One of the key principles of yoga is ahimsa, meaning non-harming. This includes harmful thoughts. To think of oneself as “toxic” is a harmful thought. Harmful thoughts are toxic. Do you sense the cyclical nature here? So, rather than asking if your body is a toxic wasteland, I figured I’d foster this kind mental space.
See, toxins have been around a long time, but they unfortunately are far more prevalent in our modern environment than they were decades ago. Even my parents’ generation evolved in a far less toxic world, and I find it to be the responsibility of my generation and those following mine to make a conscious effort to protect ourselves as well as the planet from anymore toxic harm.
Our bodies get clogged with gunk from our environment, pollution, negative thoughts, chemically laden body care products, cleaning products, sprayed produce and processed foods, among other things. Even the most health conscious people face environmental toxicity daily.
What are a few things one can do to lessen the toxic burden on one’s body? Shifting towards lifestyle changes would be the most thorough, but on your way there are some simple everyday dietary and behavioral tweaks that can do wonders for detoxifying the body. Here are just a few:
- Dry body brushing
This ancient Ayurvedic practice not only feels wonderful but is a valuable self care act for invigorating the skin, flushing lymph from and ultimately detoxifying the body.
- Lemon water upon rising
I begin every single morning with a large mug of half a squeezed lemon in warm water. Another Ayurvedic technique for cleansing and detoxifying the body.
- Epsom salt baths
Epsom salts are brilliant at leeching toxins from the body. If you’ve ever known someone to be really ill and take a hot Epsom salt bath, oftentimes the water can turn brown from the release of toxins through the skin.
- Good, old fashioned sweat
Ideally through sweat inducing exercise, whether it’s in the form of yoga, walking, running, cycling, hiking, whatever gets your heart pumping and your sweat glands working. Bonus points for also having access to a dry sauna!
This is a potently detoxifying superfood known for cleansing the blood and helping to remove heavy metals from the body. I love to put it in my green smoothies.
Ultimately, we are only able to control our own bodies and our own lives, and only to an extent. Even then we must relinquish the desire to control everything. Such a desire only leads to stress when we lose control, which we inevitably do from time to time, and increase the toxic load on our bodies. The best thing we can do, in addition to a healthy plant based diet, exercise and the aforementioned self care practices, is to chill out. Calming and slowing down are most certainly two key pillars that will keep your body standing strong and high above the toxic wasteland below.