Body Detox ~ 10 Amazing Yoga Poses to Kickstart Cleansing

Need a yoga detox routine?

Here is a quick body detoxifying yoga sequence! When you are feeling sluggish and need a full body cleanse these yoga poses will kickstart the process!

Even the best laid plans this time of year tend to get derailed by the many bbq’s, picnics and poolside  gatherings that are customary during the warmer summer months. As lovely as that mac n’ cheese, burger or in my case 5 gardenburgers (In my defense I didn’t eat the bun,..but did I really need 5 gardenburgers smothered in bbq sauce? ) looked the day before you end up waking up the next day feeling like you are about to give birth to a bowling ball. Ugh!

So what’s a person to do? Besides of course sitting around rubbing your tummy, groaning and muttering things like “I am never eating such and such (insert food you overindulged in) EVER again” to anyone who will listen?

Yoga to the rescue!!! Here are 10 detoxifying poses that will kickstart your digestion, elimination and get you back on your livers good side in no time!

Start with a gentle warm up, nothings fancy, just 5 Surya A Sun Salutes to get the joints, tendons and ligaments warmed up and the blood flowing to all the major muscle groups. As a bonus this alone is already helping the lymph glands to eliminate waste, and Cobra, Up Dog and Forward Fold are all excellent for detoxing as well!

Detox Pose 1: Breath of Fire.

Benefits: Breath of Fire is a super detoxifier as it works expel carbon dioxide. This is one of the ways the body expels excess acid. Exhalation of carbon dioxide represents an excretion of acids. So this breathing technique helps to restore the bodies pH. As an added benefit, Breath of Fire is also one of the most effective way to engage and strengthen your Transversus Abdominals which act as a corset around your middle!

Detox Poses 2 and 3: Navasana and Ardha Navasana Cycle (Boat and Half Boat) Go slowly and do 10-20 reps depending upon how strong you are. On the last Ardha Navasana hold for 30-60 seconds.

Benefits: Navasana works to clear gunk from the intestines while Ardha Navasana works to clear the liver, gall bladder and spleen. These will tone your abs and get you back into those skinny jeans pronto!

Detox Pose 4: Dhanurasana/Bow Pose. Do 3 rounds holding each one for about a minute with even breathing.

Benefits: The pressure on your abdomen when performing this pose aids in digestion, stokes the gastric fire and helps with in flatulence issues you may have.(Oh sure, you can play dumb..I believe it wasn’t you..really…)

Detox Pose 5: Child’s Pose/Balasana

Benefits: Stretches your lower back muscles around the kidneys bathing them in fresh oxygenated blood and compresses the liver and abdomen promoting digestion and de-bloating after a big meal.

Detox Pose 6: Bridge/Setu Bhanda Sarvangasana and/or Upward Facing Bow/Urdhva Dahnurasana Start with bridge and if your body feels open enough come into full wheel posture.

Benefits: Chest opening poses are good to counter congestion or stagnation. Backbends are also very useful to increase metabolism…and let’s face it we could all use a little extra metabolism after a big day of indulgence!

Detox Pose 7: Marichiyasana C (Seated Sage Twist)
Benefits: Yoga twists stimulate digestion and help with the elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. The abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen.

Detox Pose 8: Head to Knee Forward Fold Pose/Janu Sirsasana
Benefits: Forward bending poses are a good way to compress the abdominal organs. The digestive system is stimulated, helping with the elimination process.

Detox Pose 9 and 10: Plow Pose/Halasana and Salamba Sarvangasana/Shoulderstand Use several blankets to ease any tension on the neck. If you still feel tension take your legs up the wall instead into Viparita Karani.

Benefits: Inverted pose, such as Plow, Shoulder stand, or a simple “Legs up the wall” pose helps to drain accumulated lymph fluid from the legs and re-circulate it through the body. This benefits the immune system. Inverting is also good for increasing metabolism as it stimulates the thyroid gland!

Finish with Fish Pose,  Supine Twist and then rest in Savasana for 5-15min, you deserve it!

Flying Upward to Infinity and Beyond – Uddiyana Bandha

Uddiyana-bandha-yogaUddiyana Bandha which means “Flying Upward” is the second of three energetic locks in the body. It is often engaged along with Mula Bandha (read my article here on the “root lock” Mula Bandha)

benefits:

1. Strengthens the core muscles as when breathing this way the transverse abdominals are strongly engaged.

2. Stimulates the organs of digestion and elimination

3. Creates a lightness in yoga practice especially when practicing balancing postures including inversions and arm balances.

Caution:

Not recommended if you are pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, have high blood pressure or experience dizziness. This is considered an advanced breathing technique so if you are new to yoga try it under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.

To practice Uddiyana Bandha

1.Stand with the legs a little wider than hip width apart and knees softly bent.

2. Inhale reach the arms overhead

3. Exhale all of the breath out through the nose, lean forward, press the palms into the knees, and engage the abdominal muscles to strongly pull the belly in and up under the ribcage.

4. Hold the breath as you hold the abdominal lock and take a mock inhale (perform the same action of an inhale without actually pulling any air into the body.) drawing the belly further up and in.

5. Hold for as long as comfortable.

6. Inhale soften the abdominals and let the belly drop.

7. Breath in and out through the nose and let the breath return to normal.

8. Beginners start with 3 rounds eventually working up to as many as 10 rounds for advanced practitioners.