Most people think about doing detoxes in the spring, which is our cultural cleaning season. But fall, which is a season of transition, is also a great time for a gentle detox to reset the mind and body and prepare for winter wellness.
Certain yoga poses can help expedite the detoxification process. I love these postures for moving toxins through the lymphatic and digestive systems so they can be eliminated. Resting in savasana (corpse pose) at the end of a yoga routine is restorative and relaxes the nervous system, mind, and body — which is crucial during and after a cleanse.
Try each one of these poses at the end of your day, when you need some quiet time, when you’re feeling anxious, or when you’re experiencing cravings.
1. Child’s pose
Start in a kneeling position with your hips resting on your heels, then bend forward and stretch your torso out over your thighs. You can lengthen your arms long in front of you or rest them back by your feet. Child’s pose is so great for the kidney region and setting intentions.
2. Peeing dog
Come on to all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift your right leg (keeping the knee bent) out to the side as if you were a peeing dog. Hold for five breaths before switching to the left side. This will put a smile on your face as well as strengthen your outer hips and thighs. I think of this pose as an elimination of all the junk in the trunk and also cleaning out the liver.
3. Bow pose
Lie down on your stomach and bend your knees, reaching back for the fronts of your ankles or shins. Lift your torso off the floor and then rock back and forth on your stomach for as long as you can. Stop and hold the pose three to five breaths then release down. Rolling around on our bellies is a great way to massage our internal organs.
Start on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor hip distance apart (you can just flip onto your back from bow if you are doing this in a flow). Press down in to your feet and lift your hips up. Then, take your hands back by your ears so your fingers are facing in towards your shoulders and roll on to the crown of your head. Narrow your elbows as you press yourself up in to a backbend or full bridge. It’s like opening up the windows and letting in fresh air!
5. Happy baby pose
Lie down on your back (you can come into this right after you backbend if you thread the sequence together). Bend your knees and take hold of the soles of your feet with your elbows on the outsides of your knees. If you can’t grab your feet, hold on to your ankles or shins. Pull your knees down towards your armpits, keeping your feet flexed up to the ceiling. It’s as if you were doing a squat on your back. This is a wonderful way to stimulate digestion.
6. Plow pose
Lie down on your back and stretch your legs long on the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs up and over your head. Try and touch the floor behind you with your toes and keep your legs very straight and active. Interlace your hands under your back and walk your shoulders close together. Hold and breath five to 10 breathes. Plow is such an incredible pose for stimulating lymph and the thyroid gland in the neck.
The harvest is over and it’s a great time to clear out. Yoga can help you figure out what you don’t need in your lifeetox can help you discover what you don’t need in your body. Now is the perfect time to plant the seeds for next year’s harvest!