There are many claims out there to suggest that certain yoga poses literally detoxify the body. Whilst this can often be a little ambiguous, there are certainly many ways that a regular yoga practice helps our body to function more optimally, particularly as we welcome in a new season. The practice of yoga stems far beyond the physical body. When practised mindfully and with the right intention, yoga impacts our more subtle layers such as our mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. So when it comes to yoga poses for detoxification, it benefits us to think beyond just the physical. With that in mind, let’s explore some useful gentle yoga postures that may aid with increasing vitality in the body, whilst also holding the importance of the attitude and quality of our practice.
Easy seat is the perfect way to start a yoga practice as a means of checking in with the body. Come into an easy cross legged position with your hips firmly grounded into the floor, block or cushion. Take three deep breaths. As you pay mindful attention towards your body, could you also feel into any tension that you might be holding onto that could be released freely? Continue to scan the body mindfully.
From a cross legged seat, sit tall and twist to one side, taking one hand back behind your back and the other to your knee. Take a few deep breaths into the belly and feel the way the breath massages your abdominal area. Feel the way that this increases blood flow and energy.
Wide Leg Forward Fold
Sitting on the floor, block or cushion, take your legs out wide with your toes pointing to the ceiling. Walk your hands forwards as much as you like. Take a few deep breaths into the inner thighs and groin whilst paying attention to the little pockets of flexibility that increase as a result of your breath
Stand up with your feet nice and wide, turning your toes outwards and your heels inwards. Squat down towards your heels. If you can balance, bring your hands together at the chest and press your elbows into your inner knees. Keep your spine as upright as possible and visualise energy moving down and out the base of your spine.
From all fours, slide your shin up behind your wrists. Wriggle your back leg a little further back so that your hips move closer to the floor. Either keep the spine elevated with the hands on the ground, or walk the hands forwards and allow the chest to move towards the floor. This pose can feel pretty sticky if you have tight hips, so use this as an opportunity to check in with your relationship to discomfort and practise relaxing in the face of challenge.
Notice how after practising a few minutes of yoga, your mind becomes more calm and present. Having connected to yourself a little more intimately, it can be powerful to ask yourself the question, what am I holding onto in my life that is no longer serving me? And how can I work to let that go?