I don’t know about you, but as I cycle through months and seasons I notice myself enjoying a little too much of “the good life.” Even as someone who is committed to nourishing daily self care rituals I can get swept into indulging in things that give temporary satisfaction. In doing so I get pulled away from what make me feel radiant.
For me, the things that can throw me off balance are fresh-baked cookies, a late night glass of wine, or gatherings with extended family. Most of these small indulgences are no big deal when they are occasional, say – once per month. It is when we begin to use the cookie or wine as an escape, having it weekly or even daily, that it can develop into a hard to shake bad habit.
How Indulgences Becomes Sticky Goo
When our actions don’t support our true nature we accumulate Ama. Ama is the sticky, gooey sludge that is leftover from anything undigested – be it too much food or too much conversation or too much sun. Think of ama as metabolic waste. It takes hold in our fatty tissue and our joint spaces, which is why we may be 10 pounds heavier after winter or experiencing more aches and pains in our body after summer.
So, what do you do when you notice your over-indulgences emerging too often? What do you do when you realize those ama-building bad habits are beginning to produce the symptoms of disease?
Try Seasonal Cleanses
Try seasonal cleanses! Seasonal cleansing is an ancient tried-and-true practice that you ideally commit to on a biannual basis. By cleansing in the spring and fall we clear our body’s channels of ama, strengthen our digestion, and break up both poor habits and the negative impact they have on our body. When we cleanse we hit the reset button, thereby tapping into our true and natural rhythms.
Align with Your Natural Rhythms
In regard to our life and wellbeing the word “rhythm” means the natural cycles that are present in nature and how our daily rituals either support those natural rhythms or go against them. Consider winter, snow blankets the environment and lends its inherent qualities (cold, insular, quiet) to the hibernation of the natural world. Even living in Atlanta, without any snow, I observe trees and animals in a time of dormancy. During this seasonal rhythm we, too, are meant to turn inward, sleep longer, and nourish our bodies with warm food. We can even break it down even more to the 24-hour cycle of the day. When the noonday sun rises highest in the sky, it aligns with our body’s bile production, which also reaches its peak at noon. When we go against these rhythms by eating our largest meal at the end of the day, when the moon is up, instead of the sun, we create dis-ease.
Our body desires to keep us aligned with nature, in sync with both daily and seasonal rhythm. This is how we are designed to experience well-rested and radiant longevity. Seasonal cleanses give your body the opportunity to slow down and create space so that it can resolve the harmful effects of those poor habits, so that it can dissolve the ama collected in your fat tissue, your joints, and even your mind.
Cleansing is the ultimate renewal. Just as you feel the urge to “spring clean” your home or to rake the decaying leaves of fall, if you listen to what your body is trying to tell you going into the spring and fall seasons you will feel the urge to clean your internal space.
Listen to Your Body
What exactly are we supposed to do to cleanse? Allow me to dispel the myth that seasonal cleansing has to be hard on