Four Stages to an Ayurvedic Cleanse
In the West we tend to dedicate 3-7 days to a cleanse. We stop everything cold turkey, do a drastic cleanse that leaves us feeling ravenous, angry and irritated (and sometimes bloated and constipated), and then we reward ourselves for sticking to it with some wine, a large dinner and dessert, which leaves us feeling awful and mad at ourselves and questioning all torture we just put ourselves through.
This is one way you can fight through a cleanse, or you can follow a more successful and full body balancing system that Ayurveda recommends. What is key to an ayurvedic cleanse is that you never let your body go into panic mode by starving it. When your body thinks it is going to starve it starts to slow down metabolism and hold onto weight. And anything you do eat, your body will hold onto it due to scarcity.
With the Ayurveda way we slowly wean ourselves from sugars, carbs, fried foods and alcohol so our body naturally starts to cleanse on its own, assisting the process the entire time. We give the body the right ratio of carbs, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. This allows for the body to burn through fat, releasing fat soluble toxins, shedding unneeded pounds and doing it all in a relaxed state. We also slowly add foods back in after the active cleansing time so that we don't overload our digestive fire and creating toxic buildup right away, undoing all our work. This type of a cleanse also extends the period of clean and nourishing eating for 1-3 months so that we really support our bodies in order to become healthier and stronger.
- Preparation Phase - slowly start to decrease the amount of sugar, white flour, fatty foods, fast foods and alcohol that is in your diet.
- Active Phase - choosing how much you want to do during your active cleanse and sticking with it for 3-10 days. Herbal supplements from Maharishi Ayurveda can enhance the effects of your cleanse and allow you to deeply clean and reset. Watch this video to know what, how and why we eat kitchari (mono diet) during this phase.
- Reintroduction Phase - take 3-5 days to slowly add one food group back into your diet at a time. This allows for stronger digestion and a chance to see if any food group is not agreeing with you.
- Rejuvenation Phase - for the next month or so focus on filling your body with really healthy foods. We just cleaned our bodies, what do you wish to fill it back up with?
With a cleanse you can make it as simple or intricate as you wish. Just keep with these 4 phases and choose a daily routine that will support you best. If what you can commit to during the active cleanse is eat a mono diet for 3-5 days, that alone will serve you well and do great things for your digestion and health. Set yourself up for success and enjoy the ride!