Summer Detox: Ayurveda-Inspired 21-Day Detox
Although spring and fall are the recommended seasons for detoxification, there is no rule against enjoying a delicious detox during summer. Summer may be the most naturally encouraging time to cleanse the body, particularly in a colder climate. The season inspires us to move our bodies, to soak in natural springs and lakes, and meditate on a star-filled sky.
Summer bursts with color, making nature a natural mood booster. Increased hours of daylight offer a generous window of time in which to indulge in nourishing morning and evening practices.
SEE ALSO: How To Sneak Plants Into Every Meal
Summer Detox Food
Fresh produce is also plentiful during this time. Gorge on blueberries and sweet strawberries. Pick lemon balm leaves straight from your garden, and enjoy herb-infused water all day long. Devour juicy cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and succulent melons. Add bright, bountiful blackberries and raspberries to salads. Toss in fresh mint and dress with a squeeze of lemon or orange.
Sip sweet berry smoothies, like this lemon berry longevity tonic. Here are instructions on how to make one:
- In the evening, fill 1⁄3 of a mason jar with dried lemon balm, then fill the remainder of the jar with hot water.
- Loosely cap the jar and let it sit overnight.
- In the morning, toss 1 cup of fresh blueberries into the blender and strain 1 cup of the lemon balm infusion over top.
- Add a squeeze of lemon and a touch of honey if you wish, then blend.
- Enjoy immediately, unless you fancy blueberry jam.
If you use frozen blueberries, steep your herbs for 15 to 20 minutes in the morning and add the hot tea to your frozen berries before blending. Makes a brilliant breakfast. Enjoy daily.
Detoxification with Sitali Breathing
One of the key channels of detoxification is the breath. It is always with us and doesn’t cost a thing. Sitali breathing, Sanskrit for cooling or soothing, is a beneficial breathing practice for summer. If you feel overheated in the body or find you have an overly sharp tongue or temper this summer, befriend Sitali breathing; you’ll have found a cool friend indeed. Practice this breathing exercise and feel a cooler body and head prevail this season:
- Sitting comfortably, extend the tongue out from the mouth.
- Roll the sides of the tongue by curling the edges upward like a taco shape.
- With this taco-tongue extended, draw a long, slow inhalation deep down into the belly, like sipping through a straw.
- Pull the tongue back into the mouth and exhale through the nose, long and slow, drawing the belly back toward the spine to empty the breath.
- Extend the taco-tongue and take another slow, complete inhalation. No straining. Relax the belly.
- Exhale again through the nose, drawing the tongue back into the mouth.
- The air drawn in should feel cool while the air exiting through the nose releases heat from the body.
- Continue this breathing, allowing the inhalations and exhalations to gradually lengthen as you relax and begin to cool down. Closing the eyes will assist with the calming and cooling process.
If you cannot roll up the sides of your tongue, you can make a small o shape with your mouth. Allow your tongue to float in the middle of your mouth, not touching teeth or gums. Then draw a long slow breath through the O-shaped lips and into the belly. Press the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth and exhale through the nose. Sitali breathing can be done anywhere; however, it is safest to do while seated. Use this breathing practice to pacify pitta conditions: excess heat, including hot flashes in menopause, anger, and agitation.
Caution should be used if you are pregnant or have low blood pressure. Discontinue if dizziness occurs.
- Exercise in early morning or evening, avoiding the heat of the sun.
- Use cooling stones for pitta are pearl and moonstone. Pitta benefits from essential oils that are both cooling and sweet: mint, jasmine, lavender, and sandalwood.
- A rose hydrosol, or rosewater, is a simple and luxurious way to soothe both skin and mind on a hot day. Keep your hydrosol in the fridge and spray often. Close your eyes and spritz over your face, inhaling the delicate aromatherapy. Or spray your entire body after a shower or bath.
- Coconut water is cooling for Pitta and hydrating for summer. Make a coconut water/cucumber/mint tonic in the blender, and sip in the shade.
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