Can you hear that? That brain fog, bloating, constipation? That's the sound of your body (and mind) talking to you. How often do you listen? How willing are you to take action?
According to Ayurveda, “Your body is constantly giving you signals about the state of your health and wellness.” I love this saying because it immediately gets you present to the fact that 1) your body has probably been trying to tell you a few things, and 2) you haven't been listening.
The good news is...you're listening now! So let me give you a few ideas about what to listen for. But first let's talk about why listening is important.
Digging Up The Seeds Of Disease
The Ayurvedic approach to wellness is simple: prevent disease before it ever has a chance to take hold. The key to this is listening, because the body gives us signals as soon as our wellness scales start to tip out of balance—well before disease has a chance to take shape.
These signals give us early opportunities to take action, detoxify, and restore the balance. In other words, dig up the seeds of disease before they take root. Unfortunately, we usually ignore the signals...until our bodies start screaming at us.
There are lots of different ways that the body screams “YOU'RE TOXIC!” It's important to take notice of what it “sounds” like for you. Here are some common cries for help that you might not be aware of to help you identify when it's time to do a little internal housekeeping!
1. Digestion and Elimination
These are key indicators of your state of health and wellness. Getting familiar with the way your body assimilates and eliminates is critical to being proactive about your health and happiness.
What to look for: Heaviness (particularly after meals), lack of appetite, constipation, bloating or gas. A rule of thumb is if you notice your digestion (i.e. experience any kind of discomfort), it's definitely time to pay attention.
2. Your Skin
This is easy to see and feel. But we often forget that the skin is an actual organ, not just a wrapper. Our skin responds to what's going on inside and out so it's an important indicator of how toxic we are.
What to look for: Dry, flaky, lusterless or patchy skin is a sign that a toxic build up might be occurring. Breakouts or rashes are also clues that you might need to detox.
3. Your Tongue
The tongue is like the body's roadmap. It's an invaluable, and uncannily specific diagnostic tool, that anyone can use to get a sense for what's going on inside.
What to look for: A healthy tongue is slightly wet and pinkish-red in color with smooth uniform edges. A thick white coating on the tongue is a clear sign of toxic build up.
How we feel from day to day is the clearest indicator of how toxic we are. It's also one of the easiest signals to ignore or mask with things like alcohol or drugs.
What to look/feel for: Feeling lethargic or sluggish in your body, or foggy in your mind, especially for extended periods of time or if it seems unexplainable (i.e. not related to lack of sleep or partying).
Any of these sound familiar? How toxic are you?
“I'm toxic! What do I do?”
The simple answer: clean up your act! Detoxification is a vital part of the Ayurvedic formula for greatness; a little like changing the oil in your car or washing your hair. The Ayurvedic view is that clearing away the gunk that accumulates in your mind and body is the “secret sauce” that makes it possible for you to shine!
Why Ayurvedic cleansing?
The simple answer: it's holistic! Ayurveda acknowledges that a clean body is only one part of the equation. Detoxing isn't really effective unless it includes the whole you (mind and soul too).
The focus of Ayurvedic cleansing is simplification over starvation. It's all about easing the burden on our overworked systems for digesting food, thoughts, emotions and information, in order nourish them and allow them to rebuild.
So stop what you're doing and check in with how you're feeling (check out your tongue and skin while you're at it). Is your body trying to tell you something? Might this be an opportunity to show yourself a little love?
As luck would have it, spring and fall are key times for Ayurvedic cleansing, so this could be the sign you're waiting for to clean up your act! Do you detox or cleanse? What are your seasonal secrets for cleaning up YOUR act? Share in the comments!