Come the first of January, we are conditioned to think that in order to start fresh, we must cleanse away the old before we can build new healthy habits and aspire to be the person we truly are. We JUMP on the newest fad diet or pop into our local health food store for the heaviest, but quickest laxative cleanse there is to “start fresh.” Before you take the advice from a gossip-filled magazine on what “worked” for a famous celebrity, it is important to ensure that you are enhancing your wellness in harmony with your surroundings.
There are only two optimal times two deeply cleanse during the year, and the start of a new year is not one of those times. In Ayurvedic medicine, it has been encouraged to support your body optimally based on the season and our external environment. If you think about our external surroundings in winter, it’s cold, crisp, dry and dark. Well, our internal mind, body and soul tend to be a reflection of our surroundings. We add layers to retain warmth and protect our skin from the dry crisp air, our digestive system can become stagnant and slow leading to constipation, our mind can become spacey and our thought patterns can become dark.
Naturally, our bodies try to hold on to everything in the winter months including weight to preserve energy and warmth which will nourish and replenish our mind, body and soul. When we enhance a cleansing action with laxatives and herbal remedies during the winter months, we are creating a cold damp environment internally in which our vitality and energy can decrease leading to low immune system and lack of nutrient support.
Rather than working against the bodies naturally response during the cold winter months, focus on optimizing your wellness by providing whole body nourishment with the following healthy habits:
Start a daily journal.
Writing down your thoughts, dreams, ideas, experiences, trauma and every emotion or situation you encounter is a way of cleansing in and of itself. Not only are you cleansing and releasing, you are creating space for growth and new healthy thought patterns to evolve.
Warm up your digestive system.
To reduce gas, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain and feeling heavy, I recommend you to enhance your digestive fire, known as agni, with warming herbs such as ginger.
Steep a 1 inch nugget of fresh ginger in a liter of water and drink it daily. Not only does this ignite your digestive system to create warmth throughout the body, but the digestive system is also the key holder for your motivation, drive and passion.
Rest the digestive system.
If you are feeling full, heavy and bloated, rather than trying to cleanse the system with laxatives, work on giving the digestive system rest with food that is easy to digest. This could include only eating vegetables that are steamed or fully cooked, or eating more soups and stews that have simmered down to allow for easy digestion.
This does not necessarily mean that you need to go out and enroll with a gym membership that you’ll only use for the first few weeks of 2019. Rather, this can be done, for free in the comfort of your own home. Essentially, this is movement of the body in which you remain mindful. This may sound simple and easy, yet how often do you remain mindful when you are lowering down during a push up or striking through to cobra. Naturally, you are visualizing the end of this movement rather than noticing every muscle, thought pattern and movement of breath that occurs throughout the process.
I invite you to change your perspective on a fresh start this year by living in harmony with your surroundings this winter; making mindful, realistic and sustainable lifestyle changes that will keep your motivated and inspired along your wellness journey.
I would love to see how you are making mindful, realistic and sustainable lifestyle changes this year. Please tag us on social media to connect @wealth.of.wellness