5 Poses for Detoxification

My Detox Workshops are some of my favorite programs that I teach. I love connecting scientific knowledge of the human physiology to the practices of yoga asana in a practical, and supremely beneficial way. By utilizing the location of our abdominal organs and stimulating them in specific sequencing we can stimulate and amplify the affects of our bodies natural detoxification processes. The most important part of detoxification and yoga is deep breathing. The movement of the diaphragm, pumping up and down on the abdominal organs, is essential to our bodies internal processes. Add in the effects of yoga asana and you can see how the various organs are stretched, compressed, and twisted to aid the peristaltic movement of digestion, and stimulate our organs of detoxification. It wouldn’t be a detox discussion without mentioning the liver, which filters blood coming from the digestive tract, detoxifies various metabolites, such as sugars and starches, synthesizes proteins and produces biochemicals necessary for digestion. It also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. In short, the liver is essential for metabolism in addition to cleansing the body of foreign substances. The poses in the this sequence emphasize stimulation of the liver, giving it a sports-like butt slap to do it’s job most effectively.

This sequence is designed to stimulate your body’s detoxifying properties. Stay in each pose for 5-10 breaths, and modify as needed. Do both sides of the asymmetrical poses, practicing the right side first following the flow of our digestive movement. Practice this sequence to improve your digestive function and to help cleanse and clear your digestive tract. In other words practice this regularly to be more regular 💩

Warm up with several sun salutations and then start in downward-facing dog pose.

Fire up your core in the forearm plank, and in knee-to-nose plank hold your leg in a tightly and breathe deeply. The compression really stimulates your internal organs with the massaging action of your breath.

The forward folds increase digestive fire and provide an inverted effect, which increase lymphatic drainage to flush toxins out of your system and increase blood flow. Pyramid pose could be substituted for standing splits or practice both. For a little extra stimulation place a rolled towel in between your thigh and belly.

Use blocks under your hands in Warrior 3 to improve balance and emphasize elongation of the spine and extension through the back leg. The idea is to stretch your abdominal organs.

Lastly, get into your twist. Revolved Half-Moon at the end of this sequence will help get a detoxifying sweat going. Remember our skin is the largest organ of the body. It’s healthy to cleanse our pores with a good sweat through yoga.

Give yourself a relaxing savasana for a few minutes to unwind and let your mindbody integrate the benefits of the practice. Sit for a moment in closing and observe the level of clarity you’ve cultivated from the cleansing and detoxifying practice.