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How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing

Updated: Apr 19

We care for our bodies in many ways; but nourishing meals, regular exercise, and routine check-ups aren’t our only source of health and happiness. Our minds carry emotional imprints that can affect our wellbeing, too. Learn how to improve your mental and physical health.

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image woman floating in cleansing water

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How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing

These days, feeling lousy is status quo. But it doesn’t have to be. According to US News and World Report, 2017 was a record year for unhappiness.

Emotional cleansing helps us to release old feelings and traumas that hold us back, so we can live fully and with joy--in other words, emotional cleansing helps balance Vata, Pitta and Kapha in the body and mind.

“Ayurvedic emotional detox helps clients live happier, more fulfilling, healthier lives,” says Veena of Saumya Ayurveda. “And that – is positively contagious.”

What is Emotional Cleansing?

Emotional cleansing is the process of releasing accumulated mental “yuck.” Pranayama, yog-asana, and other Ayurvedic lifestyle tools help instill a sense of balance, wellbeing, and vitality in its place.

“Many clients who benefit from emotional cleansing have anxiety as a chief concern – and almost everyone feels stressed and tired” says Veena.

Emotional imbalances manifest differently in every person. Pitta-type emotions may manifest as impatience, irritability, explosiveness and burning digestion. Vata, on the other hand, may present as sleep troubles, depression, intense stress, exhaustion and constipation.


"After losing three family members in eight months, I was out of balance physically, mentally, and spiritually. All self-care went by the wayside then fatigue, anxiety, and grief sent me into survival mode. After just three weeks of Veena’s recommendations, I am back to feeling joy again, and anxiety is gone."

-Mary B., Minneapolis, Minnesota

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing image of graphic splashed with color and a silhouette of a woman with arms freely in the air

Benefits of Emotional Cleansing with Ayurveda

  • Set the foundation for physical healing and wellbeing

  • Relieve chronic anxiety, stress, trauma or PTSD

  • Enjoy more balanced physical and mental health

  • Reduce and soften non-productive emotions

  • Access higher states of consciousness

  • Develops a stronger immune system

  • Feel younger and like yourself again

  • Enjoy your whole being balanced

  • Enjoy life more

  • Stress less

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing image of a calm woman looking reflectinve and peaceful

How Do We Begin an Ayurveda Emotional Detox?

We start by simply observing. Through ongoing awareness and practice, we become the witness to how the doshas manifest in the present moment. (“Oh, that’s just Pitta talking.”) By being the witness and observing the dosha manifesting, we create a healthy space between the rising emotion and that reduces reactivity and overwhelm.

“Creating awareness softens the experience, and creates distance,” says Veena. “Then, we introduce practices that alleviate the pressure building inside us.”

We don’t do laundry once, we wash our clothes when they need it. At Saumya Ayurveda, we approach emotional cleansing as a lifestyle practice – not something you do once or twice a year.

Can You Benefit from Detoxing Emotionally? Let’s Find Out!

When the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) are imbalanced, we feel it physically and mentally. One sign that we can benefit from an Ayurvedic emotional detox is to ask ourselves, “Do I struggle with things that used to be easy?” In other words, is there an expenditure of disproportionate energy, where once it seemed to take nothing at all? If so, your body and mind may benefit from Ayurveda emotional and physical detox, but more on that here.

“I feel greatly improved. Stress fell off like an old hairy coat. I’m just not anxious. Depression is way decreased. I was haunted by anxiety my whole life, and it’s just gone. The mudra, mantra...WOW. This is so cool! I have regained hope. Something wonderful is taking place. You and your knowledge come to me after a lifetime of searching and prayer. I am forever grateful.” --Mark Hughes, Minnesota

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing image of an Ayurvedically emotionally detoxed man looking peaceful

Signs you may benefit from an Ayurveda style emotional detox:

  • Allergies.

  • Easily distracted.

  • Unhealthy habits.

  • Changes in weight.

  • Ignoring your gut feelings.

  • Feeling older than you are.

  • Waking feeling unrefreshed.

  • Feeling a lack of purpose in life.

  • Chronic tension. (Mind and body)

  • Being overwhelmed most of the time.

  • General sense of feeling out of balance.

  • Anxiety, anxious depression, and depression.

  • Experiencing, "I don't feel like me anymore."

  • Avoiding certain people or people in general.

  • Chronic health changes, mentally or physically.

  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless, not good enough.

  • Feeling that most days are a struggle and not knowing why.

  • Things that were once easy and enjoyable, are now difficult.

  • Difficulty in letting go, wanting to, needing to, but not sure how.

  • Being easily influenced by others. (sense of having lost oneself.)

  • Trouble falling and/or staying asleep. Ayurvedic Tips for Good Sleep

  • Hard to get things done or to get going, lack of feeling motivated, inspired, and interested.

  • Wondering where your sense of calm went. “I wasn’t like this before!”

  • Worrying about the future and dwelling in the past, versus being here and now.

  • Difficulty or absence of speaking up for yourself. (loss of your own voice in relationships.)

  • Seeking escapes such as alcohol, drugs, affairs, media binges, and other vehicles of escaping.

  • Stagnant. Feeling hum drum, and/or difficulty letting go of the past and being present and open to possibilities. (Aka stuck)

  • Changes in sleep or waking up unrefreshed. Read our 8 Ayurvedic Evening Rituals for a Calming Night.

  • Lack of focus, forgetfulness, word search, why did I come in this room? Read our 8 Ayurveda Tips for Brain Health

If you experience any of these signs, you may benefit from Ayurveda's approach to emotional detox. If you want to be present, calm, focused, grounded, and experience vitality and vibrance, an Ayurveda emotional cleanse as part of your Ayurveda Consultation, is just the ticket.

“Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again!

I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.” -Molly Rossini, Minnesota

Peruse our client stories.

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image woman in corpse pose doing diaphragmatic breathing

10 Ayurvedic Lifestyle Practices for Emotional Cleansing

1. Pranayama (or Breath Work)

In today’s world, we consider stress a part of life. But stress creates physical and mental disease. Our breath connects our body and our busy mind – and when we change our breath, we change our lives.

In Ayurveda, Prana is the animating force.

Today, pranayama is widely taught as exercises of the physical breath, often used as preparation for meditation. But far beyond the modern yoga studio understanding – pranayama is a vast exploration of depth and subtleties.

Pranayama for Emotional Cleansing

Many want to jump to fancy “advanced” pranayama – but it’s risky to attempt powerful techniques before establishing the habit of diaphragmatic breathing. First, establish a daily practice of diaphragmatic breathing over six to twelve months.

1. Read our popular how to article: Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life.

2. Use our free guided practices each day to help you develop this breath and to relax and rejuvenate your nervous system, mind and whole being.

3. In time, diaphragmatic breathing becomes res-established as the healthy way to breath. Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, can be introduced in tandem.

“When we learn diaphragmatic breathing, we remain relaxed, focused and less stressed and overwhelmed,” says Veena. “That is every client’s number one goal.”

Once you’ve established a steady core practice, other techniques can be considered. Two beneficial pranayama for emotional cleansing are Kapalbhati (Skull Shining breath) and Bhramari (Humming Bee breath). Performing these pranayama correctly, in the proper sequence and duration, requires experienced guidance.

“Loving the daily practices, a routine that feels EMBODYING.” Mark F., USA

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image woman doing legs up on wall yoga pose

2. Yog-asana. Gentle postures, done regularly, increase vitality and balance of body and mind.

Yoga-asana for emotional cleansing

In our busy, stressful world – most people need to rejuvenate, relax, and ground. Practice Savasana and Viparita Karani once or twice daily for emotional cleansing on all levels.

  • Corpse Pose/Savasana: Lie on a firm, flat surface with the spine, neck, and head in alignment. Arms flat, palm-up beside your body. Activate your relaxation response with this 11-minute systemic relaxation meditation.

  • Viparita Karani/Legs-up-the-Wall: Begin seated beside an open wall. Gently lower your torso to the ground while lifting your legs up the wall, forming an “L” shape with your body. Dip into a state of grounded calm with this 2-minute relaxation meditation.

“The Saumya Ayurveda way is to focus on quality, not quantity,” says Veena. “People are already overwhelmed – a few minutes of the right practice, performed correctly, is all and everything we need.”

3. Abhyanga Self-Massage (aka Ayurveda massage)

Abhyanga helps eliminate toxins (ama) physically and mentally by bringing a sense of calm, rejuvenating the mind and body, and balancing the doshas. Learn how to cleanse emotionally with this guide to Abhyanga self-massage.

Saumya Ayurveda can help you discover which herbalized oil is best for your current situation.

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image Saumya Ayurveda oils

4. Nasya Oil

In Ayurveda, the nostrils are a gateway not only to the sinuses – but to the mind and consciousness itself. Nasya oil treatment cleanses and supports this natural gateway.

Applying herbalized nasya oil balances the qualities, experiences, and symptoms of the mind and emotions. The correct oil will ground, soothe, and help focus aggravated Vata, while another blend will cool Pitta’s hot head.

Here’s how to get started with daily nasya practice.

“Ayurvedic practices work together,” Veena says. “And just a few minutes of these tools pays huge dividends.”

Imagine you’ve had a draining day at work, and commute home in heavy traffic. If you pause to do nasya, legs-up-the-wall, or a guided meditation – how will that affect the rest of your evening? Now, imagine you simply barrel through.

How will you feel at dinner or a late meeting, and how will your sleep be affected? Choose an evening routine that establishes calm and vitality for the next day and an enjoyable evening. Remember, today started yesterday.


“Your nasya oil really had a strong, positive effect on my life. My mind was racing, and I have been highly stressed for a long time. I did the nasya and suddenly all went quiet. I felt like meditating. Your nasya oil really calmed the mind.” --S.L., New Mexico

Nasya is much more than a nose treatment, it's a whole body and mind treatment. Nasya Oil Benefits | How to Use Nasya Oil for Greater Wellbeing

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image woman kneeling near reflective water

5. Self-Reflection

Our inner-dialog is a tool for self-reflection. Working with this dialogue helps you befriend your mind. You learn to become comfortable with who you are and be softer with yourself. In this state, you can make choices from awareness and love – rather than your subconscious.

“Think of a pressure cooker,” says Veena. “The steam needs to be released. When we take a dip into relaxation and meditation, that pressure is released. This prevents it from building up past the boiling point, as with Pitta, or unhealthy overwhelm, as with Vata.”

Inner-dialog is a path to understanding your true nature without judgment. When you come to appreciate how your mind works, you may even experience a spiritual “aha!” – accompanied by relief and deep healing.

"I was working with a client int their 60's who was concerned with her mind. In the minute it took for me to explain that it is simply the nature of a Vata mind to enjoy moving like a butterfly in flower garden, sipping the nectar from the variety of plants--she teared up and was released from decades of judgement and feelings of inadequacy. 'You mean, this is my nature and there's nothing wrong with me?' There's nothing wrong with it and everything beautiful about it." The pain in her heart was removed and this was a transformational spiritual "aha!" --Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image adorable puppies cuddled sleeping

6. Healthy Sleep Hygiene

Have you ever had a nightmare about work or a vulnerable moment from your childhood? Dreaming is how our minds cleanse mental toxins (ama) and work through challenging experiences – whether they’re from yesterday or long ago.

There’s a saying in Ayurveda, “today started yesterday.” What we did yesterday, and how we did it, influences our present state. Our hectic society places little emphasis on the importance of sleep, but it’s the bedrock of our physical and mental wellbeing.

Sleep Hygiene for Emotional Cleansing

Quality sleep rejuvenates the body and mind, while poor sleep leaves us feeling drained and lousy. When it comes to healthy sleep hygiene – a consistent wake-up schedule is key. On average, Vata types should wake by 6:00 am, Pitta by 5:30 am, and Kapha by 4:30 am. If your schedule isn’t ideal, adjust it gently by waking up 15 minutes earlier each week.

“The best sleep schedule isn’t one-size-fits-all,” says Veena. “It depends on your doshic picture, location, stage of life, and the season. Personalized guidance helps you surf the energy waves.”

Our sleep position matters too. Sleeping on the left side allows gravity to move food waste more easily from the small to large intestine. This encourages: better heart function, blood flow, and digestion; neck and back pain relief; greater immunity; and even lighter snoring.

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing image room with Vastu applied

7. Vastu Shastra

What is Vastu Shastra?

It is the traditional ancient Indian science and system of architecture. Vastu is based on the sacred, ancient texts concerned with design, layout, measurements, and special arrangements.

Vastu shastra balances the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether) that comprise the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. According to this ancient science, it’s best to sleep with the head to the east or south, and never to the north.

According to Harvard Health, "Self-awareness—being in tune with your emotions—may sound fairly straightforward and simple. But people tend to overestimate their level of self-awareness." Click here to learn more.

woman journaling outside

8. Journal

Get it out. Let it go. Journaling is an effective way to start an Ayurveda emotional detox. Find a notebook, or choose a special bound journal. (Avoid journaling on a device.) Feel the pen in your hand, it's movement across the paper, let everythings slow down.

Benefits of Journaling:

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

  2. Improves communication skills (which tends to also reduces stress and anxiety}

  3. Provides perspective by showing your progress and transformation

  4. Strengthens memory

  5. Stimulates creativity

  6. Boosts health and sense of wellbeing

  7. Provides a vehicle for proessesing emotions

  8. Helps to clarify next steps and long term direction, as well as wants and needs

  9. Boosts emotional intelligence

9. Rest, Restore, Relax, and Release

Once we begin to relax, it's natural to let go. "Create and connect with the present moment, releasing fear, and creating supportive boundaries that maximize your yourness." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

Incorporate Our 2 Minute Meditation

Weave awareness into your daily life at transition points throughout the day and night. In time, you'll develop the experience of meditation applied to daily life and increased energy, focus, and centerdness. Your life becomes meditation in action.

