Finally some overdue spring weather! The signs of spring are everywhere along with inspiration for personal growth and transformation.
As the weather warms up, internal toxins that we accumulated during winter begin to surface. So we all benefit from holistic detoxification in the spring to eliminate these toxins before they start causing trouble later on and to create space for growth!
AnaïsNin once wrote: "And then the day came when the risk to remain light in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom"
My approach to holistic detoxification is a gentle one, especially on the physical aspect. Getting rid of them quickly might overwhelm our elimination system and even make us sick!
For the body, small changes in for diet, a weekly one-day fasting, and dry brushing can make wonders. For details, see Feeling a bit rusty? time for spring cleaning!. Also, reducing your toxic load goes a long way.
For the mind, yoga and meditation help you become present and clear the mind from toxic thoughts.
I like to follow some guidelines of the anti-ama diet. In Ayurveda, ama is the accumulation of waste in the body. This diet includes pungent and bitter tastes to reduce and destroy ama so it favors:
- Whole grains (high in fiber)
- Mung beans (other beans tend to produce ama)
- Small amounts of sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds
- Flax seed or mustard oils and small amounts of ghee
- All spices except salt, especially hot spices
- Fresh food raw or cooked
Also, this diet eliminates foods of sweet, salty and sour taste because they increase ama.
- Dairy products
- Animal products and fats
- White sugar or sweeterners (most ama-increasing)
- Salt (ama-increasing)
- Cold drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol
- Canned or packaged foods
Yoga poses for detox
In general, any inversions are great for detox because they help you improve blood and lymph circulation. Here are a couple of poses that are great for detox and have the added benefit of stimulating digestion:
- Downward dog
- Legs up the wall
I like to practice restorative for detox. Besides having the same benefits of an active practice, it balances the central nervous system by reducing stress and stimulating the parasympathetic system. The rest and digest mode as the name implies restores normal digestive function which is disrupted in the fight or flight response.
This mudra signifies accepting and receiving with one hand and letting go with the other one. It helps with elimination and stimulates the brain. Practice four times a day for five minutes as follows:
- Wash your hands
- Seat in a comfortable position with straight back.
- On your right hand, press the tips of the thumb, index finger and middled finger against each other and extend the ring finger and the little finger
- On the left hand, Press the tips of the thumb, the middle finger and the ring finger against each other and extend the index finger and the little finger.
- Bring your awareness to your breath and let energy flow through your hands.
The detoxification mudra is also great to remove physical and emotional muck.
Raw crunchy granola
This recipe is great for breakfast or a snack in the afternoon. It is super easy and quick to prepare. High in fiber and protein, it keeps you satisfied for hours and you’ll love the taste.