The Autumn Equinox Detox
Most people associate detoxing in the New Year.
New Year, new start.
Usually we have a need to lighten the load after our festive binges of heavy food and too much booze so a gentle cleanse can be useful at that time.
But detoxing in the middle of winter has no natural rationale behind it. In our coldest, dampest, heaviest season of the year, why would we think about starving ourselves (traditionally January-February was the season in which you were most likely to starve to death due to a lack of seasonal produce), so who is going to encourage our immediate demise? It makes no sense!
According to nature and Ayurveda, there are only two natural seasons in which it is recommended to detox - the Spring and Autumn equinoxes when the seasons change over.
Today we’re going to talk about an Autumn detox.
Why do we detox in Autumn? We are wanting to clear out the excess heat (Pitta dosha) that has built up in us over the summer. Symptoms of this can be excessive irritation, anger, impatience, skin rashes, acidity or heartburn. Many people think these are due to having been with the children over the summer holidays and juggling work but it also due to an accumulation of heat in our bodies and minds!
If the excess heat and toxin build up (feeling tired, not digesting properly, having a coating on the tongue) are not cleared out regularly then this slowly impacts on our health and well-being and sense of vitality.
We regularly over eat and over indulge in our Western lives and every now and again our bodies are crying out for a reset. But often we don’t listen as mind associates detoxing with deprivation and possible death!
But starting with a gentle cleanse can be useful for everyone (apart from pregnant women, although this will help those wanting to conceive, breastfeeding women or people with debilitating diseases).
Guidelines for simple cleansing:
Try to choose some time when you don’t have too much stress in your life or too many things to do and you can take it easy - or at least easier.
Get up half an hour earlier than normal (6-7 a.m. is the best time), drink warm water with lemon and use that time to do some alternative nostril breathing, gentle exercise or meditation
Have your biggest meal at lunchtime and a smaller one in the evening when your digestive fire is weaker
Drink warm herbal teas throughout the day and ginger tea (make up a flask made with fresh ginger and 1/4 tsp each of ground coriander, cumin and fennel)
Favour warm, lightly cooked, unctuous 1 pot meals - think stewed apples, porridge or warm cereal, soups, stews, dals, wholegrains and vegetables
Avoid cold, light, dry, raw foods
Snack only on fruit if necessary
Get a warm oil massage or self massage in the evenings with warm sesame oil and do a relaxing Yoga Nidra (google on Youtube)
Go to bed at 10pm at the latest.
Finish with a 3 day kichari cleanse (recipe in the next blog post)
If you want any more help from me on this you can work with me :
Workshops are coming up on Ayurveda in the Autumn. Keep your eye on this page for details.
If you are trying for a baby and want an in-depth Fertility Cleanse I have a programme just for you.