When you think of a detox, you might naturally associate the term with elimination (or starvation). While avoiding certain foods or beverages is a common way to cleanse, one of the best ways to detox the body naturally is by adding a few detox yoga poses to your daily routine — rather than subtracting. Specifically, twists work to detoxify and cleanse the system by ridding the body of impurities and aiding overall health. These simple movements accomplish so much internally from wringing toxins out of digestive organs, stimulating fresh blood flow, and even improving balance, both mentally and physically. The twists highlighted below detoxify the body by stimulating fresh blood flow through the organs (think: kidneys, liver, and spleen) — read on for the five detox yoga poses we always start our morning with.
This pose squeezes and massages your digestive organs while challenging your balance and concentration. Hold this pose for five deep breaths on each side. Along with a digestive detox, this twist helps open the chest and shoulders, strengthen the thighs, hips, and back muscles, and tightens the waist.
Posture tips: Keep your back foot at a 45-degree angle. If the stretch feels too deep, plant your hand on the inside of your front foot. You can also slightly bend the front knee or use a block if you need extra support.
Revolved Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold
Also known as Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana, this is a calming twist that stretches the whole body and helps detoxify the digestive organs, while also soothing the mind and improving full-body coordination. Hold this pose for five to 10 breaths on each side. Along with detoxification, this pose also works to stretch the hamstrings, calves, and hips, strengthen the upper back and shoulders, and relieve neck and shoulder tension.
Posture tips: Push into the heels of your hands and feet. Set your gaze on the thumb of your raised hand and push your hips to the wall behind you, while engaging your lower belly.
Revolved Side Angle
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, or revolved side angle, is a deep twist that challenges balance and strengthens the legs and core. Hold this pose for five deep breaths on each side. This pose also works to increase energy and confidence, relieve stiff shoulder muscles, and help develop stamina.
Posture tips: While setting up this pose, work on getting your shoulder on the opposite side of your knee. The twist is more important than where your arm is going—feel your rib cage over your knee. If you cannot plant your bottom hand on the ground, just use your fingertips.
Revolved Chair Pose
This twist provides a challenge in balance while stretching the spine, shoulders, and chest. Hold this pose for 5 breaths on each side. It detoxifies the body by supplying the internal organs with a fresh, new supply of blood, as it helps promote digestion and metabolism, and aids in the body’s natural process of elimination.
Posture tips: Try to set your hips behind your knees (you should be able to lift your toes at any time). Squeeze your knees together. Bring your shoulders to the outside of the knee.
Side Plank With a Twist
This pose challenges your ability to stay calm and focused. Hold this pose for five breaths on each side. While the twist works to detox the body, this pose also helps improve balance and concentration, as well as tone the glutes and abdominal muscles at the same time.
Posture tips: Stack your shoulders over your wrist. Spread the fingers of your bottom hand wide, so they are evenly distributed, and press down between your thumb and index fingers. Engage your lower belly by pulling it back toward your spine.
Will you try one of these detoxifying twists?