After an indulgent Christmas, you might be thinking about rolling out your yoga mat and getting back into your fitness routine for 2021.
Some of us, however, might be finding it daunting after taking time off.
A detoxing yoga routine can be just what you need to feel refreshed and ready to take on a new year.
Do you feel like you need to give your body a cleanse and detox? You are not alone, as the holiday season is a common time for many of us to fall out of healthy eating habits, or a regular yoga or fitness routine. Fortunately, there are postures that can help kickstart you back to more vitality.
Here are our top poses to detox after indulging.
Twisted Prayer Lunge
This twisted pose again helps to strengthen your lower back, as well as improves posture - perfect for if you’ve been slumping on the sofa for a day or two! This pose can also release any tension you’ve been holding in your shoulders, helping to release anxiety and stress, making room for a more positive 2021.
Start in Downward Facing Dog, then lunge forward with your left foot between your hands. Bringing your hands to your heart center, twist from your core to your left. The advanced variation of this pose is to eventually hook your right elbow onto your thigh, but if you’re not there yet, don’t worry. Twist more with each exhalation, then repeat on the other side.
Warrior II is a strengthening pose that can help bring power to your mind and body for the new year. It builds physical and mental strength and also helps clear your mind and release emotions. Physically it also tones your legs and strengthens your arms.
Starting from the Downward Facing Dog, step your left foot between your hands. Turn your right heel down spinning your foot parallel to the edge of your mat. Pull your arms upright arm back left arm forward, keeping your legs wide, and bend your left knee over your ankle, keeping the right leg straight. Now drop your hips and lift your pelvis, keeping your shoulders and hips stacked. Repeat on the other side.
Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog
A great family of poses to aid in detoxification are inversions. Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog also helps to get your blood circulating around your body, helping you feel refreshed.
Starting in Downward Facing Dog, press your hands into the floor and float your left heel back and up behind you. Keep your shoulders squared and keep your hands pressed into the floor to create length and stability. Hold for 5 breaths and then try on the other side.
The wide-legged forward bend helps to boost circulation as it positions the head below the heart. The pose also helps facilitate digestion.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold
This inversion helps to kick start digestion and clear the digestive organs, as well as giving a boost to your circulation.
Enter this pose by standing your feet wider than hip-distance apart, standing tall with your next inhale, folding forward on your exhale
Step your feet about one leg-length apart! The outer edges of your feet should be parallel to the edge of your mat.
Put your hands on your hips and as you inhale, and reach skywards with the crown of your head. Keep your back long and strong, putting your hands on your hips, or down on the mat if you’re able to. You can either stay here or walk your hands back lining them with your toes. Try to relax into this pose, releasing your back body for 5 breaths before you carefully come out of it.
Another twist to aid in detoxing, the compression and gentle twisting motions of the seated twist will help to kickstart your digestive system and get things moving. Our digestive system is crucial in the detoxification process, so poses like the seated twist are ideal.
Sitting down with your feet together, pull your head up to lengthen your back. Take your right hand behind you on the mat, and hook your elbow to the outside of your right knee, twisting your chest open to this side. Try to keep seated to keep the twist in your upper body, and use your inhale to lengthen up and exhales to deepen the twist. After 5 breaths, switch sides.
Legs up the Wall
This pose is not only detoxifying but can also be relaxing and restorative. The deep breaths you take in this pose can help to increase lung capacity, bringing oxygen to every cell in the body. This also helps reduce stress and anxiety. Grab a pillow for some extra relaxation.
Sitting sideways against a wall so your right shoulder and leg are against the wall. Now, as if you are going to sit on the wall, pull the right side of your bottom up on the wall, so both your seat bones are touching the wall, swinging your legs up. Now recline back into a comfortable position.
While you're in this pose try to do some deep breaths to help you relax, with one hand on your belly and one on your heart to increase your breath awareness.
This pose is great for detoxing the digestive system, ‘twisting’ the body to wring out toxins and negative energy. It also helps to increase flexibility and tones your internal organs - perfect for if you’ve overdone it over the festive season.
To do this pose, start from a standard chair pose, and bring your hands to your heart center, with wide elbows. Twist from your core to one side, and stay for five breaths, lengthening your back as you inhale, and deepening the twist as you exhale. Repeat on the other side.
By Amy Cavill
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