THRIVE: The Optimism of Spring and Ayurvedic Cleansing

The is sun getting a little warmer here in Sydney, the days are become longer and flowers are bursting in to bloom. In synch with the season we humans often begin to feel the urge to shake of the heaviness of winter, clear out, cleanse and prepare to thrive!

With the change of season, you may feel called to sort out your wardrobe, do a deep clean throughout your house, or even take on a cleanse for your body?

The season of Spring invites us to eat more green shooting things, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits and less of the hot heavy foods we craved in winter. It's a perfect time to do a seasonal cleanse, and help your body emerge, lighter and more vibrant after winter.

On a personal note, Winter was hard on our little family, there was a lot of sickness; cold after cold, a bout of gastro, and a few injuries among us, as well as some unforeseen stresses. In short- winter kicked my ass. I normally love cosying up during the cold dark months, but this winter I just longed for the sunshine, and warm dry days to help clear out all the winter bugs and shake off the heaviness.

Emotionally, winter was heavy too (these things tend to go hand in hand). So I've been intentionally clearing my workload, which was far too crowded, given I'm still parenting close to full-time and I'm recommitting to a daily meditation practice to help shift thought patterns which are holding me back. This has been a process over the past few weeks, and now I'm energised and ready to take on an Ayurvedic cleanse to release addictive and mindless behaviours with respect to food. I am so ready to THRIVE in all areas of my life!!

If you experience any kind of digestive issues and want to feel lighter and more at ease in your body, with sharper mental focus and softer skin, I would highly recommend doing a Ayurvedic seasonal cleanse, whether you are moving in to Spring, or for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, moving in to Autumn. Cleansing will get rid of toxins in your body, reset digestive fire, help break addictive habits (such as sugar and caffiene) and establish a more mindful nourishing relationship to food.

(NOTE: Cleansing is not for everyone, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a know medical condition. It's best to check with your trusted health care practitioner to find out if it's ok for you to undertake a cleanse)

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN AN AYURVEDIC CLEANSE? The cleanse I am doing is a kitchari mono-diet, which is book-ended by clean eating. The ratio I have chosen is 3:3:3. So three days of eating only kitchari and 3 days either side of nourishing clean food, however I stopped drinking coffee and having sugar about a week beforehand to ease in to it more.  You can adjust the ratio to 1:1:1 for a simple 3 day cleanse or to make it longer 5:5:5 or 7:7:7, depending on what your needs are and the amount of time you can commit. It's better to succeed on a shorter cleanse than 'crack' on a longer one.

WHAT IS KITCHARI? Kitchari is referred to in Ayurveda as 'chips of gold' as it is very nourishing, a complete protein and it is very easy to digest. It's a great meal to enjoy after surgery, during illness or for postpartum mums. The flavour is relatively bland as it simply combines mung dahl with basmati rice and a few spices. Recipes differ on the spice mixture, but generally ginger and turmeric are present for their fantastic benefits to reduce inflammation and settle digestive issues. By eating kitchari the digestive system can reset, toxins begin to be eliminated and the doshas (vata-pitta-kapha) can come in to balance. Read my Kitchari Recipe here.

Mono-diets can create a sense of deprivation, so it's wise to plan a cleanse when life is not too demanding. Create space for reflection, connection to your sankupla / intention for cleansing, and call upon your inner resource to support yourself through any emotions that come up, because they likely will! As multi-layered beings we are never just working on one level, what we eat affects our mental state, our emotions and our vibration.

You can read about Kitchari cleansing on Bayan Botanicals (it is an online store, which I am NOT affiliated with in anyway, and it has some excellent information on cleansing.)

COMPLIMENTARY CLEANSING PRACTICES: I'm pairing this cleansing food program with a range of other Ayurvedic cleansing practices, including oil pulling and tongue scraping, neti/ nasal cleansing, dry brushing followed by self-massage with herbal body oil (abhyanga), taking herbal tea (triphala churna) and practicing yoga and meditation.  It's a big commitment and not for everyone, but like I said, I was personally very ready for this to alleviate the fog and low immunity of winter, relieve digestive issues and reset my body to optimal functioning after having two children over the past four years.

If you're reading this and thinking you'd benefit from cleansing but you're not sure whether a mono-diet is for you, perhaps you could simply embrace a clean wholefood diet for a time period that feels appropriate. Focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains (excluding wheat) and drinking only water or herbal detox teas. You could then add any of the complimentary cleansing practices listed above and you will still give the body a good chance to shed toxins and move towards greater health and vitality.

However you choose to embracing the change of season, I trust you are clearing space to thrive and raise your vibration!!

Namaste,

Kate x

PS Want to THRIVE with YOGA this SPRING? Join me for weekly classes on Sydney's lower north shore. Details here.