1. De-clutter your home. I try to be incredibly mindful of the amount of clothes I have, especially because as a yoga teacher I get paid to be barefoot and in tracksuit pants, so I’m always surprised at the surplus that tends to accumulate. A first world problem? Yes. My recent target conquest was my office and next on my hit list are my kitchen cupboards.
2. Scrape your tongue first thing in the morning. Your body detoxes while you sleep, (hence the bad morning breath) and that coating on your tongue when you wake up (in Ayurveda, they call it ama, metabolic debris) needs to come off before your first drink of water. Many chemists and health food stores stock tongue scrapers. I went away on the weekend and forgot to pack my scraper so I used a spoon instead.
3. Use a neti pot. The yogis have long recommended “sinus bathing” as a part of a great hygiene regime, and you can purchase a neti pot (beautiful ceramic ones and low-cost plastic models) at most health food stores. You fill it with warm water made into a saline solution by the addition of some finely ground salt and, following instructions, let the water flow into one nostril and out the other; then do the other side. This is not always a pleasant experience, but it definitely clears your head, is a godsend during allergy season, and I swear by it after plane flights and when colds and flus are going around. If you have a snoring problem, or more to the point if your partner does, neti will become your relationship’s saviour!
4. Eliminate one of your poisons. This means something different for all of us. For me its sugar, for another it may be alcohol or wheat. This is a great way to tune up the body from the inside out. While it cleanses your internal organs and systems, it also promotes weight loss, makes your skin glow, and leaves you feeling energized.
5. Sweat. In a sauna (not a steam room — too much chlorine is in the steam), or a yoga class, or in a hot bath followed a snuggling under warm covers, let yourself sweat. It helps the skin, your largest organ of detoxification, do its job.
6. Dry body brush. Before your bath or shower, use a special dry body brush (ask at the health food store: this is a brush with a removable handle, meant to be used on dry body skin) to buff your skin, starting with the feet. Then work up, using upward strokes on the calves and thighs, fingers-to-shoulders moves on your arms, and gentler round motions on your abdomen, hips, and chest; this is not for the face. It helps the skin to detox, removes dead skin cells, is warming and energizing, and in Europe even standard MDs claim that it helps diminish cellulite.
7. Enemas and colonics. I include these because they’re standard-issue detox practices and many, many people swear by them. They say that we have toxic build-up in the colon that’s been there for years and needs to be washed out.
8. Eat raw food. Eating a high-raw, plant-based diet, even without fasting or a juice diet, will go far toward your detoxification efforts. If you find yourself having a “detox crisis” — headaches, fatigue — rest, eat lightly, and let it pass, or rest, eat more heavily (add in more cooked food), and slow down the detox process to a comfortable rate.
9. Think loving thoughts. Your thoughts are so important: make them loving, to yourself, your body, and everyone in your world. That way, you detox negativity from deep, deep inside.
10. Breathe fresh air. Try to frequent places where the air is pure (mountains, ocean) and where electro-magnetic-field radiation is at a minimum. That means no mobile phones, laptops or Ipads.