Balancing Digestion After the Holidays - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Balancing Digestion After the Holidays

By on January 2, 2018
balancing digestion

When I think of the holidays, gluttony comes to mind. Busy weekends party hopping from one potluck gathering to the next and tons of sugar! Most of the food tends to be heavy: bread and dip, cheese galore, sweet sugary treats, mixed drinks, meats, etc. I LOVE all that, but my stomach doesn’t.

Winter is characterized by the qualities cold, wet, damp, and windy. Seasonally we tend to eat heavier foods to naturally counterbalance the opposite qualities bringing in more warmth, moist, and grounding foods. We wouldn’t eat a cold salad in the winter (well maybe in California you would) but that would be best during summer when it’s warmer and agni (ability to digest) is typically stronger.

Most people suffering from digestive issues or weight gain are advised not to eat past dark because digestion slows during that time. The sun is at it’s peak between 10-2pm, and so is our metabolism and ability to digest. Ayurveda recommends consuming the largest meal of day during this time. When we follow this routine, we tend to eat less in the evening, naturally.

We can apply the same principle to seasons. When it’s dark and cold out typically during fall and winter, for those of us suffering from poor digestion or with a sluggish digestion, we might notice it’s actually harder to digest these types of foods.

Basic Ayurvedic principles (laws of nature and science) can be very helpful in remedying maladies and finding the right balance in our lives.

So whether you suffer from digestive issues or not, everyone can benefit!

Here are Simple Tips on How to Balance Digestion After the Holidays

Eat Early…

Try and eat before it get’s dark. Metabolism naturally slows down and eating heavy food late into the night stresses the inner organs. Notice when you eat late you wake up with puffy eyes( kidney’s compromised) and fatigue.

Upon Waking

Drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice. It’s naturally detoxifying, cleanses your system, and get’s your bowel movement going. Always a plus!

Herbal Teas to Increase Agni (aka Digestive Fire)

There’s an Ayurvedic saying that says the length of your life is determined by the strength of your agni. Here are a couple great herbs to stoke the digestive fires: Ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and peppermint for example are generally heating, warming, great for circulation, speed metabolism, and tasty! Great to drink 15-20 minutes prior to eating. The stronger the agni the more likely you will be able to digest your food.

Follow Food Combination Guidelines

I try to make as little food combinations as possible. Since I have a very sensitive digestive system, less is more. Here are some examples: Eat meat with veggies only. Avoid cold raw salad or foods ( harder to digest). Veggies and carbs only. Drink water and liquids either 20-30 min before or after meals (food will expand in belly and dilute digestive juices). Eat until you are satisfied and try not to stuff yourself, too hard. Eat slowly and mindfully, you’ll be able to tell when you are full much easier when you savor your meals.

Yoga for Healthy Digestion

These poses activate the digestive organs and stoke agni. Apanasana ( knee to chest on your back), Salabasana ( locust pose) and Upward Bow. Essentially any pose when the belly is compressed slightly stimulates digestion and peristalsis in colon to get things moving! Abdominal exercises also aid in speeding up metabolism and increasing heat in the body.

Meditation and Pranayama

Try Kapala Bati also known as the belly breath of fire. You can also visualize your breath as a radiating yellow light expanding in your 3rd energy center Manipura Chakra helps to increase our internal fire and ability to digest. Visualize the color yellow radiating at your navel center.

Exercise After the Holidays

Cardio and Sweating is great way to SPEED UP METABOLISM in essence will help digest your food so that it doesn’t sit there turning into ama (toxic build up). Exercises that get the heart rate pumping-walking vigorously, swimming, dancing!!! And HOT YOGA is great! (especially if you are trying to lose weight or experience poor circulation) Get’s circulation going, cleanses the lymphatic system, and kicks up metabolism!

I hope these tools can offer guidance towards an easeful transition after the holidays, and may your agni always be bright!


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About Jenny Ahn

Jenny Ahn is an inspiring Yoga Teacher, Ayurvedic Practitioner, and Postpartum AyurDoula in service to bringing quality of living into peoples lives. She is the Co-Founder of Sacred Roots Holistic Healing, a community wellness and education center located in Long Beach, Ca. You can find her teaching Yoga classes, workshops, leading personalized detox retreats and guiding clients towards transformation and healing.


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