Yoga is a great complement to any cleanse program because certain poses help stimulate digestion and elimination of toxins by massaging the organs, reversing blood flow, and increasing circulation. Here are my 3 favorite poses to do anytime I feel like I need some invigoration and help keeping things flowing throughout my body:
1) Downward Facing Dog: When the heart is above the head, gravity reverses the blood flow in the body and helps with lymph detoxification and circulation.
How: Start in a standing position with the tailbone scooped under and the neck and head elongated up from the spine. Hinge forward, place your hands on the ground, and walk your hands out until you feel a deep stretch in the back of your legs. Lift your tailbone high and release the head, allowing it to hang. Walk your feet out left and right and bend the knees and straighten the legs back out to help create more space through the tight areas in the legs.
2) Seated Twist: Twisting the torso massages the organs and muscles of the abdomen and stimulates digestion.
How: Sit tall with legs straight and bend your left knee, bringing the left foot to the inner thigh. Place your left hand on the floor behind you for support. Reach your right hand up and twist your torso to the left, hooking the right elbow outside of the left knee and looking over the left shoulder. Take 3-5 deep belly breaths, focusing on getting deeper into the twist with each exhale, pressing the elbow deeper into the knee to help you. Unbind the elbow from the knee and come out of the twist, repeating on the right side.
3) Headstand: Another great pose to reverse the blood flow in the body, helping remove toxins in the circulatory and lymphatic systems. This pose is meant to be held for 7-10 breaths or more if you’re feeling it to help clear carbon dioxide from the lungs.
How: If you’re new to this pose, use a wall to help you practice your balance and prevent falling backwards. From a tabletop position, clasp your fingers creating a nest for the top of your head on the floor and place your head in the clasp. Straighten your legs and walk your feet in towards your head. When your body weight is out of your legs, bend your knees and start to take your legs off the floor using your abdominal muscles. Take your legs up straight, maintaining control from the top of your head, through your core, and out through the toes. Hold this pose for 7-10 deep breaths, slowing bending your knees and coming down in the same controlled way you went up.
- Annie Lawless