Yoga for Detox: 5 Poses to Release Toxins

If you’re cleansing this January, think about adding a physical practice to enhance the detoxifying benefits and help move waste through your body. Yoga has long been used to clear the body and mind of unnecessary holdings, whether they be muscular, emotional or physical. But there are a few poses that are especially effective at stimulating the circulatory, lymphatic and digestive systems – all essential in detoxifying the body. Here are five that can be practiced in sequence every morning before breakfast.

Wide-Legged Forward Fold

How to practice:

To measure your stance, reach your arms out to the side and step your feet wide apart, so your feet are under your hands. Then, press your feet down evenly, lift your knee caps and engage the front of your legs and fold at the hips, allowing the head and arms to release toward the floor. Keep the legs engaged and take 5 breaths. To come out of the pose, bring your hands to your hips and inhale up with a flat back.

The benefits:

A standing forward bend of any kind reverses blood flow, which aids circulation and flushes your lymph nodes. The wide legged stance is more accessible for people with tight hamstrings and provides a nice stretch.

Twisting Chair
How to practice:

Stand with your feet together and parallel. Bend your knees and sit back into an imaginary chair, being careful to keep your knees in line with your feet. Bring your palms to prayer in front of the heart, then twist to the left and hook your right elbow outside of your left knee. Keep your chest open and stay in the twist for 5 breaths. Release and stand up, then repeat on the other side.

The benefits:

This pose not only gives your glutes and quads a good workout, the deep twist squeezes then releases internal organs like your kidneys, liver and spleen – each vital in digestion and elimination.

Downward Facing Dog

How to practice:

To measure your stance, come to hands and knees with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Then, tuck your toes and lift your hips up and back, elongating the spine and releasing the head. If you have tight hamstrings, keep the knees slightly bent and the spine long. Stay for 5-8 breaths, then release and rest in child’s pose.

The benefits:

As with wide legged forward fold, getting the head below the heart reverses the pull of gravity and helps with circulation. It also tones and strengthens the abdomen, which promotes healthy digestion.

Seated Spinal Twist

How to practice:

Begin sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, step the right foot outside of the left knee then tuck the left leg around so your left foot is resting on its side outside of the right hip. Twist toward your top (right) knee, hooking the left elbow on the outside of the right knee and gazing over your shoulder. Stay 5-8 breaths.

The benefits:

Another twist will further massage and stimulate your internal organs. You can imagine twisting and squeezing your abdomen on the exhales, like a wringing out a sponge.

Bridge

How to practice:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip width apart and parallel. On an inhale, press into your feet, lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees and lift the hips up toward the ceiling. If you can, clasp your hands underneath you and squeeze the upper arms together. Breathe and allow the upper chest to open for 5 breaths.

The benefits:

Bridge allows the abdomen to open and expand, which is good for countering congestion or stagnation in that area. Backbends of any kind are also great for boosting metabolism.

Do you exercise when you detox? Share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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