10. Acknowledge What Is

"As spiritual beings having a human experience, each of us is gifted with an internal compass that guides us through life so we can effectively digest, assimilate, and eliminate (let go) of our emotions. It is the same process with our physical digestion. If we don't digest food, our digestive system feels unwell. When we don't digest and let go of our emotions, we feel sick and often all over-mentally and physically." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

It feels overwhelming and where do we start untied the knotted ball of yarn inside us?

We start by acknowledging what is. How do we do that?

  1. We may ask ourselves, What are the causes of stress and unease in your life? Perhaps make a list and really go for it. No need to edit or limit, get it all out.

  2. Now pause, take check in with the breath, re-establish diaphgratmic breathing,

  3. Look at the list again and add anything else that floats to the surface.

  4. Step away from the list, go for a walk, maybe even wait a day, and then revisit the list and continue to add to it.

Acknowledging what is --is the best way to address, at the root cause, and allows us to clear the path to healing. This is a key tool in Ayurveda's approach to emotional detoxing as it cleanses the mind of ama. Ama is a Sanskrit word that may translate as toxins.

"I explain ama to Saumya clients as the gunk that makes us feel old, stuck, and not like our vibrant selves. Physically, when the doshas are imbalanced, ama circulates in the body and creates symptoms and left unaddressed, syndromes, conditions, and diseases. Mental and emotional ama pulls us down and under. and then also negatively impacts our physical health." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

Saumya Ayurveda's 3 steps for transforming your daily life with image of a woman meditating by a lake

There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.

"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."

- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda

1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.

2. Free Daily Guided Practices: 11 minutes in the morning and in the evening, as anchors of your daily Ayurveda routine.

"Choose a couple of practices from the Ayurveda routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda


"Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”

-Molly Rossini, Minnesota

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing image  desk with notepad saying client testimonials

"Signing up for an Ayurveda Consultation with Veena, I was hopeful that my mood would improve, that my energy would return and that I would feel like myself again. What I didn't expect was how simple it would be to get there. Veena's plan explains everything so clearly and I'm starting to feel better. I'm also learning how I got out of balance in the first place.

With obvious knowledge and ease of experience, my plan is thoughtfully laid out in supportive steps that actually takes less time and are far less stressful than if I was trying to it on my own. And with warmth and humor, Veena has alleviated the pressure and guilt I often feel when I am unwell. I am excited for what is possible and grateful I found her, and I think you will be too." - Erin, Alberta Canada


“Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again!

I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.” -Molly Rossini, Minnesota


“Veena is an amazing Ayurvedic Practitioner. She is knowledgeable and highly skilled. She is also intuitive and has a great sense of humor. If you are looking for someone to help guide you to better health, work/life balance and awareness of your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being—I recommend Veena without hesitation.

After my first consultation and one week of recommended foods, I felt better, had more energy and more mental clarity than I have had in many years. Thank you Veena.”

-Lynda G, Corrales, New Mexico


“It is with great pleasure that I write this review! Working with Veena has remarkably changed my life – even in the places I was unaware that it demanded to be changed! Throughout the course of four months,

Veena’s gentle and succinct approach allowed me to easily refine my routines into a more structured foundation that left me feeling more in graceful governance with myself – emotionally and physically.

Not only had she brought forth awareness in how I prepare/ relate to the food I eat, but she also prescribed me wonderful herbs to help calm my anxiety, detox my liver, and heal the ugly night sweats I’ve been experiencing due to hormonal imbalances.

Lastly, her guided meditations are a great grounding force, and I have since continued to explore the euphoric benefits of Yoga Nidra.

Veena is a well of divine knowledge, and her humor and light will be eternally appreciated!”

--Rachel Monson, Wisconsin

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image of an old fashioned compass on a map

Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way

We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.

Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.

Saumya Ayurveda provides concierge, top-notch, award-winning Ayurveda care. We strive to keep it simple, so you can focus on you! Opt for virtual consultations and we'll come to you.

Our practice model is client focused, we’re not in the retail herb business. We’ll guide you where to order herbs directly online. Our top-shelf Ayurveda oils and herbalized ghees are the best in the land and we’ll ship your care package right to your doorstep.

Our effective multi-appointment consultation packages provide you with experienced Ayurveda care, enthusiastic guidance, and inspiring support.

Explore our personalized services and book your FREE discovery call today. Psst! Our clients say it best – so read and watch our client's stories.

How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing  image Veena

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.

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