We cleanse through three of the body's main systems. The circulatory system pumps blood throughout the body – taking oxygen to cells whilst carrying the waste away. The digestive system processes the food we eat – absorbing the nutrients we need and eliminating anything we don’t. And then we have the lymphatic system, which collects fluid from our cells and sends it to the lymph nodes to ditch any harmful bacteria. The eliminatory organs (lower digestive system, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin) then help us to expel all of those nasty little toxins.
That’s a pretty good system when it comes to detoxing! However, over the winter season, our diet is a little heavier, we're a little less active than usual, and our eliminatory organs may be feeling a little sluggish. When Spring arrives, we often need a helping hand to assist the natural detoxification process.
We regularly give you tips on how to cleanse your body through diet. But what about exercise? This week, with the help of our Resident Health Coach, Claire Obeid (who just happens to be an amazing yoga teacher), we thought we’d share a few of our favourite cleansing yoga poses to help you banish those winter cobwebs and kickstart detoxification.
Yoga, like most forms of exercise, stimulates the three systems of cleansing, but it packs a little more punch. The systematic stretching and compressing action, coupled with calm breathing, is particularly good at enhancing waste-removal from the deep tissues and extremities (which some forms of exercises just can’t do).
Here are our 5 cleansing yoga poses:
1. Standing Forward Bend – calms the nervous system whilst gently compressing the abdomen to stimulate digestion and elimination
2. Downward Facing Dog – gently tones the belly, aids circulation of blood and lymph and stimulates digestion
3. Lunging Twist – strengthens the legs whilst deeply twisting through the abdomen to squeeze and release the digestive organs
4. Seated Twist – releases the hips whilst squeezing the abdominal organs
5. Meditation – helps you calm your breath, centre your focus and quieten your mind to reduce stress and enhance detoxification