6 signs it’s time to cleanse

Towards the end of winter and beginning of spring, there may be a general feeling of heaviness, or slowness in the body. This is known as the Kapha season and is marked by an increase of moisture, dampness and accumulation.

Post-winter sluggishness is a result of accumulated toxins caused by:

  • The lethargy of winter – when the weather is damp and cold, our activity levels tend to go down.
  • Increased comfort foods: cold weather results in cravings for creamier, richer foods, especially animal proteins and dairy.
  • Holiday food, drink and partying – disrupting the body’s rhythms with inadequate sleep.

All of this can result in a feeling of not just physical, but emotional heaviness – an unsatisfied feeling of being stuck somewhere. Sometimes there is also an inability to react to the coming of Spring with the get-up-and-go excitement of this renewal period.

The body tells us it needs to detox in many ways. Here are the top 6 signs the body needs to cleanse:


1. You have gained weight and it’s not going away

High body toxins slow  metabolism, leading to weight gain. Struggling to manage the high toxin content and prevent the toxins from reaching vital organs, the body expands fat cells to absorb some of the toxic load. Once created, these fat cells are very difficult to eliminate. If you find that even if with careful attention to your food quality and intake, the fat stays on, this is a warning sign your body needs deeper cleansing to trim and purify.


2. You feel generally tired or fatigued

In the morning, perhaps there’s no sense of excitement for the day; you drag yourself out of bed. By evening, you feel depleted.


3. You don’t have a full night’s sleep

Somehow your body’s clock has gone awry. You toss and turn at night; the sleep you have is light and restless. Your mind churns as you lie awake in the wee hours. You wake up feeling stiff, sometimes with pains in your joints and muscles.


4. You have minor but constant shifts towards imbalance

It could be sudden case of acne, rash or boil on the skin. Perhaps you keep sneezing out of the blue, or a small dry cough. Your skin might be dry and appears to be newly wrinkling. Your hair is suddenly dull or thinning – increasingly. These are signs of toxin overload.


5. Your bowel movements aren’t right

Sometimes constipated, sometimes bloated, sometimes too loose. You feel that whatever you eat you are always at risk of indigestion. Increasing the fiber in your food and water intake is generally beneficial, but also keep in mind that the bowels need seasonal detox, especially after the rich foods of winter.


6. You don’t feel good emotionally

The fatigue, the lethargy, the possible insomnia – it all adds up and affects your mental and emotional state as well. Do you find it difficult to focus at work? Do you feel ‘low’ even when there is no obvious cause? Easily depressed, perhaps anxious, nervous or insecure or moody? Cleansing could help get you back in the groove!


If any of the above describe your condition,  your body is telling you it needs to detox. In cold climates, the spring cleansing period is most important to prepare you for the year ahead.


Are you ready to begin a spring detox?

Kerala Ayurveda’s Wellness Center can support you with a Personalized Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse program! Learn more by visiting our Wellness Center website.

The Ayurvedic approach to cleansing: mind, body and spirit

Springtime is when we plant the seeds in our gardens outdoors. To prepare for the year’s crops, we first clear out the soil beds to receive new seed. Likewise, we engage in “spring cleaning” of our homes and welcome warmer weather with a clean slate.

According to Ayurveda, spring is the only appropriate season for cleansing, and is essential for maintaining good health.This seasonal maintenance clears out accumulated toxins and stagnant energy, invigorating our minds, bodies and spirits for a new year.

Physical cleansing to purify the body has gained much popularity for addressing a variety of issues, especially weight loss. Much focus is applied to the diet, though a successful cleanse is a purification of much more than the physical body, and must be done mindfully with care, as cleansing can be very taxing on the system.


For a mind, body and spirit Ayurvedic cleanse, here are some of the best practices.


Clear the home indoors and out

Stagnation occurs not just in our minds and bodies, but also in our environments. A thorough cleaning of nooks and crannies, as well as weeding out your belongings can provide an invigorating sense of release and bring a sense of clarity and peace to the mind. Starting the processing in the beginning of your cleanse can also be motivational, setting the energetic stage in your space for your activity.


Nurture yourself

Detoxing is tough on the body, and cleansing can often be confused with deprivation. Balancing the elimination and cleansing process with plenty of sleep and nurturing activities is essential for a successful cleanse. Bodywork is not just relaxing – it also supports the body’s loosening and elimination of toxins. Spring cleanse is the best time to carve out time for extra self-pampering and emotionally healing activities, such as journaling, retreat and energy work. It’s important to plan for this before you start your cleansing process to ensure you don’t miss out.


Daily rituals, or Dinacharya

Ayurveda recommends these rituals every day, though let’s face it – we don’t achieve perfection. Spring cleanse is the perfect time to get disciplined and ensure you check off your daily rituals off each day, as it will maximize your body’s ability to detox. Dinacharya begins at bedtime: getting enough sleep and sleeping at the right time (in bed by 10:30 p.m., awake by 6 a.m.) is the first order of business. In the morning, tongue scraping, warm water with lemon, self-massage with oil, or abhyanga, cold shower and exercise are recommended to start the day right. Learn more: Eight DIY Ayurvedic rituals to jump start your day >>


Cleansing diet

For 2 weeks to 21 days, limit or completely eliminate animal protein (dairy, meat, eggs), sugar, caffeine and any additional food sensitivities, such as wheat and soy. Focus on plant-based foods with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. A mono diet of khichadi (see recipe here) for at least 3 days is incorporated in traditional Ayurvedic cleansing. A lighter plant-based diet is easier to digest and therefore removes the energetic burden of processing heavier foods, as well as providing a strong dose of nature’s medicinal scrubbing brushes – fibrous fruits and veggies and cleansing herbs to energize and support the body in sussing out the deeply-seated toxins, or Ama.
Does the above sound good to you? Check out our top 6 signs you need to cleanse to assess your body’s level of Ama.