Try these 5 yoga poses to detox your body and clear your physical, mental and emotional realms, bringing your whole being into balance.
Our time to go inward is currently being extended to the collective. With this extra time, why not pay some attention to spring cleaning? Clear away the cobwebs of your mind and body like you might organize a closet or drawer: make space for new things to take shape and give yourself a fresh start.
What we practice physically on the yoga mat to benefit our physical health directly affects the subtle, or not so subtle, mental and emotional realms. Let’s detox our mind, body and soul to benefit all.
5 Yoga Poses for Detox
1. Seated Twist (Parivrtta Sukhasana)
A gentle seated twist is an excellent way to begin the day as well as your practice.
From child’s pose, move back into a cross-legged seated position, crossing the right chin in front of the left fo easy pose. Sit on a bolster or blanket for support.
Placing the left hand behind the sacrum and right hand on the left knee, inhale and sit up tall through the spine while dropping the shoulders down away from the ears. Exhale twisting to the left from the navel up. The right hip continually draws back to remain even with the left. Both hips face forward to protect the lower back. Finding the twist in the thoracic (upper) spine, continue to lengthen and grow tall on the inhale, while gently twisting on the exhale. Take 8-10 breaths. Switch the crossing of the legs and repeat on the second side.
2. Plank and Forearm Plank
Build heat to begin the process of cleansing and clearing. Preparing the body to detox, it is important to first naturally build heat to move into the following deeper postures.
Think mountain pose in both Plank and Forearm Plank to assure correct alignment.
For Plank: Feet are hip-width. Shoulders are stacked directly above the elbows. Elbows are stacked directly above the hands.
For Forearm Plank: From plank, drop down to the forearms. Shoulders are stacked directly above the elbows. Forearms extend from the elbows to the top of the mat. Hands and elbows are shoulder-width apart. Modify by bringing palms together and interlacing fingers for additional support.
Heels are directly above the balls of the feet. (It’s ok to look down at your body!.) Legs are straight and strong. Inner thighs are rotating internally toward one another and up toward the ceiling as the tailbone reaches toward the heels. Lower belly moves toward the spine. Draw front ribs toward the midline and to the frontal hip points as the chest and sternum extend. Move the shoulders down away from the ears. Neck is long. Gaze is soft.
Inhaling, extend through the heels creating length through the entire length of the spine, and up through the crown of the head. Gently exhale. Hold for 5-8 breaths.
3. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Opening up through the hip flexors and tops of the thighs allows for forward movement. It fosters a trust in our creative and intuitive centers related to the 2nd Chakra, or Svasdisthana. The 2nd Chakra houses our emotions, joy, creativity, intuition, enthusiasm and sensuality.
It holds the key to unlocking and riding out the energy necessary to become innovative and adaptable when moving through periods of change.
Our modern lifestyles keep us desk-bound and car-bound. This physical reality as well as emotional trauma or chronic stress can block access to connecting with our passions. Individually or in combination, this can manifest as tight hips, mysterious lower back pain, and sexual organ or reproductive challenges.
Take this time to detox in low lunges, reconnect, shift and see opportunities this spring.
4. Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
Revolved side angle pose is a deep twisting posture that stimulates the digestive system while strengthening, stretching and toning the entire body.
Challenge yourself and deeply detoxify with YogaToday’s Twisting Postures for Perspective.
This posture also improves balance, stimulates the abdominal organs, aids in elimination and increases stamina. It is also believed to activate Manipura, or the 3rd Chakra. Manipura is the power center and our source of confidence, internal strength and courage. It is believed to protect and counter against fear and insecurity.
5. Reverse Corpse Pose (Prone Pose or Advasana)
In order to go inward, we need to root ourselves and allow the nervous system to settle. Taking savasana face down is a soothing and settling variation. Connecting our power center, Manipura (3rd chakra), and our intuitive nature, Ajna (6th chakra or third eye) to the earth offers the opportunity to pull our energy inward and reset in order to become open to what spring brings.
Reconnecting with the earth belly down, we can relish in solace. This can reduce stress, underlying anxiety and related feelings of fatigue.
Classically, arms are extended overhead with palms turned down to the ground with forehead on the mat.
Another variation is with arms alongside the body and head turned to one cheek. Turn the head halfway through holding this posture to neutralize the neck. Take care if issues exist in the cervical spine. Like savasana, the breath becomes neutral in this pose as though you were asleep. This is a beautifully restorative variation, helps detoxify the body, and is a great way to end practice.