Yoga Poses for Detox
When you think of detox, chances are, things like green juice, black charcoal and herbal tea come to mind! Yoga however, is a highly effective and beneficial way to naturally detox. The skin is the largest organ of the body and sweating allows stored toxins to be released via the pores in the skin. Even if you’re not working up a huge sweat in class, yoga also stimulates the circulatory, digestive and lymphatic body systems, all of which also help to eliminate waste, cleanse the blood and purify your organs, as well as build strength and balance in the body.
Each yoga asana works to target specific body systems and has its own unique benefits. These poses outlined below tone your inner organ ring, that being the liver, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys, strengthen your abdominal muscles, remove toxins, stimulate digestion and the thyroid gland, and get the digestive track moving. When you are in each pose, ensure that your inhale and exhale is full and expansive in order to further accentuate the detoxifying benefits of each pose and clear out carbon dioxide from the lungs.
You can enjoy these poses every day, or any time you feel like your body needs a little extra assistance to cleanse, release and detoxify! Try to hold each pose for five deep long breaths –then switch and change sides where applicable.
Child’s Pose- Balasana
This lovely forward bend gently compresses the belly and helps stimulate digestive fire and release abdominal constriction. It also works to release and stretch the back and neck, open the hips and thighs, and calm the body. Lengthening the arms out in front of the body further energises the pose and increases circulation in the body.
Garland Pose- Malasana
Working with a downward flow of energy, this pose allows the release of toxins and waste and helps stimulate digestion and relieve constipation. This pose also helps to open the chest, broaden the shoulders and release the lower back.
Wide legged Forward Bend- Prasarita Padottanasana
This a great pose for opening tight hamstrings and releasing your lower back. Yet it primarily works to reverse the pull of gravity as your head dips below your heart, encouraging circulation of blood throughout the body as well as directing fluid to your filtering lymph nodes. Being upside down also stimulates the thyroid, which increases metabolism. The folding motion also massages the belly to assist digestion.
Warrior II Virabhadrasana Two
Warrior II is a powerful and energizing pose. It stimulates the heart, improving circulation in the blood, respiratory, and lymphatic systems, and relieves mental and physical sluggishness. This pose also stimulates the abdominal organs and stretches the whole body. Work up a sweat, gain focus and clarity, and tone the arms, legs and abdomen all in one pose.
Revolved Triangle- Parivrtta Trikonasana
Another powerful pose, revolved triangle works to stretch and open the chest, lungs, shoulders, and spine which increases lung capacity. This pose strengthens and tones both upper and lower body when full engaged. The revolved motion stimulates abdominal organs, aiding digestion and circulation, releasing stress and anxiety, and energizing the body and mind.
Bow Pose- Dhanurasana
Bow pose strengthens the entire back of the body, and as a backbend, it also works to open the heart and encourages good posture and full breathing cycles. The pressure on your abdomen also encourages digestion. Very gentle rocking from side to side will further massage the organs and wake up a sluggish digestive system.
Head to Knee Pose
This pose is a calming pose for the body, helping to relieve anxiety, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the liver and kidneys. Each side of the pose strengthens and stretches the spine and hamstrings, while also massaging the ascending and descending colon.
Plow Pose- Halasana
Plow Pose strengthens and stretches the lower back muscles to improve posture and align the spine. The folding nature of the pose stimulates the abdominal organs, ovaries, bladder, and kidneys, which boost digestion whilst also toning the abdominal wall. This pose also increases metabolism and is both energizing and simultaneously calming and nurturing.
Half Wind-Relieving Pose- Ardha Pavanamuktasana
This is a common pose used to loosen up back tension and directly massage the digestive organs. Working one leg at a time to the chest targets the ascending and descending colon to help move out waste, including gas and bloating.
Supine Twist- Jathara Parivartanasana
Twists are the perfect way to stoke digestion and wring out toxins. This deep yet comfortable twist applies gentle pressure on your kidneys and liver. Twists not only leave you feeling energized and focused, but also relieve stress and detoxify your entire. When you release the twist, fresh blood and nutrients rush back into your digestive organs, helping nourish and support them.
About the Author
Kelly is a passionate writer and raw/vegan chef who combines her love of writing with her forays into health and wellness. Kelly has traveled and worked extensively across the world in health resorts, detox centers, raw food restaurants and wellness retreats, sharing ways to live simply, mindfully and sustainably.
Her work is regularly published in print media and online, as well as her own website, ‘Raw By Nature’ which offers vibrant nourishing recipes and information about plant-based living. A gypsy heart and lover of nature, Kelly finds inspiration in the world around her and translates her visions into whimsical stories and edible creations.