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10 Detoxing Yoga Poses

by Mina SinaiHave you had a long weekend of indulging on unhealthy foods? Has work been stressing you out past your limits? One of the first things you should do is hit the yoga mat. Why?

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Not only is yoga great for increasing flexibility and strength, but it can also detox the body! Try these 10 detoxing yoga poses to cleanse your body from head to toe:

1. Locust Pose

Locust Pose

The locust pose forces you to elongate your back while applying gentle pressure to your midsection. The result? Improved digestion, good posture and pain relief in the lower back.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Lay flat on your belly with your legs stretched long and your arms by your side.
  2. Tighten the seat and on an exhale, lift your upper and lower body off the floor, leaving only your torso and hips pressed against the mat.
  3. Keep arms and legs straight as they are lifted in the air, with your hands reaching back towards your feet. Make sure your feet are flexed as they hover in the air.
  4. Make sure shoulders are down and shoulder blades are back.
  5. Hold for 10-15 seconds before releasing down to the mat.

2. Bow Pose

Bow Pose

Once you’ve mastered the locust pose, shifting into the bow pose is incredibly simple. This pose gives your lower abdomen a gentle massage, especially if you rock every so slightly back and forth once you have found your balance. After practicing this pose on a regular basis, you may notice improved digestion and less bloating around your stomach.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Start in the locust pose outlined above.
  2. Using strength from your core, begin to push your torso up further, reaching your hands back until you have made contact with your feet.
  3. Clasp each hand onto each ankle. If you can’t reach the ankle, grab whatever part of the leg that feels comfortable.
  4. Take a deep inhale and begin to kick back into your hands. This action will cause you to lift your torso and lower body up even further, stretching the core muscles out.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing.

3. Plow Pose

Plow Pose

This pose may look difficult, but it can actually be done by yogis of any skill level. The movement of this pose stimulates your internal organs and encourages digestion while also toning your midsection.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Start lying flat on your back with your arms by your side.
  2. Begin to lift your entire torso and lower body off the mat, using your hands to hold and support your back, as if you are moving into a shoulder stand.
  3. Slowly lower the toes behind your head, keeping legs fully extended and the torso perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Continue to keep your neck and throat relaxed.
  5. Once your toes have reached the floor, move hands to the mat, lengthen your arms, and clasp together your hands.
  6. Firmly press through the arms to provide support to the rest of your body.
  7. Hold this pose for five breaths before slowly releasing back down to your mat.

4. Spine Twist

Spine Twist

Experienced yogis love the spinal twist pose because it is believed to rid the body of toxins. Not only is twisting great for digestion, but releasing the twist will also bring fresh blood and nutrients rushing back to your internal organs.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Sit on the ground, drawing your left knee into your chest. Place your left foot on the ground right outside of your right knee.
  2. Slowly bring your right foot in towards your tailbone.
  3. Place the left hand behind you, in line with your lower back and gently wrap your right arm around the outer side of your left leg.
  4. Shift the weight of your body into your left foot and hand as you pull your torso to lengthen completely. Twist as far to the right as you can without straining.
  5. Stay for five deep breaths before repeating on the other side.

5. Boat Pose

Boat Pose

The boat pose has long been promoted as a great way to relieve the body of pent up tension and stress. Besides this benefit, it also stimulates the kidneys and internal organs, improving digestion and circulation for a full body detox.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Start by laying flat on your back with your arms stretched out on each side of you and legs stretched flat in front of you with toes pointed.
  2. In one movement, lift the upper body and lower body up at a 45 degree angle, keeping both the lower body and the torso as straight as possible.
  3. Reach arms straight forward with active hands.
  4. Hold for 15-30 seconds before slowly releasing. Feel free to work your way back and forth from the boat pose to a resting pose until you’ve exhausted your ab muscles.

