Whether you’ve had a booze-filled weekend or ate too much cake at Johnny’s birthday party, today’s yoga class is designed to help you cleanse it out of your system. This yoga sequence is all about the twists!
Can you really detox the body with simple movements? Well, kind of. Yogic twists do provide an internal massage to the organs, such as the liver and kidneys. They also aid in digestion and help to increase metabolism, which can help to flush things out of your system. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up yogi’s claims of the detoxing nature of spinal twists.
There is good needs! Deep, yogic breathing has been scientifically proven to help detox the body. Therefore, I highly recommend that you focus on deep, belly breaths throughout the practice in over to receive the best effects.
Let’s Twist it Out!
This is a basic seated pose with crossed legs. Sit comfortably with the spine long, pressing the tailbone into the floor and lifting the top of your head towards the ceiling. Hands can rest palms down or palms up on the knees.
Lord of the Fishes (variation)
Seated with both legs directly in front of you, bend into the right knee and place the right heel as close to the sitting bone as possible. Optional: Cross the right foot over to the outside of the left leg only if the entire tailbone remains on the floor. Extending the spine by lifting through the crown of the head, begin twisting over to the right side, bringing the right fingertips behind you. Bringing the left elbow to the outside of the right knee will allow you to press deeper into the twist. Optional: Look back over your right shoulder. The spine should stay tall throughout the twist, not allowing the chest to “dump” forward. Repeat on the other side.
From table top (hands and knees), walk the hands towards the front of the mat while keeping your tailbone lifted towards the ceiling. Lower your chest and forehead to the floor, continuing to reach through the ceiling and arch your tailbone towards the sky.
Downward Facing Dog
From hand and knees, place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders.
Add the Twist
From down dog, bring the weight into the left hand and reach the right hand towards the left leg. (You do not need to grab the leg if you cannot reach.) Focus on rotating the chest over to the left side.
From downward facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Lower the left knee onto the ground and slide the left foot back until you have a comfortable stretch in the hip and groin, keeping the right knee stacked over the ankle. Arm variations: Beginners may choose to keep the hands on the floor or on top of the right knee. For more of a challenge, raise the arms overhead, keeping the shoulder blades back, and enjoy an optional backbend.
Add the Twist
From low lunge, sweep the left hand down and place it on the back of the left thigh or calf. Focus on keep the spine long as you open the chest over to the left side.
From downward facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Step the left foot slightly out to the side and angle the foot at a 45 degree angle to the front of the mat. Center your hips forward by pressing your left hip towards the front of the mat. Reach the hands over head, keeping the shoulders drawn back and the belly pulled in.
Add the Twist
This one moves with the breath, starting at Crescent Warrior (lifting onto the back toe from Warrior I). On the exhale, open the arms and twist the chest over to the left side. On the inhale, twist over to the right. Repeat 6-8 times.
Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold
From standing, turn to face the long edge of your yoga mat and step or hop your feet wide and parallel, about 3 feet apart. Turn the toes inward and the heels out. Place the hands on the hips and start to hinge forward from the waist, keeping the back as straight as possible. When you have gone as far as you can with a straight back, release the head down and allow the back to round, bringing the hands to the floor or the ankles. Hold here for 5-10 breaths. To come back up, bring the hands back to the hips and rise with a flat back.
Goddess Pose with Twist
From standing, turn to face the long edge of your yoga mat and step or hop your feet wide and parallel, about 3 feet apart. Turn your toes out and your heels in, creating a 45 degree angle with each foot.On an exhale, take a deep bend in your knees, moving toward bringing your thighs parallel to the ground and your hips in line with your knees. The knees have a tendency to bow inwards as they bend, so ensure that your knees remain stacked directly over your ankles.Bring both hands onto the knees, with the fingers pointing towards the center. Keeping the elbows bent, drop your right shoulder forward and open the chest to the left. Hold, breathe, and switch sides.
Standing Forward Fold
Start seated with both legs straight in front of you (staff pose), making sure to be seated up on the tailbone. On an inhale, reach both hands overhead and fold forward on the exhale. For an active pose, grab your feet or ankles and gently pull yourself forward throughout the pose. For a yin version, fall forward and release the hands, shoulders, and head, allowing yourself to simply hinge forward and hang there.
Chair Pose with a Twist
From mountain pose, reach the hands up over hand while bending the knees, as if sitting back into a chair. The pelvis should be tucked under, belly drawn in, and the shoulders rolled back. Try to get the thighs parallel with the ground if possible. Bring the hands to heart center and begin to twist the upper torso to the right side, keeping the knees in line. Option is to bring your left elbow to the outside of the right knee and press yourself deeper into the twist. Repeat on the other side.
Bound Angle Pose (Butterfly)
Start from seated position with your legs out straight in front of you. Bend into the knees and bring the souls of the feet together, allowing the knees to fall out to each side. Pull the heels as close to the pelvis as comfortable, keeping the hands wrapped around the ankles and lift your chest forwards. Hold here for a couple breaths. Then walk the fingers forwards and allow the head to drop, rounding into the back.
Reclined Supine Twist
Start laying on your back and gently draw the right knee into your chest. Use the left hand to draw the knee across the body over to the left side of the mat, rolling onto the left side of the body. Reach the right hand to the right and relax into the twist. Gaze can be to the left or, for a deeper twist, glance back to the right.
Happy Baby Pose
Start lying on the back. Bend your knees into your chest and separate the feet and knees wide, holding on to the outer edges of the feet. Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your armpits. Rock side to side on the back, actively pulling the knees wide and towards the floor.
Don’t skip this one! This may not seem like it, but it is the most difficult yoga pose that you can accomplish. Laying flat on your back, bring the arms to your side with the palms up, allowing the shoulders to roll back. Allow the toes to fall out to the side and tuck the chin in slightly to make sure the back of the neck is straight. Relax the body as much as you can and rest here for 3-5 minutes.
Ready to detox the body with some deep breathing and twists? Keep this routine nearby you by printing out this one page PDF.
Questions about the routine or how to naturally detox? Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going!