In our daily lives, we are constantly processing food, drink, and habits.
We are regularly cultivating new thoughts, emotions, assumptions, and experiences related to relationships and life. But almost all of these activities are being done unconsciously, without thought and presence. Strange, yes, but it is a bitter truth.
In our rapidly moving world, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Our bodies are wired to be naturally detoxified and this is done unconsciously as we go about our daily activities. But our consumption of food and drinks, and the processing of our thoughts, behaviours, activities, and other lifestyle choices pollute our bodies, minds, and emotions.
As we move throughout our daily lives with our bodies polluted with these toxins, we come to assume that certain reactions and feelings are part of our personality, but the opposite is true. We inject these physical and mental toxins into our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls. That is why we so love to start each new year with health resolutions. We intuitively know we need a gentle push in the right direction at regular intervals in life.
The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to begin the detox process. In yoga, there are various asanas, or poses, recommended to detoxify our bodies, minds, emotions, and spiritual beings. The practice of these yoga postures increases our blood circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system, and strengthens the liver to work efficiently to cleanse the other organs of our body.
Yoga postures that include twists and moments of inversion are considered the best detoxing yoga postures. Twist movements help to remove the particles trapped in the colon, improve digestion, and release toxic substances from the body, while moments of inversion improve blood circulation and its flow to the liver and kidneys to detoxify the entire body.
One of the most important aspects of yoga practice is our breathing pattern. It is the prime tool in our cleansing process. The correct pattern of breathing helps to release the toxins from our body. In yoga practice, each new breath is a new moment. Yoga helps us to remain in the present and moving forward.
Here are some basic yoga postures that can help you during your detox process:
Wide-legged forward bend
A basic yoga pose for opening tight hamstrings, the pose allows your head to fall below your heart. This yoga posture reverses the pull of gravity and enhances the blood circulation in the entire body. Its folding motion allows our bellies to be squeezed, which is helpful to improve digestion.
Widen your legs and place your head on or as close to the mat as possible with your hands placed on the ground, palms open wide. To modify, move your left hand to the right ankle, and your right hand toward the ceiling, opening your heart to the side of your mat.
Take five to six deep yogic breaths and if in the modified pose, reverse the position to the other side.
Revolved chair pose
This yoga posture strengthens your lower legs and glutes. The posture’s deep twist works best to improve our digestion as it places gentle pressure on your kidneys, liver, and spleen—organs that play an important role in toxin removal from your body. It stimulates the heart, blood circulation, respiratory, and lymphatic systems.
From a standing position, sink down as if you were sitting on a chair. Bring your both hands together at heart center, and take a deep inhale to lengthen your spine. On the exhale, twist to the left side. On the next inhale return to center. Repeat this sequence on the right side of the body. Complete this sequence five times.
Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose
This posture improves blood circulation in the body. It also moves fluid to the lymph nodes and is helpful in mental detox and releasing stress and fear.
Place your body in a triangle shape with your weight on your palms, your feet flat on the ground, and your sacrum lifting toward the sky. Look toward your feet, and lift one of your legs in the air as downward dog. Repeat on both sides of the body.
Revolved Triangle Pose
This posture is helpful in stretching and opening the chest muscles, lungs, shoulders, and spine. It also increases the capacity of lungs to breathe more. Its revolving motion stimulates abdominal organs, improving digestion and blood circulation in the body. It also releases stress, anxiety, and energizes the body and mind.
This yoga posture strengthens the entire back of the body, and opens the heart. It puts the pressure on your abdomen and improves digestion by releasing toxic substances from the body.
This yoga pose stretches the back muscles and aligns the spine to improve posture. It stimulates the abdominal organs, ovaries, bladder, and kidney, and relieves digestive issues. It also improves metabolism and tones the abdominal wall.
This yoga pose strengthens the entire musculoskeletal system and improves blood circulation by supplying purified blood to heart. It stimulates the thyroid gland that increases metabolism, releases toxins from the body, and manages nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems.
Hold this posture for 10 yogic breaths as it clears out the carbon dioxide from the body.
The twist in spine not only energizes and focuses the mind and body, but creates mental clarity, relieves stress and deep tension, and detoxifies the entire body. When you release the twist, it supplies fresh blood and nutrients to your digestive organs, helping to nourish them.
Remain in supine twist on the right of left side for minimum of five yogic breaths. Alternate sides.
Yoga practice is the perfect tool to add into a spring detox, as you will enhance your body’s capacity to cleanse the organism and the results will be reflected on a physical, mental, and emotional level.
Although we have discussed physiological benefits of each yoga posture, there are some additional benefits in life by practicing these yoga postures: they increase our energy levels and passion for life.
The practice of these yoga postures is simple yet effective in life. Anyone can perform them, no matter their background in yoga. If you feel any pain or excessive challenge in practicing these yoga postures, be sure to consult a yoga studio or yoga school as they may have yoga experts who can train you in these yoga postures specific to your body.