5 Simple, Yet Effective Ayurvedic Detox Practices for the New Year
The arrival of the new year brings with it feelings of renewal and possibility. For many, this period is one of setting goals, creating resolutions, and building inspiration and motivation. However, maintaining those goals can become increasingly challenging as our regular routines pick up their pace again. We all know what it’s like to realize that our resolutions have fallen to the wayside as we become wrapped up in the numerous demands of our everyday lives.
That’s not to say that the practices of checking in with oneself, adopting new habits and setting intentional goals for the future are futile, though. In fact, the wisdom of such practices goes back thousands of years. In Ayurvedic tradition, ritucharya is a set of guidelines that informs us on how to live seasonally. Ayurveda posits the fundamental interconnectedness of our minds, bodies, spirits and external environments; when the environment changes, we must adapt our diet, beauty and wellness practices accordingly in order to maintain homeostasis. The new year is a perfect time to adopt new practices and habits that promote our overall health and well-being.
An Ayurvedic approach to wellness teaches a way of living that is rooted in mindfulness and intentionality. It empowers us to pay close attention to our minds, bodies and environments, to recognize when we are thrown off balance and to understand how to redress imbalances. Such an intentional approach leads us to adopt practices that actually last because we understand how important they are for maintaining our health and wellness. Plus, many Ayurvedic practices are extremely simple to incorporate into one’s daily routine—not to mention that they also feel like luxurious acts of self-care.
Feeling motivated to make resolutions you can keep up all year round? These 5 Ayurvedic detox practices will leave you feeling like your best self this year, delivering long-lasting rejuvenation, vitality and wellness.
1. Try Out Dry Brushing for Boosted Circulation & Energy
Dry brushing, or Garshana, is an Ayurvedic practice that involves applying a natural firm-bristled body brush in firm motions all over the body. While this practice only takes a few minutes to complete, its long-term benefits are numerous: firstly, it improves lymphatic drainage, which in turn promotes the expulsion of toxins from the body. Research has also shown that a healthy and active lymphatic system can alleviate swelling and irritation. In addition, dry brushing boosts circulation, which is vital for the distribution of nutrients and white blood cells throughout our body and for maintaining a radiant, youthful complexion. On a more immediate level, dry brushing is a naturally exfoliating process that helps to release dirt and skin follicles, and it also instills feelings of groundedness and energy.
We think this transformative practice is so important that we created our own organic, vegan and artisan-crafted Lymphatic Detox Dry Brush for a luxurious detoxification experience. To learn more about dry brushing, you can check out our guide here.
2. Oil Pull in the Mornings for Long-Lasting Detox
Oil pulling is a potent Ayurvedic detox practice that involves swishing oil in the mouth for 10-20 minutes in the morning before brushing one’s teeth. In Ayurveda, the mouth is believed to reflect the body’s health, as it serves as a site that harbors bacteria, toxins, and other impurities. Oil pulling rids the mouth of these impurities, or ama. As research has shown, the powerful effects of this detoxifying practice include the reduction of plaque and gingivitis, a boosted metabolism and even an increase in overall longevity. Given that accumulating bacteria in the mouth can lead to a variety of health conditions, from gut issues to autoimmune diseases, oil pulling is a simple practice that has profound implications for fighting off illness and disease. It may also freshen breath and promote teeth whitening.
To oil pull, simply swish 1-2 teaspoons of oil (such as our Pure Detox Oil Pulling Treatment) in the mouth for 10-20 minutes before spitting it out and rinsing the mouth in warm water. You can take a shower or carry out the rest of your morning routine as you oil pull, making it a seamless and easy practice to incorporate into your daily life.
3. Combat Imbalances with a Self-Massage
Self-massage, or Abhyanga, is an Ayurvedic self-care practice whose wellness and beauty effects are extremely powerful, as it detoxifies not only the body, but also the skin, mind and spirit. A self-administered practice that can be tailored to your specific needs, self-massage relieves pain, heals wounds and increases range of motion. It also softens and hydrates the skin and stimulates hair growth. Furthermore, self-massage is a fundamentally relaxing practice whose therapeutic motions improve mood and decrease stress, leading to a recentered mind and a tranquil spirit.
We have our own Absolute Essential Self-Massage Oil, which is formulated with healing and aromatherapeutic Ayurvedic ingredients for maximized detoxification and healing. And if you want to learn more about the profound benefits of self-massage and the different oils you can use, we’ve written other blogs on the topic here and here.
4. Add These Nourishing Ayurvedic Recipes to Your Rotation
While it’s important to maintain a balanced, nutrient-rich diet all year round, it’s especially crucial to eat foods that keep the body warm during the winter months to fight off illnesses and imbalances. Ayurvedic superfoods that are especially effective in restoring balance and promoting glowing skin include almonds, broccoli, kale, blueberries and tomatoes.
There are also a number of Ayurvedic recipes you can try out that make simple, yet nourishing additions to your rotation. Here we’ve included the recipes to a few nutrient-rich Ayurvedic meals, including a quinoa, walnut and date cereal and a warming vegetable ragout.
5. Incorporate Balancing, Cleansing Ayurvedic Supplements
Supplements are an extremely easy way to incorporate traditional Ayurvedic herbs and adaptogens into your daily routine. Ayurvedic supplements serve a wide range of purposes, from boosting focus and sharpening memory to alleviating stress and promoting internal detoxification. Ashwagandha, for example, is a popular Ayurvedic adaptogen revered for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce stress, boost immunity, combat inflammation, promote overall happiness and more. In addition to our Ashwagandha supplement, we also have Triphala, Brahmi and liver supplements that each have their own unique benefits, enabling you to curate your own personalized wellness routine based on your individual needs.
Ayurveda is not just a series of practices—it’s a way of life that profoundly transforms how we view ourselves in relation to the world around us. It can help us develop health and wellness practices that last all year round.If you’re interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic approach to health and wellness but are unsure where to start, we recommend trying our Ultimate Ayurveda Kit and Ayurveda Starter Kit, designed for newcomers and regular followers of Ayurveda alike.