8 Yoga Postures That Will Give You an Instant Detox
Been overdoing it a little? If your body could use some fine-tuning, you can do more than sip on detoxing green juice. Hop on your yoga mat, and do these eight poses designed to detox the body. You have your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems to thank for getting rid of toxins and waste, and these poses stimulate those systems. Pick out the poses your body needs or practice them all, and you'll be on your way to feeling like a new you.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Not only a great pose for opening tight hamstrings, allowing your head to fall below your heart in Wide-Legged Forward Bend also reverses the pull of gravity, encouraging circulation of blood throughout the body as well as fluid to your filtering lymph nodes. The folding motion also squeezes the belly, which moves things along for digestion.
- Stand with your feet four or so feet apart, heels turned out slightly wider than the toes. Standing tall, interlace your hands behind you, pressing the heels of your palms together in a double fist.
- Take a deep breath in, and slowly fold forward at the waist, lowering your hands as far as you can. Keep your spine long and straight as you breathe for five deep breaths. Engage your legs, and slowly rise up to stand.
Open Side Fierce
If you want to strengthen your lower legs, Open Side Fierce will have your quads and glutes burning. This deep twist also aids in digestion. You'll feel the gentle pressure on your kidneys, liver, and spleen, which stimulates the removal of waste.
- Stand with both feet together, bend your knees, and squat down, coming into Fierce Pose. Cross your right elbow over your left thigh, planting your right palm on the floor beside your left foot. If you can't reach all the way, just allow your fingers to hover in the air, as close to the floor as possible.
- Extend your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, stacking your shoulders, and gaze at your lifted palm. Make sure both knees are parallel. Hold for five deep breaths.
- Press into your feet, inhale to rise back up to Fierce, and exhale to repeat this pose on the right side, holding for another five breaths. Then rise back up to Fierce Pose, and straighten the legs.
Three-Legged Down Dog
Holding your head below your heart and your leg lifted in the air in this variation of Down Dog encourages blood to circulate throughout the body, as well as move fluid to the lymph nodes. If your upper body is strong, this pose can also be very relaxing, which aids in mental detox as well, releasing stress, fear, and sadness.
- Come onto your hands and knees, so your hands are shoulder-width distance apart, with your knees directly below each hip. Tuck your toes and straighten your legs, coming into Downward Facing Dog.
- Keeping your shoulders parallel with the floor, step both feet together and raise your right leg into the air. After five deep breaths, lower the leg and repeat this pose with the left leg lifted.
Seated Heart Opener
Poor posture can stifle proper lung function, and doing this Seated Heart Opener encourages lengthening of the spine so your lungs can fully expand and contract with each breath. Healthy, deep breathing encourages the body to eliminate carbon dioxide, lactic acid, lymphatic fluid, and other wastes.
- Begin seated on your shins.
- Interlace your hands behind you in a double fist, pressing the heels of your palms together. Pull your pressed palms toward the floor, opening through the chest and shoulders.
- After five breaths, release your hands.
Seated Spinal Twist
Twisting poses are all about aiding in digestion, which encourages the elimination of wastes. Take this Seated Spinal Twist as deeply as you want to go.
- Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you. Bend both knees, and place your left heel as close to your right sit bone as you can. Cross your right foot over your left knee, and plant it on the floor so your outer right ankle is next to your left knee.
- Reach your right arm behind you, and place your palm on the floor. Cross your left elbow over your outer right thigh to gently increase the twist.
- Gaze behind you and over your right shoulder, staying here for five breaths. Then release the twist, straighten your legs out in front of you, and do this pose with your left knee pointing up.
Head to Knee C
As bizarre as this pose looks, folding forward over your heel in this variation of Head to Knee Pose is meant to gently massage and stimulate your inner organs.
- Begin in a seated position with both legs straight out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee, and hold your right foot with your left hand. Bring your right arm under your right leg, and reach around to grab on to the arch with your right hand.
- Pull your right toes down gently, and place the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh so your right heel is pointing up.
- Lengthen through the spine, and fold your torso over your left leg. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your leg or on your shin. If your hamstrings and hips are more flexible, reach for your foot — the right hand holds the left wrist.
- Rest your forehead on your leg, and stay here for five breaths. Continue lengthening the spine as you relax the shoulders away from your ears.
- Then release your hands, sit up, and switch sides.
This pose strengthens the back of the body, but the pressure on your abdomen also encourages digestion.
- Lie on your belly with your legs together. Place your arms by your sides with your palms facing up.
- As you inhale, lift your legs, head, and upper body off the floor. Your hands remain on the floor for support.
- As you breathe, relax your shoulders and the muscles in your bum. Extend the crown of your head away from your toes, lengthening as much as you can through your spine.
- Hold for five breaths, and then release back to the mat.
Another pose where your heart is above your head, Headstand removes toxins in the circulatory and lymphatic systems. This is also a pose that's typically held for 10 breaths or longer, and focusing on deep breaths clears out carbon dioxide from the lungs.
- If you're new to this pose, sit facing a wall. Place your clasped fingers and head on the floor about eight inches or so away from the wall.
- Straighten your legs, and walk your feet toward your head. Bend one knee, and tuck it into your chest. Using your abs and hamstring flexibility, lift your other leg off the floor so both knees are tucked into your chest, in a pose called Bound Headstand Prep: Tuck.
- With complete control, slowly lift and straighten both legs up, coming into Bound Headstand. If balancing is hard, bend one knee and place the sole of your foot on the wall.
- Hold for five, 10, or more breaths. Then slowly bend your knees into your chest, lower your feet to the floor, and rest in Child's Pose.