28 January 2015
Cleanse your body and calm the mind with these five postures
Katie Jones, Acting Editor December 30, 2014
Starting the new year with a detox after an indulgent festive season? Yoga is an excellent way of supporting your health plan – and there’s more to it than the feelgood factor.
“Certain postures have wonderful detoxifying benefits,” Allie Hill, the founder of Yoga Haven told us.
“Twisting makes the spine happy by boosting blood flow to the spinal discs, and stimulates digestion and elimination. Not only that, these poses nourish and strengthen the stomach, intestines and kidneys, as well as being known to help with conditions such as IBS. They also stimulate the lymphatic system, supporting your immune system, and keeping your nervous system healthy.”
Here are Hill’s top five yoga poses for aiding a detox:
This is a seated twisting pose (above). Twists are commonly known to aid digestion and are great for creating movement in and around our organs. So, in terms of helping our food being moved along, this is a great posture.
Here we rotate the spine and stretch the muscles of the back. This helps to restore and retain the spine’s natural range of motion. If we don’t employ our natural range of motion we run the risk of our joints hardening and fusing. The surrounding supportive soft tissue can also become short and dysfunctional. By extending the muscles to their full length regularly once or twice a day we can help to prevent this.
A seated neutralising pose (above(. They are good to include if you have been doing lots of strong back bends or twists. Paschimottanasana incorporates the centre of the body, working the abdominal, obliques, the muscles that support the movement of the spine, shoulders, pelvis and neck. The pose helps boost the immune system and aids blood flow to the brain. The head is moving below the heart which is also calming for the body.
This is a deep squatting twist. The organs of detoxification and elimination are compressed pushing out old blood and so then when we release the twist fresh blood can flow in.
In this twist you work with the spine and the action of ‘lengthening’ creates space between the vertebrae. When there is a lack of space our spine tends to slump or get stuck and our energy levels drop. Through twisting we lengthen the spine and get space between the bones. Then our energy can flow better. Twists give us an instant energy lift and decompress the vertebrae in a safe healthy way.