Being aware of your breath is one of the most important components of yoga. Allow it to help move you into each pose and hold that position for a set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. The increased flow of oxygen will help to detoxify your body.
Here are three detoxifying yoga poses selected specifically for you from our very own Chef Veronica, a devout yogi and certified yoga instructor.
Downward Dog: Place your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart, and stretch your feet out behind you about 3 feet apart from one another with your hips high in the air. You should look like an upside down letter “V.” Because your heart is higher than your head, this pose causes blood to flow to your brain, which calms the nervous system, improves memory, enhances concentration and relieves stress. Downward Dog also gently tones your abdomen, which stimulates digestion.
Prayer Twist: Stand with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Look toward your right leg as you turn your torso and your hips towards your right leg. Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, keeping your left leg straight so that you are in a low lunge. Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you. Inhale and on an exhale, twist to your right, bringing your left elbow over your right knee. Look up and make sure your elbows are facing in opposite directions with your right elbow facing up at 12 o’clock and left facing down at 6 o’clock. Hold this pose for 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly release, coming back to center. Repeat on the other side. Look toward your left side, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle and move into a lunge by keeping your right leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist to the left, hooking your right elbow over your left knee. Breathe for 5-10 inhales and exhales. The twisting of the torso in this move applies pressure to your muscles, increasing toning and detoxifying powers. Fresh oxygen rushes to the area once the twist is released, which helps flush toxins within the body and improve digestion. This pose is great for balance, energy and confidence – plus, it tones your legs, hips and butt.
Supine Spinal Twist: Lay on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee, bringing it close to your chest. Take your left hand and slowly guide your (bent) right leg over to the left side of your body. Look right and breathe 5-10 inhales and exhales. Slowly come back to center with both legs stretched out on the ground. Reverse on the other side by bending your left knee toward your chest. With your right hand, gently guide your left leg over to your right. This time, look to the left and breathe for another set of 5-10 inhales and exhales. This spinal twist will help to release lower back tension, open tight shoulders, improve digestion and elongate spinal muscles.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t come easy at first. Like all things, yoga takes time and practice to get right, but you will start feeling the detoxifying benefits right away. Just start with slow and steady breaths and the rest will follow!