Hello fellow yogis!! Following up Mayra's recent blog, here are 3 poses to help detox and restore your body.
1. Cleansing Inversion
Benefits: Inverted poses, such as Salamba Sirsasana (headstand), Shoulder Stand, or a simple “Legs up the wall” pose helps to drain accumulated lymph fluid from the legs and re-circulate it through the body. This benefits the immune system. Inverting is also good for increasing metabolism as it stimulates the thyroid gland!
Instructions for a headstand:
1. From Downward dog bring your forearm to the ground pressing firmly; you can let the top of your head (the flattest part) gently rest on the mat (while still pressing the floor away with your forearms)
2. Walk your feet closer to the front of the mat and keep pressing the mat away with your forearms. Keep your core tight.
3. When your hips are over your shoulders, try lifting one leg up, stay for a few breaths and switch legs. If you feel secure lifting one leg, next you can try lifting both legs up towards the sky.
4. When you are ready to come down, spend a few minutes in child pose.
Please note: Inversions are not recommended if you have high blood pressure or any neck injuries/sensitivity (particularly for sirsasana) or for women on their menstrual cycles.
2. Restorative Twist
Benefits: Yoga twists stimulate digestion and help with the elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. The abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen.
Instructions for a simple restorative twist:
1. Grab your yoga bolster or two of your firmest pillows.
2. Sit with your legs outstretched straight in front of you.
3. Bend your knees and bring both shins to your left side.
4. Bring the bolster right up against your right hip.
5. Place your hands on either side of the bolster, and breathe as your gradually rotate your torso so that your belly button is directly facing the bolster.
6. Gently lower your revolving torso down onto the bolster. Let your head turn to whichever side is most comfortable.
7. Stay here and breathe. Do as little as possible. With each breath, let your body sink more deeply down toward the floor.
8. After a few minutes, repeat on the other side.
Please note: If you if you do not have a bolster, you can use several folded blanket.
3. Restorative Reclining Pose
Benefits: Supta Bada konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose provides a stretch for the inner thighs and opens the hips, enhancing circulation to the vital organs of elimination and reproduction in the lower belly. It also creates a quiet chest opening, like that of Savasana (Corpse Pose), especially broadening through the collarbones and the front of the shoulders when the upper back is supported. Lastly, this pose calms the nervous system.
1. Begin sitting nice and tall (a nice comfortable seat)
2. Bring your feet together, letting the knees fall out to either side.
3. Draw your feet in as close to your body as is comfortable. Back off if you feel any pain in your knees.
4. Press the outer edges of the feet together strongly.
5. Begin to lean backward, bringing your elbows to the floor and then lower the back all the way to the floor.
6. Stay here several minutes. To come out, roll over to your side and sit up, using your hands to support you.
Please note: If you are not comfortable reclining on the floor, you may use a bolster or several folded blankets to support the spine. You may also want to place a block under each knee for support.