The 5 Best Yoga Poses For Detox
The word “detox” comes with a certain stigma; one steeped in green juices, food deprivation and countless hours sweating at the gym. But contrary to dieting, detoxing is more about hitting the reset button on your body so that it can work like the well-oiled machine you need it to. There are many ways to detox, through food, fitness and mental practices. Yoga happens to be one of them.
There are many yoga poses that work to stimulate the circulatory, digestive and lymphatic systems in order to rid the body of waste and toxins, while also promoting mental clarity. The practice offers an opportunity to calm and center yourself in order to release physical, mental and emotional toxicity.
If you’ve been overdoing it a little (or a lot), hop on your mat and try incorporating one or all of the poses below to give your mind, body and soul some much-needed TLC.
1. Seated Spinal Twist:
If you’re having digestion issues, twisting poses are the go-to, as they encourage the elimination of waste. Seated spinal twist is also great for stretching the upper body, and relieving backaches and sciatica. This pose gives you the control to twist as little or as much as you need to squeeze out toxins, removing discomfort and bloatedness.
- To begin, sit on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend both knees, placing your left heel as close to your right sit bone as possible.
- Next, cross your right foot over your left knee, planting it on the floor so that your outer ankle is next to your left knee.
- Take your right arm behind you, placing your palm on the floor, then cross your left elbow over your outer right thigh to deepen the twist.
- With every inhale, elongate the spine, and with every exhale, twist a little more, making sure to look over your right shoulder the entire time. After five or so breaths, switch to the other side.
2. Seated Head to Knee Pose:
Meant to gently massage and stimulate the inner organs, this pose calms the brain, relieves depression, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, menstrual discomfort, stimulates the liver and kidneys, improves digestion, stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings and groins. It’s also therapeutic for high blood pressure, insomnia and sinusitis.
- To begin, sit in a seated position with both legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your right knee, holding your right foot with your left hand.
- Bring your right arm under your right leg, grabbing onto the arch with your right hand.
- Slowly pull your right toes down, placing the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh so that your right heel is pointing toward the sky.
- As you inhale, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale fold over your left leg.
- Either place your hands on the floor on either side of your leg, on your shin, or reach for your foot.
- Take five breaths in this position before switching to the other side.
3. Plow Pose
Along with strengthening the back muscles and aligning the spine to improve posture, plow pose stimulates the abdominal organs, ovaries, bladder and kidney, alleviating digestive concerns.
- Begin by resting flat on your back with your palms on the mat beside you.
- As you inhale, lift your feet from the floor and bring them to a 90-degree angle.
- Place your hands on your lower back as you lift your hips off the floor.
- Continue hinging until your feet are resting directly above your head, pressing your toes firmly into the mat.
- Lift your top thighs and tailbone toward the sky, pulling your inner thighs into the pelvis.
- Keep your head and neck staring at your stomach while creating space between your chin and chest.
- As you inhale, feel the tightening of your core and compression of your organs, and as you exhale, allow ease to enter your body as you get deeper into the posture.
4. Revolved Triangle Pose
The chest, lungs, shoulders and spine get a deep stretch in this pose, allowing for the increase of lung capacity. The twisting helps stimulate the abdominal organs to aid in digestion and circulation, while also alleviating stress and anxiety, and energizing the body and mind.
- Begin standing at the top of your mat, and then take a big step back with your left foot.
- Point your right toes forward and turn your left toes in until they are at a diagonal with the front outer corner of your mat.
- Make sure your front and back heel are in a straight line to one another, and that your front kneecap is in line with your second toe.
- Reach your arms out so that they are parallel to the mat.
- Square off your hips with the front corners of your mat by sending your left hip forward and your right hip back.
- Revolve your torso to the right, with your left arm pulling forward and your right arm pulling back.
- Reach your left hand toward your right shin, ankle, or on the floor either on the inside or outside of the foot depending on your flexibility.
- Turn your gaze over the right shoulder and up to your right hand, making sure to breathe.
5. Locust Pose
A great asana for strengthening the back of the body, locust pose also puts pressure on the abdomen to promote digestion. It’s also great for alleviating stress.
- To begin, lie on your stomach with your legs together, placing your arms by your sides, palms facing up.
- Take a deep breathe in, and then lift your legs, head, and upper body away from the mat as you rest on your lower ribs, stomach and front pelvis.
- Firm up your buttocks and reach through your legs, from the heels all the way to the toes. Make sure to keep the big toes turned in toward each other.
- Raise your arms parallel to the mat, stretching back through your fingertips, and pressing your scapulas into your back.
- Keep the gaze slightly forward, but ensuring your neck remains long.
- Take a few breaths before releasing back to the mat.
Inspired by balance, Alexa finds that her true inner peace comes from executing a well-rounded lifestyle. An avid yogi, hiker, beach bum, music and art enthusiast, salad aficionado, adventure seeker, animal lover, and professional writer, she is an active individual who loves to express herself through the power of words.