6. Side Chair Pose

Side Chair Pose

If you thought the chair pose was challenging, wait until you add a twist with the side chair pose. Not only does this pose tone your abs, thighs and butt, but the deep twist will stimulate the lower intestines and improve digestion, too!

Perfect your pose:

  1. Start by standing up right with your hands by your side.
  2. Keeping the arms parallel or in a slight V-shape, raise both arms to be perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Bend your knees, shifting the thighs to become as close to parallel to the floor as you can make them.
  4. Lean your torso forward over your knees slightly, with your knees over your feet.
  5. Move your tailbone down towards the floor (in other words, make sure your butt is not sticking out too far).
  6. Once you have found your balance in this position, slowly bring your arms down into a prayer position at your chest.
  7. Move your right elbow outside of your left knee, twisting your torso as you do.
  8. Stay in this position for 30 seconds before releasing back to a standing position. Be sure to twist into both sides to complete this pose.

7. Downward Dog Pose

Downward Dog Pose

This pose elongates every inch of your body to the max. The stretch throughout your midsection will help move the digestive process along and ease any cramps or discomfort caused by menstruation. Suffering from sinus issues or asthma? Downward dog can also help relieve symptoms from these common ailments!

Perfect your pose:

  1. Start on your hands and knees. Spread your palms and fingers evenly onto the mat, with your index fingers parallel. Turn the toes under to prepare for the next movements.
  2. Press your body’s weight firmly into your hands and lift your knees away from the mat, keeping knees slightly bent and heels lifted.
  3. Lift your tailbone towards the ceiling, as if a string is pulling you upwards, elongating your arms and legs until fully straight. Be careful not to lock out your knees, which could lead to pain and discomfort in this pose.
  4. Keep the index fingers pressed firm into the floor. Try to bring your shoulder blades close together to open and stretch your chest.
  5. During the pose, avoid letting your head hang freely. Keep it active, positioned between your arms in line with your spine.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before releasing.

8. Dolphin Pose

Dolphin Pose

Similar to the downward dog, the dolphin pose will put even more pressure on your abdomen, increasing the digestive benefits. This pose may help with relieving pain associated with menstrual cramps or constipation, too.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Start in the downward dog position outlined above.
  2. Once you have mastered this pose, slowly begin to lower down to your forearms.
  3. Clasp your hands together, but keep both forearms pressed into the ground evenly.
  4. As your body begins to adjust to this new pose, you may have to move your feet in closer to your hands, but try to keep as much distance as possible between your head and your feet.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before releasing.

9. Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Pose

Sitting in the butterfly pose will give you a boost of natural energy and is often used by pregnant women to help prepare for a smooth delivery. When practiced regularly, the butterfly pose can help regulate digestion and relieve menopause or menstrual discomfort.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Sit on the ground with your back upright and your legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. Bend your knees and bring your feet inwards towards your pelvis. If you need support, place the hands underneath the feet.
  3. Try to pull the feet in as close to the body as you can. This will become easier with practice, so don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t move your feet in very far.
  4. With a deep inhale, begin to press the thighs and knees down towards the ground to stretch the hips.
  5. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before releasing.

10. Happy Baby Pose

Happy Baby Pose

The happy baby pose relieves tension in the hamstrings and hips and can be done by yogis of any skill level. The closer that the legs are pulled into the body, the more pressure is placed onto the mid section, stimulating digestion and detoxification. End your detox sequence with this happy baby pose for the best results.

Perfect your pose:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your arms and legs outstretched.
  2. Bend your knees and bring them in towards your belly.
  3. With a deep inhale, grip the outside of your right foot with your right hand, and the outside of your left foot with your left hand.
  4. Widen your knees so they are slightly wider than the width of your torso.
  5. Make sure to align each ankle directly over the knee. Shins should be perpendicular to the floor.
  6. Once you have found your balance in this position, kick into your hands through your feet, maintaining a flat back on the floor.
  7. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before releasing.

Source: FYTSO

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