Mini Ayurvedic Reboot with Kitchiri and media fast.
Cleanse at the seasonal transition to reset your body and mind, by Jim Montrose
At the major changes of seasons, Ayurveda often recommends oleation and a therapeutic fast to drop toxins into the gastrointestinal system in preparation for removal of excess doshas with panchakarma (the five treatments) to cleanse the body. We can do a shortened version of this centuries old practice to help prepare ourselves for the season of our most prominent doshic imbalances. A short mono-diet fast, prayer, meditation and media fast allow us to reset our taste buds, our mental states and start the season renewed and invigorated.
The winter to spring transition for Kapha, the spring to summer transition for Pitta, and the summer to fall and early winter transition for Vata are when these doshas are most aggravated (read about seasonal routines in my spring, summer and up-coming fall articles). Choosing the transition that relates to the most disruptive doshic imbalances in our constitution allows us to reset our system and remove the disturbance. For example a Pitta predominant individual would choose spring; whereas a Vata-Kapha predominant individual does a reset in late winter and another the fall.
Preparation: Schedule two days to focus on the mini ayurvedic reboot, preferably when you are not involved in the challenges of everyday life and have a lighter day to rest and reflect. A weekend starting Friday night after 6pm often works well to schedule alone time to turn inward, be more aware, contemplative and change your routine for the reset. Optionally you can start to loosen and move the physical toxins into the gastro intestinal tract by taking 1 tablespoon of flax oil morning and evening for 2-3 days prior to your mini reboot (for example on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).
Control your environment and input: Prepare by getting distractions out of your environment for the duration of the mini ayurvedic reboot. You want to remove the distractions of foods that are not allowed, visual stimulations, and technological interferences (email, phone, TV, news, heavy work commitments, etc.). Ayurveda has for thousands of years suggested returning to the quiet embrace and healing space of nature. According to Ayurveda, the sights, scents, noises and other things you expose yourself to have a lasting effect on what you think, how you act, who you become, and the state of your health. On an epigenetic scientific level, our behaviours, lifestyles, and environments influence how our genes will express themselves (and consequently the body’s development of ease or dis-ease).
The desire to watch stimulating, violent, and thrilling content is just another example of the mind seeking satisfaction outside of itself. These over-stimulating, addictive, reward-based experiences are never more than temporary and always leave you wanting more.
Do you demand organic, sustainably-produced, healthy food? Demand the equivalent from your visual input—positive, sattvic (harmonious) and nourishing visual stimuli.
What We See, We Become
Science shows us that when we are entrained to look at images that affect us in emotionally positive ways, we tend to look significantly less at the negative images in our environment.
If you feed yourself positive visual stimuli, you tend to start seeing more of the positive and less of the negative images around you.
Making an effort to be in nature, see beautiful things, and watch positive and uplifting movies can change your microbes, your genes, and your quality of life. This ancient wisdom of living a sattvic, uplifting and loving lifestyle is now backed by science!
Food: Eat a mono diet of Kitchiri (see the recipe at the end) only between 12 noon and 6 pm. Drink plenty of water (sipping hot water throughout the day is warming and very good for the detox). Wake and drink a glass of warm water with lemon juice and try to wait until noon for your first food to benefit from a short fast that will put your body into the self-healing mode. A tea made from equal amounts of cumin, coriander (dahnia), and fennel is a gently calming drink that you may use freely during your re-boot.
Visual/auditory: for the mini ayurvedic reboot avoid as much technological interaction and stimulation as possible. Spend time in nature and inward contemplation as much as possible. Consider it a time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge your batteries (a media fast). Take a nap, read an uplifting novel, talk with your partner, walk in nature, swim, love yourself and others, etc.
Pray, Meditate: pray and meditate, new to meditation see our quick introduction to meditation, turning inward wherein resides the supreme self. Connect and align to your true self, your eternal being, the observer and witness. Connect with spirit and recognize your expansive self.
Mini Ayurvedic Reboot schedule: Start at 6pm on Friday night and complete your meal before 6pm. Start your media fast at this time. Pamper yourself with a relaxing hot bath, a massage or self-massage, gentle exercise, dancing, and other relaxing activities. Pray and find your appreciation before sleep. Go to bed between 9-10 pm.
