Detox and Meditation
Ayurveda incorporates detox and meditation in the healing processes. Detoxifying the body and meditation for the mind help prevent diseases. Detox is as much a daily routine as a seasonal one.
Detox is a natural way of cleaning ourselves. Our natural rhythm of awake and sleeping stages is an example. While daytime activities stimulate many biological systems, we need the sleep to rest and relax body and mind. Many clean-up automatic systems act at night to purify and detoxify the body. Ayurveda suggests starting with a fast of 13 hours between the evening meal and breakfast for a daily basic “Housework”. It is called a maintenance detox. I am sure you will realize that some organs may have been more in demand some days/weeks even months when levels of stress, anxiety have reached high levels; so other practices are in order to take care of specific toxic accumulations, such as seasonal practices.
Daily ayurvedic routines will include, at a physical level, clean-up body practices like the Neti pot to clean nostrils and sinuses, tongue cleaning, oil pulling, shower/bath. However, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of who we are can also be intoxicated. Here comes meditation as an essential tool to detox the mind and spirit. Pranayama, the breath, is a unique tool to detox particularly the emotional-mental axes.
Meditation is both a science and an art. As a science, it features a vast array of techniques and benefits; at biological, psychological spiritual levels it is an art, it is a do-it-yourself approach to ultimately become all you are meant to be. There are many ways to meditate. A quiet walk in Nature can be very meditative. Gardening can also provide a focused activity leading to meditation. Using your senses, like looking at a mandala/yantra for 5 minutes then closing your eyes and keeping the image present in your head is another way or just simply the visualization of a lake without waves, or any other beautiful sight… Using your sense of smell, with incense or using your prefer relaxing essential oil diffused in the room can be what you need. Using the sense of touch, keeping crystals in your hands or a particular small twig of your prefer plant can help you meditate… The sense of hearing with sounds (the tic toc of a clock maybe) can be assisting you to meditate or listening to a guided meditation is another way … A short break at work, sitting at your desk, with your feet grounded on the floor, closing your eyes, focusing on the breath, relaxing the shoulders and repeating a mantra for a dozen time or more then slowly coming back from that special YOU, a place you can access anytime to recenter yourself, is meditating. More occasions you find to meditate, better you’ll become at it.
Benefits of meditation are numerous: freedom from stress, bringing awareness, cultivating a positive attitude, keeping distance from other’s drama or letting go of your own drama, getting a better capacity to focus, accessing a new Well-being, coming out of the loops such as being stressed-falling into lethargy, anxiety-fear followed by worry, panic leading to being ovewhelmed or frustrated, anger-depression then irritability, bitterness-isolation leading to mistrust & lack of motivation… We all get trapped in some of these loops; meditation can provide the relief.
Meditation helps you develop compassion – appreciation, surrender – letting go, detachment – objectivity, unity with life by restoring a balanced connection between the Sympathetic-parasympathetic (reaction/conscious action), called the autonomic nervous system which controls the visceral functions of the body. On an emotional level, it is this internal balance that brings a sense of well-being.
Spring is a renewal time perfect for a seasonal detox. It is the time to dedicate a 3-day week-end to your health or a full week if possible. This particular detox starts with a preparation, a core detox and a soft return to a “feeling better” life. Ideally, it should be away from day to day concerns and care for others: it is a special healing /rejuvenating time for yourself. Family obligations may render this difficult, so one day/week or per month maybe easier to plan for you! Planning a detox follows general rules and specific ones; Ayurveda always considers your constitution and specific needs/imbalances. I’ll be pleased to guide you if you choose an ayurvedic detox/rejuvenative approach.
REF: 1. Dillard-Wright, D,B. & J. Ravinder, 2011. The Everything Guide to Meditation for Healthy Living. Adams Media USA, 289 p.
2. Stephens M., 2010. Teaching Yoga, North Atlantic books, California. 411 p.
- Sharma H. & C. Clark, 2012. Ayurvedic Healing, Contemporary Maharishi Ayurveda Medecine & Science. 2nd Ed.Singing dragon, London. 320 p.