A simple approach to feel and look amazing
Have you ever had those days where you wake up feeling amazing? There is a lightness in your step, your hair seems to look especially good, and your skin is glowing? And, then the very next day you have the opposite experience? You wake up feeling sluggish, a little puffy, and your hair is oddly oily or too dry, and things seem to upset you easily? Most likely the glorious day you had before also started off with the perfect poop. Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Poop.
Of course there can always be many other contributing factors at play here, but oftentimes it is our digestion that determines how we feel, how we look, and how we see our inner and outside world.
In Ayurveda, digestion is all about agni. When your digestion is strong your agni is strong. And, when agni is strong, you can easily tap into that glorious flow state. A flow state is when you are in the zone. It’s when your mental clarity is at its peak, you feel vibrant, full of life, and your shakti is lit up. When your digestive system is weakened it becomes much more difficult to follow through with daily tasks and your energy is usually pretty tanked. In Ayurveda, this is associated with an excess of ama. Ama is anything toxic that accumulates in the body. You can think of it as the sludge that slows down digestion. It is only when we are free from ama that we are able to digest our food properly and therefore we can more easily digest our life.
So, how do you clear ama and get the perfect poop? First it is helpful to determine what imbalances may be present within your actual stool. We love what John Dilliard published over at the Life Spa on The Perfect Poop. I highly suggest looking at the chart he created in order to do your own stool analysis. This will help give you a better idea of how to move forward with your dietary choices based off of your individual dosha.
It is important that you are properly assimilating the foods you eat. Your morning movement (the one you do in the bathroom) shouldn’t be too loose, difficult to pass, and it should be free of all food particles. If you fall into either of these categories, you most certainly will want to focus on optimizing your digestion. It’s also possible that your morning movement could look totally normal, but your energy is still lagging behind. In these cases I would still suggest trying out some of the habits and tips mentioned below for increasing your digestive fire.
Food should make you feel sexy
When your gut is off - your brain is off, and most likely, you won’t feel quite yourself. Ever heard of the term gut feeling? The gut and the brain are in constant communication. There’s tons of research to support that having a healthier gut leads to an increase in mood, clearer thinking, and reduces the risk of depression and anxiety. (The Psychobiotic-Revolution: Science Gut Brain Connection)
So, how can you amplify your digestion today?
- Sip on warm water or herbal tea throughout the day
- Add spices like cumin, fennel, and coriander to your meals
- Chew on ginger before/after meals
- Consider taking Triphala at bedtime
- Consider seasonal cleanses
- Move your body
- Manage Stress
- Address food sensitivities
- Avoid cold beverages
- Avoid negative emotions or excessive thinking
- Avoid eating in excess or emotional eating
- Avoid cheese or other heavy dairy products
- Avoid drinking too much (especially caffeine & alcohol)
The healing tradition of Ayurveda is very tuned into this concept of healthy digestion. So much of our well being (if not all) depends upon how easily we can digest the things around us. If there is a threat to our physical, emotional, or spiritual environment the state of our digestion will surely be affected. But, through careful attention and possibly a few lifestyle changes, we can improve the state of our digestion and the state of our being. When things are moving more freely through us we will always be able to move freely through our lives.