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Feel lighter and brighter with a Cleanse

  • 07 Sep, 2018
  • Written by Jacqueline Iles

Hi There!

For years now I have been enjoying the results of seasonal cleanses. Twice a year I reset and strengthen my digestion, restore my energy and connect more deeply with my body.

I thought it was time to share with you the benefits and reasons why I do this.

For me, a cleanse is not a drastic deprivation of substances and starving my body. Rather it is a time to re-calibrate and get in touch with what my body is asking for. It is a time to reflect, tune in, slow down and nurture my body. This gives me more energy, enthusiasm and I feel more grounded.

Like taking the car to the garage for a tune up I like to give my digestive system a rest by simplifying my food. This strengthens my digestive fire so it has more energy to access deeper tissues to bring them nourishment and digest any waste that has accumulated through normal living.

In my teens and twenties I often suffered from terrible digestive pain. Doubled up on the couch type of pain. Although I learn how to avoid this pain it had left me with a fear of not eating regularly as I had identified that as a trigger. If I skipped a meal or even simply late too late then I would suffer for it! Unfortunately this fear gradually created a restriction and rigidity around eating. Since practicing regular cleanses I have found new freedom and flexibility in my eating. I can allow longer times in between meals and have stabilized my energy and moods.

Ideally a cleanse is tailored to suit the individual. It is not a one size fits all approach as we all have different needs.

From an Auyrvedic perspective, we all have different body types. Some people are naturally more heavy set and solid in their body, they have more of the earth and water elements which gives them great stamina and strength. Others are lighter, quicker and more flighty. They have more of the air element. Some have a more fiery nature; they are quick and driven and have more heat in their body. All of us are a unique combination of the 5 elements, Space, air, fire, water and earth.

To create a cleanse that is supportive to lasting health one needs to choose a cleanse to suit who they are and their current conditions. A week long juice cleanse for an Air type of person will increase this air element too much and create a feeling of being ungrounded, dry, anxious and too light. This type of approach would suit a more grounded person, one who has more earth element who would benefit from this lightening approach.
A raw food diet can over time create bloating and pain and weaken one’s digestive power as raw food, despite having more nutrients, is harder to digest and many people are already struggling with digestive problems.

When is the best time to cleanse?

Nature provides us with seasonal junctions when nature itself is shifting or in flux. We are a part of nature and are made of the same building blocks of space, air, fire, water and earth. These junctions are the perfect time for a cleanse.

Ayurveda teaches that our bodies reflect what is happening in nature. We are a microcosm of the greater macrocosm of the world around us.

Spring is a natural time to cleanse. We naturally start to shed our winter accumulations as the weather warms up. Just like the sap starting to flow in the trees again our bodily processes naturally start to flow more freely in Spring. Tapping into this natural process allows for easier removal of wastes from the body.

Spring has the energy of throwing open windows and airing, clearing and cleaning as we tune into the new life bursting around us in nature. We talk about Spring cleaning our houses the spaces we live in. Why not Spring clean our ultimate living space, our body!

Let’s delve a little more into the why we would want to do a cleanse.

Our bodies have so much to process every day from what we take in from our environment; Food the air we breathe all of our experiences need to be digested.

Over time, we all naturally accumulate more waste than our body can remove. This is especially true if our digestion and elimination is not functioning well. In Ayurveda we call this waste Ama.

Ama is a metabolic waste material, a sticky, heavy type of sludge that accumulates in our body over time. It gunks up our channels and tissues and blocks the natural functioning of the body.

It arises in our digestive system where, ideally, it moves to the large intestine to be removed each day from the body. However some Ama is reabsorbed into our blood stream, into our circulation to settle in different areas of our bodies and create problems.

How do you know if you have Ama?

-you feel heavy and our body feels fatigued
-you are dull and foggy in our mind - confused
-there is a lack of taste and smell
-the tongue is coated and there can be a yucky taste in the mouth
-you suffer from regular headaches
-your stool sinks to the bottom of the bowl and is smelly
-you feel tired after eating

What creates ama in our body?

-Eating when not hungry, over eating,
-Eating excess of heavy foods such as meat and processed cheeses,
 processed wheat, fried foods, too much sugary foods and processed foods
-Excess cold food or drinks, carbonated drinks
-Stress truly impacts our digestive system
-Eating late at night
-Excess of staying up late or sleeping in the day
-Being too sedentary, lack of exercise

When we have Ama our digestive capacity is weakened.

Ama dampens our digestion. When ama is gunking up our channels, organs and tissues then we feel dull and disconnected from our innate body intelligence. In this state we tend make poor choices whether that be with food, reaching for sugary pick me ups or other substances and this creates more Ama.

When we cleanse our body is clearer we are better connected to this inner wisdom and we can listen more clearly to what our body is actually asking for. Then our choices everyday become clearer and more aligned with what our body actually needs to be healthy and happy.

How to cleanse!

It is important to plan for it. A cleanse might be a 1-2 week period of eating food different to your normal way of eating. It takes some proper forethought and preparation.


It is important to remove what is tempting from your space. Choose some recipes so that you know what to buy and have on hand. Eat a plant based diet that is cooked and easy to digest. More soups and salads. Reduce processed foods and buy fresh foods to provide more energy! Give your body a break from coffee, alcohol, processed sugars.

Without this planning your cleanse will be more difficult and stressful. We do not want it to be like that!!

When you cleanse it is so important to meet yourself where you currently are. A cleanse ought to be compassionate and caring; a gradual shift toward listening to how your body wants to live, what it wants to eat and how you want to feel each day! It gets you in touch with your body mind wisdom.

Our digestion needs warmth and good clean and easy to digest food. This supports the power of digestion and mobilisation of toxins/ama out of the body.

There is a special Ayurvedic recipe that is extremely powerful for cleansing for all people. It allows agni to strengthen to digest and rid the body of deeper toxins, yet it nourishes the body at the same time. Not many foods can do that!

Mung Bean Soup! It does not sound sexy but it is wonderfully effective and delicious! This soup will actually convert Ama, that body sludge, into fuel for the body to use as energy!

Mono diet of mung soup for 1 to 3 days; eat as much as need and drink plenty of warm water or herbal teas too. Ease in and out of this mono diet by gradually choosing foods that are more easy to digest such as soups and reducing bread meat and dairy.

If this soup feels too light for your body type then try a Kitchadi mono diet to allow your digestion to rest and strengthen. Kitchadi is an Ayurvedic one pot delicious and easy to digest meal that soothes and nourishes our digestion. 

Cleansing can be through not only what we eat, but also what we put on our body, our skin, and reducing habits that are harmful…lack of sleep, over working, toxic relationships.

Just 1-2 weeks, twice a year, practicing a cleanse is so beneficial for re-setting your digestion, creating a deeper connection with your body’s needs and replenishing energy reserves. It is so worth doing!

If you would like additional support and guidance in undertaking a cleanse I am, for the first time this Spring, offering a guided online cleanse.

This group Spring Cleanse will run over 2 weeks starting on the 12th October 2018 with a preparation call and concluding on the 29th Oct with a closing call. There will be guidance along the way. A closed facebook page, tips and recipes to support your cleanse. 

Call me on 0421601715 for more information or email hello@livingayurveda.com.au to see if this is a good fit for you! 

Feel lighter, brighter and more connected to your body with a cleanse!