Spent a recent Saturday at a fabulous workshop on Ayurvedic medicine by Kester Marshall from Mudita Institute from Byron Bay. And I have to say the more I learn about Ayurvedic medicine the more I love it. It works for my body.
The workshop focus was on cleansing and rejuvenating. With emphasis on – whatever you do to detox – do it slowly, gently and make sure you get lots of quality rest to support the process.
Kester talked about taking a long term approach to cleansing the body – and why the quick fix (short and snappy) “detox programs” can further agitate your nervous system. It made sense to me.
Kester went on to say resting the digestive system regularly with “mono-eating” (explained below) is a kind and gentle way to detox the body without causing too much stress on the nervous system.
So to honour my new found love (mono-eating) thought I’d put together a list of other healthy and rejuvenating things you can do for your body, mind and soul on a regularly basis – be it – weekly, monthly or every change of season. All were talked about in the Ayurvedic workshop.
1: Drink hot water:
Give your body, kidneys, adrenals and nervous system a rest from sugar and caffeine. Replace your daily beverages (soft/soda drinks, coffee, tea, flavoured milk drinks) with sipping nothing else but hot water for a whole day. If that sounds too boring add a squeeze of lemon juice or make a spiced tea brew.
In Ayurvedic medicine hot water is considered extremely good for you. It is said to gentle detox, balances hormones and is quicker at hydrating your cells than cold water.
Give your digestive system a well earned rest. Eat something light, healthy and simple for 24 hours, that means the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner – one day a week or one day a month. It can be just fresh fruit, juices, vegetable soup or the traditional Ayurvedic dish of Kitchari. Whatever you choose make it light and easily digestible so your body can focus on removing toxins more efficiently.
3: Practice the art of rest:
Never under-estimate the huge rejuvenating power of resting. When you rest you are switching your nervous system from “go faster” to “go calmer”. It triggers the relaxation response in your body.
When your parasympathetic nervous system (the calmer version of you) is switched on – you conserve energy, ensure proper digestion, absorption of nutrients, elimination of wastes and a slow, steady heart rate. Adding restful moments into your day can be a simple way for your body to gently detox and re-balance itself.
To trigger the relaxation response in your body you might like to go for a walk in nature, enjoy 30 minutes of restful yoga postures. Being alone and sitting still and following your breath for 5 minutes can easily trigger relaxation in your body.
4: No technology or plan B no TV:
Unplug, turn off or walk way from. Excess visual and noise stimulation from technology can be incredibly stressful on our nervous system. It can drain you of energy in an instant.
Rest your nervous system from our demanding and overstimulated world. Walk away from technology for a day a week. If that seems impossible for you then start small, no TV or computer one day a month. Replace that technology time with something that triggers the relaxation response in your body and strengthens your nervous system.
Mono-tasking has many benefits for an over active mind and agitated nervous system. A calm nervous system means a more efficient digestive system. Do your best to focus on starting and completing one thing at a time.
If you suffer from restless scattered energies you’ll probably find that you start lots of different jobs but never quite finish any of them. This is a symptom of a vata imbalance.
Mono-tasking is great for calming down and focusing the mind, living more in the present moment and slowing down the speed of your day. It uses your energies wisely and efficiently.
6: Go organic or at least vegetarian:
As meat takes longer for the body to digest it makes sense to go vegetarian for at least one day a week to help rest your digestive system. Of course you could take it one step further and really give your body a rest from chemicals and preservatives by making the decision to go ” organic” and vegetarian one day a week or one day a month.
7: No canned, processed or deep fried food:
A simple way to rest your digestive system is to avoid junk food, processed, canned, artificial or deep fried food.
Follow the new eating movement “Eat food close to its source”. The more ingredients, more processing and unhealthy cooking methods involved, the further away you are from the original food source.