Detox Yoga: An Easy Sequence to Cleanse Your System
The month of January: it’s cold, it’s dark, and if you are like most of us, you probably had your share of holiday treats, too much wine, sweets, and the like. The good news is that it’s a brand new day, each and every day, and it is never too late to start to take control of your eating, your exercise habits, and along with that, your happiness. As the great yogi and spiritual teacher Sri Swami Satchidananda said, (and how fitting, as the last part of his name- ananda- translates to BLISS in Sanskrit):
“Happiness is your birth right. It is your nature. You ARE happiness.”
Why don’t we feel it then?
The answer is simple: we are often weighed down (literally) by all sorts of junk that covers our happiness. Overeating, excessive drinking, shopping, accumulating, too much time spent on facebook and other social media, even too much talking, all take us away from our own innate happiness, the source of our being.
I offer the following sequence to you as a way to detox on not just the physical level, but mentally and emotionally as well. Try practicing these detox yoga poses with your eyes closed, in a quiet room, and tap back in to that which truly matters.
Sukhasana (Happy Pose)
Start in a simple seated cross-legged position. Activate your feet a bit, spreading your toes and lifting onto the blade of the outer foot. Walk your hands out in front of you gradually, releasing the neck and head and feeling the stretch in your hips and spine.Breathe smoothly and deeply for as much time as you need to begin to feel some release.
Wring it Out
Maintain the same position of your legs. Take your left hand to your right knee and your right hand behind you, beginning to TWIST to the right. Keep the legs stable, but roll the belly, ribs, chest, and lastly head to the right. Stay for up to one minute, wringing out the internal organs.
Return to Center
Switch the cross of your legs so that your opposite leg is in the front, and repeat the same two poses on the ‘second side’ (folding forward first and then coming up and twisting to the left).
From hands and knees press back into downward facing dog, staying as long as you like, breathing deeply into the whole body. Enjoy the inverted effect of this posture, clearing and relaxing the BRAIN!
Fire in the Belly (Forearm Plank)
Drop down onto your hands and knees from downward dog and then come onto your forearms, re-straightening your legs straight back behind you. Suck the navel toward the spine, and HOLD at least 8-10 breaths. Drop the knees and rest, and then repeat twice more.
Row Your Boat (Navasana)
Come to sit down, and bend your knees, taking a hold of your big toes or the sides of your feet. Begin to EXTEND your legs as much as your flexibility allows, draw the arm bones BACK into the sockets to keep the chest open, and balance on the sitz bones. BREATHE and feel the digestive fire in the belly.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
The pose of surrender, tranquility, peace and happiness. Lie on your back and rest. Bring to mind one thing that you are grateful for: your child, a friend, the sound of the ocean. Hold that in your mind for a few moments.