Sometimes, we just need to cleanse, reboot and detoxify both physically and mentally. Yoga twist poses can help. The best times to detox are during the beginning of the year, spring, on the new moon, or the waning moon phase. Yoga twist poses are excellent at aiding a detox. You can even do these at the end of the night to clear away any excess toxin build up from the day.
Twists move the shoulders to face in an opposing direction of the hips. Prepare for these poses by building heat in the body, a concept called tapas in yoga. Tapas relates to self-discipline, which seems to be an appropriate quality to cultivate when limiting and cleansing toxins from your body.
Yoga sequences that enlist core strength are great ways to build tapas to prep for detoxing poses. This might look like rounds of sun salutation A and B, plank sequences, and boat sequences. Warming up the body also protects you from harming the spine, since twists manipulate this area of the body
To build heat, yoga twists work by aiding and stimulating your digestive organs and increasing detoxification systems. In a twist, you compress your digestive organs, which causes a lack of circulation. Upon releasing the twist, fresh blood rushes into your digestive organs. This fresh blood increases your body’s oxygen and nutrients. Twisting will:
1. Increase blood flow to the digestive organs, thus increasing their ability to function.
2. Cleanse the cells of any built up waste because with increased circulation comes increased cellular detoxification.
3. Move stagnated impurities through your digestive tract.
4. Push out gas and help you eliminate waste.
Never force any of these twists. Listen to your body and only go further into the pose on an exhale. You should never feel any sharp pain, if you do, release the twist.
Start in chair pose. Inhale, and turn on the exhale. Use your core to turn instead of your chest muscles to avoid pulling a chest muscle! Repeat on both sides.
This pose stimulates: liver, spleen, and digestive system
Improves: the elimination process
One of your hips will try to come forward but square it back in line with the front of the room. Your knees should also be in the same line.
Start in crescent pose: lunge with arms above you, palms facing each other. Bring hands to prayer position as you twist to rest the forearm against the opposite outer thigh. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute Repeat on both sides.
Benefits: deeper circulation in the legs, flushes out the blood and lymph system
Wide-legged Forward Fold with Twist
Start with hands on hips in mountain pose. Jump or walk legs out to a wide stance. Slowly bend torso forward and place hands on the floor. Press your left hand into the ground while reaching the right hand upwards.
Keep your hips square and let the twist happen in the upper shoulder area.
Breathe deeply and hold for 5 breaths. Go deeper in the twist on the exhale. Look at your right thumb and hold for up to a minute. Repeat on the other side.
I hope these yoga twists help you detox and spring into a health and wellbeing. We all need a reboot sometimes and yoga is often the easiest and safest way to accomplish just that!