Ayurvedas digestive reset
What is the idea behind a digestive reset?
For over 2 weeks I have been doing a digestive reset with my yoga therapy training group. ‘What is this then?’ you may think and ‘why?’, because you already do all kinds of things with your food…
That’s right, I already do a lot and the scientist in me loves an experiment.
In winter everything slows down, we eat heavier food, the weather is cold and clammy, and a lot has the qualities of heavy, soft, damp, cloudy and cold (these are also called gunas in ayurveda, more about that in another post). These are the qualities of kapha. Exactly what winter season is about. When spring arrives, these qualities can become aggravated, depending on the weather at that time, causing imbalance and thus imbalance in kapha. This imbalance manifests itself in being more prone to colds and congestion, feelings of heaviness, lethargy, worry, loneliness and depression. To ease the transition from winter to spring and make it more balanced, we do a digestive reset. We rid the body of the ama (the waste products and blockages) and strengthen the agni (the digestive fire of both food and emotions/experiences), so that body and mind have energy and can function optimally.
What does a digestive reset look like?
The digestive reset consists of a period of preparation, a period of mono diet/simplification and a period of back to ‘normal’. The mono diet is a simple diet of daily kitchari (a mix of rice, mung dal, vegetables and spices) or something else that your system can easily digest. You can eat oatmeal in the morning. The dinacharya, the morning routine, gets extra attention and you don’t snack between the 3 (or 4 if you need that) meals. During the preparation you eat what you normally eat but you stop snacking and you can add 1 thing to your routine and leave out 1 ‘bad’ habit.
What soon became clear is that it really is about simplification, without having to strain yourself.
My goal for this reset was to get back to my daily meditation and yoga practice. These went a bit to the background since I started living together, and noticing what a nutritious simple diet without snacking does to me now. I’ve done over a week of prep, will do a mono diet for 10 days and then notice if what I normally do still feels right.
My morning routine now consists of tongue scraping, brushing teeth, nasal rinse (jala neti) and oiling (nasya), dry brushing, exercise/yoga, meditation and breakfast (oatmeal porridge with linseed and chia seeds, grated carrot, apple and cinnamon, ginger and cardamom) . Lunch and dinner is kitchari, usually with rice and mung dal, but sometimes instead of rice quinoa and instead of mung dal lentils with 2 kinds of vegetables.
Soon I will share what I have discovered and learned from the digestive reset.
If you have any questions? Feel free to ask!