A detox yoga routine will improve digestion, boost strength and increase flexibility, says yogini and wellness entrepreneur Radhika Iyer Talati.
Detox is a fashionable word and our over-indulgences have played forever with this idea after every festival and every party.
The idea of detox is not new.
Our civilisation has always talked about food detox in the form of religious fasting and seasonal observances.
Alongside what you eat and drink it is also vital to know that in today's competitive and uncertain environment, the right yoga routine is essential to detox your body and mind.
A simple daily practice of yoga postures can help our bodies reduce unwanted impurities and allow blood circulation to flow freely to the organs.
A detox yoga routine includes simple inversions, gentle forward bends and energising twists that will improve digestion, boost strength and increase flexibility.
When we talk about detox yoga, the twisting postures are extremely beneficial in helping restore the spine's natural range of motion.
These poses also cleanse internal organs stimulating the fresh flow of oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Apart from the physiological benefits that the circulatory system experiences, there are structural benefits to the musculoskeletal system as well. So any kind of memory from an injury or trauma could be eradicated with regular practice.
Here are five simple asanas that can help you detoxify every day instantly.
Remember to use each inhale to lengthen the body and each exhale to rid yourself of anything you no longer need.
1. Garudasana (The Vulture Pose)
- Slightly bend your knees, lift your left leg balancing the body on the right leg. Place the left thigh over the right thigh.
- Wrap the shin of your left leg around the calf of the right leg. Hook the top of the left foot in the lower right calf. Balance the body on the right leg.
- Raise the arms in front and parallel to the floor, palms facing upward direction. Next, cross your arms placing the right arm above the left arm.
- Bend the elbows making the forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap the left forearm around and under the right forearm. Rest your left hand’s fingers firmly on your right palm. Keep the spine erect.
- Focus your gaze at a fixed point at a distance of 4-5 feet away. This is the final position. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds taking deep breaths.
- To return, gently release the arms first and then the legs to come back to the starting position.
- Take 3 deep and long breaths, practice from the other side by interchanging the position of legs and arms.
2. Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose)
- Stand with the feet three to four feet apart without bending the knees.
- Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right side and keep the left foot straight while making sure that the heels are in the line with the hips.
- Spread out the arms to the sides, parallel to the ground, palms facing down. Extend the trunk as far as is comfortable to the right side while keeping the arms parallel to the floor.
- Once the trunk is fully extended to the right, drop the right arm so that the right hand reaches the front of the right foot. Feel the stretch relaxing you and rejuvenate you instantly.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
- Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet from the legs of the table.
- As you breathe out, lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, forming an inverted V-shape with the body. Make sure the hips reach towards the sky.
- Keep your hands shoulder width apart and the feet hip width apart and parallel to each other. Make sure the toes point straight ahead.
- Press your hands into the mat widening the shoulder blades. Keep the neck lengthened by touching the ears to the inner arms.
- Hold this pose and take long deep breaths while looking towards the navel.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle)
- Sleep easily on the mat with your chest facing the ceiling. Relax your shoulders and keep your spine straight. Make sure there is no strain on the neck.
- Bend the knees and bring the feet together. Make certain that your feet remain on the mat.
- Now slowly and gently bring your heels closer to the pelvic region. Your hands, during the asana, should lie next to the hips. Your palms should face the mat and should be pressed on it.
- Deeply exhale and contract your abdomen muscles so that the tailbone moves closer to your pubic bone. There should be no pain in the lower back region as you stretch.
- Inhale quickly, and then exhale slowly letting your knees to open, thus giving a good stretch in your pelvic region as well as inner thighs. Do not forcefully arch your spine, and always ensure that the shoulders relax and are not too close to the neck.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds, breathing slow and soft.
5. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes)
- Begin in a cross-legged position, using a blanket under the buttocks to alleviate the hips. Make sure that the spine is upright.
- Cross the left leg over the right, placing the left foot on the floor and the knee facing the ceiling.
- Inhale and lengthen the spine and exhale toward your left leg.
- Place the left hand behind the body for support while hook the right elbow just outside the leg. Turn towards your shoulder.
- Hold for three to five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
These detoxing asanas will not only help you stretch your muscles, but also help open locked up joints and improve core strength.
On a deeper level, yoga will connect you to your breath granting you undivided focus and super relaxation every single time.
Radhika Iyer Talati is a yogini, mountaineer and philanthropist. She is the founder of Raa Foundation and Anahata Organics.
*Kindly note all images posted for representational purposes only.