Wake before sunrise on Saturday and Sunday, and meditate. Drink one to cups warm lemon water to assist your body in removing toxins. Shower and massage your body with oil (sesame oil for Vata, coconut or sunflower for Pitta, and olive oil for Kapha). Avoid eating till noon if possible. Have kitchiri for lunch and again for dinner with water or the cumin, coriander, and fennel tea. If possible, make each day (Saturday and Sunday) a rest day do something relaxing and fun you normally don’t do that nourishes your soul and spirit and be aware of what your body is telling you. Complete the evening meal by 6 pm. Sip warm water all day as desired. Wind down for sleep at 9-10 pm. Meditate before sleep and be aware of what you are grateful for in your life.
Emotions: If you take the time to be with yourself during the mini ayurvedic reboot and reduce the external distractions of everyday life you may become aware of emotions coming up. Vata’s may experience anxiety, nervousness, or sadness. Pitta’s may feel anger, envy, judgment, or perfectionism. Kapha’s can feel greed, attachment, laziness, or lethargy. It is important to transform these energies so they do not spill out onto friends, family and co-workers. Ayurveda has a simple process that allows you to fully experience the emotion and release it so we can learn from them and resolve positively.
When a feeling comes up, look deeply into it. Take a deep breath, feel the emotion and exhale it out. Let the feeling totally express itself within yourself (see it honestly and feel it). Breathe into it, surrender to it and be with it. Breath it in and breath it out. Soon it will dissolve by itself (the impermanence of all sensations and feeling – all material life). At the same time be aware of the external thing – whatever or whoever is saying or doing the thing that brings the emotion on. And at the same time be aware of your inner self and the feelings it has brought on inside yourself. When we experience this two pointed awareness of the external (outer) and inner simultaneously – the understanding becomes total. This resolves the situation and leaves the mind scar free or clear of a lasting imprint. We have giving freedom to the thought internally and have not infected those around us by an emotional outburst nor kept it as an imprint to be relived thus freeing ourselves. Let it flower and let it fade away.
Making kitchiri: A simple kitchiri is made by combining a cup each of basmati rice (brown preferred) and 1 cup mung beans (whole or split mung dahl) in a large pot. Wash the combination well and preferably soaked overnight to aid digestibility. Drain well and add 3 to 4 cups of filtered water, a tablespoon each of cumin seeds and fennel seeds and a small bunch of chopped fresh cilantro leaves (dahnia). Bring to a boil and boil for five minutes uncovered. Turn the heat down to a slow roll (slight boil) and cover leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender (beans and rice) about 25-30 minutes. Serve with additional fresh chopped cilantro if you desire. This is a nutrious dish that will cleanse the body and help strengthen the memory. Eat it fresh on the day of cooking to receive the most nutrients and benefit without introducing new toxins from old food.
Ending the reboot: To end the mini ayurvedic reboot gently ease back into your normal routines. Start with more liquids and less concentrated foods for the first few days. Perhaps eat a big salad, soup, baked potato and vegetables. Consider staying on a media diet of nourishing, sattvic (harmonious) visuals and consider not watching the news. Whatever you do; avoid fully immersing yourself in the news and media circus of modern life. Most big and important news items will find you (someone will ask you if you have heard about it). Be gentle with yourself and emotionally supportive of whatever comes up. Enjoy your life and remember you are supposed to be in joy, love and bliss. Anything that doesn’t support that (love, joy, and bliss) doesn’t really support your life. If something cannot be changed, change your perception of it. We always have control of what we choose to put our attention on and how we choose to perceive a situation (once you have done the work to remove automatic responses). Put your attention only on what you want.
Until next time, turn this information into true knowledge by scheduling and following your own mini ayurvedic reboot and turn inward to reap health, immunity, and happiness by experiencing the autumn ayurvedic routine for yourself. Balanced living this fall,
071 959 0786
P.S. Read this months Autumn Ayurvedic Routine to get a bigger picture of the seasonal transitions. Consider scheduling a “Living in Balance Ayurvedic retreat” at Red Roan Ranch to develop a new lease on life. – email “living in balance” for more information and details or call 071 959 0786 now).
Copyright April 2018