This past week, I completed a wonderful detox diet that I discovered in Yoga Journal several years ago. Because the reference is difficult to locate on the web nowadays and I have had so many requests, I will link it here as I address this week’s subject of detoxification.
Tool #1: Diet
Scott Blossom, practitioner of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and yoga has developed an effective and balanced cleansing diet that I have tried numerous times over the years. It was originally presented as part of a Fall Detox program. Since summer is officially winding down, now is the perfect opportunity to share some of his recipes with you.
Primary to the menu is the basic kitchari (Indian comfort food) recipe. It is a staple in Ayurvedic diets and known for its cleansing benefits. Nutritious as well as detoxifying, it is a healthy food for anytime. You may want to add some steamed vegetables to this mix, however, I have found that during a 5 day cleanse, the simple mung bean & basmati rice combination is adequate nutrition. Blossom also recommends a homemade vegetable broth, Ayurvedic teas and a coriander chutney to supplement the kitchari meals – all of which I have tried and found complementary.
Be sure to use fresh organic (if possible) produce for your cleanse and try to drink a good amount of water to flush the toxins. It goes without saying that you should get your doctor’s approval if you have any doubts.
Tool #2: Yoga Poses
To support the detox, I would suggest gentle walks and yoga. In addition to the upper back sequence I posted last week, I incorporated some twists and a few restorative postures into my practice to assist with the cleanse.
One of the twists I chose was a viniyoga standing twist flow that moves with the breath. It’s called Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana or Revolved Wide Angle Forward Bend.
Begin in a wide angle standing posture with the arms stretched outward. Inhale.
Exhale as you lengthen forward, twisting to the right with the right hand down to the floor (or block) and the left arm extending upwards if comfortable.
Inhale bringing the body back to center with both arms towards the floor.
Exhale and switch sides.
Repeat this flow 6 times.
Inhale as you slowly lift back to standing. You may want to pause halfway up to let the body adjust back to its upright position.
Tool #3: Breathing/Meditation
Also, during this time, it would be advantageous to incorporate a breathing or meditation routine into your yoga practice. You can begin with these simple techniques that I have put together. If you are practicing in the morning, start with the breathing/meditation then proceed to the postures. If you are practicing in the evening, then it’s best to do the active postures first and finish with the breathing/meditation.
Ayurveda is a close sister science to yoga. Over the years, I have discovered that the combination of the two systems is very effective in boosting my health. Some of the benefits that I have received during and after this detoxification are:
- improved digestion
- mental clarity
- memory boost
- overall feeling of lightness
- sense of calm
It is my hope that you will also be rewarded with improvements in mind, body & spirit.
Please leave me a comment with your own experiences…I wish you good health!