Often times, the body gets weighed down with toxins that can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable or downright sick. We take in toxins through the food we eat, the products we use, and the environments we place ourselves in. You could place yourself in a toxin-free bubble and live there the rest of your life, but that isn’t very practical. So if you who would rather live life and risk taking in some toxins, I have a few yoga moves that can help you detox the body.
Each time you twist in yoga, you are not only stretching out your spine in the most delicious way, but you are also ringing out your internal organs like a sponge. Just like ringing out a sponge releases most of the water trapped in, twisting ring out the toxins so they don’t get stuck in your muscles, organs, and fatty tissue. This pose can be done sitting up or lying down. If seated, pull your right knee in while keeping the left leg extended out, stepping the right foot over to the left side of your body. Take your left arm and wrap it around your right leg, moving into a twisting position where the spine stays long, shoulders relaxed, and the right hand drops behind you to the floor. Look over your right shoulder and take 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Folds are a great way to stretch out your legs, back, neck and shoulders. They are also great for detoxing. When you put your body in a position where the head is over the heart in a fold, gravity begins to pull your blood flow in the opposite directions than when you are standing. This cleans up your veins and also runs blood toward your lymphatic system which helps clean your body up. To get into this pose, step your feet out into a wide stance about 3-5 feet apart depending on your height. Make sure the outside edge of each foot is parallel with the other. Take your hands to your hips and with a straight spine, engage the muscles in your legs and hinge forward and down from your hips. Place hands on the floor or walk the arms out and grab your big toes with your peace fingers. Move your shoulders away from your ears and keep your head dropped and relaxed. Take 10 deep breaths here.
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Downward Facing Dog
Downward Dog is a very dynamic pose that stretches the legs, back, and neck. It has a cleansing effect due to the switch of blood flow, and it even helps clean your mind out of stress because it lowers blood pressure and alleviates anxiety. To get into this pose, start on your hands and knees. Place your palms flat on the ground with fingers spread wide and curl your toes under. Press into your hands and push your hips up and back, straighten your legs, working your heels toward the floor. Drop your head between the arms, relax the neck and press your chest toward your thighs. Take 10 deep breaths here.
Seated Forward Bend
Forward bend is a calming pose that will put pressure on the internal organs, causing them to flush out toxins and increase functionality. This pose will also help relax your body by slowing your heart rate and blood pressure down. To get into this pose, start in a seated position with your legs out in front of you. Make sure your sitz bones are pressing into the ground and flex your feet so the leg muscles are activated. Sit up tall, keeping your spine straight and slowly walk your hands down the side of your body. Working your heart toward your feet and then down toward the legs. Take 10-15 breaths here.
So if you are feeling kind of yucky after that late night drinking or simply want to clean your body out, consider a consistent yoga practice to help detoxify your system. Make sure you pair these poses with plenty of water!