It’s not just the poses that make a yogi’s skin glow and seem like they’re vibrating with peace. They’re healthy from the inside, in part, by practicing Ayurveda, a 5,000-year old sister science of yoga.

A central idea in Ayurveda is to reduce “ama,” or a sticky waste buildup that clogs your digestive system and the rest of your body systems, manifesting as stiff joints, a coated tongue, a foggy mind, constipation, frequent colds and flu, or a heavy feeling in your body, for example.

Methods to reduce ama vary based on your “dosha (your natural constitution),” but there are few things you can start doing right away to eliminate ama – or buildup – and be on your way to feeling glowingly better.

Step #1: – Eliminate Toxins in Your Diet
Processed foods and veggies grown with pesticides are a couple examples of ama-enhancing foods.  Try replacing them with simple foods, such as organic whole fruits, quinoa, cous cous, and easily digested proteins such as lentil soup. Also try fresh yogurt, which contains acidophilus, a “good” bacteria to help digestion.

Step #2 – Eat More Vegetables, Fewer Animal Proteins 
Eat more leafy greens such as chard and kale to help improve elimination, detoxify the body, and reduce buildup. Phase out the burger or chicken wings for veggies and grains that have appropriate spices. They’re different per dosha, but tumeric is a good one to add to your daily diet.

Step #3 – Modify Alcohol
Eliminate alcohol to give your system the best shot at working well. If you do want to drink in moderation, do so according to your type. Holistic guide Kristen Ma, who is certified by the Kerala Ayurvedic Academy, believes you can drink by dosha – but consult with a specialist to determine your dosha first!

Step #4 – Use a Tongue Cleaner
Ama can manifest as a fuzzy film on your tongue, which leads to bad breath. Scraping your tongue is a regular part of oral and digestive health in Ayurveda. A good tongue cleaner clears bacteria from your tongue and gets rid of undigested food particles there. Brush, floss, scrape – done.

Step #5 – Practice Yoga and Meditation Daily
Along with the physical benefits of a regular yoga and meditation practice is awareness, which helps you make better choices for diet, lifestyle, and more. In Ayurveda, your smart choices might be your ultimate healer, from the inside out.

It’s important to see an expert who can assess all the factors and give you guidance, but take these first steps and explore Ayurveda – for life!