Seasons are marked by junctures – which are the moments of opportunity for your wellness evolution. Think about it: spring and autumn, the major junctures in weather changes, are the times when many people become ill with colds, flus and allergies.
Seasonal cleansing, or biannual detox, extends your life by taking out inner rubbish. The rubbish, in this case, is any seasonal build-up of doshas (doshas are three compounds that govern specific functions and energies in the body: movement, transformation and cohesion) and/or ama (the dirt in the grease of your engine; the gunky residue left over from a poorly digested food).
Ama leads to energy inefficiency, which leads to disease. If our daily habits are taking us out of our rhythm, over the time, the ama moves from your gut, into the blood and joints, rendering the body lethargic and stiff in the morning. This junk leads to the pessimism in your attitude. The stress leads to inflammation.
Ayurveda recommends a gentle supportive detox at the change of seasons, most important, spring and autumn, and a healthy balancing cleanse routine.
In the spring, at the end of the winter, you probably have a build-up of cold and stagnation in your lymph, lungs, excess mucus and fat accumulated during winter months, while in the autumn the body needs to expel heat from blood and liver accumulated during summer (and don’t kid yourself – even in our British summer, the position of the sun naturally ‘charges’ our body with heat, even if we haven’t had many hot days!).
When you use the change of seasons to dump off imbalance doshas through a detox, you upgrade your body’s operating system.
Getting rid of stuff is something the body is good at. Practices like eating simply, reducing types of foods that feed the accumulation of the past season, and having a bit of rest combined with plenty of body-breath practice and meditation, gently ensure that the body has an opportunity to recalibrate and head into the next half of year in top form.
You can release physical as well as emotional ama. Season by season, you can wake up wiser. With your senses alert, refreshed, you perceive the world more accurately, and on a subtler plane.
Eyesight improves, hearing improves, skin and sense of touch improves, the tongue can taste more accurately, the nose becomes alert like a canine.
Renewed and rejuvenated, you make better choices.
The message here is simple. If you don’t discover the power of seasonal detox you’ll wear and tear your senses faster.
Even with the season-by-season aging process, you have the opportunity to advance your wellness. Ritucharya, the seasonal regime, teaches us to respect the beautiful intersections where time and space open to help us heal and begin anew.
What do Balance and Imbalance look like?
Keep in mind, we are not all on the same axis to begin with, and some of the points here may never be in balance for you all the time. Just recognise these signs as the heads-up, to help you recognise early symptoms of imbalance that can be sorted with diet and lifestyle awareness.
Watch out for:
- Constipation (not having a bowel movement every day)
- Foul smelling stools which may be sticky, heavy and sink.
- Gas and bloating after meals
- Skin is dull and lustreless with blemishes, acne etc.
- Excessively dry skin, burning or itching sensations
- Cold hands and feet
- Frequent burping, acid indigestion
- Hot flushes or profuse sweating
- Irregular appetite or reduced appetite, or excessive hunger
- One wakes up tired even after a good night’s sleep
- Generalized body and joint pains. This is noticed the day after eating certain heavy foods, like meat, cheeses, desserts and fried foods.
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- White coating on the tongue
- Foul smelling breath and sweat
- Lack of mental clarity and energy
- A sense of heaviness in the abdomen, legs or body as a whole
- Weary and unenthusiastic feeling
- Blocked feeling anywhere in the body, including constipation, sinus congestion and difficulty in breathing
In a state of relative balance, you can expect to enjoy:
- A daily bowel movement first thing in the morning, one that is well formed, floating, and about the size, shape, and texture of a ripe banana
- No bloating after meals
- Consistent, hearty appetite
- Sound sleep, so you wake up feeling refreshed
- Clear complexion
- Comfortable body temperature
- Easy breathing
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