In January many of us want to move our bodies and clear our minds after the overindulgence of the busy festive period. Yoga is a good choice as all we really need is space and time. Yoga can also be a great detox by using twists and bend, as they stimulate our organs and extract waste from our bodies.
Detoxing yoga is good when you feel like your body needs a reset. Our bodies’ organs (liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs) are doing their natural thing and ridding themselves of pollutants, chemicals and food.
B.K.S Iyengar popularised the thought that yoga can detox the body. He described Ardha Matsyendrasana, half lord of the fishes pose (seated twist), as a squeezing and soaking action. According to Iyengar during a twist, the abdominal organs are compressed, which pushes out toxin-filled blood. When you release the twist, fresh oxygenated blood flows into the organs, which is thought to aid in tissue healing and cleansing. It has been thought that there are similar benefits from forward folds, as they compress the abdominal organs.
There is no flow or pose that will do the detoxing for you. Detox yoga helps your body do what it does better. Circulation and movement is improved by detox yoga as you are helping your body’s natural detoxification system, which operates at a cellular level. You can’t twist your organs into removing toxins, that is just a yoga myth.
Heat is another aspect of yoga that is often said to promote detoxification, whether that be external heat in a hot yoga class, or the internal heat created through vinyasa karma (series of postures linked together to create heat, like the salute to the sun). The logic behind this is that sweat carries toxins out of the body. However, the amount of toxins removed by sweating is minimal compared to what the body gets rid of via the kidneys and intestines. In fact sweating more could be harmful, as when you sweat you not only lose water but also minerals which need to be replenished.
Yoga also provides us with tools like mindfulness and self-awareness to help us shed toxins emotionally and energetically from our lives. These practices can help us not only recover from stress, but also stay balanced going forward.
Self-awareness is one of the main tools of yoga, and really important one for regulating our system, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally or energetically.
Yoga is incredibly useful in getting regular exercise and helping our bodies through their natural detoxification process.
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