Cleansing is considered a vital part of ayurveda. However, a cleanse should not be taken lightly as its effects are potent. If you do choose to cleanse, springtime is considered an ideal time. This article will touch on the benefits of an ayurvedic spring cleanse, the ideal time to cleanse and why, and an example of one’s daily routine during an active cleanse.
The Benefits of an Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse
An ayurvedic cleanse is powerful in removing toxins from the physical, mental, and emotional body. In addition to being a reset for your body, a cleanse also:
- Brings a sense of clarity and calm to the mind and nervous system
- Promotes regular elimination
- Aids in restoring proper sleep cycles
- Encourages a new sense of vitality
- Redeems each individual’s natural state of balance
Why Cleansing is Best in Spring
In ayurveda, the spring season is the best time of year to engage in an extended cleanse. Spring season, or Kapha season, roughly runs from late February through May, when winter begins to melt and exposes the muddy and moist soil about to sprout a new cycle. This transitional time has our bodies more receptive to change, making it an ideal time to cleanse and incorporate more change.
Furthermore, because the spring carries kapha energy, it is more common for ama and toxic buildup to accumulate during this time of year. Sluggishness, mental fog, allergies, excess mucus, and water retention are common and can cause kapha imbalances. An ayurvedic spring cleanse may be appropriate to keep your system clean and prevent any of these imbalances.
The ayurvedic spring cleanse referred to below is considered a 7-day cleanse. However, you can adjust the length of your cleanse to what works best for you.
Brief Overview of Three Phases
A traditional ayurvedic cleanse consists of three main phases: preparation, active cleanse, and rejuvenation. For this suggested 7-day ayurvedic spring cleanse, take two days for the preparation phase, three days for the active cleansing, and at least two days for the rejuvenation. However, another week or two of rejuvenation would be ideal. For more information on these three phases and how to start during the preparation, check out this overview of an ayurvedic cleanse.
Below is a daily routine for your three-day active cleanse.
Daily Routine During Your Active Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse
During the heart of your cleanse, practice this daily routine for optimal alignment. Remember, be gentle with yourself as you may experience many thoughts, feelings, and emotions processing through your body. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of rest, and do not push yourself to depletion.
Wake around 6am and follow the steps of an ayurvedic morning routine, including:
- Drinking a glass of warm or hot lemon water to stimulate your organs and bowels
- Tongue scraping and teeth brushing to remove toxic buildup
- Oil pulling to “pull” bacteria from your mouth and gum
- Applying warm sesame oil to the nasal passages
- Practicing abhyanga (self-oiled massage)
- Sitting in meditation for 15 minutes. For more details, discover this 15-minute morning meditation practice.
- Finding light movement, whether it’s going for a walk around your neighborhood or light stretching on your yoga mat. You may also want to journal any emotions that come up during this part of the cleanse.
- Taking a steamy shower.
- Consider taking a spoonful of Ghruta (Ayurvedic ghee) for detox.
In addition, consider performing dry brushing to move stagnant lymph. Dry brushing, or garshana in ayurveda, is the practice of dry friction rubbed massage. The intention of dry brushing during a spring cleanse is to encourage the movement of stagnant lymph to further detoxify toxic buildup in the body. Traditional methods suggest using silk gloves, as they are gentle for all body types. However, you may also use a dry bristle brush. Practice long strokes on your limbs, and circular motions around your joints, moving towards your heart with each stroke. This suggested movement encourages the lymph to enter into the digestive tract to eliminate throughout your cleanse.
Sit down for a light and warm breakfast. During your active cleansing, you will be consuming kitchari.
During the Day
- Eat at least 3-meals a day of kitchari with Ghruta. Try this kitchari recipe.
- Eat until satisfied, and you should not feel depleted.
- Avoid snacking; try to wait at least 3 hours between each meal for optimal digestion.
- Drink a lot of warm water or digestive tea such as CCF.
- Have your last meal before 7pm.
- Start to wind down around 8pm.
- Turn off electronics and find a light and enjoyable activity like reading, journaling, coloring, or a puzzle.
- Take triphala before bed.
- Bedtime by 10pm.
It is also crucial that you practice an intentional, slow, and stress-free life during your cleanse. Our environments can be incredibly impactful to us, so it’s essential to surround yourself with kind, loving people. Choose activities that are positive and lift you rather than stress you out. Your body will be processing more than just physical toxins, but also emotional and mental ones as well. Lean into compassion for yourself and rest as often as you can.
Adapting to Your New Life
Once you have completed your active cleansing, a great time for rejuvenation is vital. For this 7-day cleanse, spend at least 2-days following the same guidelines as during the preparation phase. After that, you should spend four-plus weeks slowly reintroducing foods, drinks, and activities into your life. Be sure to implement powerful rasayanas like chyawanprash to rebuild strong ojas. After you cleanse, you may feel a new sense of clarity, making it a beautiful time to continue your new practices and adapt to the changes you feel nourishing.
Clare Michalik, Ayurvedic Practitioner