Many of us have overindulged over the course of winter and while celebrating various festivals and holidays. But with the days getting longer, now is the perfect time to cleanse, detox and lighten up our lives for the year ahead.
There are many ways to detox, and it doesn’t necessarily mean living on green juice or brown rice for a week. By using the following simple guidelines you will soon feel refreshed and energized once more.
Consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Refined foods including sugars, processed fats and alcohol are more difficult for the body to deal with. Give your organs a break by sticking to fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, organic free-range chicken or turkey, wild-caught fish, cage-free and organic eggs, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds instead. This simple diet will help your to detox after any overindulgence.
Eating slowly and without distractions will allow your body to digest food properly. You will also be less likely to overeat if you allow your body to register when it is full. Have a short rest after eating as well so your body can focus on digestion.
Making sure you stay hydrated will support your organs and help your body detox. Drink pure filtered water, green tea and hot lemon water.
Yoga poses that include twists are good for eliminating toxins from the digestive system, kidneys, and liver. This is because they wring out your organs so that when you unwind, new blood and oxygen rush back into them. Twists are best practiced on an empty stomach ideally first thing in the morning or at least a few hours after food.
There are many yoga poses that include twist but a simple one to start with is the Twisted Triangle Pose
- Begin standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Step your feet about two to three feet apart
- Turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat. Pivot your left foot inward to a 45-degree angle.
- Bring your hands to your hips and square your hips forward.
- Raise your left arm toward the ceiling, with your bicep next to your left ear. Reach up strongly through your left hand.
- On an exhalation, hinge forward from your hips, keeping your spine long. Place your left hand to the outside of your right foot.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine again. Then, exhale as you roll your right shoulder back and extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling. Reach strongly through your right fingertips.
- Turn your head to gaze at your right thumb.
- Hold the pose for up to one minute. To come out of the pose, gently release the twist. Then, press firmly through your left heel. With an inhalation, lift your torso upright and lower your arms. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.
Eagle pose is another great yoga pose that will help you detox
- Stand with your feet together and arms by your side in mountain pose.
- Draw your left foot upward, bending the knee as you lift it.
- Wrap the left foot around your right leg as you rest the back of your left thigh on the right thigh.
- Cross your arms at the elbows, left over right.
- Join the palms of your hands together, as closely as you can without straining, keeping the fingers pointed upward. Inhale and hold the posture for the duration of the inhaled breath.
Repeating words over and over again can help you find calm and focus. You can choose from a number of Sanskrit mantras like the Gayatri Mantra, which has meaning in its words and sounds, or you can use a word that you find relaxing such as love or peace. It doesn’t matter what you choose, just that you feel good about your choice. You could also meditate by concentrating on something such as a candle flame. Meditation helps us to destress and unwind which allows the body to detox from negative stress hormones.
Many Ayurvedic herbs are helpful in detoxifying the body. Three of the most easily obtained are:
This is a very common kitchen ingredient in the Indian households. It has powerful blood purification and cleansing properties. It is also a good antioxidant. Turmeric detoxifies the liver and aids in fat metabolism too.
Capsicum not only detoxifies the blood and the circulatory system, but also purifies the digestive system and regulates blood pressure. This delicious vegetable is also a good source of vitamin A, B and C, and minerals.
Neem is regarded as a potent detoxifier. It has antimicrobial, antiparasitic and antifungal effects. It is also good for maintaining blood sugar levels.
Following these simple practices will soon help you recover from over indulgences. So start your detox now and look forward to a cleansed and refreshed you for the coming year.