Finally, we come to the last part in our detox series. Yoga! Including any kind of light exercise in a detoxification plan is key. You need to get things moving, so your body can get rid of all the toxins that it is in the process of releasing. Walking, yoga, an easy ride on your bike. All these exercises will assist your body as it tries to flush out your system. Here's a simple yoga sequence you can do to get started.
Reclined Twist: Jathara Parivartanasana
Start by lying down on your back. Slowly take an inhale and extend both arms over your head. As you exhale, curl into both knees, hugging them into you. This will compress the organs just enough to begin to squeeze out deeply held toxins.
Let your head and shoulder rest on the ground, arms out wide out to the side, palms facing up. Take a nice deep breath in, and as you exhale, slowly lower your bent knees
over to the right, to or towards the ground. This twisting through the organs allows for
a deep cleansing. Just like you are squeezing out a sponge. Hold for 2-3 breaths, and
repeat on the other side. Do this 3-5 times.
Bridge Pose: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Bend your knees and place your feet about hip distance apart, fingertips just grazing your heels. As you exhale, push down and away through your feet to lift your hips off the ground. Clasp your hands underneath you, or press the arms into the floor, to create a stable foundation on the tops of your shoulders.
Breathe here for 3-5 breaths, as your organs release toxins and you increase blood flow and promote circulation. Slowly lower your hips back to the ground.
From Bridge, cross your ankles and clasp under your knees as you rock up and back a few times, stimulating your nervous system. Roll over to hands and knees.
Place your hands underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips. Inhale as you arch your back, drawing your chest slightly forward and lifting your tailbone up towards the sky (Cow). Exhale and push deeply into the earth as you round your spine and release your head towards the earth (Cat). Repeat 3-5 times, stimulating your nervous system and lymphatic system.
Downward-Facing Dog: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Place your hands shoulder width apart, and spread your fingers wide. Inhale as you tuck your toes. As you exhale, push deeply down and away through the hands as you lift your pelvis up and back. Keep your knees softly bent as you draw your hips towards the sky, descending through the heels only if it feels comfortable.
Hold here for 3-5 breaths, strengthening the circulatory system and blood flow. For a more heat-building practice, follow with 3-5 sun salutations.
Revolved Side Angle Pose: Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot forward between your feet. Spin your right heel down, grounding the outer edge of the foot into the earth. To come into a high lung, inhale and push into the earth as you reach for the sky. Keep that lift of the ribs as you twist your torso to the right and reach your left hand towards the floor. Let your right arm swing towards towards the front of the mat over your head. This deep twist will enhance liver and kidney elimination. Hold for 3 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Bow Pose: Dhanurasana
Slowly lower yourself down onto your belly, turning your head to the side to rest on the floor. As you exhale, bend both knees and reach back to clasp the heels or outer edges of the feet. Inhale, and push the feet strongly into the hands to begin to lift your head and chest up off the floor. You can gently rock here up to 5 times to massage out the internal organs and increase assimilation. Slowly lower down and then turn your head to the other side to rest the neck. Wiggle the hips from side to side to dissipate any tension that may have built.
Childs Pose: Balasana
From the belly, push deep into the earth to come up onto your knees. Slowly widen your knees to about the width of your mat, and then bring your hips towards your heels. Keep the arms outstretched and let the forehead rest on the mat. Breath here for 10 breaths. Forward folds such as this promote elimination, flushing toxins out the system.
You can end your session here, or finish with Savasana. Try to practice this sequence each day of your detoxification plan. You will assist your body to rid itself of toxins while nourishing the nervous system.
I am constantly amazed by the healing power of yoga and herbs. They inspire me to heal, to write, to teach, and to keep exploring.