables. Your doctor will no doubt agree with this point!
- Other spices that are good for this time of the year are cinnamon, garlic, mustard seed and black pepper. Include these in your daily cooking.
- Sipping warm water or warm detoxifying tea is wonderful. Reach for that instead of your morning or afternoon pick-me-up coffee.
- If you schedule a professional massage, indulge in a steam immediately afterward. Steam aids in the removal of toxins. At home, try a self-massage with warm sesame oil before your bath. It is an inexpensive, nice treat that you can do for yourself on a regular basis. After massaging the oil into your skin, rest for 10 minutes and then shower or enjoy your bath.
- Better out than in … it is important to be regular. Regular elimination from the bowels and bladder help flush toxins from your system.
- Meditate for few minutes every day. If this is something you have never tried before … spend at least 5 minutes in a totally quiet, calm space with no interruptions. Just let your mind relax and be clear of the day’s agenda. It’s just 5 minutes. You can do it!
- Adequate sleep is important, especially during cleansing. Avoid sleeping during the day. It slows down your digestive fire.
- And while we appreciate all of the flowers and greenery of Spring, we also have allergies! One of the most popular Ayurvedic treatment is called Nasyam, which is a cleansing and detox for the nasal passages. The treatment involves a gentle facial and head massage, followed by steam. Then, a drop of medicated oil is placed inside each nostril. For thousands of years, Nasyam has relieved headaches, congestion and provided relief to allergy sufferers.
By taking small steps and learning to live in harmony with nature, you will make giant leaps towards optimal health and longevity. You are bound to experience a calmer mind, improved digestion and more energy. And as moms, don’t we all wish we had more energy?