Feeling tired or lethargic most of the time? Or having skin problems that won’t go away for months? Always feeling bloated and heavy even after a small meal? It might be time for a detox.
As there are several ways to remove the toxins in our body, some are opting for vegetable and fruit juicing and some are using supplements, you might want to include these yoga poses for optimal detoxification. These poses will help to stimulate those circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems of your body.
Pick some of the poses you feel your body wants to, or include all of them on your practice for a healthier you!
1. Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose
Even you’re not on detox, this is a feel-good pose especially for tensed shoulders and lower back pain. With the gentle twisting motion while opening the chest, this is good to stretch and loosen the muscles on the lower back.
Sit on the floor with your torso upright and your legs wide. Bend your left knee and snug the heel into your left groin. Then slightly bend your right knee and slide the heel a few inches toward the right buttock.
Exhale, lean to the right, and press the back of your right shoulder against the inside of your right knee. Lay your right forearm on the floor inside your right leg, palm facing up. Lengthen the right side of your torso along the inside of the right thigh. Turn your right palm toward the inside edge of the foot and take hold of it, thumb on the top of the foot, fingers on the sole.
Remember, the pose is anchored by the femur bone of the left leg. Press the left femur firmly to the floor, as you inhale and slowly extend your right knee. Keep the back of your shoulder connected to the inner knee as you extend it; you’ll find that your torso is drawn out by the straightening knee. When your knee is straight, twist your torso toward the ceiling.
Inhale your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, lean it back slightly, and then, with another inhale, sweep it behind your left ear and take hold of the outside edge of the right foot. Press the elbows away from each other, using them like a crank to help twist the upper torso further. Turn your head to look at the ceiling. (Instructions from Yoga Journal)
2. Marichyasana C
This pose looks simple, but it is a BIG challenge for most practitioners. But the rewards are great too. It helps in digestion, cleansing and purifying. It stimulates and energizes your body, especially your internal organs by its twisting action and the flow of your breath. So breath is also very important in these poses!
Begin in Staff Pose (Dandasana). Bend the right knee and place the heels as close as to the right buttocks. Make sure to have a hand-width distance between the right foot and the inner left thigh. Right foot is flat on the mat, with toes pointing towards the front of the mat. Place your right hand on the mat behind your back. Then hook the left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Look over the right shoulder. You may stay here, or bind the hands. Wrap the left arm around the right knee with an internal rotation of the shoulder. Take the right arm behind the back and bind the right wrist with your left hand. Breathe.
3. Revolved Side Angle Pose
While this pose requires both flexibility and strength, it also adds the twisting motion movement that helps in writhing out the internal organs. Not to mention adding strength to your abdomen, thighs and legs, while increasing the flexibility especially in the hips area.
Stand in Tadasana. With an exhalation, step or lightly jump your feet 3½ to 4 feet apart. Rest your hands on your hips. Turn your right foot out to the right 90 degrees and turn your left foot in slightly to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the center of the kneecap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
Exhale and turn your torso to the right until you’re facing directly out over the right leg; as you do this, lift your left heel off the floor and spin on the ball of the foot until the inner left foot is parallel to the inner right foot. Then exhale again and bend your right knee. If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor. Keep your left leg active by pressing the thigh up toward the ceiling and extending strongly through the left heel. At the same time, resist the lift of the left thigh by pressing the tailbone toward the pubis.
With another exhale turn further to the right and lean the torso down, placing the left hand on the floor inside the right foot. Dig your right thumb into the right hip crease and push the thighbone down toward the floor. Firm the shoulder blades into the back ribs and lean the torso back slightly, away from the inner thigh. Stay in this position for a few breaths.
If this position seems challenging enough, stay for the recommended time. If you want to go further, bend your left elbow and bring it to the outside of the right knee. Resist the knee and elbow against each other. If possible, straighten your left elbow and reach the hand toward the floor (if you can’t reach the floor, support your hand on a block). You can keep your right hand on your hip, or stretch it over the back of the right ear with the palm facing down. Then turn your head to look at the right arm. As in all twists lengthen and soften the belly, extend the spine with each inhalation, and increase the twist as you exhale. Do the same on the other side.
4. Hero Pose
This is a great stretch for the quadriceps muscles. Also through practice, this will strengthen your knees, thighs, ankles, calves and your spine. This pose is recommended for practice after a meal because it helps to alleviate stomach bloating and helps in proper digestion.
Come to kneeling position, with the knees together and feet are slightly wider than hip width apart. Sit both of your sit bones on the floor, but if it is too painful on your knees or calves, you may sit on a block or to a firm, folded blanket. Make sure that the heels are up, and the toes are pointing towards the back of your mat. The tops of your feet are firmly grounded on the mat. Breathe.
The forward bend pose stretches the spinal cord, along with the muscles around it. As the pose places the head below the heart, it encourages the flow of blood throughout the body. It also squeezes the stomach and improves digestion.
Stand in Tadasana, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position.
If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or finger tips to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms to the backs of your ankles. If this isn’t possible, cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.
With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath. Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper back, between the shoulder blades.
Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It can also be practiced as a pose in itself.
Don’t roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tailbone down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.
6. Revolved Chair Pose
This pose is not just stimulating your internal organs, but also for strengthening the mid and low back, as well as tones your thighs, buttocks and hips. Who wouldn’t want to have those?
Stand in Mountain Pose, with your toes together, heels are slightly apart from each other and your hands in prayer in front of your chest. Inhale, bend both knees and lengthen the spine. Exhale, hook the right elbow to the outside of the left knee. Deepen the pose on the exhalation.