3 Secrets to a Successful Cleanse
Welcome to the season of Ayurvedic cleansing! Whether this is your first cleanse or one of many, give yourself a big hug of gratitude for dedicating some time and energy to deep detoxification and rejuvenation.
By taking care of yourself in this way, you are taking a stand for your long term well-being and replenishing your capacity to show up fully for the people and things that matter most to you in your life.
Cleansing takes both time and effort, not to mention a certain degree of discipline and sacrifice. But the results are well worth it. To support you on your journey, here are three of my personal secrets to making a cleanse as smooth and successful as possible.
1. Carve Out Plenty of Time and Space
Diet, herbs, and self-care practices are essential aspects to cleansing—but equally important to your success is ample downtime. How much you’re able to unwind will directly reflect the outcome of your detox.
Before you start your cleanse, making sure your calendar is as clear as possible will help ensure your success. The body needs time and space in order for the nervous system to relax, which in turn helps facilitate the process of detoxification.
If it’s possible for you, I recommend taking some time off of work to focus solely on rest and renewal. If you're not able to take this extra time off, at least give yourself permission to remove events such as social engagements, workout classes, business meetings, and anything else that isn’t mandatory.
While it is possible to sustain your regular routine when you cleanse, you will receive the benefits more deeply if you create time and space to be present with the process. Speaking of process, it is common to feel more emotionally tender and sensitive than usual while cleansing.
Create space at home by explaining to your family and friends the process you are about to undertake, as well as why it is meaningful to you. Ask them to be mindful of your need for solitude and minimal stress.
You will appreciate this extra time for cooking, self-massage, gentle yoga, meditation, and pranayama, as well as tending to any emotions that might come to the surface.
As much as possible, let go of social media and any dramatic or violent TV shows or films, as these things take up space in the mind. Instead, download Yoga Nidra or guided meditations—these will assist the mind and body in letting go of ama (toxins) in the tissues, as well as old emotions held in the body.
2. Stock Up On Your Supplies—First!
Once you’ve freed up your schedule, you can move on to my next secret of successful cleansing—gather all the supplies you will need before you start.
Consult with your practitioner or follow a cleanse guide to create a cleansing supply checklist, then make sure you have what you need before you begin. This will eliminate any extra stress during the course of your cleanse and help you maintain a peaceful mindset.
Here are some of my essential cleanse supplies to get you started:
Banyan’s Cleanse Bundle. This kit includes many of the Ayurvedic staples for a week of cleansing. With cooking supplies as well as supportive herbs, it will simplify your preparations and help make cleansing a breeze.
Kitchen Essentials. A crock pot, VitaClay Cooker, or an Instant Pot will make cooking three meals a day so much easier! If you don’t have your own, ask around to see if you can borrow one. A thermos is also a must, especially if you will be on the go during your cleanse and taking your home-cooked hot meals with you.
Self-Care Items. A cleanse is the perfect time to dive into your favorite self-care practices or to try out new ones that spark your attention. Make sure you have a tongue cleaner, Nasya Oil, an herbal massage oil for abhyanga (self-massage), and any other special products you enjoy using.
Other Supplies. Gather anything else you may want on hand, such as a notepad for journaling, peaceful music, and nourishing films, podcasts, and books. Being prepared with these resources will minimize the impulse to seek out other distractions like social media or television.
3. Lean Into Your Support
My last tip for success is to remember that you are not in this alone and to reach out for support when you need it. This may mean sharing your process with friends or family or even teaming up with a cleanse buddy and cooking each other meals.
If you are working with a practitioner, embrace their guidance and follow their suggestions as much as you are able. If you’re using a cleanse resource, read and follow the instructions carefully and let it support you on your journey.
At the same time, don’t hesitate to reach out for support and guidance when you feel stuck.
There are varying degrees of cleanses, from a simple solo three-day cleanse to an online group cleanse to a full weeks-long supported panchakarma program. Choose the method that feels appropriate for you and the specific realities of your life at this time. Then dive in full-heartedly and seek out support when you need it!
An Ayurvedic cleanse has the potential to be a deeply transformative process. Even a short and simple cleanse offers the body a chance to shift and renew in subtle yet powerful ways. I hope these tools help to ease and empower your cleanse, because once you feel the benefits, you will be inspired to come back each season and cleanse anew.