How Yoga Helps With Summer Detoxing
Detoxing is a huge trend right now, especially with the summer months fast approaching. Everyone wants to look their best for vacations and poolside afternoons, but it’s really important to understand what detoxing does to your body and how to do it in a healthy way.
Yoga is one way to help your body detox naturally. It allows your body to move into positions that naturally flush out the system and accelerate the detox process. There are even specific poses and practices you can do to detox your body, just in time for summer.
Detox seems to be one of those things that everybody talks about but nobody really understands. So here’s your quick lesson on detoxing.
Detoxing is something that we do to aid our body’s already occurring detoxification system. The circulatory system, digestive system and lymphatic system all work together to remove waste from the body, and they do a pretty good job. However, since we live in a world filled with McDonald’s and we put our body through a lot of stress, sometimes we need to help the detox process along.
The Role of Yoga
The goal of using yoga to detox the body is basically to stimulate the three systems mentioned above – circulatory, digestive and lymphatic. Yoga is perfect for this job because in a regular yoga practice, you will stretch, twist and turn all parts of your body, activating each one throughout the practice.
Most exercises, such as running and biking, also activate the three systems, but yoga takes the detoxification process to a whole new level because of the method of the exercise. This is why adding a yoga practice to your detox routine is a great idea. Plus, there’s nothing better than doing some yoga out under the sun on a warm spring day. That’s what sun salutations are all about!
Yoga also helps because of the breathing aspects of the practice. Yoga encourages deep, full breaths, which we may not take on a regular basis. We usually take shallow breaths because of our stress and posture. This means we aren’t taking in the proper amount of oxygen and aren’t releasing the carbon dioxide that we should be. Practicing yoga helps us breathe better and in turn, helps our bodies detox.
It is important to accompany your detox with a proper lifestyle and diet. If you do yoga every day but are still eating double cheeseburgers with bacon for every meal, your body won’t get the same benefits. Try eating foods that aid in the detox process. For example, cucumbers are 95 percent water and are a great snack you can feel good about eating.
Any yoga practice will help with detoxing your body, but there are a few poses that will really get your insides twisting and turning.
1. Downward-Facing Dog
Starting with downward-facing dog is a great way to get the detox process started. Moving your heart above your head aids in circulation, and this pose also stimulates digestion by toning that abdomen. To get into downward-facing dog, begin on your hands and knees with your toes tucked and your palms pressing against the floor. Begin to lift your knees and straighten your legs, pressing into both the hands and feet while lifting your sit bones up to the sky. Stay in this pose for a few breaths or as long as feels comfortable.
2. Wide-Legged Forward Bend Twist
Another pose to try is wide-legged forward Bend twist. This twists your midsection, almost like when you squeeze a sponge, to get rid of toxins and waste. Start with your legs about hip distance apart and bend over to touch the floor. Place your left hand on your right shin or ankle. Reach with your right hand toward the ceiling and lean back. Stay here for five breaths and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Legs Up The Wall
Legs up the wall is another fun pose to try and aids in detoxing by encouraging circulation, stimulating the digestive tract and relaxing the nervous system. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like – you lie flat on your back – sit bones as close to the wall as is comfortable for you – with your legs up the wall. Keep your arms however they are feel best to you, either at your side palms up or resting gently on your belly. You can stay in this pose anywhere from one to fifteen minutes.
Spending time on your yoga mat has so many benefits, so hop on and help your body detox.