Even though it is summer and we tend to eat lighter meals and exercise more, we are still prone to overburdening our digestive systems with barbecues, ice cream, or summer cocktails. Besides eating whole foods or sipping on your green smoothie to get back on track, roll out your yoga mat and practice a few yoga poses to help detoxify your body. Detoxing my body is something I make sure to do on a regular basis to help me feel great, sleep better, improve digestion, and promote clear skin.
The three main systems in the body that are responsible for eliminating waste and detoxification are the circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems.
The circulatory system pumps blood throughout the body, delivering oxygen to and carrying waste away from cells.
The digestive system processes food, separates nutrients from waste, and eliminates what the body doesn’t need.
The lymphatic system collects intracellular fluid from the body and transports it to the lymph nodes where harmful contaminants can be removed before the lymphatic fluid is returned to the bloodstream.
Yoga is one of the best ways to assist and enhance these three systems in your body. This is because yoga focuses on stretching, twisting, and compressing the body, thus aiding in the facilitation of waste.
Inverted poses such as the one below in wide-legged forward fold, stimulate lymph and blood circulation, which enhance detoxification.
Twisting poses such as seated twist, also increase blood circulation and squeeze, stretch, and compress digestive organs, thus helping digestion and boosting the flushing ability of the liver and kidneys.
There are many yoga poses that help detox your body. Below are 3 of my favorite detoxing poses to help you get started. Try to do them as often as possible to assist your body in detoxification and make sure to drink plenty of water!
Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
Lie on your belly with your arms along the sides of your torso, palms up, forehead resting on the floor. Exhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms, and legs away from the floor. Reach strongly through your legs and raise your arms parallel to the floor and stretch back actively through your fingertips. Gaze forward or slightly upward. Stay here for 5 breaths and then repeat one more time if you’d like.
Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sit on the floor and bend both of your knees. Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside edge of your right hip. Your right foot is placed on the outside edge of your left leg. Inhale your left arm to the sky and on the exhale twist off to the right so your left elbow is on the outside edge of your right knee. Press the right hand against the floor behind your right seat.
With every inhalation try to lift a little more through the sternum and try to twist a little more with every exhalation. Stay here for 5 breaths then come back to center on an inhale. On the exhale, counter twist over to the left for one breath. Inhale come back to center and switch legs to do the other side.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)
Step your feet apart anywhere from 3 to 4 feet. Place your hands on your waist and make sure your feet are parallel to each other. Inhale, draw your shoulder blades back, opening your heart center and on the exhale hinge at the hips and forward fold. As your torso approaches parallel to the floor, press your fingertips onto the floor directly below your shoulders, and lower your head toward the floor (it does not have to touch). If your fingertips do not touch the floor, use two yoga blocks to rest your hands. Hold for 5 breaths. To come back up: ground down through your feet and place your hands to your waist on an inhale and on the exhale slowly rise back up to standing.
In the comments below, please tell me what pose you will be trying or if you will try all three. Also, please let me know if you have a favorite yoga pose you like to do to detox your body.
Lots of love,
KimReferences: http://life.gaiam.com http://www.squidoo.com http://www.yogajournal.com
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