I cannot believe that today is the last day of February, seriously where on earth has this month gone?! I’m still on my detox kick, smoothies, my amazing (yes, I’m tooting my own horn) DIY Detox Herbal Tea, salads that more often than not contain detox greens (like this one) and lots of yoga. I have really been focusing on a slow, mindful practice that is cleansing my body, helped along by lots of yoga twists! Also tomorrow is a new moon, a new beginning- the perfect time to start detoxing your life!
Twists literally wring out the toxins in your body, both applying pressure to and releasing your internal organs, helping them to flush what is not needed out of your system. Which is why after a heavy twisting class (like the poses below) drink LOTS of water. Yes, lots in capital letters. Water will help to rid your system of the toxins that you’ve released!
Disclaimer: If you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester, most twists are not for you! Please consult your physician before attempting any twists.
If you’re new to yoga make sure to check out my Five Foundational Yoga Poses post, that breaks down the positions every yoga pose originates from! Also, I have linked to a few of my other yoga posts for detailed instructions for some poses that have been repeated here!
Easy pose with a twist is a wonderful way to start warming up your body for a twisting sequence. Come to a comfortable cross-legged seated position, grounding your sit bones into the earth. If it feel comfortable you can use your hands to pull the flesh from under your sit bones to feel more stable. Sit up tall, with your shoulder blades pulled down your back and your head level and strong. Reach your left arm to your right knee and ease your body into a twist and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Start in runner’s lunge (instructions here) with your right foot forward. Ground both feet and your left hand into the ground then inhale and send your right arm to the sky, twisting your torso so that the right arm creates a continuous line with your left arm. Breathe deeply, release, and repeat on your left side.
Lay comfortably on your mat, face up, legs extended long and arms palms down in a ‘T’ position to your sides. Keeping your shoulders and right arm planted fully into the ground, bend your right knee so that the sole of your foot is flat on the floor beside your left knee. Rotating your hips, let the right leg drift over your body, and reach your knee to the floor. It is okay if your knee doesn’t touch! Shift your hips underneath you so that your left leg is in a continuous straight line with your torso. Use your left hand to add pressure to your right leg, deepening the stretch. Release, uncoil, and repeat on the opposite side.
Come to seated in staff position, grounding through your sit bones. Spread your legs wide, then bend your left knee and tuck your heel into your groin. Inhale and extend the crown of your head to the sky, creating space. Exhale and lean to the right, reaching for your toes. If accessible, use the outside of the elbow of your right arm to press against the inside of your right leg to help twist your torso so that your shoulders stack one on top of the other, creating a line perpendicular to the floor. Breathe deeply into your chest, allowing it to open. Release and repeat on the opposite side.
Start in Staff Pose. Bend your knees and place the soles of both feet on the floor, then slide your right leg underneath your left leg so that the sole of your right leg reaches for your left buttock, this leg will lay flush with the floor. Lift your left foot over your right leg with the knee facing the ceiling and place it outside of your right thigh. Place your left hand just outside your left hip and twist to the left, letting your head and gaze follow. Bend your right arm and as your twist deepens, allow the outside of your right elbow make contact with the outside of your left knee, you can use this contact to deepen the twist if you feel comfortable. Switch sides and remember to breathe!
There are two separate versions of this twist, one for beginners and one for more advanced students with open hips. Choose the version that feels best in your body. Come to a comfortable seated position. Shift your weight onto your left hip, bend your knees and let both feet drift to a staggered position, with your left foot touching the inside of your right thigh and your right leg hugging close to the outside of your right hip. If you feel a stretch here, stay in this position for the twist!
If you feel that your hips are open enough, come into a half lotus position by flointing your left foot (half flexing, half pointing like a Barbie foot) and pulling it into the hip crease of your right hip. In both variations plant your left arm on the floor directly behind your body, inhale to grow tall, and use your right arm to grab onto your left knee, facilitating the twist. Release and repeat on the opposite side.
Cow Faced Pose with a Twist (Gomukhasana)
Start in Cow Faced Pose (instructions here) with your left leg on top. Bring your hands, palms together, at your heart center, your forearms should form a line parallel to the floor. Inhale to create length, then begin to twist your torso to the left until the outside of your right elbow can make contact with the outside of your left knee. You can use this connection as leverage to deepen your twist if desired. Uncoil and repeat on the opposite side.
Don’t forget to check out my darling photographer’s site: Alpen Glow
What are you doing to detox your life? Let me know in the comments below!