It can be really hard to pick up new habits. Though, I think it tends to be easier if you are already engaging in some “disruptive behavior”. Ooooh! Sounds so naughty! This is one reason that I include some simple, yet highly effective, daily practices into any period of intentionally “disruptive” cleansing. Not only does the motivation to do them come a little easier, they also tend to stick around a lot longer after the fact!
I try to give some extra love to the major elimination organs of the body, during any period of cleansing (and really most any time is a good time to keep these guys clean as can be). So here they are in all their purifying glory:
- Skin Your skin removes water soluble and fat soluble toxins. To keep it clean take in sunlight and sweat through exercise or sauna.
- Lungs We exhale out body fluid through our breath and breathing out gases in our body. It is important to keep the lungs clean by taking in clean air and consciously purging the stale air in our lungs.
- Kidneys Your kidney removes water-soluble toxins through urine. Good clean drinking water, and lot’s of it, can help to flush toxins that may accumulate in the kidney.
- Colon The colon removes the fat-soluble toxins. Keep the colon healthy by eating fiber rich, unprocessed foods and having healthy bowel movements.
- Tongue A coating (white, green or yellow) on the tongue is an indication of an imbalance in the digestive system and typically toxic build up. Scraping that junk out of the mouth before ingesting food or water is a great way to keep a suprising amount of toxins out of your body.
- Brain Ok, not quite an “elimination organ”, but good to pay attention to this one! It is believed that your brain consumes upwards of 5,000 media messages daily. These messages are just about anywhere you look, but are especially pervasive on the television, radio, online, print media, billboards—etc. Best you can, try to limit your exposure to some of these channels, and see how you react. It may be tough at first, but once you get past the withdrawals from constant stimulation, you may find yourself sinking into the beautiful bliss of your own thoughts and wisdom!
As a bonus— here are some of my favorite Ayurvedic practices that keep elimination organs radiant!
Warm water with lemon first thing in the morning
This one is stupendous! After cleansing your mouth: teeth, tongue and gums, add some warm water to the juice of one fresh squeezed lemon. This simple step is a great way to start the day off right—which encourages us to remain on course for the rest of the day! If you want to be absolutely crazy (in a good way) add a sprinkle of organic cayenne pepper. It will wake you with a zing!
- Lemons are packed with vitamin c and potassium, both of which are good for the immune system, optimal brain function and clearer skin.
- Lemons are very alkaline, thereby balancing acidity in the body, which if left unbalanced can teeter over into inflammation and disease.
- Lemons and warm water aid digestion.
- Lemons and lime are high in minerals that loosen toxins from the digestive tract.
- Lemons act a s a diuretic, so they speed up the process of releasing toxins from the body.
Belly breathing to wring out the lungs
Just taking the opportunity to take some really deep full breaths with a deep full exhalation can do wonders for wringing out the lungs.
Pay attention to your breathing—try it right now! What do you notice? I bet it is pretty shallow and coming more from your chest rather than deep in your belly. That shallow breathing can leave the lower lungs with a lot of stale air. Take a d-e-e-p full breath, one that makes you belly stick way out, and then let all that air out. W-a-y out. Open you mouth wide, squeeze your belly in, stick your tongue out — get that air out of there! Repeat, repeat, repeat!
This comes from Julia Cameron’s most awesome book The Artists Way. Spend some dedicated time in the morning writing stream of consciousness thoughts, without judgement (wonderful while sipping your warm lemon water!). Be sure to put pen to paper, rather than use the computer.
It’s good to limit this activity to a set amount of time or a set number of pages. I think 15 minutes or three pages is optimal. Let your mind go wild, release all the jumbled thoughts that are kicking around to the page. This will do wonders to keep your mind fresh and clear, ready to start your day! You may choose to write about your dreams and spend a little time trying to interpret what your subconscious might be trying to tell you. Either way this sweet little practice can bring a lot of clarity and calm to the rest of your day by giving yourself the opportunity to tap in and be mindful.
These are just a few suggestions for optimal health and happiness! I have many more included in my Spring Cleanse. Details coming soon!