Modern living has forced us to multi-task and take on more stress than ever before. As a result, it is essential to detox, and that doesn’t mean going on a liquid diet or booking a retreat. The secret to an inside out cleanse lies in the practice of yoga. Our bodies are designed to engage in the detoxification process via pulling, stretching, twisting, compressing, and pushing.
Here’s how you can get with the program:
Marichyasana Variation 3, Or Marichi Pose
Great for regulating your digestive system and relieving constipation, this asana can also relieve lower backache, fatigue, asthma, and menstrual cramps.
Step 1: Start out by sitting in dandasana (staff pose).
Step 2: Bend your right knee and place your foot on the floor. Make sure that the heel stays close to the right sitting bone. Keep the left leg as is, flexed.
Step 3: Place your right hand on the floor for support as you inhale and stretch your left hand up.
Step 4: Exhale, turn your torso to the right and wrap your left arm around your right thigh. Keep your gaze behind your right shoulder.
Step 5: Release your right hand, wrap it behind your back as you attempt to grab your left hand’s fingers or wrist joint. Hold for five breaths and gently release. Repeat on the other side.
Parivrtta Janu-Sirsasana, Or Revolved Head To Knee Pose
This asana improves the functioning of the kidneys and liver, while providing a really good stretch to your shoulders, hamstrings and spine.
Step 1: Sit down on the floor with your legs spread wide. Fold your left leg in, pressing the heel into the left side of your groin.
Step 2: Now lean over to your right side, placing the back of your right shoulder on the inside of your right knee, rest the forearm to the floor and with the palm facing up, grab the foot (fingers grabbing the sole and the thumb on top).
Step 3: Inhale, stretch your left arm up, and as you exhale stretch the left arm over your head grabbing your right foot’s toes. Your chest should open up towards the sky, eyes at the ceiling. Hold for five to 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Kapalabhati Pranayama, Or Skull Shining Breath
This simple breathing exercise improves the functioning of the digestive system, clears the mind, and purifies the lungs.
Step 1: Sit in a comfortable position—cross- legged, vajarasana (kneeling), or padmasana (lotus), but sit up tall, elongating your spine.
Step 2: Place your hand on your knees, or keep your hands in chin mudra (palms facing up, thumb and index fingers joined).
Step 3: Now focus on exhaling through your nose forcefully, and you’ll inhale automatically. As you force air out, your belly will go inwards, in the opposite direction to your breath.
Step 4: Start out with three sets of 20. Take up to a minute’s break in between.
If you’re wondering why we recommend yoga and not any other form of exercise, well the truth is, the practice goes a step further in comparison, and can really help fine-tune your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems.